Heads Up! Potential issue with Samyang lenses.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rodeo_joe|1, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. I've had a 35mm f/1.4 Samyang lens for just over a week now. In that time I've taken around 100 shots with it and bayonetted it on and off the camera - carefully - no more than a dozen times.
    Yesterday I took the rear cap off the lens to use it and saw what I first thought was a bit of solder sitting in the rear cap. On closer inspection it looked like a very small silvery bullet, and with horror I realised it was one of the electrical contact "pips" off the lensmount. I looked into the small hole it had obviously come from and saw a small metal spring strip with a tiny hole in it. There appeared to be no bending, distortion or other sign of stress on either the spring strip or the contact pip. This made me curious about the security of the rest of the contacts and I gently wobbled them all in turn with the tip of my finger. As I did this another contact came loose and fell out!
    This, I believe, could be a generic factory fault with all CPU type Nikon-fit Samyang lenses. So I'd advise anyone who's recently bought a Nikon-fit "AE" type Samyang to check the electrical contacts on the lens. The symptoms of a bad one appear to be that the contact will wobble slightly from side-to-side in its recess. A springy up and down motion is normal, but having side-to-side play could indicate that the contact is insecure and likely to fall off. This isn't good for the lens (obviously) and if it dropped off inside your camera could do untold damage.
    If this proves to be a widespread fault then we should campaign Samyang to do a recall or arrange to fix the problem locally before someone's camera gets written off or the mirror gets damaged. This obviously doesn't apply to non-CPU type Samyangs or those in other camera fittings AFAIK.
    I'm attaching a drawing (couldn't be bothered to set up a macro picture for this tiny thing) of the offending detached contact pip.
  2. There is a reason for choosing a Nikkor lens.
    The *savings* enjoyed with a off-brand item [Samyang, in this instance] may not be so great a deal....
  3. Thanks for the lecture Jerry.
    Optically the Samyang 35mm lens is the equal of what Nikon can produce, and by all accounts is a whole lot better than Canon's expensive equivalent.
  4. Jerry, I disagree. Nikon has churned out a few duds, too. ;-) The problem is that we wouldn't say those things if it happened to a Nikkor (we would have excused it as an uncharacteristic lapse).
    But anyway, I'm glad that RJ took a pro-active stance. He could have assumed it was a rare occurrence and not bothered to put the word out.
  5. So...for mf lenses, what the difference between cpu and non cpu lenses? Different metering modes enabled? is that all...some one remind me a bit, thanks.
  6. The CPU allows the camera body to regulate the aperture rather than having to set the aperture on the lens ring. It also allows Program and Shutter priority exposure modes to be used as well as putting the lens focal length and aperture automatically into the EXIF data of the file. Oh, and if you use an autozoom hotshoe flash, the correct lens coverage will also be set on the flash automatically.
  7. New products sometimes have a teething period.
    I'm sure Samyang will make it right for you and others.
    As for Nikon, I well remember the Nikon FA, which we in repair quickly dubbed the "FAilure" due to inherent circuitry problems present in all early models. Solved by Nikon, of course, after a similar debut.
  8. Just to add a sample point: I'm on my second 85mm f/1.4 Samyang (which has so far worked fine); when the first one was delivered its electronics were broken, and it wasn't registered by the camera at all (it was, effectively, AI-S). I actually wouldn't have minded all that much, but I got it replaced anyway. All the pins were present and intact, and cleaning them had no effect, so I assume the problem was internal.

    Since Samyang make lots of the same lens for different mounts, and since for the 85mm the version with electronics was an update of the original, I guess it shouldn't be too surprising that if there's a problem it's with the camera-specific fiddly bits. Still, I hope they get their QA sorted out.

    That pin does look like a recipe for going wrong. Having modified a TC-16A, Nikon's approach seemed to be to have a relatively large pin with a hollow tube at the back, containing the spring, and for the hole through which it pokes to be slightly smaller than the pin so that it can't come out. I'm guessing from the diagram that Samyang put a spring around a thinner section at the back of the pin, and that the strength of the pin itself is responsible for not falling out.

    I'll go and (gently) wobble my 85mm when I get home - thanks for the heads-up. It's a shame, because the optics are very nice.

    RJ - have you contacted Samyang? If they believe it might be a universal problem, I imagine they might be persuaded to do replacements of these parts if customers send in lenses.
  9. I've sent an email to Samyang's European agents in Poland, from whom I bought the lens. I just basically repeated my experience as related above to them and asked them to contact Samyang to see if this could be an ongoing manufacturing flaw or a one-off. So far no response.
    Andrew: The pin is (or rather should be) swaged into a flat leaf spring that also acts as the contact to the printed ribbon connector. Not an inherently bad design - just badly carried out in this instance.
  10. If they have an ongoing manufactering problem, they are not going to tell until they really need to issue a product recall. I simply do not quite get how based on 1 sample, there is reason to suspect a manufactering issue. Nikon also delivers lenses which break down in the first weeks. As does pretty much any other company.
    And how does it matter whether it's one-off or structural. The one thing that matters is how their support resolves your issue, and reading from Andrew, they do well.
  11. Wouter, that was the whole reason for this post. To see if anyone else had had a similar problem. If only one "pip" had been loose on my lens I would have put it down to a one-off mishap, but to have two contacts simply fall off makes me suspect a wider problem.
  12. RJ,
    Just thx, I'll keep an eye open for that and check my ( not yet arrived) 14mm UMC before i'll put it on my cam.
  13. RJ - the repeated failure in your case worries me too, although it might just have been a brief issue when your particular lens was manufactured. But fingers crossed it's a one-off. I'll check my 85mm when I get home and report back if it's dicky.

    Wouter: I should clarify that I can't report on Samyang's support, because I returned the lens to the retailer, not to Samyang. It may be fine, I just didn't experience it myself.
  14. ...Samyang quality. Unfortunately, I've visited South Korea two times while stationed in Japan. In the late 1980s -- one could purchase K-Mart sneakers for a coupe of bucks. That entire industry (shoe making) went to China. While there, I saw one shop with a Nikon decal in the window, but fairly bare shelves (if it was a camera shop, I am uncertain...) ... but I - for one - would not put much faith in the overall design strength or quality of a product manufactured there.
    Nikon's mis-engineered products are few; Canon seems to have had a mirror-release problem in the first 5D series, or it could have been a light-weight option when the mirror detached itself from the camera?
    ...and lastly, if Pentax had not gone along with one South Korean company, it is unlikely South Korea would have a single digital-SLR on the market.
  15. Jerry, sure do look up the Samsung company and look a bit wider than cameras only. Also check Hyundai and LG. And I fail to see how an shop with empty shelves and shoe manufactering moving to a country with cheaper labour in the 1980s says anything about manufactering quality in 2011?
    And this whole reaction floats on the assumption that Samyang has a structural production issue. Based on the amount of people that so far confirmed having the same issue as Joe - zero - there is fairly little reason for assuming so. So none of this tells anthing about South Korea's abilities. Absolutely zero.
    Most likely, Joe has bad luck and the soldering on the pins is bad on his sample. Which can happen to any company, producing anywhere, especially during the first production batches. Faulty products and problems are unavoidable with mass production, it's how you handle with those mistakes.
  16. RJ, thanks for the heads up. I checked my 14mm/2.8 and the pins are fine. I will monitor closely. Thanks again.
    And Jerry, I hope you take a closer look at everything you are using today. A single Korean company manufactures more than half the memory chips in the world. Chances are, if you tear open your computer or phone or flash card and you will find korean made stuff anywhere. You can even look at the Apple iphone, the retina screen that everyone raves about is made by the same korean company, and the phone is assembled in China by a taiwanese company. The world's manufacturing has gone global, if you have not already noticed.
  17. I am sure that there are a lot of countries wishing that their economy had grown as well in the last few years as South Korea's.These days it seems like as soon as a product is defective, we first look as to where its made and then come to the "obvious" conclusion that because of where it's made it has to be 2nd grade...Some countries on the other hand never have to worry about people complaining about their manufacturing genius because they don't make **** anymore and their economy sure reflects it...
    My 2 cents...
  18. (Belatedly...) I finally found time to look at my 85mm Samyang. All the pins appear solid, although I didn't prod them too hard just in case! Hopefully the issue with my first lens and the issue that RJ reported are independent and isolated. I like to have good things to report about companies that produce decent quality products at low prices (especially having unfairly expressed concern about Nissin in another thread).

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