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09-09-2016, 04:30 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Why no screwdrive firmware update ?

I have been seeing many issues and complaints about the continuing SDM problems lately, and I have thought why a firmware update has never been addressed to fix the problem. The AF fine adjustment feature allows the camera to identify individual lenses and apply AF correction to a single lens, so why can there not be a MENU setting for AF DRIVE SELECTION to individually assign AF drive function to lenses? Am I being to simplistic or is it not possible to do? Please educate me !!

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09-09-2016, 04:34 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Good point. And/or to grey-out the screwdrive option when the camera recognises/detects/receives inputs from an AF lens that simply doesn't physically have it.
09-09-2016, 04:36 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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Because that would be the same thing as admitting that SDM is bad

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09-09-2016, 04:40 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Because that would be the same thing as admitting that SDM is bad
Aha !!! Now I understand. Consider me now educated.

---------- Post added 10-09-16 at 09:45 AM ----------

But Ricoh could do much to restore the faith in these lenses by fixing a problem that was not of their doing.

09-09-2016, 05:34 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Because that would be the same thing as admitting that SDM is bad
^^^ What he said. And that's not going to happen.
QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
But Ricoh could do much to restore the faith in these lenses by fixing a problem that was not of their doing.
But admitting it would open them up to people claiming all SDM lenses are bad and wanting a refund. Possibly even a class action suit. Not going to happen, even if Ricoh execs think it would be a good idea the potential risk if someone opens that suit is enormous. Not to mention the bad press. Currently SDM has a bad name on this forum and a few other places. The VAST majority of Pentax users have no idea there is a potential issue.
09-09-2016, 05:46 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
But Ricoh could do much to restore the faith in these lenses by fixing a problem that was not of their doing.
I think they are silently doing it by not using the SDM technology any more. Notice how we haven't gotten any SDM lenses since the original DA* series and 17-70mm from the mid 2000's?

It's cute that they are calling Tamron's AF motors SDM, but every other Pentax lens with silent AF uses DC.

Hopefully we'll see revamped versions of the SDM lenses, but I think that's wishful thinking for now.

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09-09-2016, 05:49 PM   #7
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Besides saying "SDM is bad", there's another reason: there were AFAIK only 2 lens models with significant SDM issues, the DA* 16-50 and 50-135. I don't know the current defect rate, but it seems much lower than in the past. SDM has a bad reputation, but that's based mostly on its problematic past.
Also, there are only 5 lenses with dual drive AF, last one is the DA* 60-250, announced in 2008. The dual AF was a band-aid solution, because not all cameras could support SDM lenses back then.

I'd rather expect the replacement of those dual drive AF lenses, which would be a proper solution.
09-09-2016, 05:59 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
^^^ What he said. And that's not going to happen.

But admitting it would open them up to people claiming all SDM lenses are bad and wanting a refund. Possibly even a class action suit. Not going to happen, even if Ricoh execs think it would be a good idea the potential risk if someone opens that suit is enormous. Not to mention the bad press. Currently SDM has a bad name on this forum and a few other places. The VAST majority of Pentax users have no idea there is a potential issue.
In Australia, Ricoh could not be held accountable for the failings of a previous owner. The lenses in question are optically fantastic, and it seems a shame to me that so many of them have not been bought for the fear of an SDM failure that may or may not occur. My DA* 16-50 and DA* 60-250 are wonderful lenses IMO, and the fear them failing did not prevent me from getting them. A firmware update is not necessarily admitting failure, but just another adjustment that can be made in-camera. No big deal needs to be made of its inclusion to the MENU. So many people are missing out on the virtues of these lenses, which would not be the case if it was an easy in-camera fix. Sales of the lenses would increase IMO if the AF DRIVE option was made real.

09-10-2016, 01:37 AM - 1 Like   #9
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There's no technical reason. The overwriting we do now of the lens config file could be done much more safely by the body, too.

09-10-2016, 01:40 AM   #10
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There may not be enough memory space on the chip for additional features or enough storage for the additional lens adjustment settings.
09-10-2016, 01:56 AM   #11
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But you're just modifying existing values in the text file.

09-10-2016, 03:15 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
There may not be enough memory space on the chip for additional features or enough storage for the additional lens adjustment settings.
I'd be very surprised if there wasn't. For all sorts of reasons Pentax should have ensured there was plenty of ROM space to spare, and with memory (even specialised forms) being so cheap and firmware being relatively small, there ought to be enough space, even on early DSLRs. The amount of extra data stored would be pretty minuscule.

That said, the reasons why this probably hasn't happened have already been covered. And given that it is highly unlikely we will ever see a new Pentax lens design with both in-lens motor and screw drive AF, it will likely never rate as something to focus on for them.

Shame, it would be a great feature, and there are reasons to use the screw drive beyond SDM failures.
09-10-2016, 11:51 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GodsPetMonkey Quote
Shame, it would be a great feature, and there are reasons to use the screw drive beyond SDM failures.
And those reasons themselves would/should be an incentive to incorporate the feature G.P.M. Excellent point.
09-11-2016, 03:43 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
There may not be enough memory space on the chip for additional features or enough storage for the additional lens adjustment settings.
You mean a few bytes (yeah bytes) to add a few if instructions here and there? You really think this? Even if that was the case, it is likely possible to change few other lines in other place to gain that few bytes you'd need.

There even a camera that actually needed a firmware update to consider SDM lenses as SDM and no screw drive. This space related thing is bad excuse.
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