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10-17-2012, 11:10 AM   #1
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if price equal, used DA*16-50 or new Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM

I'm trying to decide between the DA* 16-50 and the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM. From the in depth review and other reviews and comments on forums, it seems that the Sigma has better optics. The AF between the two is about the same. I like the better build and sealing of the Pentax, but the chromatic aberration of the Pentax and sharpness wide open seem to be a deal breaker, especially if there is a significant price difference. But, if I could get either one for about the same price, even though the DA* 16-50 is used, which one would be the better deal? Thanks.

10-17-2012, 11:33 AM - 1 Like   #2
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personally I purchased the Sigma, and in no small part to the direct review on this forum. SDM complaints, Chromatic aberration, sharpness issue, no thank you Pentax 16-50. The Sigma is well made, not weather sealed, and is very sharp. When I use a zoom, I reach for the Sigma.
10-17-2012, 12:06 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I chose a used DA*16-50. I thought it was a better choice despite the SDM risk, because I prefer the IQ, and that was my #1 criteria. I've been happy with it, and no SDM failure so far. That doesn't mean it won't happen in the future. If I read the statistics correctly, the odds are it won't happen to you, but it still happens to a much larger percentage of customers than it should.
10-17-2012, 12:15 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Personally, I'd consider the weather sealing of the 16-50 worth any number of (Fixable) flaws. Sharpness wide open never seems to be an issue other than in tests.(And in reality, I'd think it just makes itself a *better* portrait lens due to the sharp center, but softer edges wide open)

10-17-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the inputs. What about chromatic aberration?
10-17-2012, 12:19 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bgdisc Quote
Thanks for the inputs. What about chromatic aberration?
Again - Fixable flaw, if it's not something immense, 30s in PS can usually remedy this.
10-17-2012, 01:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bgdisc Quote
I'm trying to decide between the DA* 16-50 and the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM. From the in depth review and other reviews and comments on forums, it seems that the Sigma has better optics. The AF between the two is about the same. I like the better build and sealing of the Pentax, but the chromatic aberration of the Pentax and sharpness wide open seem to be a deal breaker, especially if there is a significant price difference. But, if I could get either one for about the same price, even though the DA* 16-50 is used, which one would be the better deal? Thanks.
No SDM here, so the choice is simplicity itself - the Sigma.
10-17-2012, 02:40 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I would get the 16-50 f2.8, better build quality and weather-sealed. Sure it has SDM, but if you are to buy it today from a reputable source such as B&H then most likely you'll get a 2012 constructed one which Pentax claims to have fixed the SDM.

10-17-2012, 03:52 PM - 1 Like   #9
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It is impossible for me without owning both lenses to give you an really informed opinion which one to get. I only own the DA*16-50 and am satisfied with the lens. If I stop down one stop I don't have a real complaint about it's sharpness and it has until now been a reliable workhorse for me. For me the weather sealing was the deciding factor. It is you who has to decide if you want a good weather protected lens which takes excellent pictures after you know it's characteristics and sometimes needs a little bit of work in post production. Or a lens that on the basis of tests seems to produce excellent pictures with a bit more ease. Reliability for me is no real concern even though my almost 3,5 years old lens is out of warranty. If 'it' happens I have enough good, relatively cheap primes to fill that gap until the lens is fixed again and I can use manual focus for the majority of my photo's to finish the shoot. And at least I've gotten shots that I otherwise probably would have missed without the weather sealing. I can't advice you to buy the DA*16-50. You have to decide how important for example the weather sealing is and perhaps come up with a strategy for the possible event of autofocus failure if only to give you a bit more peace of mind. That summed up the way I dealt with this decision.
10-17-2012, 06:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fries Quote
It is impossible for me without owning both lenses to give you an really informed opinion which one to get. I only own the DA*16-50 and am satisfied with the lens. If I stop down one stop I don't have a real complaint about it's sharpness and it has until now been a reliable workhorse for me. For me the weather sealing was the deciding factor. It is you who has to decide if you want a good weather protected lens which takes excellent pictures after you know it's characteristics and sometimes needs a little bit of work in post production. Or a lens that on the basis of tests seems to produce excellent pictures with a bit more ease. Reliability for me is no real concern even though my almost 3,5 years old lens is out of warranty. If 'it' happens I have enough good, relatively cheap primes to fill that gap until the lens is fixed again and I can use manual focus for the majority of my photo's to finish the shoot. And at least I've gotten shots that I otherwise probably would have missed without the weather sealing. I can't advice you to buy the DA*16-50. You have to decide how important for example the weather sealing is and perhaps come up with a strategy for the possible event of autofocus failure if only to give you a bit more peace of mind. That summed up the way I dealt with this decision.
I really appreciate this reply. Thanks. The weather sealing really does appeal to me since there have been a few situations where having it would have been nice, although not totally necessary. Although most of the time I keep my gear dry and in dust "free" environments. Right now I am leaning towards the DA*16-50. The SDM failure doesn't bother me so much since there seems to be a DIY fix for it.
10-18-2012, 12:19 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I chose a used DA*16-50. I thought it was a better choice despite the SDM risk, because I prefer the IQ, and that was my #1 criteria. I've been happy with it, and no SDM failure so far. That doesn't mean it won't happen in the future. If I read the statistics correctly, the odds are it won't happen to you, but it still happens to a much larger percentage of customers than it should.
I took a helluva lot of great pics with that 16-50 before it ended up in Dave's hands! At the time my only other lens was a DA*50-135, and boy that combo covered a lot of ground. LBA took over and before I knew it, it was time to "thin the herd", but there are times I still wish I had that zoom. On paper, "X" may look better than "Y", but I doubt you'd be unhappy with the 16-50 in actual use. Good luck with your decision!
10-18-2012, 12:23 PM   #12
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Thanks!
10-18-2012, 12:30 PM   #13
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DA* hands down. I've owned both. I've owned the Sigma 30 1.4, and the Sigma 70-300 f4-5.6. I can say with 100% certainty that my opinion on the matter is that Pentax makes a better product when comparing the equivalent lenses back and forth.

The DA*16-50 and 50-135 are my main working lenses. If I'm shooting an event these two lenses do not leave my side. The SDM stuff to me is bogus because I've owned 3 SDM lenses for 3 years and have put them through the ringer, shot in down pours, had them bash into branches and buildings, even had my K5 and DA*55mm fall to the ground (4ft drop) and surive. So yea, I'm a strong believer in the DA* series.
10-18-2012, 06:53 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Obviously this is only a decision you can make based on what is important to you. If you need weather sealing, well, there is only one choice. If you don't, then you have to consider that the sigma lens appears to be rock solid with slightly better IQ. And it's covered by a full factory warranty if you do experience a problem. The DA* will be a used lens so no warranty. The difference in image quality wouldn't be much of a concern for me since my DA* 16-50 has never disappointed me in that area. But I do have to mention that my copy has been back for repair 4 times in 3 years. The first time for a zoom ring issue and the past three times for SDM failure. I had to pay to ship it back to CRIS each time at my expense. The first three repairs were covered under warranty. This last one was not. If you add up all the shipping and repair cost for my lens it's a rather expensive lens to maintain and this latest repair (once I get it back) will only have a 90 day warranty. If the SDM quits again after that period I'll be stuck with another shipping/repair bill.

Perhaps the used lens you're looking at will never experience a problem. Many people never have any trouble. I guess you need to decide if it's worth the risk.

Oh, I thought I should add this... My DA* 200mm went back for SDM failure and has been rock solid ever since, and my DA* 50-135 has never had an SDM problem at all (knock wood)

Last edited by Mr Hyde; 10-18-2012 at 07:01 PM.
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