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03-31-2013, 06:07 PM   #16
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I went for a walk, since we're having an amazing 80-degree Easter Sunday here today, and thought it over.

I'm leaning toward the Pentax brand, even though I don't mind third-party lenses per-se. I considered the 18-135 WR, the 17-70/4 SDM, and the 16-45/4. Two things kept popping up in my head. The 16-45 (which I thought was discontinued) has less CA than the 17-70, and the 55-300 is quite sharp at 300. Given the prices (just a bit more than the Sigma 17-50), I'm very seriously considering selling both my 18-55 and 70-300 and getting both the Pentax 16-45 and 55-300. But now as I'm browsing around, I'm having a really hard time finding the 16-45 for sale.

04-01-2013, 04:48 PM   #17
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
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My 16-45 is still usually consistently very good across the frame, and I was very happy with it when I bought it new with my K100d. Whether it's due to (moderate) wear and tear, or moving from 6 to 16mp, or a combination, the wobble in the barrel, which I'd tried testing for back in the beginning, definitely has a visible effect now for vertical pictures.

I've gone through a lot of copies of the 55-300, so far all DA, but probably the DAL is the same. You can't say it's sharp at 300mm, you can only say it was probably designed to be sharper at 300mm (and actually most other lengths) than many alternative lenses. One copy I've had was very sharp across the frame at 300mm. The others are/were very sharp in some portions of the frame, but not others. Oh, the copy that was perfect at 300mm (to the extent the design is capable) had inconsistent backfocus at mid/short focus distances, and the left side had softness at 55mm.

You have a lot of reasonable options on the wide side, but not many on the long side, at least not if you want autofocus, want to start in the 50-60 range (vs. 70), and don't want to lug around something heavy and super-expensive.

Paul
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