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04-24-2013, 02:01 AM   #46
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Weak borders at 16mm and f/2.8 don't bother me so much. If I shoot that wide, I usually want everything in focus so I'll stop down to at least f/5.6 anyway. Center sharpness seems to be very high according to the Photozone review at all focal lengths and apertures, so maybe that's why f/2.8 remains usable for things like portraits. This also seems to be their conclusion:

QuoteQuote:
It is difficult to find a final verdict for the Pentax SMC DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM. On the one hand it has some obvious problems like a weak border performance at max. aperture and very pronounced lateral chromatic aberrations (CAs). On the other hand it is really very sharp and contrasty at medium aperture settings (f/5.6-8) and many users may actually forgive the border problems at f/2.8 because you either stop down for conventional photography or rely on the (very sharp) center for shallow depth-of-field situations (e.g. portraits) anyway.
Maybe this also explains the mixed opinions of this lens? I think it does. So draw your own conclusion and let other people draw theirs, and we'll all be happy!

04-25-2013, 11:21 AM   #47
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This is a shot a f2.8 of my son -- the photo is just a snap shot, but it shows that the lens is definitely quite usable at f2.8 in my opinion, certainly the kit lens is not going to be able to shoot f2.8 at any focal length...


04-27-2013, 12:15 AM   #48
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SOOC, not the sharpest ever, but it's a contrasty lens with a very nice 'look' to it, which I find similar to a lot of the old Super-Tak WA primes. I think there's quite a bit of field curvature, so if you AF on a subject in the corner with LV it tends to be very sharp in my experience.
04-27-2013, 12:45 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
There is way too much hyperbole around this lens. Basically, it is a good lens, with some weaknesses. It is prone to flare, has weak corners at 16mm and quite a bit of distortion at 16mm as well. If it was still priced in the 750 to 850 range, I would think it would be a great deal still and would highly recommend it.
This ^

I'd even go a little farther in what you say: it's a /great/ lens, but more than most other "normal zooms" does one need to know, in some details, for what it's /great/ and for what it's not. For example, as you point out, hoodless use is /very/ iffy.

I gather that this is one reason why it gets so much flak: it's not just a "normal zoom" which is "mediocre or better" across the board. It's a normal zoom, priced as a flagship, but a bit quirky and with some propensity to see SDM failures.

I got mine for about $700 (new) some years back, and for that price I find it just lovely.

Tragedy is: I think that (if they fixed a few quirks and problems), it could be a steal also at current prices...

04-28-2013, 09:29 AM - 1 Like   #50
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Yes I agree this lens sucks bg time, soft at 2.8, flares badly, always worrying about sdm issues etc.

No I dont not really, its my favourite lens and runs rings around the Tamron 17-50mm and I owned one of those for four years!

It earns me money and everyone I photograph with it loves the images from it.

Under extreme conditions, yeah it works well, soft at 2.8? No its sharper than turkish shavers razor blade..


04-28-2013, 12:35 PM   #51
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Just for fun, I compared the Photozone reviews of the Nikon 17-55 2.8 against the Tokina 16-50 2.8, which is the same as the Pentax DA*. In the resolution tests, there's really not much between them. The Tokina is softer at 16mm and f/2.8, but other than that, it actually seems slightly better than the Nikon. The Tokina also shows less vignetting, though it has more CA (but that's correctable). SWM focuses way faster than SDM though (personal experience), but the lens is also more expensive.
04-28-2013, 01:41 PM   #52
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I'm definitely disappointed that the 16-50mm seems to have such a mixed reputation and drawbacks. I could buy the Sigma instead (which seems to be the conclusion of the 3-way compare article), but I'd rather see Pentax put out an updated model to address these issues. Or perhaps the ~16-85mm DA* on the roadmap will be the solution. It looks like it may be intended to replace the 16-50mm older version and the extra length would be much appreciated. Also, it pairs a lot better with the 60-250mm DA*, no more gap and some overlap in a very useful focal range. Now all we need is for it to actually be released...
04-28-2013, 03:30 PM   #53
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But the 16-85 wont be 2.8 will it? In order to be 2.8 constAnt the front element would have to be around 112mm wide...

Pentax recently fixed the SDM issues the other issues corner softness doesnt reslly affect many images and the new improved focus of the k-5 mkii and k-30 certainly alleviate any softness issues...

04-28-2013, 03:34 PM - 1 Like   #54
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Its really soft at 2.8 16mm isnt it?

04-28-2013, 03:56 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by cabstar Quote
Its really soft at 2.8 16mm isnt it?
Damn nice work...the lens is good too.
04-28-2013, 05:49 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by cabstar Quote
But the 16-85 wont be 2.8 will it? In order to be 2.8 constant the front element would have to be around 112mm wide...
It will probably be f/4.0 is my guess. But if it's sharp from wide open then I'm willing to consider that (depending on price). I mean, we're already accepting the same sort of tradeoff on the DA* 60-250mm. It's an f/4.0, but some people pick it over the 3rd party 70-200mm f/2.8 options right? If I need more speed than that then I can always use a prime lens.

Edit: Instead of f/4.0, is f/3.5 possible (the old Pentax-A 35-105mm was a constant f/3.5)? That would be impressive!

Last edited by dboeren; 04-29-2013 at 07:30 AM.
04-28-2013, 07:16 PM   #57
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My 16-50 has not yet failed, bought new in 2007. Those of you with more than 10 mpx may find the lens soft. I don't. I use DxO and that solves the distortion and vignetting problems without my intervention (just my waiting time - DxO is slow). For photojournalism, ISO 1600, f/2.8 is quite usable. I've fire shots published with those settings. The lens even AF'ed on my K10 for those shots.

The lens survives water falls, snow, sleet and other atmospheric goodies.

I have no tolerance for lenses that do not zoom and focus and stop down with rings in the same direction as Pentax and Nikon, so I do not buy Sigmas. Come to think of it, the only non Pentax lenses I have came with a non-Pentax mount camera.

Yeah, I'm weird.
04-28-2013, 07:33 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by dboeren Quote
I'm definitely disappointed that the 16-50mm seems to have such a mixed reputation and drawbacks. I could buy the Sigma instead (which seems to be the conclusion of the 3-way compare article), but I'd rather see Pentax put out an updated model to address these issues. Or perhaps the ~16-85mm DA* on the roadmap will be the solution. It looks like it may be intended to replace the 16-50mm older version and the extra length would be much appreciated. Also, it pairs a lot better with the 60-250mm DA*, no more gap and some overlap in a very useful focal range. Now all we need is for it to actually be released...
well, I bought a 16-50mm when they first came out. It's now on my 3rd camera body (istD, K10 and Now a K5) and it has been my default
walking around lens I have been very satisfied with its performance.
04-29-2013, 07:27 AM   #59
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This is more typical of what I shoot with the 16-50 (at 16mm and f8).


04-29-2013, 02:08 PM   #60
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I am very happy with my 16-50. Its my go to lens for my urbex photography!!
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