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11-26-2019, 01:43 PM - 1 Like   #1
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SDM Deactivation - a Theory as to why you can't do so on newer bodies.

MODS: Please move this if you feel this does not fit this forum. I am a bit lost the subject is about lens conversion but focused on a body feature not a method or a lens.

After literally over 100 SDM conversions I have a bit of perspective on this subject. However like many of you I am by no means plugged into Ricoh decisions (Or Hoya or even Pentax). Over the years the method used for SDM conversion has involved using the debug mode of the camera to read/write the Lens EEPROM and reprogram it from claiming SDM to claiming only screw drive. This method is reasonably well documented.

Over time however, the ability to use this method became harder. First by hiding it behind a required modset file startup and then by leaving the menu items in place but making them no longer function (as the K-3 works for example). This gradual reduction of access to the feature could be seen from a conspiracy view as an intentional removal of features to force people to have these lenses repaired (at a cost) or change to a new lens. But I would not expect this as it took effort to remove the functions and didn't stop anyone determined.

What I have observed after 100+ conversions is that the conversion process has been hard on my K100D. Over time it has developed quirks and odd behavior that I suspect are the result of these conversions. The camera often pops up the flash or even fires it and makes noises it didn't use to make during conversions. My suspicion is that the current or voltage needed to do the reprogramming has slowly damaged some components - not to the point of non-working status - but to a quirky status that mostly works but sometimes does odd things.

IF this is true - Ricoh may have removed the ability to do this simply to avoid repair bills to in warranty cameras that might be used for this. Or more charitably to avoid customers risking an expensive new body becoming quirky.

Thoughts? I realize I have not broken the K100D down and determined root cause and identified what has been damaged. I don't have anything but observation and it is of a single body used for multiple conversions. The K100D may just fail this way over time without any relationship to the conversion efforts. But it does fit the narrative I would expect from Ricoh more than a desire to force sales or repairs on people.

11-26-2019, 02:19 PM   #2
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Interesting post, Brad.

I'm assuming the non-volatile memory in DA* lenses is some sort of NAND or NOR flash. Given the age of the devices by now, I wonder if they are pre internal charge pump technology, such that the camera's circuitry is responsible for creating and handling the increased voltages and current draw for writing to that flash memory. Even if that's the case, I'm not sure why it would cause failure - but maybe there's a resulting heating aspect that is causing gradual breakdown of a discrete or integrated component?

Since the camera's own non-volatile memory is likely the same type of flash, and we might reasonably assume that the same circuit design is used to support the necessary voltage and current when writing to it, it's feasible that frequent updating of camera firmware might result in the same gradual failure... if, that is, this isn't just a coincidence, and your K100D is simply failing regardless of the SDM updates...
11-26-2019, 03:24 PM   #3
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I can't provide any input on your theory, but the whole SDM failure issue is mind bending. I have a 16-50 that I purchased in 2016. It ran flawlessly up until last spring, and has slowly deteriorated since then to "sleepy mode." After I get it to wake up, it runs fine, but let it sit a few days/week, back to bed. Whatever is going on with these, electrical or mechanical or a combination is nutty, or should I say the lack of response from Ricoh is. Someone must know all these answers, and why a fix hasn't ensued is a puzzler. Just a motor that is too small for the mass of the 16-50, and hence why it is the most frequent fallure? But why does it wake up and then go fine and using it on a daily basis keeps it happy? You'd think a motor that is toasted wouldn't respond favorably to a work out.
11-26-2019, 04:10 PM   #4
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My K100Ds no longer works even with fully charged Ni-Mh... it has never been used to do a SDM conversion by me (though I don't know about the previous owner). It has been fine for quite some time (2.5 years of good use) while in my possession.
It started to go bad when not used regularly (i.e. when I bought a K-01). Given it's an old-ish camera maybe it has been the same for you as well i.e. not used much anymore and then developing quirks?

Gut feeling only, I don't think the two things are related.

11-26-2019, 04:38 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
My K100Ds no longer works even with fully charged Ni-Mh... it has never been used to do a SDM conversion by me (though I don't know about the previous owner). It has been fine for quite some time (2.5 years of good use) while in my possession.
It started to go bad when not used regularly (i.e. when I bought a K-01). Given it's an old-ish camera maybe it has been the same for you as well i.e. not used much anymore and then developing quirks?

Gut feeling only, I don't think the two things are related.
To be fair I use it frequently but not for very long... lol. It is certainly true that I simply don't use it for anything else so it could be simply coincidence. But I wonder.
11-26-2019, 04:56 PM   #6
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I have not used mine in years. I hope it still works so I can eventually sell it.

Does the K200D work for conversion? Or the K20D?
11-26-2019, 08:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
I have not used mine in years. I hope it still works so I can eventually sell it.

Does the K200D work for conversion? Or the K20D?
As far as I know they do. But I'm not certain.
11-30-2019, 08:14 PM   #8
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I've actually thought about picking one of these up to play with converting my 16-50. Thought was I would have another body for the Pentax collection, which isn't a bad thing. Any recommendations on what would be the "cooler" body to have from that standpoint? Starting eyeing the K100D on eBay, but perhaps up the ante? Another body that can do the conversion that has some sort of "magic" to it?

11-30-2019, 10:03 PM   #9
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If there's ever a pass-the-plate collection to get you another K100D (as a SDM conversion workhorse, or as a replacement so you can keep the buggy one as the conversion body), I'll gladly contribute.

Never done an SDM conversion or needed one, but it's a huge service to the community that you're here and willing to do it for others.
12-01-2019, 06:07 AM   #10
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That is a good idea. I have no need for SDM conversion but UncleVanya has done a real service to his fellow Pentaxians over the years and should not have to have his camera ruined for doing it.
12-01-2019, 06:44 AM   #11
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IIRC the K10D can do the conversions. I have one that has been boxed for a couple years.
12-01-2019, 06:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
IIRC the K10D can do the conversions. I have one that has been boxed for a couple years.
I know a certain firmware version can, not sure if the latest available broke that. I would have to research.

The k100d was purchased specifically for conversions. The k100d super I have was my camera for years and im sentimental about it but it is technically capable of doing conversions.
12-03-2019, 06:07 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Interesting hypothesis, but even more interesting is the number of quirks you describe. In a way it's funny, and from an engineering perspective "odd, hard to replicate behavior) is a pure nightmare.
12-03-2019, 06:27 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Interesting hypothesis, but even more interesting is the number of quirks you describe. In a way it's funny, and from an engineering perspective "odd, hard to replicate behavior) is a pure nightmare.
I work in the IT sector, we see weird hard to replicate things too often. They are the bane of troubleshooting.
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