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05-30-2013, 06:03 PM   #1
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Does Pentax 16-50 still have issues?

Hi

I like teh look of teh 16-50mm 2.8, but have read lots of bad things about broken focusing etc.

Is the problem fixed yet? Does any one know safe serial numbers to go for?

Any alternatives to this lens like Sigma worth considering?

Thanks

05-30-2013, 06:17 PM   #2
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Mine works perfectly. No issues so far (KOW) and the image quality is satisfactory IMO. I can guarantee there will be people who disagree with me though.

There are alternatives, but if WR is important to you, this is really you're only option for a "normal" zoom with a fixed aperture.
Check out DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction - PentaxForums.com for alternatives and comparison to Sigma's and Tamron's offerings.

My S/N is 9046604 BTW
05-30-2013, 06:37 PM   #3
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I had the Sigma 17-50/2.8 and it was an excellent lens. I sold it after getting a second hand DA*16-50 and comparing the two. I preferred the colour rendition, slightly wider range and weather resistance of the Pentax. It is not a perfect lens optically (some flare and CA, and not super-sharp wide open) but it is an excellent workhorse for my concert work.

Its SDM did fail after several months of heavy use, but it was repaired free of charge by C.R. Kennedy despite it being bought second hand from overseas. I missed it enough while it was away that I bought a second one during the Black Friday bargains last November.

No trouble with either since, but I often have a couple of wide to normal primes in my bag just in case.
05-30-2013, 06:59 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Partagas Quote
Hi

I like teh look of teh 16-50mm 2.8, but have read lots of bad things about broken focusing etc.

Is the problem fixed yet? Does any one know safe serial numbers to go for?

Any alternatives to this lens like Sigma worth considering?

Thanks
If you search the forum for messages about recent discussions with Pentax at trade events, there are comments that the SDM issue has been resolved for all new smc Pentax-DA*16-50 f2.8 lenses since the start of 2012. The comments were from pentax engineers.

So if you buy a new one you will probably get the new SDM mechanism. Just to be sure I'd buy an extended warranty with it.

Regards

Chris

05-30-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
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As aforementioned, the new models don't have the statistically high failure rates. It's also worth noting, even if you buy used, provided the previous owner has had it more than a year, chance are the motor is fine. (Realistically, if it fails after more than a year of working solidly, it's not "SDM Failure" so much as "Electronic Failure Syndrome", a plague to all consumer electronics.)

You'll find no better alternative in regard to color rendition and weather sealing. The wider range is slightly noticeable, compared to the 17-50 offerings as well. (Albeit, stepping back three inches will provide a similar angle on the other lenses)
05-30-2013, 07:29 PM   #6
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If SDM breaks, you can hack it to work with screw-drive. I just bought one second hand (or third or forth) that has been already hacked, for 600USD shipped...
05-30-2013, 09:28 PM   #7
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Original Poster
found this...

Thanks for replies so far. Much appreciated.

Pentax Engineer on SDM Failure and Pentax DC - Photokina 2012 - PentaxForums.com

The above sugests that 2012 onwards lenses are now fixed.

Never knwo if thats true or just marketing talk.

Cheers
05-31-2013, 12:17 AM   #8
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I just ordered one from KEH despite bad reputation, i have tamron 17-50 and can't wait to compare them. Last couple years best landscape images in my colection where made in conditions that are not good for tamron's build quality and all time I had feel that tamron will not make in harsh weather so now i decide to get 16-50 and pair it with 50-135 and 55 that I own, also Heie's images from extreme conditions are perfect for my eye and I don't see that much difference in sharpness between tamron and pentax but in samples pentax have much better colors so now just need to wait for delivery for new lens addition in my part of the world and that is pretty log wait.

06-03-2013, 02:27 AM   #9
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Hope you enjoy your lens Barbarosa
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