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11-19-2012, 03:09 PM   #16
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I bought my copy mainly for hiking in Norway (weather sealing) and have used it extensively for more then three years now. Not only in Norway. At 2.8 it isn't the sharpest lens around but its adequate tot get the shot. I am very satisfied with the real world performance of the 16-50. Two examples:

1.


2.


11-19-2012, 03:44 PM   #17
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The thing to remember about the negative comments is that those folks are madder than hell and will shout much louder than we more satisfied users. Many grains of salt needed here.
11-19-2012, 03:46 PM   #18
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This may be a bit repetitive with some of the other posts, but what I found was simply this:


The DA*16-50 is a noticeable compromise compared to primes - mostly seen when shot close to wide-open. However, it's a worthwhile compromise, and the DA*16-50 was the first lens that met the higher standard I was looking for. All I wanted was a lens that wouldn't make me hugely regret not having used a prime, and it fit the bill. I now shoot with 100% confidence when I need WR or the flexibility of a zoom.


The DA*16-50 was the first zoom I'd purchased in a while. At first I thought there was something wrong with it - I noticed more CA and other imperfections than usual. But I quickly realized I couldn't expect it to perform like my primes - especially within one stop of wide-open. And the IQ was still very nice compared to other zooms. I basically stopped buying lenses at that point, because I finally had a lens that was good enough to cover any FL I was still missing in a prime.


Nevertheless, I have a good collection of primes and I use them 80% of the time. But it feels great to use the DA*16-50 when I need a zoom. Keep in mind that all brands seem to fall short of ideal in this apparently very challenging-to-design-for 3x zoom range, so don't expect perfection.

Last edited by DSims; 11-19-2012 at 03:52 PM.
11-19-2012, 03:47 PM   #19
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The 16-50/2.8 developed a bad reputation, not only because of the many SDM failures, but also because of copies with decentering issues.

Even good copies do not entirely convince optically. There once was a very good comparison between the 16-50/2.8, the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and a Sigma 18-50/2.8. In most disciplines either the Sigma or Tamron won and the Pentax failed to justify its price point. Sadly, this comparison is no longer available online.

The Pentax 50-135/2.8 is a very fine lens, optically; the 16-50/2.8 not so much.

11-19-2012, 04:05 PM   #20
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Having said that, the DA* 16-50 has produced many a fine image - and some of my best work came through this particular lens. Although I'm not keen to have it back for its slightly slower and less reliable AF, I do like it optically.
11-19-2012, 04:08 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The 16-50/2.8 developed a bad reputation, not only because of the many SDM failures, but also because of copies with decentering issues.

Even good copies do not entirely convince optically. There once was a very good comparison between the 16-50/2.8, the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and a Sigma 18-50/2.8. In most disciplines either the Sigma or Tamron won and the Pentax failed to justify its price point. Sadly, this comparison is no longer available online.

The Pentax 50-135/2.8 is a very fine lens, optically; the 16-50/2.8 not so much.
You have some good points about what some of the issues have been. However, I doubt it's possible to create a 16-50 as good as the DA*50-135 (although I hope Pentax comes closer next time around).

There is no ideal choice here, but the Pentax was the better option, and also the only one whose images I really liked.


Any lens that could stop LBA in its tracks must be worth something, right?
11-19-2012, 04:36 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
The 16-50 got a bad rep from the early SDM failures (mine included). The one I have now has been going strong for 3 1/2 years now and I use it a lot. It does have some barrel distortion at the 16mm end but I have no trouble removing it in LR. As intended it is very sharp and the f/2.8 aperture makes it easy to use indoors. It's also sharp at f/11 or f/16 in spite of any diffraction there might be. I took this image in Yellowstone in late September. K20D, 1/10 @ f/13, ISO 100.
"Early" failures?

They're still failing, new, old, repaired, etc.

Just because your copy is fine doesn't nullify the many people on their 4th failed repair,for instance. Go to the German Pentax forums for more, since they're less inclined to hold back such negative results.

Additionally, on their new roadmap, Pentax seems to have a replacement in the works in this FL range.
11-19-2012, 06:29 PM   #23
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Da* 16-50

I've had mine for about two years and experienced no problems whatsoever. When I'm traveling and want a street and landscape lens, it is the one I take. The zoom is invaluable when I don't want the hassle or weight of two or three primes. It produces very sharp and contrasty images stopped down a bit. The wide end has a lot of distortion so I stay above 20mm. The weather sealing is comforting when I'm out and about. It is very easy and comfortable to use. It is way over-priced new, but used copies can be obtained that are a much better value proposition. Your mileage may vary.

Russ

11-19-2012, 06:38 PM   #24
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The only thing that really deterred me from the DA* 16-50mm was really the early off-center issues which were resolved and then the SDM complaints which was the bigger concern. Then the prices went ridiculous. Optically, I think it is better than the other Pentax WR options. It is definitely the only f2.8 that wide.
11-19-2012, 07:07 PM   #25
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I bought a new 16-50/2.8 about six months ago. Other than at 16/2.8, it's an extremely sharp and competent lens. I was very impressed, and I have all the best pentax glass to compare ie 31 ltd, etc. Anyone who says this is not an optically great lens either does not own one or has a really bad, early copy.
11-19-2012, 07:11 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by oeriies Quote
I've had mine for about two years and experienced no problems whatsoever. When I'm traveling and want a street and landscape lens, it is the one I take. The zoom is invaluable when I don't want the hassle or weight of two or three primes. It produces very sharp and contrasty images stopped down a bit. The wide end has a lot of distortion so I stay above 20mm. The weather sealing is comforting when I'm out and about. It is very easy and comfortable to use. It is way over-priced new, but used copies can be obtained that are a much better value proposition. Your mileage may vary.
I don't know that a survey's been done on this, but I suspect those of us with a decent set of primes tend to be the more satisfied customers. For one, a well executed but far-from-perfect zoom validates the investment we've made in primes. We don't need or expect it to equal them. Secondly, we probably use it less, so it will fail less. And thirdly, if it does fail, we've still got the primes to use in its place.

Finally, I think it gives us a different perspective. I find I really appreciate the zoom function. When I need to take some quick shots, I find it amazing I can adjust the FL and still get high quality.
11-19-2012, 09:12 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
"Early" failures?

They're still failing, new, old, repaired, etc.

Just because your copy is fine doesn't nullify the many people on their 4th failed repair,for instance. Go to the German Pentax forums for more, since they're less inclined to hold back such negative results.
That's an interesting comment on IQ. Why aren't these owners giving up and getting a Tamron or something?

I thought the used market would be littered with MF-only copies of these lenses by now. I have only seen a couple of listings in casual looking. That says to me that almost all of the broken lenses are being sent for repair. The used prices have stayed pretty close to the retail price too. That says to me that people still want the lens a lot. Note that the DA 16-45/4 has no track record of SDM failure. Since the DA* 16-50/2.8 came out, a used 16-45 sells for about 50-60% of its usual retail price. Not very popular even as a backup.

I'm too cheap to be anything but a bystander here, that's just what I see from the sidelines.
11-19-2012, 09:25 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
That's an interesting comment on IQ. Why aren't these owners giving up and getting a Tamron or something?

I thought the used market would be littered with MF-only copies of these lenses by now. I have only seen a couple of listings in casual looking. That says to me that almost all of the broken lenses are being sent for repair. The used prices have stayed pretty close to the retail price too. That says to me that people still want the lens a lot. Note that the DA 16-45/4 has no track record of SDM failure. Since the DA* 16-50/2.8 came out, a used 16-45 sells for about 50-60% of its usual retail price. Not very popular even as a backup.

I'm too cheap to be anything but a bystander here, that's just what I see from the sidelines.
You'll have to ask them. I don't know why. It's documented all over. You'll simply have to ask them why they are ok with 4 failed repairs that cost 300 EUR a piece.

Maybe the number of people that lie on various forums, claiming "redesigned parts", but not offering evidence, are to blame?
11-20-2012, 02:56 AM   #29
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IMO decentered examples only in very early examples are far from gone. Last year we really wanted a copy of this lens, and we did order it. Went through 4 copies of it, all decentered to the point that it was really a useless proposition. All we wanted was our copy to be reasonably correctly centered at all focal lengths, and we could of lived with it not being as good optically as the 31ltd for instance. We found that using the 18-135 da worked for lousy weather(if you keep it to18-70 or so it is really good, up to 135mm the center is really sharp), the sigma 17-50 os or primes for good. But I am still mad that a decent copy of this lens was not to be found. Ymmv, but check the serial number data base to see fairly current copies that are not good examples. Btw, we just got a 55 da* that is absolutely perfect, has Ricoh fixed all the qc problems? Could brand new owners of new examples of the 16-50 da* chime in?

David
11-20-2012, 05:06 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by David&karen Quote
IMO decentered examples only in very early examples are far from gone. Last year we really wanted a copy of this lens, and we did order it. Went through 4 copies of it, all decentered to the point that it was really a useless proposition. All we wanted was our copy to be reasonably correctly centered at all focal lengths, and we could of lived with it not being as good optically as the 31ltd for instance. We found that using the 18-135 da worked for lousy weather(if you keep it to18-70 or so it is really good, up to 135mm the center is really sharp), the sigma 17-50 os or primes for good. But I am still mad that a decent copy of this lens was not to be found. Ymmv, but check the serial number data base to see fairly current copies that are not good examples. Btw, we just got a 55 da* that is absolutely perfect, has Ricoh fixed all the qc problems? Could brand new owners of new examples of the 16-50 da* chime in?

David
Thank you. This is what I mean- I don't know the drive for people to cover for Pentax, whether it be the SDM or decentering. We're supposed to be helping one another and denial of problems being used to nullify the problems of others (as above in the thread somewhere) is just plain weird.

It would be nice if people put more pressure on Pentax- in public, interviews, etc. At the least, the German market is not holding back in their complaints, as well as leaning on consumer authorities to get resolutions with Pentax.
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