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01-12-2011, 02:33 AM   #1
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Comparing 16-45 DA F4 with 16-50 DA* F2.8

I have had the first one since I bought the ist-DL about 4 years ago. Then I used it with the K200D for a couple of years. Now I have the K5.

I am tempted to get the F2.8 one but notice it is a LOT heavier and a LOT bigger, and with the K5 camera and it's great ISO performance there is much less need to shoot at the widest aperture of the lens.

What I am looking for is an improvement (if indeed one is to be had) in resolution and colours.

I recall reading some early reviews of the 2.8 which reported poor quality and people having to test several lenses to get a good one. Also, more recently, I have seen reports of focus motor failures. Has this changed?

01-12-2011, 02:43 AM   #2
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Peter

the first thing I noticed going from the 16-45 F4 to a F2.8 lens, was how much brighter and clearer the viewfinder is....the 16-45 is a great lens..and sharp too...but I wanted a 2.8...but went with a sigma over the pentax offering...
01-12-2011, 03:10 AM   #3
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16-45 f4 $409 USD.
16-50 f2.8 $744 USD.

Its either you need the f/2.8 or like the iq of the lens itself.

As long yours is under warranty, whats there to fear from motor failures and even if it isnt...shouldnt be that expensive to get it fixed out of warranty compared to getting a new one.

just dont let the 16-50 be the only lens you carry around...a 35mm f/2.4 for the price is a good backup.
01-12-2011, 04:53 AM   #4
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I would agree with the above.
If you want the IQ and the speed - just get the 16-50 plus insurance.
It's well worth it.
I tried to make an objective comparison between the 16-45 and 16-50 here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/49602-da%2A-16...e-quality.html, but failed to consider the other important aspect of IQ that aren't measurable. I can attest these aspects, particularly the microcontrast and 3D rendition, make all the difference between these two lenses. Nevertheless, the 16-45 is excellent value for money.

01-12-2011, 06:32 AM   #5
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Interesting thread, Ash

BTW your two Photobucket images have disappeared.

What it tells me is that unless one needs the F2.8 and the weatherproofing, there is little point in the bigger lens. I rarely need even the F4 setting, because when I am after the best quality there is usually enough light around and then I go for the extra lens performance and use F8.

What exactly does weatherproofing mean though? You cannot shoot in serious rain anyway because the front glass will have water all over it. Looking at the construction of e.g. a K5, water will get in eventually. I have been involved in the design of electronic equipment enclosures which had to be watertight and it is really hard to achieve. One needs rigid and accurate mouldings and o-rings which are just the right size and which compress just right. The various orifices on the K5 (and on the K200D I had before that) are OK to keep a few drops out, but they aren't going to work long-term. On the lens, there is no way to make a genuinely waterproof seal of that sort of diameter which slides around (during zooming etc) and which lens no water through. It simply cannot be done. If you go out in rain and move the lens in and out, eventually water will get in, and because the thing is sealed it won't be able to evaporate.

BTW I cannot see any mention of long insurance here (UK). It would also be a hassle to have the lens break because I don't carry another lens. (I would use another camera as a backup; a Canon S90 is very good).
01-12-2011, 10:56 AM   #6
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If you like 2.8 but dont need SDM/ weatherproofing, look at the Tamron 17-50 f2.8.

Less than half of the cost of the DA*!
01-12-2011, 01:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
Interesting thread, Ash

BTW your two Photobucket images have disappeared.
They're now irrelevant - brick wall shots that mean nothing in the real-world application of the lenses. The proof should always be in the real-world results.

QuoteQuote:
What it tells me is that unless one needs the F2.8 and the weatherproofing, there is little point in the bigger lens. I rarely need even the F4 setting, because when I am after the best quality there is usually enough light around and then I go for the extra lens performance and use F8.
That's the point - many photographers do need f/2.8 at least, and that's where this lens performs.

QuoteQuote:
What exactly does weatherproofing mean though? You cannot shoot in serious rain anyway because the front glass will have water all over it. Looking at the construction of e.g. a K5, water will get in eventually.
There have been many threads about this, like https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/92839-how-much-...ance-make.html, https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/72794-just-share-s...esistance.html and https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/50654-what-does...ally-mean.html. It means a whole lot to me - I have more confidence (whether real or psychological) when shooting out in heavy rain as I have done recently in the midst of the Queensland floods and in very dusty conditions in the middle of the eastern Australian duststorm.

Never have I experienced a problem with the camera or lens function or performance, or even seen any evidence of the elements entering the lens or camera. Whether this would have been the case for other unsealed equipment used in the same circumstances I won't know, but I am more assured that the camera and lens will not have any ill effects from being out in these austere conditions. The dust/rain starts caking on the front element, but I always carry a dry cloth to wipe the rain/dust off and carry on shooting. The lens hood does help with keeping some of the falling rain off.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
If you like 2.8 but dont need SDM/ weatherproofing, look at the Tamron 17-50 f2.8.

Less than half of the cost of the DA*!
And built like a lens half the cost.
01-12-2011, 02:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
I recall reading some early reviews of the 2.8 which reported poor quality and people having to test several lenses to get a good one. Also, more recently, I have seen reports of focus motor failures. Has this changed?
I just sent my 2nd copy of 16-50 back to Adorama due to severe back focusing. I gave up and am now waiting for a 12-24 in exchange.

01-12-2011, 03:31 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I just sent my 2nd copy of 16-50 back to Adorama due to severe back focusing. I gave up and am now waiting for a 12-24 in exchange.
Sorry to hear that mate.
Sometimes you have to endure the wait and hassle of receiving and sending back dud copies before you finally get a good one, and a good 16-50 is worth the hassle IMO. The 12-24 serves a different purpose, you'll appreciate, but perhaps buddying it up with a Tamron 28-75 or 17-50 may be helpful. (not trying to make you spend more money or anything... )

Last edited by Ash; 01-12-2011 at 04:48 PM.
01-12-2011, 04:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Sorry to hear that mate.
Sometime you have to endure the wait and hassle of receiving and sending back dud copies before you finally get a good one, and a good 16-50 is worth the hassle IMO. The 12-24 serves a different purpose, you'll appreciate, but perhaps buddying it up with a Tamron 28-75 or 17-50 may be helpful. (not trying to make you spend more money or anything... )
Ash, I think I still will eventually get a 16-50, but not until I own a camera body that has the ability to tune the focus of difference lenses. I noticed in checking all my lenses that the 50-135 is the most back focused, although no where near to the degree of the 16-50 and never to the point where the focas point is outside the DOF as it was with the 16-50. That makes me suspect that SDM lenses perhaps have a tendency to BF more on a K-x that screw driven ones????? Who knows, it's a flimsey theory but my experience is enough to turn me off further SDM lenses until I get that K-5 one day.
01-12-2011, 04:50 PM   #11
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If the 16-50 was that severely back focused, then not even camera AF adjustment would be able to correct it. It's merely a fine-tuning tool, not to correct wildly off BF/FF. Those lenses should go back for refund/exchange.
01-12-2011, 05:09 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
If the 16-50 was that severely back focused, then not even camera AF adjustment would be able to correct it. It's merely a fine-tuning tool, not to correct wildly off BF/FF. Those lenses should go back for refund/exchange.
Agreed. But it was getting expensive ($85 a time) sending back to the states. Next time I'll just suck up the cost and spend the $1,100 local price for warranty and easy exchange in case of focus problems.
01-12-2011, 05:23 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Agreed. But it was getting expensive ($85 a time) sending back to the states. Next time I'll just suck up the cost and spend the $1,100 local price for warranty and easy exchange in case of focus problems.
Check Adorama's international guarantee policy. B&H have a policy that accommodates complete reimbursement of return international shipping in case of faulty equipment and free reshipping of the repaired gear, as if it were good the first time sent.

I went through this 3 times with the Tamron 70-200 I bought from them - the third time being a repair rather than a refund. In the end I spent the same amount as the lens plus only one shipping route cost in total for all those deliberations. The repair process took just over 6 weeks, but now I have a perfect copy (albeit now with no warranty since Tamron does not honour international warranty here)...
01-12-2011, 07:00 PM   #14
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QuoteQuote:
peterh337: I am tempted to get the F2.8 one but notice it is a LOT heavier and a LOT bigger, and with the K5 camera and it's great ISO performance there is much less need to shoot at the widest aperture of the lens.
Get the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8--much lighter than the Da 16-50, better wide open than the Da too. An excellent lens--I have over 15,000 shots with it--no SDM failures on the Tamron and it focuses quicker than the Da too.

QuoteQuote:
Ash:And built like a lens half the cost.
Actually, the Tamron is bult very nicely. I hike with it year-round, below zero temps sometimes, in serious snow of the mountains which demands snowshoes for travel. I do not baby the Tammy.

In order for a lens to be considered built well, if it is AF, it must not have the most notorious reputation in a lineup for motor failure--which is exactly what the Da has.
01-12-2011, 08:27 PM   #15
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The Tamron 17-50 certainly isn't 'cheap' on build quality, just like the 28-75 and 70-200, but it is no comparison to that of the 16-50, SDM issues notwithstanding.
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