SDM Woes


CMW

Link Posted 10/09/2013 - 20:07
I bought a 50-135 off a forum member in July. It arrived in good and full working condition. Alas, after use on only a few occasions, the motor has packed up, with no warning. It simply wouldn't focus when I attached the lens today. This is no reflection on the seller at all, who will not have known any more than me that the failure was round the corner. And, for my part, I was certainly aware of the reputation SDM motors had for premature death -- before today, I'd have added something diplomatic like 'deserved or not', but right now I don't feel many doubts.

So, I gambled and lost, and lens failure is not quite the end of the world .... But it is quite expensive to put right and I just wonder whether anyone on the forum has tried the firmware fix on the lens that allows it to use the camera's screw drive and, if so, whether they've any particular advice to offer. I am a little reluctant to invest more money in SDM, since I imagine any repair would only carry a 6-month guarantee.

Did I mention, it's a brilliant lens. But not one I fancy focusing manually.
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography

cabstar

Link Posted 10/09/2013 - 21:44
The new repairs are done using the latest parts that are supposed to stop failure. The new repairs also make focussing faster so it is worth doing.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

mayday

Link Posted 10/09/2013 - 21:48
Could we know the current cost of a SDM repair and where/what company would carry out the repair?

Many thanks
Regards
David

Retired at last - now all that time for photography - you would think: wink:

davidstorm

Link Posted 10/09/2013 - 21:55
There seems to be to be a pattern emerging with the SDM failures and issues. It seems to happen more often when lenses are used less frequently? Maybe the trick with these lenses is to use them a lot and keep the motor free.

I know this is no comfort to you with regard to your experience but maybe this is something that others might bear in mind? Any thoughts anyone?
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

CMW

Link Posted 10/09/2013 - 22:19
Thanks everyone - since the lens's failure to focus this morning, I have had it on and off the camera innumerable times trying to coax life from it.

Without success until the last occasion, about an hour after I posted here, when, for no obvious reason, it responded. I'm not sure I quite believe yet in its resurrection - it seems noisier and slower than before - but it'll have the benefit of my doubts tonight and I'll try it out properly tomorrow.

I will certainly take David's advice to use it a lot from now on. I would just add that if a problem does arise, posting on the forum about it seems to stir the Pentax gods in a benevolent way
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 10/09/2013 - 22:41
This is why I would never buy an SDM lens unless new, with a two year guarantee.

I've read a lot of comments to the effect that the motors have to be moved once in a while. Even if you don't use the lens for photography, every week or two you should mount it, move the focus ring and engage the AF a few times. It can also help to manually move the focusing ring every time before use, to make sure it's not stuck.

That's all from the many (many) comments I've read during my four-or-so years as a Pentax user.

Best of luck with the repair. I'm sure a few people will have already done it and will be able to say how much it costs and where it can be done.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

Mike-P

Link Posted 10/09/2013 - 22:41
mayday wrote:
Could we know the current cost of a SDM repair and where/what company would carry out the repair?

Many thanks

JP Service Solutions, approx 180 less 20% if you are a PU member (worth the 10 joining fee just to get the 20%)
. My Flickr

cabstar

Link Posted 10/09/2013 - 23:01
Jonathan-Mac wrote:
This is why I would never buy an SDM lens unless new, with a two year guarantee.

I've read a lot of comments to the effect that the motors have to be moved once in a while. Even if you don't use the lens for photography, every week or two you should mount it, move the focus ring and engage the AF a few times. It can also help to manually move the focusing ring every time before use, to make sure it's not stuck.

That's all from the many (many) comments I've read during my four-or-so years as a Pentax user.

Best of luck with the repair. I'm sure a few people will have already done it and will be able to say how much it costs and where it can be done.

If you buy new niw they should have the new upgraded sdm parts fitted so failure 'should' be minimalised.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

cabstar

Link Posted 10/09/2013 - 23:03
Ive owned my 50-135mm for over four years now and it it regularly gets used and never has any focus issues. My 16-50 which i bought used shoots around 600 images a week and havent had any focus issues with that one either.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

davidtrout

Link Posted 10/09/2013 - 23:53
mayday wrote:
Could we know the current cost of a SDM repair and where/what company would carry out the repair?

Many thanks

Around 120 to fix it - Johnsons seem to be the firm to go to. I speak from personal experience.

davidstorm wrote:
There seems to be to be a pattern emerging with the SDM failures and issues. It seems to happen more often when lenses are used less frequently? Maybe the trick with these lenses is to use them a lot and keep the motor free.

The DA* 50-135mm lens is my most used lens. It was rarely off my K5 until recently. The auto focus packed up about 18 months ago and I sent it back to SRS who sent it on to Johnsons for repair.
Now its packed up again and its out of guarantee. Looks like another 120 repair job. Its a lens that costs around 900 new and its super sharp when it works and I use it so much so I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet.
David

PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout
PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout
Last Edited by davidtrout on 10/09/2013 - 23:55

mayday

Link Posted 11/09/2013 - 18:10
Mike-P wrote:
mayday wrote:
Could we know the current cost of a SDM repair and where/what company would carry out the repair?

Many thanks

JP Service Solutions, approx 180 less 20% if you are a PU member (worth the 10 joining fee just to get the 20%)

davidtrout wrote:
mayday wrote:
Could we know the current cost of a SDM repair and where/what company would carry out the repair?

Many thanks

Around 120 to fix it - Johnsons seem to be the firm to go to. I speak from personal experience.

davidstorm wrote:
There seems to be to be a pattern emerging with the SDM failures and issues. It seems to happen more often when lenses are used less frequently? Maybe the trick with these lenses is to use them a lot and keep the motor free.

The DA* 50-135mm lens is my most used lens. It was rarely off my K5 until recently. The auto focus packed up about 18 months ago and I sent it back to SRS who sent it on to Johnsons for repair.
Now its packed up again and its out of guarantee. Looks like another 120 repair job. Its a lens that costs around 900 new and its super sharp when it works and I use it so much so I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet.
David

PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/davidtrout

Thanks for the info regarding repairs - fingers crossed I don't need to need the services of either repair centre for the 300 or 60-250
Regards
David

Retired at last - now all that time for photography - you would think: wink:
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