SDM issues? A straw poll.

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Dr. Mhuni

Link Posted 01/10/2009 - 15:33
Re. the 17-70, focusing seems pretty good. Mind you fast-focusing isn't really a high priority for me. So it's possible that other people might be more demanding. I'd say the 17-70 was slightly faster than the 16-45 (though that's not bad either).

The only lens I have an issue with re. focusing is the 55-300 . It can hunt badly - the one real weakness of this lens given its entry level nature (and pricing).



Link Posted 01/10/2009 - 16:50
Dr. Mhuni wrote:
Also, might the screw-drive improve the slow focusing that some complain about?

Yes, it does!



Link Posted 02/10/2009 - 10:23
George Lazarette wrote:
To counter Shaky's point about it being harder to vote for a faulty lens is the fact that people with faulty lenses are much more likely to participate in such a poll. But how do you know which factor had more influence?


Numerous more or less knowable factors could be at work, which is why all you can do is eliminate relative convenience as a possible reason.


Link Posted 02/10/2009 - 12:49
I am a long time committed Pentax user who started when Pentax was the out and out "No1" . I have flirted in and out of Canon and Nikon 35mm still having full professional systems alongside a comprehensive Pentax medium format and 35mm system too.

However I committed to Pentax digital and went for the K10 d as a starter which in my view was a true photographic tool, very robust reliable and practical.

Then I ventured into DA* lenses (SDMs) and bought the 200 on the strength of DP Reviews comment that it was a Blistering optical master piece (which arguably it is - as is the 300 and the 16-50 I really do rate these.

Focus speed - I do not see this "slow focus speed on the other DA's in fact I see the opposite and agree with DP review

However whilst the 50-135 is as good if not better optically than the others I have finally suffered an autofocus failure preempted by "an increasing frequency of funnies" ever since I bought it.

To day I shipped it back to Pentax, whose responses so far are so pathetic I feel like finally throwing in the towel and turning back to Nikon.

Up to now I have remained a staunch supporter believing that in reality you get twice the spec for the money and also you get arguably a better build for your buck with great lenses.

I also have ignored the blatant "brand snobbery" of the camera buying public and companies like Calumet and Jessop’s who treat you like a yokel when you declare your photographic desires are with Pentax even if you are intending to spend money.

However the total disinterest inability to deal customer support and with even minor repairs such as has finally made me regret my Pentax loyalty.

Remember these lenses are expensive by any brand standards so Pentax should really decide if they want to "run with the big dogs" or simply be at best a hobbyists second rate "me too company" when stacked up against Nikon in particular and Canon who I feel are still hyped up by their own success - in the past Nikon and Pentax were the marks for me now it is just Nikon I am sad to say.

As an after thought my loyalty was not misplaced in the past as using some of the older telephotos and macros on my current digital models still demonstrates even by todays standards how good the optics can be.


Link Posted 02/10/2009 - 14:22
Did you return it via your dealer, direct to Pentax, or the new service centre at Johnsons (Photopia)? You don't say what the pathetic responses were.

Returning via the dealer is always the best course of action as they should have much more clout with their suppliers and anyway the contract of supply is with them in law. Was it a Pro dealer as they offer a 2 year warranty?

As a footnote, I would say that having "funnies" since it was new was an indication that something was amiss with it.

I sincerely hope that things are sorted quickly for you.
Best regards
Richard Day

Profile - link - (click on About for equipment profile) - My Flickr site - link


Link Posted 02/10/2009 - 17:36
Mr Daly (Pentax Master)

I have commented in the Forum at length and the problem is specific to the DA* 50-135 which I now realize on reflection was shaky from the start

I just hope my other 4 SDM's don't follow suit, I have been a committed Pentax user for decades but sadly I think there are signs they can't run with the others.

This issue and the responses from Pentax in the US where I am on assignment is quite alarming

Today I had a Pentax USA Customer service deal with me as follows

My 1st Question: - Is the guarantee on this lens extended as in the UK if it is bought from and official "Pro Dealer"

Pentax's Answer: I don't know you will have to ask the repairers

My 2nd question: what is the turnaround time as I am on a birding holiday in Panama in 14 days time. I would pay an extra "express charge" if they could get it back to me for the trip.

Pentax's Answer: Well I don't know the repairers are in Arizona

3rd Question: Who are they?

Pentax's Answer: I don't know but I have the phone number

This is the phone number

4th question - Do you know if this lens is prone to this failure

Pentax's Answer: I don't know and we don't provide technical or product support

Pentax: Thank you for your call today is there anything else Pentax can help you with.

What a joke - there it is, customer service with “Zero support” and the "care part" not in sight


Last Edited by Daronl on 02/10/2009 - 17:56


Link Posted 02/10/2009 - 18:31
I suggest you contact Pentax USA at Golden CO, and ask to speak with John Carlson (head of customer services in the US) as it does seem you spoke to a bit of a numbnut! Unfortunately, like Pentax UK, the US have contracted out to independent regional service companies rather than handle "all" service work in house.

Give them a call:
Customer Service (if calling within the U.S.)
Phone: 1-800-877-0155
Monday – Friday
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Mountain Standard Time

So far, my (slight) experience with communicating with the UK service centre (Photopia) about a service query was handled professionally and my questions were intelligently answered. I haven't actually used them as yet.
Best regards
Richard Day

Profile - link - (click on About for equipment profile) - My Flickr site - link


Link Posted 03/10/2009 - 04:17
Thanks Mr Day I'll try that on Monday but I don't hold put much hope that the lens will simply go into their sausage machine and be spewed out eightweeks on with a bil for replacing a defective component

Anyway thanks I 'll post the outcome


Daron Lloyd


Link Posted 04/10/2009 - 19:08
How do we view the Poll results so far ??

Newbie question

Stu - K10D | DFA 100/2.8 Macro | DA 55-300 | AF-360FGZ |

So much to learn... So little time !


Link Posted 04/10/2009 - 19:14
stu49 wrote:
How do we view the Poll results so far ??

Newbie question

You need to vote to see them.
Also if you make a poll you need to vote.

It's now 8 yes and 48 no.
Keep in mind though this are user some probable have more lenses. Most will have two or more where mostly one failed so 4 against 96 lenses have failed, or around that number.

K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
Last Edited by Anvh on 04/10/2009 - 19:17


Link Posted 05/10/2009 - 19:42
Already sent 50-135 DA* back to Pentax (SDM failure) but discovered a "groaning" sound on my 200 DA* this week.

I am wondering if given the failure rate Pentax will charge me for fixing the 50-135.

Cars get recalled for this type of high failure rate and are modified / repaired free

Anyone have any experience on this with Pentax's repair service policy on replacing underspecified or defective components.


Link Posted 05/10/2009 - 20:51
50-135, 9 months, used regularly, no probs.


Link Posted 05/10/2009 - 20:57
Cars get recalled for this type of high failure rate and are modified / repaired free

To be fair, we don't have any proper evidence that there is a high failure rate. There are failures, but we have no idea what percentage they are.

If the lens is under warranty then the repair should be free, unless caused by physical damage. Even if not under warranty there are over-riding factors in UK and EU legislation and you may be able to get a free repair anyway.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 05/10/2009 - 22:42
Apologies if this point has already been made, but the results are skewed. It shows the number of people that have or have not had problems with SDM lenses. It does not take into account how many SDM lenses people have.


Link Posted 05/10/2009 - 22:48
Also from a very small and very unrepresentative sample.
Best regards, John
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