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01-07-2011, 11:07 PM   #1
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Tests for bad "copies"

I'm fairly non-technical in my understanding of photography at this point so please forgive anything ridiculous I may say throughout this post!

I just purchased the K-5 and am SUUUUPER excited about it. I am now considering purchasing the DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM lens. From reading many threads it seems one of the recurring "issues" (if you will) is with people getting bad copies. How can I (especially being fairly new to photography) protect myself from receiving one of these and not know it? Will it be obvious? What kinds of things will tell me for sure that I got a bad copy? Thanks to all in advance!!!

01-08-2011, 12:29 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by funkymocha Quote
How can I (especially being fairly new to photography) protect myself from receiving one of these and not know it? Will it be obvious
Maybe you should wait on the DA* until you have that sort of expertise? If you can't tell if you have a bad copy of the DA*, maybe a "lesser" (less expensive) lens will suffice until you can tell the difference? You COULD go about shooting test charts but it is a boring, soulless, and artistically barren experience to squint at resolution tests all day.

The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is far less expensive. If you get one and are happy with it, it might be enough for you for years of happy use before you would want to look at a DA*.

Just a thought .
01-08-2011, 04:01 AM   #3
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You might look for a camera shop in the Bay Area that is more high end - for example, I have one nearby that that only deals with interchangeable-lens-class cameras (primarily Leica, Nikon, and Canon) as well as used equipment including Pentax. There's a good chance you could find someone there who really knows how to evaluate it (likely including a flashlight test), especially if they grade their used lenses.

Probably the most important part is to buy from someone whom you trust and who allows returns. My DA*16-50 just arrived today from another forum member, and it looks quite nice so far. I plan to have it evaluated at the local shop, but they taught me a bit about how to examine it and it looks good to me. I had purchased my first copy of this lens late last year, but I saw a problem with it, which my local shop later confirmed, so I sent it back. Nevertheless, it still took nice pictures, and the problem (the very beginning of fungus) would not have affected the image quality any time soon.

I do think this is the zoom lens to get for the K-5 - that's why I got one. Other zoom lenses didn't satisfy me since I shoot mostly primes, but the image quality and speed (f/2.8) from this lens are good enough that I don't feel cheated by using a zoom. You may want to later supplement it with the DA*50-135, which is even a little better. Next you might try a relatively inexpensive prime lens or two, such as the DA35/2.4 and a 50/1.7 (A, FA, or F series).

If you decide to buy new, remember that a few places like B&H and Adorama (you can use the links from this forum to help support it) have considerably better prices on this particular lens than most places.
01-08-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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Yeah, I considered it but as long as this is my new hobby...I thought I might as well get the best shots I can. :-) I had a K-2000 with the 2 bundled lenses and shot for 2 years (always manual) and could obviously tell (after a while anyway) the limitations of both the camera and lenses. I'm totally in and think I'll do my new investment justice even if it takes a while :-) But believe me (and to your point) I asked myself if I "needed" to go as this big right now. Regardless...I just gotta do it! ;-)

01-08-2011, 08:19 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for this great suggestion to bring it to someone else! I have been looking at both Adorama and B&H (where I got my K-5 at a good price) and trust both. Locally, I'll have to head to Looking Glass Photo and have them take a look at it should I purchase that lens (It's still a bit daunting financially). And your review of this lens is similar to what most people say so I'm pretty confident that it'll be amazing! Thanks again
01-08-2011, 09:27 PM   #6
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funkymocha, there are many of us here who believe there are better choices than the Da 16-50mm 2.8. You can read through here https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/125517-da%2A-1...n-17-50-a.html but you can also look at images for yourself. Good luck.
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