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05-24-2013, 12:17 AM   #1
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Is it worth it to upgrade from kit lens to DA16-45 ?

Hi everyone

I am mostly a primes shooter but since I'm going to be flying internationally this summer I was considering buying a new zoom lens. Currently I only have the DA L 18-55 and 50-200. I'm happy with the 50-200 quality so its the 18-55 I'm considering upgrading.

Is it worth it to upgrade to the DA 16-45 lens? Is there big enough a difference that I'll be content with purchasing it? I don't have much extra cash so I can't really afford to buy any lens that I don't really need

Thanks for your advice and help!

Ben

05-24-2013, 12:39 AM   #2
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This might help you .

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/223672-worth-get-16-45mm.html
05-24-2013, 12:45 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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If you can justify the price increase, you will notice a real difference if you go to the Tamron 17-50. I haven't used the 16-45, but I've heard some great things about it. The issue that I see though is you don't really gain *much* compared to the original 18-55. Yes it's 2mm wider (which is pretty significant), but at the wide end it's actually a bit slower. Not much, but it is, whereas the Tamron is f/2.8 across the entire 17-50mm, a difference that becomes very apparent especially at the long end.

Here is one option that I would seriously consider if you have the time to wait for the shipment. No it isn't fulfilled by Amazon, but that store has a 98% rating across over 300 dealings.

Something else to think about is where are you traveling to? If you are going to somewhere that has a lot of architecture and tight alleys/buildings, I would recommend instead of upgrading your "standard zoom" lens to getting a wide angle. The difference between having the ability to go to 10mm vs slightly improving your current 18mm is mind-numbingly different and one I would recommend without any reservations. The two cheapest (albeit still extremely capable) options that I am aware of are the Sigma 10-20 (not f/3.5, but the f/4-5.6) and the Tamron 10-24.

Hope this helped (or made the choice more confusing )

-Heie

Last edited by Heie; 05-24-2013 at 12:48 AM. Reason: typo
05-24-2013, 02:29 AM   #4
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Heie makes a very good point. 18-55 is quite OK and it's hard to improve on it without a big pile of cash. A 10mm lens, on the other hand, is heaps of fun.

05-24-2013, 04:31 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
If you can justify the price increase, you will notice a real difference if you go to the Tamron 17-50. I haven't used the 16-45, but I've heard some great things about it. The issue that I see though is you don't really gain *much* compared to the original 18-55. Yes it's 2mm wider (which is pretty significant), but at the wide end it's actually a bit slower. Not much, but it is, whereas the Tamron is f/2.8 across the entire 17-50mm, a difference that becomes very apparent especially at the long end.

Here is one option that I would seriously consider if you have the time to wait for the shipment. No it isn't fulfilled by Amazon, but that store has a 98% rating across over 300 dealings.

Something else to think about is where are you traveling to? If you are going to somewhere that has a lot of architecture and tight alleys/buildings, I would recommend instead of upgrading your "standard zoom" lens to getting a wide angle. The difference between having the ability to go to 10mm vs slightly improving your current 18mm is mind-numbingly different and one I would recommend without any reservations. The two cheapest (albeit still extremely capable) options that I am aware of are the Sigma 10-20 (not f/3.5, but the f/4-5.6) and the Tamron 10-24.

Hope this helped (or made the choice more confusing )

-Heie
Thanks a lot, now I'm really not sure what I want to get

I think that I will be in cities with architecture but also outside and things... but a wide angle zoom might be fun anyways... Which is better quality in your opinion? The Sigma or the Tamron?

If I pursue a 10-20/10-24 lens I will need to purchase used, because I couldn't afford a new one... :/

Thanks for your help so far!
05-24-2013, 04:46 AM   #6
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Confused is good

Where are you going? If in Europe, then I can't stress the need for an UWA enough. I *wish* I had my Sigma 8-16 when I went to the Vatican, but alas, I didn't own one at the time. 18 was not even close to wide enough. Also, I find the UWA's great for the outdoors too. You can super wide landscapes without having to stitch panoramas together.

Regarding what lens specifically, I don't have any recommendations because I've never used them. I went straight to the 8-16 (after having the Pentax DA 12-24 for a bit), and I have no regrets. But it is a bit pricey...

Like I said, the 10-24 f/3.5 is not highly regarded. Yes it is faster than the f/4-5.6, but everything I've read is that the performance on the f/3.5 is not as good, and it's more expensive.

If you are going to buy used, I would recommend just snagging up the first one in good condition you can find. eBay, KEH.com, Amazon, PF Marketplace, etc are good places to look for used gear. Sigma also has a used outlet store that sells refurbished gear (never be afraid of refurbished - usually they are brand new for significantly cheaper), but I just checked and they don't have the wide angle zooms for Pentax.

Best of luck

-Heie
05-24-2013, 04:48 AM   #7
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I don't think you could go wrong either way. Both lenses are well acclaimed but you need to ensure you have a good copy of the lens. There is also the Sigma 8-16 for the ultimate wide angle shot in tight spaces like cities.
05-24-2013, 06:07 AM   #8
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I rented that Sigma 8-16 for a couple of weeks. I really liked it. A lot. I have a 10-17 fisheye, but it's a different beastie.

From what I've read the newer version of the 18-55 is pretty good, I don't know if I'd buy the 16-45 now. I did when I got the K-10 used a few years ago, since it was supposed to be better than the first version of the 18-55. Now I think I'd go for an 18-135 kit and find a UWA zoom and long zoom to set up that kit.

05-24-2013, 06:59 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben E Quote
I think that I will be in cities with architecture but also outside and things... but a wide angle zoom might be fun anyways... Which is better quality in your opinion? The Sigma or the Tamron? If I pursue a 10-20/10-24 lens I will need to purchase used, because I couldn't afford a new one... :/
I think the Sigma gets better reviews for its across-the-frame sharpness but I've really enjoyed my Tamron 10-24 for the extra reach up to 24mm and I've been satisfied by the pictures I've taken-- although I did not pixel peep, nor am I expecting truly stellar image quality for the price I paid. In addition, I've noticed that generally, the Tamron sells for a bit less than the Sigma on the used marketplace, sometimes up to $50 less if you're patient and keep an eye out for it.
05-24-2013, 07:35 AM   #10
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I've had the Sigma 10-20 (f/4-5.6) for several years now and would highly recommend it. Here's a link to that lens club - If you want to see what it's capable of.....

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/84539-sigma-10-20mm-club-187.html

Tim
05-24-2013, 07:45 AM   #11
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I recently bought a 16-45 second-hand, and it is a vast improvement IQ wise compared to the DA L 18-55, and DA 18-55WR. The extra 2mm definitely makes a difference, and I don't miss the 10mm on the long end....
05-24-2013, 11:13 AM   #12
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I've owned two copies of the DA 16-45, and a lot of good things have already been stated about it in this thread. It was indeed a solid performer.

Two things I really liked about it:

1. Its performance at 16mm was amazing. It's not quite as good as my DA 15 Ltd, and it can't make super seksy starbursts, but it's close. If you're a wide shooter, this may be enough of a reason to get it (it's sometimes referenced as a "poor man's DA 15"). Image quality overall throughout its range is also quite good.

2. Good price. Not that expensive. You should be able to score a copy for between 200-250 USD either through the PF marketplace or elsewhere.

Two things I didn't like.

1. A little short. 45mm is just not enough reach. This may not be a problem for you, as you are a prime shooter so you're used to the step zoom, but I couldn't get used to it.

2. It's a dainty lens. That barrel can get kind of wobbly, even on near mint copies. As an outdoorsman, this made the lens a no-go for me, as I lived in mortal fear that one solid thump would render the lens inoperable.

As Heie suggested earlier, get the Tamron 17-50. It's only about $100 more used, but it's an exceptional lens. Fast f2.8 speed, solid range, lack of reach mitigated by the fact that its superb sharpness allows one to crop quite a bit, small lightweight size (for its class).

I have a Tamron 17-50 now, and even though mine needed an AF adjustment of -6, it's my most useful lens and possibly my best lens period.
05-24-2013, 06:11 PM   #13
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The DA 16-45mm is indeed a worthwhile upgrade to the kit lens. The extra 2mm makes a significant difference, the constant aperture is great, and the lens has excellent IQ.

I stopped using it, however, after buying the DA12-24mm.
05-24-2013, 07:48 PM   #14
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Best Buy?

Hello Ben,
The DA 16-45 is surely a fine upgrade from the kit lens and you won't regret owning one.
The 45mm "long" end is a bit short, but since you have the 50-200mm, it's only a 5mm gap between lenses.
The lens does seem fragile and is a bit wobbly when fully extended but I've put mine through several hard years of outdoor use without a problem This includes scenics (where it is invaluable) crowded concerts, auto shows and foul-weather walkarounds.
I don't know of another $200-$250 (used, USD) WA zoom that can equal its performance. If you spend $400-$500, maybe you would see a slight improvement.
JMO
Ron
05-24-2013, 08:28 PM   #15
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Just to add to those thoughts above- Im kicking myself for not buying the 16-45 to go with my K7 body when I first bought it, I got a Sigma 17-70 instead.
Reason? Its much smaller and wider than the 17-70 and constant F4 (although not that much of a biggie), but now I am looking at getting a 24-70ish F2.8 lens I feel the 16-45 would still be of great use where the 17-70 is a biggish lens just to shoot 17-28.
As for your situation you already have the kit lens so I would say hold onto that and grab sat a Tamron 17-50 2.8 zoom instead which can proberly be had for a similar price (its great value!), it will make a big difference. I would only grab it should you want more width.
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