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View Poll Results: Select the option that best describes your agreement with the statement
I have a dual SDM and screw drive lens and I want the ability to choose the focus mechanism. 20258.38%
I am planning on buying a SDM/screw drive lens and I want the ability to choose the focus mechanism. 6919.94%
I will not buy a SDM lens until I have the ability to choose the focus mechanism. 7521.68%
Voters: 346. You may not vote on this poll

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10-22-2009, 03:55 PM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
Thanks, do you recall if they did both or one at a time???
I am pretty sure it was both, and it was reported here. don't have time to search myself. dinner is calling.

10-22-2009, 06:40 PM   #152
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One taped post doesn't work either.

Thank you
Russell
10-22-2009, 07:11 PM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
One taped post doesn't work either.

Thank you
Russell
Thanks. sorry about not doing the search but sometimes this way more expedient.
I assume each was tried separately.
Peter Zach's "problem" K20 is fascinating though.
Can't picture any internal flaw that wouldn't also just cripple the camera as well.
It doesn't seem to be a lens issue (since USM works on one k20 not the other) so it is a body issue. The only communication is w/ the serial data port contact and the only electric connection is the "power zoom" contacts aka "USM drive contacts" now... hmmmm.

Oh well mysteries of life. Not possessing any of the newest lenses or newest bodies I can't try anything myself.
10-23-2009, 12:08 AM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
Peter Zach's "problem" K20 is fascinating though.
Can't picture any internal flaw that wouldn't also just cripple the camera as well.
My guess would be that the power ports are fused in some way and when this fuse is blown, that the body reverts to using the in body AF.

Thank you
Russell

10-23-2009, 06:39 AM   #155
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
This is just a thought, but since Pentax is in the business of selling lenses wouldn't it be foolish for them to release a firmware patch disabling SDM.

This way when you have a (out of warranty) problem your stuck with one of 3 choices.
- live with manual Focus.
- pay the $ for the repairs. The chances are that Pentax will get most of these repair jobs, so they're making money there.
-buy a new lens. Pentax knows that several people will only buy a Pentax lens, again giving them their hard earned cash.

From a moral point of view it doesn't seem right, however the reality is that a business like Pentax can't survive if there's no one buying their products.
That's eaxctly why I'll never buy another GM vehicle. They invented this way of thinking. Design it to break, claim there's no issue and gladly offer repairs instead of a recall.

Ever see a Chevy Montana or a Venture mini van driving down the highway with the windshield wipers pointing up? Every single one of them has this defective wiper motor. After around 2 years of use, the wipers park vertically instead of under the hood. Then they eventually stop working. A $300 repair is no guarantee that they won't do it again. In fact my Venture has had it done twice in less than 4 years and needs it again. Doesn't endear me to GM and this doesn't give me the warm fuzzy's for Pentax either.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bart Quote
I see a fourth option: switch to another system.
Most likely if your $1299 lens just crapped out and the other stuff in the bag has a decent resale value.
10-23-2009, 08:16 AM   #156
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There seems to be train of thought in some industries that building a good product that lasts a long time and doesn't break down will ultimately put them out of business. The final decision is always the buyers however. Compare Honda and GM. Honda has only been building cars for around 25 or 30 years but has constantly improved and refined their product. It's the little things that piss people off. GM has some pretty durable engines and trannies (with a few exceptions) but constant small issues that never get corrected like gas gauges that fail, wiper motors, white metal door handles that break off in the cold, and on and on. The constant threads I have seen about SDM failures has made me very leery of buying an SDM lens.
10-30-2009, 01:22 PM   #157
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(Edit: Found a way to use the regular focus mechanism instead of SDM. I downloaded a hacked firmware that took me back to 1.10, then upgraded to 1.20 that don't support SDM (don't know if there are any more changes in the 1.30 firmware).. Anyway... it works fine and my DA* 50-135 is focusing just fine now without the SDM)

Original message:
I own a DA* 50-135 with failing SDM. If the lens hasn't been used for a while it takes some time to get it started. If I spend 10-20 minutes on focusing back and forth I eventually get it to focus normal. Then if it lays for a few days it's the same thing. Feels like it gets worse each time - so Yes! I want to be able to chose focus mechanism.

Really sad/bad that a such expensive lens have this problem. Started after 14 month and no warranty at all as I'm the second owner.

I will not buy any SDM lens until this is fixed.

Last edited by peteng; 11-01-2009 at 03:02 PM.
11-09-2009, 04:03 PM   #158
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I was looking at the thread "A Pentax Survey II" and noted there were 552 responses to Digital SLR for the question of "What Pentax gear do you own?".

With 198 votes for a firmware option in this thread to allow the use of the screw driven AF mechanism for dual drive lenses, that would be 36% wanting the option.

We only have 222 reporting owning Limited or * Series lenses. We have 120 people choosing the first option here, "I have a dual SDM and screw drive lens and I want the ability to choose the focus mechanism", so that would be 54% wanting the option.

Thank you
Russell

11-24-2009, 03:18 PM   #159
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There is no option for: I want to buy SDM lenses solely for the SDM, screw drive is just a bonus/backup.

To answer the question: Have you had SDM fail?

I have had bodies that fail to activate the SDM in the lens...like three times. The screw drive automatically takes over. I think that is pretty damn rad. But during screw drive focusing, I can't seem to lock focus [almost] at all during a reception.
11-24-2009, 06:21 PM   #160
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MJB what do you mean? The SD doesn't take over on any bodies I have or have had. I had a bad lens that would not focus and SD would not work.
11-24-2009, 10:55 PM   #161
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Hmm, and chance to make my DA17-70 a screw drive one too? Just in case, you know ...
11-25-2009, 07:02 AM   #162
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Prejudged survey has little meaning?

What about the contrary view? There is no option in the survey that I could select.

How about options such as:

I have a SDM lens and don't really care if there is a firmware overide for screw focus instead?

or

If I decide to purchase a SDM lens that decision would not be significantly affected by whether an option to use screw focus is available on xxxxx body.

or even

I won't buy a SDM until it is clear that they are as reliable as non SDM lenses.

For me, if a lens is faulty I would return it, repair it or throw it away as appropriate. If one stops shooting while I'm out I would use a different lens. Loosing autofocus on a lens while out shooting seems trivial compared to some other ill that renders the lens useless, but if it happens focusing manually rather than changing to another lens seems an easy solution.
11-25-2009, 07:37 AM   #163
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Yes the "poll" is flawed and should have allowed other options for those that don't care etc.

But if an AF lens fails, even for the casual shooter, you can be severly limited now.
1) how many people would carry 2 DA*300mm's in the camera bag? or any other DA* for that matter?
2) an AF lens has a very short MF focus throw and is very hard to get spot on sharp focus. The longer the lens is the harder this can be. Again if you were using a 300MM the DOF even at f8 might only be a few inches and to nail the focus with such limits is nearly impossible. Older MF lenses have a focus throw of 3-5x greater and much more latitude to get the focus spot on.
3) DSLR's have crappy ground glass and no standard split screens. Even with a "normal" prime, MF focus is tough without these aids. Plus the VF's are dimmer. Add in a possible low light scene and you may as well go home. MF is not a DSLR's strong point. look through the VF of a Pentax ME Super or similar to see the huge difference.

Toss a DA* lens? You must have money to burn. These are the most expensive new lenses available to us. Fat chance I'm going to toss a $1000++ lens in the garbage.

Really there are very few other things that could render a lens bad outside of dropping it. Most of the moving parts are either for zooming or focusing. The only other thing that comes to mind is delamination or aperture blade issues and those are fairly rare.

The whole point is, the body has an SD motor and the lens has an SD mechanism. Why the heck not make it available to us? I don't think Pentax is going to stop making SD bodies anytime soon. It's not cost effective to make kit lenses etc as SDM only and they would have a flood of people dumping Pentax if new bodies were SDM only.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 11-25-2009 at 07:57 AM.
11-25-2009, 07:43 AM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by gwing Quote
What about the contrary view?
I started another poll for those that think the current firmware implementation is fine. Please feel free to add your vote there.

SDM firmware vote for the status quo. Let's keep it all the same!


Thank you
Russell

Last edited by Russell-Evans; 11-25-2009 at 07:50 AM.
11-26-2009, 05:22 AM   #165
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Let me just say again that I don't want this option, I want Pentax to take care of the SDM issues. I don't think any press release to say they are "working on the problem," that "its not a problem," or something similar suffices. They need to a) Fix the problem for future lenses and b) cover existing lenses with extended warranty on the SDM components. Anything else doesn't cut it.
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