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02-22-2008, 04:38 AM   #1
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CA in the DA*16-50 vs Tamron 28-75 in real world

Well, I have respect for the focusing silence of the DA*16-50 now, having had a play with a very nice copy today. One thing that creeped me out totally though, the CA. Dang! It was pretty fierce.

For comparison, I swapped it out for my Tamron 28-75 2.8, and you'd need a microscope to find any CA. (both sets of shots seen later in Lightroom at 100%, but the CA from the DA* was visible at zero magnification).

The DA*16-50 is a very nicely built item. And at first I thought, oooooh!

But at twice the price of the Tamron, I was hoping to see something better in the results. Rendering wise, it's great, but then so is the Tamron. Wide open, it was great... yep, so is my Tamron. Gets very sharp when stopped down, which everyone knows I guess, but I reckon the Tamron had the edge wide open, and matched it all the way down to f11.

These were all real world outdoors stuff, with the odd quick portrait. No, I don't keep copies of test shots, but if you pop over to photozone.de, you'll see they're results mirror what I saw today. Tell you though, if they could get rid of the CA, I don't think you could want for more in a zoom than the DA* - really like the 16mm wide end - but find I'm using the 50-70mm range mostly these days (from the profiling done on the exifs from last year).

The lady whose DA* tried, got a good one first time. She said two friends also got great copies on the first go, as well - which is encouraging (these were all bought in 2008 though).

02-23-2008, 08:32 AM   #2
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Hopefully I will have the DA* 16-50mm this coming week. I am very curious to do some hands on testing between the two lenses and make my own conclusions. I am going to the Grand Canyon in April and trout fishing in March so I think the weather sealing is a huge plus for these situations. I am hoping that I get the same quality out of the DA* as I do my Tamrom so I will be gaining more than I am losing. I expect to be gaining a lot.
02-23-2008, 08:39 AM   #3
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Which focal lengths did you compare?
02-23-2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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Seriously, how can one make a valid comparison between the DA 16-50 and the Tamron 28-75? The focal lengths both lenses cover are not comparable, one covers a much wider angle of view than the other. The complexity to make a fast wide angle, much less a fast wide angle zoom poses a more difficult challenge in the control of optical aberrations.

02-23-2008, 10:16 AM   #5
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The DA* 16-50/2.8 is the digital version of the legendary FA* 28-70/2.8. The DA* 16-50/2.8 might be twice the cost of the Tamron lens, but you're paying more for SDM and weather sealing, neither of which the Tamron has. It all depends on what you want. Also, the DA* is a more versatile lens in my opinion because it cover more of anormal FOV on digital. The Tamron is a little too wide, going from 42 to 105.
02-23-2008, 10:27 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tux08902 Quote
The DA* 16-50/2.8 is the digital version of the legendary FA* 28-70/2.8.
Interesting, wherever did you get that bit of info?
16mm on a 1.5x crop (24mm equivalent on 35mm film) is quite a bit wider than 28mm.
02-23-2008, 11:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Interesting, wherever did you get that bit of info?
16mm on a 1.5x crop (24mm equivalent on 35mm film) is quite a bit wider than 28mm.
I think it's more like a speculation in his part, the cropped FOV would be 24-75.

I'm planning to get either one of these two for a walk-around zoom. However, the QC problem of the DA* 16-50 really worry me. I mostly make my purchase online so trial and return is such a hassle.

ATM, I use my 31 and occasionally the 50/55 as my walk-around primes. So both of these zooms would fit nicely. For the purpose, however, I think the DA* is a bit more versatile. AF is not my concern (SDM vs. non), since I do manual 75% of the time.

So I would like to see more inputs on these two.
02-23-2008, 11:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Interesting, wherever did you get that bit of info?
16mm on a 1.5x crop (24mm equivalent on 35mm film) is quite a bit wider than 28mm.
It covers nearly the same FOV as on film. I don't really think there's too much of a difference between 24-75mm and 28-70mm. The DA* 50-135/2.8 covers and FOV of 75-202.5. That's very close to the FA* 80-200/2.8. So, I suspect Pentax released these two zoom lenses as digital equivalents of the two fast FA* zooms.

02-23-2008, 12:18 PM   #9
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TuX i think in that same way as you...
02-23-2008, 02:17 PM   #10
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I got a refurbished DA*16-50 on Amazon, so I was sure there would be no problems.
There were absoultley no problems with it, and it is an amazing lens.

I chose it over the Tamron, because I felt that I used the 18-30mm range on my kitlens more than the 50+mm range.

I think that the newer lenses do not have the problems that the first few batches did, but thats just me.

Also, the da* has a huge focusing ring, which is a nice touch (compared to normal zoom lenses with a microscopic focusing ring)
02-23-2008, 02:44 PM   #11
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I agree with ranamar that the new batch of lenses probably have very little issues. However, that's not the problem now. It's the fact that faulty lenses are still in circulation or are being recirculated that's giving this particular lens a very notorious reputation.
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