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05-08-2011, 08:49 PM   #1
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DA 16-50 or 14mm, which to keep?

I recently acquired a big box of Pentax gear, some old and some new. I cannot afford to keep all of it but I'm keeping some of the stuff I find interesting. I'm definitely keeping an old 135mm f/2.8 macro which is really kind of neat and a couple older manual focus lenses.

I'm having trouble picking between the DA* 16-50 and DA 14mm. I can't afford to keep both. I already have 35mm and FA 50mm primes, and I use the kit 18-55 a lot and actually I'm quite happy with it.

I like landscapes a lot so I've been wanting a wide-angle lens for a long time so I'm leaning towards the 14mm. 16 is pretty wide though, maybe I could make due with the wide end on the DA*.

My feeling is I want the 14mm, but the DA* 16-50 is a lens I could use for the next 10 years. I think I would regret letting it go. The 14 kind of feels like a lens I'd use for a while but maybe it'd never be favorite.

I'm firmly in the "beginner" class so I could use some guidance. What I'm going to do is use them both for a while and make up my mind but I wanted to get some feedback and ideas.

Thanks,
Greg.

05-08-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by InlawBiker Quote
I recently acquired a big box of Pentax gear, some old and some new. I cannot afford to keep all of it but I'm keeping some of the stuff I find interesting. I'm definitely keeping an old 135mm f/2.8 macro which is really kind of neat and a couple older manual focus lenses.

I'm having trouble picking between the DA* 16-50 and DA 14mm. I can't afford to keep both. I already have 35mm and FA 50mm primes, and I use the kit 18-55 a lot and actually I'm quite happy with it.

I like landscapes a lot so I've been wanting a wide-angle lens for a long time so I'm leaning towards the 14mm. 16 is pretty wide though, maybe I could make due with the wide end on the DA*.

My feeling is I want the 14mm, but the DA* 16-50 is a lens I could use for the next 10 years. I think I would regret letting it go. The 14 kind of feels like a lens I'd use for a while but maybe it'd never be favorite.

I'm firmly in the "beginner" class so I could use some guidance. What I'm going to do is use them both for a while and make up my mind but I wanted to get some feedback and ideas.

Thanks,
Greg.
Honestly, if you're happy with the kit lens then you should probably sell the 16-50 and keep the DA14 for situations that you will need the 14mm.
05-08-2011, 09:03 PM   #3
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I'd sell both and buy a DA15, but then I place a high value on the compactness of lenses.
05-08-2011, 09:30 PM   #4
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I would keep the 14 for a couple of reasons...
  1. Its a prime and has the very good reputation of being very sharp.
  2. Its wider, and at the wide end, each 1mm adds a substantial amount, thus the 2mm is 7.2 degrees wider.
  3. Its a screw drive lens, and thus will be pretty much maintenance free. The 16-50 is a SDM.
  4. The 16-50 has the SDM stigma, rightly or wrongly deserved - its there.
  5. You can probably sell the 16-50 for more money than the 14.
  6. If you are happy with the kit lens, then let the 16-50 go...
.... however, that's just my point of view...



05-08-2011, 09:34 PM   #5
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I own both and enjoy them both. However, the 16-50 get's far more use. I find doing landscapes with the DA 14 to be difficult at best. It can be done but it's really suited for other things. If I had to let one go, I'd do it with reluctance which ever it was, but I'd have to choose the DA14 to go over the DA16-50 which is just more versatile. I have no issues with SDM and actually I like the technology.
05-08-2011, 09:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
I own both and enjoy them both. However, the 16-50 get's far more use. I find doing landscapes with the DA 14 to be difficult at best. It can be done but it's really suited for other things. If I had to let one go, I'd do it with reluctance which ever it was, but I'd have to choose the DA14 to go over the DA16-50 which is just more versatile. I have no issues with SDM and actually I like the technology.
I don't have a 16-50mm lens but have a 17-50 and a 14mm. The 17-50 gets more use, and the 14mm is a specialized lens. Learning when and how to use such a wide angle lens is taking me more time to learn than expected, but that's part of the fun...
05-09-2011, 04:31 AM   #7
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the 16-50 might look like lens you'd use for 10 years but it might as well SDM fail after 1.
With 14 you are not running that risk as it's screw driven. Besides 14/2.8 + 35/2 + 50/1.4 would be terrific prime kit. If zooms are your thing then 16-50 is great option, if however you prefer primes, it's a no brainer to me
05-09-2011, 08:39 AM   #8
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Can you afford to try them for a week or more?

05-09-2011, 09:36 AM   #9
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Yeah I can afford to keep them for a month or so which should give me time to try them both. I know intuitively I will use the 16-50 a lot more and it won't even be close, 95% more at least. I'm not too worried about the SDM really. I'm worried that it's really heavy.

I do use the kit 18-55 a lot - outdoors only. Indoors I use the primes which I'm also pretty happy with, especially the 35mm 2.4 AL. When I consider the price and amount of use it get it's the best lens I own by far.

If I love them both I could conceivably get rid of my 18-55 WR and the 35mm 2.4 and keep them :-) I will never get rid of the FA 50mm though.

Greg.
05-09-2011, 10:05 AM   #10
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After purchasing the DA40mm I traded my 16-50 for a 14mm with some cash and bought the DA21mm to it. It is very simple: The 14mm is way better at the wideangle then the 16-50 is at 16mm. Less distortion and the amount of purple fringing of the 16-50 is horrible.
05-09-2011, 11:23 AM   #11
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The DA*16-50 is far better than the kit lens and is far more versatile than the DA14, so it would be my choice. However, if you want to use prime lenses exclusively, and if you really care about wide angle photography, keep the DA14 and use it in combination with your 35 and 50mm lenses.

Rob
05-09-2011, 09:38 PM   #12
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Here is a brief update to my choice; after as much use as I can stand with both lenses I have concluded that both of them are freaking awesome and my choice is no closer to a resolution than when I started. Oh boy.
05-09-2011, 10:01 PM   #13
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Keep the DA*16-50; you'll find you seldom use the kit lens after a while.

I bypassed the DA14 and went straight for the DA15. It's an incredible lens, and is widely available. Of course the DA*16-50 has its flaws, but it's very versatile and it's WR. Keep it and add the DA*50-135 when you can so you have a standard kit; then add primes and perhaps the DA10-17FE, as needed.

You said you'll never sell the FA50 and you won't - that is, until you try the FA43, K/A50/1.2, or DA*55/1.4!
05-09-2011, 10:10 PM   #14
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Of course, the 16-50. The range and the IQ make it a no-brainer.
05-11-2011, 09:56 AM   #15
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After using both lenses for a while, I really enjoy the 14mm but I'm going to keep the DA* 16-50 just because I'll use it more. I'm a beginner and have a long way to go, even though I found the 14 to be a lot of fun I can always take up WA photography later when I have more time. I found the close-focusing of this lens to be the best feature. You can take some really interesting WA shots when you're up close to something. I'm surprised it's taken such a backseat to the DA-15 but then again I've never used one of those.

As for the DA* - to be honest I bought the whole box of stuff just so I could get it. I had never even seen one nor did I do any research, which I really regret now. I just figured, Pentax says this is a pro-grade lens so it should last forever. It's certainly priced that way.

Since I sold off almost all of the rest of the gear the lens cost me next to nothing. But now I'm reading all of these horror stories about SDM, I'll always have in the back of my mind that this lens could just suddenly stop working for no good reason. It's not a feeling I enjoy very much. However I have no choice but to cross my fingers and keep using it. I've found it to work perfectly and I expect it to be my main lens for a very long time.

BTW how do I find out if it's still under warranty? I don't have a bill of sale.

Greg.
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