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01-27-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
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DA 15mm Or DA16-45mm?

Ok I know this is one crazy question so here goes. What difference if any will there be between the DA15mm limited and the wide end (16mm) of the DA16-45mm lens. I mean why not save a few bucks and get the DA 16-45mm instead? Help me out here......

01-27-2013, 02:00 PM   #2
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The DA will probably be wider and have less distortion, be sharper, have better aberration control, and improved overall IQ. Primes exist for a reason, though modern zoom lenses are getting pretty good as well. But it would be great if someone would post a 100% crop of the same scene taken with the 16-45mm af 16mm and the 15mm prime
01-27-2013, 02:16 PM   #3
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I pondered over this exact question for a few weeks.

Ended up getting the DA15. If you need a walkaround lens and your kit lens really does not cut it, then get the 16-45. Although do know that the 16-45 is fully extended (quite long) at 16mm, so if size/invasiveness is important to you then the DA15 wins there.
I was going to go for the 16-45 first but then decided that my 18-55 kit lens was good enough as a walkaround lens. 24mm and onward it worked quite well. I really wanted a wide lens for landscapes, and the DA15 was basically the best choice for its sharpness, abberation and distortion control, and flare resistance. I don't know if it's even possible to get any flare with this lens.

And obviously, the DA15 is a "Limited" Pentax lens. All-metal construction. The focus ring is heavy and well damped (almost as good as the one on my old M 50/1.7). Just everything about the lens screams high quality, down to the details.

The 16-45 will be an excellent replacement to the kit lens. Probably won't get anything better from the $300-400 range new.

It all comes down to what you want to get out of the lenses. If you need something just for wide angle, definitely go for the DA15. If you need a walkaround/versatile lens then go for the 16-45. Know that the DA15 doesn't really allow for a step-up filter thread, so you will have to have 49mm filters, if that's important to you. Take size (and weight) into account as well.

Last edited by NitroDC; 01-27-2013 at 02:23 PM.
01-27-2013, 02:49 PM   #4
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Here's one test that made me feel fine with my 16-45/4:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/151855-18-135-vs-16-45-15mm.html

The comparison is at f8, which may not highlight the worst possible performance, but I take a lot of shots at 16mm f8. I like the DA 16-45/4 as a wide angle a lot, secondarily as a kit lens replacement, third with a flash, kind of big but you can't have everything.

01-27-2013, 04:05 PM   #5
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I do own both of these, but I don't really take them out at the same time. The 15mm is a pleasure to use and gives good results.

If I could only have one lens, though, it would be the 16-45. On the other hand, I only got the 16-45 because I didn't own a zoom in this range.

According to photozone.de, on a K10, the 15 wins on distortion, CA, and resolution above f/5.6. I really think the 16-45 would meet your needs, though.

Thankfully I can have more than one lens because I so thoroughly enjoy the results and usage of my limited lenses
01-27-2013, 04:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Here's one test that made me feel fine with my 16-45/4:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/151855-18-135-vs-16-45-15mm.html

The comparison is at f8, which may not highlight the worst possible performance, but I take a lot of shots at 16mm f8. I like the DA 16-45/4 as a wide angle a lot, secondarily as a kit lens replacement, third with a flash, kind of big but you can't have everything.
Wow great comparison shots. I'm looking at replacing my kit lens 18-55mm DA L (plastic mount) anyway and this pretty much seals the deal. If the DA16-45 looks that good even at the wide end then its a no brainer. This should make a great walk around lens too. I'm glad I wasn't the only one wondering about this
01-27-2013, 06:54 PM   #7
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I will say however that the 15mm still looks the best.
01-27-2013, 07:35 PM   #8
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I owned both at the same time and did enough comparison to know I wanted to keep the da15. Contrast and flare resistance was better in the da15 and the sharpness was slightly better too. The 16-45 has some barrel distortion not seen in the da15.

01-27-2013, 08:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The comparison is at f8, which may not highlight the worst possible performance, but I take a lot of shots at 16mm f8.
My 16-45 is sharper than my 15mm in the corners, at f4 and f8.

QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Wow great comparison shots. I'm looking at replacing my kit lens 18-55mm DA L (plastic mount) anyway and this pretty much seals the deal. If the DA16-45 looks that good even at the wide end then its a no brainer. This should make a great walk around lens too. I'm glad I wasn't the only one wondering about this
The 16-45 easily beats the 18-55 at the wide end, but it murders it at the long end. It is sharper at f4 and 45mm than the 18-55 @ 55mm, even cropped to 55mm. I don't hesitate to shoot the 16-45 wide open. The 18-55 needs to be stopped down, so I consider the 16-45 two stops faster at the long end, where it really counts.

QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I will say however that the 15mm still looks the best.
I agree; colour & contrast, distortion, flare and CA are more important to IQ than corner resolution.

I should confess that the 18-135 and 15mm have replaced the 16-45 in my main kit. The 16-45 is a better lens in every way than the 18-135 (except for bokeh), but IQ is still good and the range is soooo handy. The 15mm is easy to carry along with the extended zoom.
01-27-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
My 16-45 is sharper than my 15mm in the corners, at f4 and f8.


The 16-45 easily beats the 18-55 at the wide end, but it murders it at the long end. It is sharper at f4 and 45mm than the 18-55 @ 55mm, even cropped to 55mm. I don't hesitate to shoot the 16-45 wide open. The 18-55 needs to be stopped down, so I consider the 16-45 two stops faster at the long end, where it really counts.



I agree; colour & contrast, distortion, flare and CA are more important to IQ than corner resolution.

I should confess that the 18-135 and 15mm have replaced the 16-45 in my main kit. The 16-45 is a better lens in every way than the 18-135 (except for bokeh), but IQ is still good and the range is soooo handy. The 15mm is easy to carry along with the extended zoom.
Did you ever consider the Sigma 17-50mm over the Pentax 16-45?
01-27-2013, 08:19 PM   #11
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I also owned both. The two lenses are different tools, both very good at what they do. The 15 is built well, small and resistant to flare. The 16-45 is very sharp and has a nice zoom range.
01-27-2013, 08:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
I also owned both. The two lenses are different tools, both very good at what they do. The 15 is built well, small and resistant to flare. The 16-45 is very sharp and has a nice zoom range.
I do like the Starburst effect when shooting the sun. I haven't seen a lens yet that looks that good.
01-27-2013, 10:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Did you ever consider the Sigma 17-50mm over the Pentax 16-45?
I don't believe the Sigma 17-50 existed when I bought the 16-45. There was just the Sigma 17-70.
01-28-2013, 06:51 AM   #14
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Btw, pretty much all manufacturers now make a lens of that sort of focal range. Here is a review of some:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/news/pentax-16-50-vs-sigma-17-50-vs-tamron-17-50mm.html
01-28-2013, 08:35 AM   #15
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My head is spinning after looking at what seems hundreds of different lens combinations and reviews. So many choices....to replace my kit lens.

Now I'm thinking just screw it and buy a couple of primes and be done with it.
1) 15mm prime
2) 35mm macro prime.

If I need a telephoto I'll buy one later........
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