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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-10-2014, 02:23 PM  
If SDM fails once... how likely to happen again?
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 14
Views: 899
My 50-135 SDM died a second time after being "repaired" by CRIS at the cost of a couple of hundred dollars. Wish I had known about the SDM hack at that time, as I would have just done that. I recently disabled the SDM on my 50-135, and it is great having the 50-135 back as a screwdrive lens.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-05-2014, 05:39 AM  
How to deactivate SDM and allow for screw drive autofocus with DA* 16-50mm f/2.8
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 759
Views: 184,611
This post turned out to be a lifesaver for me. After two nights of futility trying to get the hack to work with my K-5, I dug up my K200D from the basement last evening, followed these instructions, and had a functioning 50-135 within a half an hour. It is so nice to have my 50-135 back in action. I bought my 50-135 several years ago, had an SDM failure after a couple of years and out of warranty, sent it to CRIS for repair which cost a couple hundred bucks and didn't last long, and it's just been sitting around ever since. This was one of my favorite lenses before it kept dying. Sure, the screwdrive is noisy, but it works and seems faster than the SDM was.

Thanks so much for this thread and the information!
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 09-05-2014, 04:42 AM  
Pentax K-5 IIs with free grip at B&H (Like paying $488 for the camera)
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 1
Views: 808
Mine is arriving today. I couldn't believe I was getting a K-5 IIs along with a battery grip and 32gb SD card for under $700. I've been marching along with my K-5 for several years, but it is time for something new.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-21-2014, 08:54 AM  
wide-angle prime?
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 17
Views: 1,886
People on the internet like to complain. It's the way it is. The 18-135 has never failed me, and is an outstanding travel lens. Definitely check out that other thread concerning the 18-135.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-11-2013, 02:00 PM  
Tamron 17-50 for indoor photography
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 11
Views: 1,945
Congrats on ordering the Tamron 17-50. I have both the 17-50 and 28-75, and love them both. I recently used my 17-50 at my son's 5th birthday party, which was a camera's nightmare--an indoor, virtually pitch black mini golf place. My K5, with Tamron 17-50, and my old reliable Pentax AF-200FG flash, handled it incredibly well. Got a lot of keepers, which I credit to all three tools. But the 17-50 does perform great, indoors and outdoors.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-10-2013, 02:33 PM  
My 50-135 is SDM dead....
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 20
Views: 2,485
I had my 50-135 (owned since 2008) serviced by CRIS a couple of years ago, and had the SDM replaced. I use mine very infrequently, and when I went to use it a few weeks ago, it was dead again. I tried to revive it with my K-5 without success, and figured it was totally dead again. I contacted Ricoh, and basically got flipped the bird by them and got told tough luck. I then tried an old K200D body to revive it, and eventually that woke mine up. Not to say that it wouldn't have eventually woken up with my K-5, but the K200D got the job done.

It's amazing that any lens, let alone a lens of this quality, can just go to sleep and have to get woken up somehow. I have printed out all of the materials on deactivating the SDM, but I have no clue how to actually do it with the K200D. So for now, I'll try to keep on top of mine a bit better from now on to keep the SDM working. Good luck with yours OP.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-23-2013, 10:59 AM  
DA* 16-50 on it's 3rd sdm failure
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 53
Views: 6,578
I bought my 50-135 back in 2008, and had its SDM mechanism replaced in 2010 by C.R.I.S. for about $250 if I recall. I really had sort of neglected the lens since then, but I pulled it out to use the other day. Well, you guessed it, it's dead again. I'll need to try a couple of the basic attempts to revive it first, but I will not pay C.R.I.S. again to fix this POS. It's a shame, since it is such a nice lens.

Since I haven't been as frequently on the forum, when you guys talk about the DIY fix, are you referring to this: DIY SDM repair v1.0

And when you guys talk about converting it to scewdrive, are you just talking about using it with say a K10 with the downgraded firmare to ignore SDM? Or is this an actual physical fix to the lens?

Sorry for the questions. Thanks.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-18-2013, 06:54 AM  
18-135 versatility
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 6
Views: 1,220
I bought the 18-135 a couple of years ago before a trip to the Caribbean with my family, and it performed great on that trip. Since then, I've used in many walk-around situations where I didn't want to be switching lenses, and it has always performed for me.

I know this lens gets maligned at times, but I appreciate it for the solid images, reasonable size and weight, useful range, and weather sealing. Is it "always on my camera"? No. Though no lens fits that description for me, if one lens comes closest, it would probably be my Tamron 28-75. But I would endorse the 18-135 if it fits one's needs.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-01-2012, 02:12 PM  
FA 77/1.8 or DA 70/2.4?
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 32
Views: 5,269
I am sure anyone who has bought the DA70 does it knowing that the FA77 is always lurking and is an amazing lens. That said, and not having owned the FA77, I've owned the DA70 since 2008 (just checked), and it was, and still is, one of my absolute favorite lenses.

So small and light, fast AF, and the rendering, sharpness and colors are just incredible. I've used it plenty outdoors where is does such a good job capturing the shot. And I just used it at my son's 7th birthday party, in a strangely lit indoor gym type of place, and with its reach, it was able to capture some great shots of the kids playing sports, and the sharpness and overall shots came out excellent despite the tough conditions.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-22-2011, 05:00 PM  
Pentax DA 18-135mm, general discussions and samples
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 307
Views: 90,515
Well, here are a few shots from my Caribbean vacation. These are JPEG's straight from the camera with no post-processing (I took too many photos to do this, with little free time to do it anyway). 16MP, three star quality. There were also a lot of family photos from the trip that came out really nice.
















Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-18-2011, 02:59 PM  
Pentax DA 18-135mm, general discussions and samples
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 307
Views: 90,515
I just got back from a Caribbean vacation with the family, and I took my K-5 with my new and untested 18-135, and took my FA 35/2 just to have with me. The 18-135 performed wonderfully.

It was strange, but the 18-135 did not seem to be communicating properly with the K-5, in that exposure was consistently off using P mode. Sure, it was a tough environment with the bright sun, sand and surf, but I expected a bit better synergy between the newest camera and one of the newest lenses.

Through a bit of trial and error (just going based on the results on the LCD), I settled on standard settings of TAV mode, f7.1-f8, and shutter speed of 500-640 generally. In general, in TAV mode, the camera stayed around iso100. At night, if I used the built in flash on P mode, in Auto ISO of 100-3200, the camera would jump to ISO3200 despite using the flash. This resulted in somewhat noisy pictures at night, and again, I am not sure if everything was communicating properly.

All that said, once I dialed in the settings, I was very pleased with a large percentage of the pictures. Sharp, colorful, contrasty. 18-135mm was a great range to have, and offered a lot more versatility to me on a daily basis than if I had used let's say my Tamron 17-50 or 28-75. And having the weather resistance was very reassuring.

Glad I bought the lens, and it will become a walkaround staple for me. I'll try to get around to posting some shots from the trip.
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-26-2011, 09:24 AM  
The 300mm plus lens Club discuss your long lenses.
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 26,909
Views: 2,279,178
Stunning shot Skog--curious of your settings.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-16-2011, 07:34 AM  
Sigma 24mm/F2.8 AF Super Wide
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 66
Views: 35,257
Not sure where you've been looking, but the AF version of this lens definitely goes for more than $20-$70. More accurately, between $150-$200, and it's a good lens at that price.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-11-2011, 08:34 AM  
Buy an SDM lens recently?
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 186
Views: 18,871
I am not going to rant against anyone, but I still don't get how people can ignore the hundreds of posts about SDM failures, on this and other forums, and claim that it is just the loud few owners who have had bum lenses. Seriously, how often have you read about a DA 35 Macro, or FA 43, or 18-250, or whatever other lens, that have had virtually any mechanical problems where they just stopped working.

This SDM stuff has been reported for years, from many different users, and it has been persistent. I sent in my 50-135 to CRIS a couple of months ago due to consistent SDM problems, where my lens would need several minutes to wake up, and then performed slowly and inconsistently. It cost me about $200 to get the SDM replaced, which considering I had gotten a steal on my lens a few years ago ($450 US lightly used), it was worth it to me. But if I had paid full price, I would have been really annoyed. The lack of any response from Pentax has been real, and generally unacceptable imho. But I keep buying Pentax gear, so I guess it hasn't turned me away.

Bottom line though, I hate to say it, but just because some of you have not had any problems with your 50-135, which is great for you, is simply not relevant to the overall SDM issue. It merely shows that there are people who have had no problems with their 50-135. But if 200, or 500, or 1500, or 10,000 people have had problems with their 50-135, then that is all that matters. The issue is real (I know first hand), and Pentax's lack of response is real--after that, anyone can make their own choices. The 50-135 is a fantastic lens, and is worth the trouble for me, enough that I spent an additional $200 to bring it back to life.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-24-2010, 06:52 PM  
Best place to have a 16-50mm repaired in the US.
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 3
Views: 1,415
For my failing out-of-warranty DA* 50-135, I printed out a repair form off of Pentax's website, and sent it to CRIS. They got back to me with an estimate within a few days. The estimate to replace the SDM and AF mechanism was about $200 including return shipping, which I thought was a fair price. I should have it back in a couple of weeks.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-21-2010, 09:35 AM  
Pentax K-5 Full-length Review by PentaxForums.com
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 79
Views: 38,530
I find the conclusion on the JPEG settings interesting as well. I've generally used one of two modes and settings going back to my K100D Super, then with my K200D and now with my K-5. Natural mode with a +1 or +2 in sharpness, saturation and contrast. Or Bright mode with a -1 saturation, and +1 in sharpness and contrast. To take the Vibrant mode, and jack it up +2 in saturation seems odd to me. I'll have to do a bit more testing with my K-5 though.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-20-2010, 04:43 PM  
K-5 w/18-135mm kit price in US ?
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 17
Views: 6,559
As Adam said, if you want cheaper models, Pentax has those and they're great DSLRs as well. But if you want the flagship, Pentax is obviously changing pricing tactics. Your reasoning is not inherently wrong, but like any of this stuff, you've got to weigh all of the factors and make the decision that's best for you.

I love everything about the K-5--the smaller form factor, the build quality, SR, weather sealing, great AF and high ISO, etc. On top of the fact that I was already invested in the Pentax system and have a bunch of lenses, I was willing to pay a premium for the K-5. And I'll pick up the 18-135mm lens as well, since that's an outstanding weather sealed/resistant kit with the K-5. Best of luck.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-20-2010, 12:17 PM  
K5 LCD protector
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 32
Views: 13,017
Received my ACMAXX protectors today--very nice. They feel very sturdy, and look great. The top LCD protector does not quite match the exact shape of the K-5 top LCD, but it works fine. The back LCD protector matches almost perfectly.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-20-2010, 09:28 AM  
Lenses now considered retired by K-5
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 61
Views: 9,121
I was on my couch the other night with my new K-5, and I grabbed my F 50/2.8 Macro lens. So that's an older lens, but it is reputed to be one of the sharpest Pentax lenses ever. So, is it supposed to work well with the K-5 or not? Well, in real life, just shooting some shots of the ice cream container I was eating from at the time, the pictures were tack sharp. I can't keep up with all of the conspiracy theories regarding the K-5.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-20-2010, 06:59 AM  
Just ordered the DA 18-135mm WR
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 18
Views: 4,857
This lens is a no-brainer for me. I love the range of my DA* 50-135, so I'll take an expanded wide end to 18mm, smaller and lighter form factor, and keep the weather resistance, and it has the makings of an amazing walkaround lens for a day out with the family, a trip to the pool or beach, or whatever.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-20-2010, 06:51 AM  
Short zoom or prime?
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 15
Views: 3,398
To echo some of the other posts, I'd say the Tamron 28-75/2.8 would be a great choice. I think you'd also like the range of the 17-70, and it would be an upgrade to your kit lens. Especially because you already have an M50 (but even if you didn't), I'd recommend a 35mm lens over a 50mm lens for general usage, so the new 35/2.4 would be a great choice. I use my FA 35/2 and DA 35/2.8 Macro much more often than my various 50mm lenses. They're just more versatile for walking about and stuff. But that said, though I do love my primes, I do use my zooms more often than my primes just for practical reasons, generally shooting my kids and such. Good luck.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-19-2010, 09:03 AM  
K5 LCD protector
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 32
Views: 13,017
I've seen some people recommend this one:

LCD Screen Protector optical glass For Pentax K-7 K7 - eBay (item 350349042621 end time Nov-28-10 06:01:24 PST)

I have this one on the way to me and should have it shortly (the one I ordered has a protector for the main LCD screen as well as the top LCD):

ACMAXX 3.0 HARD LCD ARMOR PROTECTOR Pentax K5 K-5 K5D D - eBay (item 230545761341 end time Nov-18-10 02:33:18 PST)
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-18-2010, 09:50 AM  
What are the difference between the 3 sharpness settings in K5?
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 6
Views: 6,279
I was looking at that review last night, and they did a great job showing the differences between the different sharpness settings. I must say, the Extra Fine sharpness does look sharp, but I wonder if it would introduce too much noise in everyday photos. With my previous K200D, when doing my own testing, I definitely preferred the regular sharpness to the fine sharpness. Now, I'll have to do some testing with my K-5.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-18-2010, 08:54 AM  
K-7 vs. K-5
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 25
Views: 3,637
Yeah, it seems to be incremental improvements, rather than huge improvements. Better high ISO, better AF, better video. As far as upgrading from the K-7 to the K-5, it would be a tough call for me, as I'd like the improvements, but not sure if it would be worth the hassle and price difference. But in my case, looking at the K-7 and K-5 head to head, coming from the K200D, and being able to afford the K-5, I chose the K-5. To take the K-7 form factor, with all of the features and customization of the K-7, but with a better sensor and better high ISO, and with better AF (even if just a bit better), was enough to sway me towards the K-5. But upgrading from the K-7 would be a tough call.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-17-2010, 01:05 PM  
Continuous Shooting Slow?
Posted By jeffrey r
Replies: 12
Views: 3,373
No harm in pointing this out again (though the thread title is a bit misleading), but going back to the K-x and K-7, it is pretty well documented that using the built-in lens correction features will slow down processing and continuous shooting. Kind of unfortunate, since they are good features--I haven't decided yet if I'll leave the lens correction features on or off.
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