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09-10-2011, 09:18 AM   #1
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Another newly purchased 16-50 DA* rant

Hi everyone. Well I took the plunge and bought a 16-50 DA* for myself(Karen likes her 18-135WR), and I am completely disappointed with it, and it's going to go back for a replacement. At 16mm and 2.8 the left side is completely soft, which changes to the right side at 21mm(missed the 20mm length), and 50mm is worse. At 5.6 the trend continues....a big waste of time. I knew this lens could have issues but you would think QC would of caught that. To be honest, my 18-55 WR is much better, and Karens 18-135 is better than that as long as the edges at above 80mm or so are not important. The good is that it makes great sunstars due to it's 9 bladed aperture with it's straight blades. I have resigned myself to two more tries with this lens, then I will go to primes if I need to and keep the 18-55 WR for rainy days.

David

09-10-2011, 09:46 AM   #2
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If one side is soft, there's a decentering issue. That must REALLY suck, for a new DA* lens....
09-10-2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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Well that's what warranty is for I suppose... QC in factory ensured the lens is operational. They cannot test each one for optical performance as well.
09-10-2011, 11:02 AM - 1 Like   #4
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IMHO Pentax QC sucks for the last decade or so. Optical misalignment can happen to even simple Limited primes, and it would be a huge mistake hoping to have it fixed under warranty. Don't even think for a second, EXCHANGE IT! Or better yet, avoid this lens altogether. If you want a high quality 2.8 zoom, you don't want Pentax. It's that simple.

09-10-2011, 11:40 AM   #5
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If he exchanges it, someone else gets this lens. It will circulate until someone does what should be done.
09-10-2011, 11:55 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
IMHO Pentax QC sucks for the last decade or so. Optical misalignment can happen to even simple Limited primes, and it would be a huge mistake hoping to have it fixed under warranty. Don't even think for a second, EXCHANGE IT! Or better yet, avoid this lens altogether. If you want a high quality 2.8 zoom, you don't want Pentax. It's that simple.
Nope, that's taking it too far. Both of my 2.8 Pentax zooms are beyond reproach. Many others are also just as pleased. We only hear about the bad ones on here, so it's easy to overstate the problems. I feel bad for the OP and would certainly be upset myself, but it's going too far to tell him that he doesn't want Pentax. QC could definitely be better, but you can say that about every brand.
09-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
If he exchanges it, someone else gets this lens. It will circulate until someone does what should be done.
Funny you should say that. That shouldn't happen. It should go back for repair (by the retailer) when you exchange it and not be resold until it is fixed.

But it obviously does not always happen. I bought one new lens from a retailer, and it appears I got a returned item being resold. The box showed visible signs of wear and tear and the serial number was old, proven by the serial number database on this site. I felt they sold me a bad copy several people had returned.

I won't name the retailer this happened with for several reasons. First, they did handle the return well. Second, naming a retailer problem online may not be a good idea. And I'm sure this is the exception and not the same at all retailers. It could have been an honest mistake too.

Yet, I'm thinking of upgrading to the K5 and based on my experience with this new lens, I'd buy it directly from the Manufacturer. Why? It's the same price there as the retailers with the rebate. Maybe there's less chance of getting a return from them (than the one company that sold me a returned item as "new") and less chance of getting a sensor stained old-stock camera sitting in a warehouse. If the retailers get the price down, I'll buy from the ones with good return policies. Actually, it'd be best for me if you could buy from a local camera store, but that's another thread.

Definitely send it back, but tell them why.

Last edited by pz1fan; 09-10-2011 at 12:30 PM.
09-10-2011, 01:31 PM   #8
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Decentering was the early knock on this lens. Seemed to be really prone to that, but talk of decentering issues has really waned. More folks have had issues with SDM. I definitely would send it back and try again. A sharp copy is excellent.

A problem copy that is returned to a reputable dealer should not be placed back in circulation. Rather, it will be sent to Pentax to take care of.

09-10-2011, 04:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pz1fan Quote
But it obviously does not always happen. I bought one new lens from a retailer, and it appears I got a returned item being resold.
That is what I meant.
I'm lucky to have official Pentax service on the other side of Prague, so I go directly there in case of any trouble. But usually for repair of damage I caused than for QC problems. I never had any with exception of the K-5 body on november last year....
09-11-2011, 09:46 AM   #10
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QC

QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
Well that's what warranty is for I suppose... QC in factory ensured the lens is operational. They cannot test each one for optical performance as well.
Well I think If the MSRP for a lens is $1499.00 + taxes I think they could spend a few seconds with Optical Performance, Otherwise it should be called DA 16-50 WR and MSRP for $499.00
09-11-2011, 09:52 AM   #11
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Returns

QuoteOriginally posted by pz1fan Quote
Funny you should say that. That shouldn't happen. It should go back for repair (by the retailer) when you exchange it and not be resold until it is fixed.

But it obviously does not always happen. I bought one new lens from a retailer, and it appears I got a returned item being resold. The box showed visible signs of wear and tear and the serial number was old, proven by the serial number database on this site. I felt they sold me a bad copy several people had returned.

I won't name the retailer this happened with for several reasons. First, they did handle the return well. Second, naming a retailer problem online may not be a good idea. And I'm sure this is the exception and not the same at all retailers. It could have been an honest mistake too.
I think part of the problem is that when people return bad copies of lenses they don't tell the retailer, I just sent back a copy of a 60-250mm that clearly had been opened/used and had a very loose mount. If I would have just returned it for a refund this lens would have gone back into circulation and the next person would have had to deal with the problem.
People are probably afraid that if they say the lens is faulty to the retailer they wont get their money back....
Hopefully my next copy is a new, good one.
09-11-2011, 06:21 PM   #12
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I still think that with the expensive 'pro' lenses Pentax should take less than a minute and throw the lens on an optical bench and check alignment of the elements. But my frustration is in no way limited to Pentax: My last 3 Sigmas were mis-aligned and there is the infamous Canon 70-200 f2.8 Lis 2 initial production run where a tester had around 5 of the things before he could find an acceptable copy. If they can't manufacture it to spec., the design is worthless....

David
09-13-2011, 08:37 PM   #13
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Well, the replacement lens came today, and I am underwhelmed. The centering is better, but far from even 'very good'. The 16mm setting is pretty good, and thats about the only one. At 21mm(missed the 20mm mark a bit) the right side never sharpens up, and in fact gets blurrier as you stop down...really weird. The 28 and 35mm settings do this also. At 50mm it gets sharper on the edges until f8 is pretty good. BUT: to be honest this lens never gets as good at 35 or 50mm as the 35mm f2.4 is wide open! It also is no where near as sharp as the 12-24mm DA in the overlapping ranges. I even took out Karens 18-135 WR and 18-55 WR and they are both sharper, with the nod going to the 18-135 which is far sharper in it's overlapping ranges. I am sending this copy back tomorrow, but I am unsure if I will pursue this lens anymore. I may try the Sigma 17-50 OS, but I really hate to give up sealing. Any suggestions on this dilemma? Karen suggested I go with primes and use the 18-55 WR as the rainy day lens. So a 15-21-35DA(I have that one)-50 OR 55-70 system might work. For me using primes is not as hard as for some, I used Leica M rangefinders for 30 years - and before someone asks about why I did not go for the Leica M9 it was not available when I needed to do the switch and I was burned out on the cost of the glass for that system. So again, any and all suggestions....

David
09-13-2011, 09:05 PM   #14
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If I were you, I'd go with the Sigma 17-50mm, and borrow the 18-55mm WR when weather sealing is necessary. Personally, I've been underwhelmed by what I've seen from the 16-50mm, and I don't trust SDM in the long run. And the fact that there's a significant price premium is the final nail in the coffin.

With the Sigma EX lenses, you get a 4-year warranty (1 year + 3 extra years when you register the lens with Sigma). And you could do like I recently did with my Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8, and buy a Mack Camera 7-year warranty for $20, giving you 11 years to wear the lens out without worry. I've been extremely impressed with the build quality and performance of the Sigma 50-150mm, and I plan to add the 17-50mm when I get some extra cash together. Sigma just really seems to be on the ball lately with the current generation of lenses.
09-13-2011, 10:25 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
If I were you, I'd go with the Sigma 17-50mm....been underwhelmed by what I've seen from the 16-50mm, and I don't trust SDM in the long run...there's a significant price premium...
Pretty much my sentiments exactly, and which is why I own the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 (when I could've been a DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 owner).
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