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09-07-2010, 03:23 PM   #1
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DA 18-55mm WR vs DA 16-45mm - again

I just acquired my first copy of a Type-II kit lens (from a PFM ad) and was impressed enough to share a few observations. Incidentally, this is my 3rd copy of the 18-55; the first two were easily passed on to others without regret. Since my intent was to acquire a WR lens for the 'wet times' this one would have stuck regardless unless it was horrible but it was more impressive than I expected.

I first ran a series of mid-distance shots at 18, 35, 45 and 55mm using max aperture and F8 at ISO 200 with a K200D and viewed 'em in Faststone Viewer without tweaking. While the difference between max aperture (F4.0-5.6) and F8 was quite apparent and as expected for the kit lens, I was very pleased with the noticeable improvement over my previous copies of the Type-I kit lens. The lighting conditions were cloudy and fringing was simply not noticeable in any shot.

I then made identical comparison shots with the DA 16-45 using F4.5 and F8. Although there was never any doubt as to which lens was used, I felt the DA 18-55 was certainly more than marginally satisfactory by F8. My DA 16-45 results at F4.5 closely matched the tweaked kit lens images at F8 (with due regard for DOF, etc). Casual adjustments in Faststone Viewer brought the kit lens images up to the point there was little practical difference in color, contrast or sharpness when viewed at typical monitor resolutions.

Conclusions:

First, I'll look further for particular strong points and roles for the DA 18-55 WR and it will adequately fill the intended WR, walk-about role but it certainly won't replace my DA 16-45 for middle distance rural landscapes. It's unfortunate that WR serves best when light conditions would benefit from the fixed F4 aperture of the 16-45. I'm pleased to have this WR tool in my bag.

And secondly, I'm even more convinced that a medium-priced, DA 16-45 WR would be an extremely popular and useful lens. Paired with the DA 55-300 WR or a tweaked DA 50-200 II WR it would make a killer kit lens team for the serious amateur market. Augment that with a fast, economy prime in the 30-40/F2.0 range or maybe a medium-priced DA 24~90/f2.8 WR and Pentax should fill a lot of camera bags if held to the previous price point.

H2

09-07-2010, 05:45 PM   #2
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post some samples bro, would love to see them
09-08-2010, 05:49 AM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
First, I'll look further for particular strong points and roles for the DA 18-55 WR and it will adequately fill the intended WR, walk-about role but it certainly won't replace my DA 16-45 for middle distance rural landscapes. It's unfortunate that WR serves best when light conditions would benefit from the fixed F4 aperture of the 16-45. I'm pleased to have this WR tool in my bag.

And secondly, I'm even more convinced that a medium-priced, DA 16-45 WR would be an extremely popular and useful lens. Paired with the DA 55-300 WR or a tweaked DA 50-200 II WR it would make a killer kit lens team for the serious amateur market. Augment that with a fast, economy prime in the 30-40/F2.0 range or maybe a medium-priced DA 24~90/f2.8 WR and Pentax should fill a lot of camera bags if held to the previous price point.
I fully agree with your reasoning. I got the WR kit for exactly the same reason. Now I can take shots in any situations without worrying about it. Perfect for hiking, snow or rainstorms, etc.

I also agree that a mid-quality WR lens would make sense. I think I'd prefer the 17-70, though, but that's just me
09-08-2010, 07:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I also agree that a mid-quality WR lens would make sense. I think I'd prefer the 17-70, though, but that's just me
I agree 100%. The DA 17-70 catches more of my needs than the 16-45, and it is about the same size, speed and quality. I'll take the 25mm at the long end for that 1mm at the short end.

09-08-2010, 08:19 AM   #5
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I have a 16-45mm and an 18-55 L. I've considered an 18-55 WR, but I know I'd never carry it in lieu of the 16-45 unless I was deliberately setting out in the rain to take photos; that's an unusual scenario. What normally happens is that I get caught in the rain, and the WR would most likely be at home, safe and dry.

I agree with Pacerr, I like the newer 18-55 a lot more than the original 18-55. The 16-45 is still a bit sharper (especially corners), slightly better contrast, notably wider and doesn't need to be stopped down from f4, so a stop or two faster. Nice lens. I'd like to see a WR version, but I don't think it will happen because of the 16-50.

Last edited by audiobomber; 09-08-2010 at 08:25 AM.
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