Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-14-2013, 04:35 AM - 1 Like   #1
Pentaxian
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cottbus (Berlin)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,738
My thoughts & insight on the DA*16-50 (may contain personal opinion or peanut pieces)

I thought Iīd never be able to afford / hold the DA* lenses. I joined digital Pentax just before the Unilateral Pricing took place on April 2012. Also, (I am from Argentina and as Pentax is not known or represented it is prohibitively expensive (i.e. DA*50-135 for U$D 2700). But after getting to know the folks on this forum and some small purchases on the marketplace and good price opportunity I felt confident to buy a "hacked" copy from a reputable seller (icywindow). Hacked, becouse it was reprogramed to work with screwdrive autofocus on the K-5. (I donīt have access to earlier models to do it myself and if SDM broke, nobody would even know how to fix it or, if lucky, acquire the replacements). I believe the hack was done by previous owner, panoguy.

Enough background for the moment. This is my third DA series lens. The first one was the very respectable DA18-55WR that came with my K-5 and later the DA10-17 joined the fun. I do have some very fine glass from the film era such as A24, F28, M35 and F50 so I have quality and speed covered, but not the versatibility of a zoom lens, WR and wide angle. After some analysis on lightroom regarding lens and focal lengths use (great tool for this purpose), I noticed that a lot of the shots done on good locations (generally bad weather conditions or difficult to move freely) were taken using the DA18-55WR. Comparing these with the few taken with F28 or F50 showed a subtle but worthy difference...
The DA*16-50 is a polemic lens and so I read, asked and read a little more to understand what the softness, aberration, distortion, etc. problems where all about. Finally, comments from other users and numerous samples at different settings convinced me that it was a good choice for my needs.

The following are some findings I didnīt read about when researching the lens.

Size & weigth: Ok, everybody writes about this regarding this lens, but perhaps this is a different approach: Not long ago, I was able to replace my F80-200 (300grs, sweeet) with the FA80-320 (550grs, similar size and weight as DA16-50). At first I was hesitant about this, but afer trying it I realized the weight and size actually helped with stability and felt better balanced with the body. Funny, I had never mounted a lens heavier than 300grs on my camera.
As expected, this also applies to the DA16-50, though not when picking it up or maneuvering one handed, even if only for a few seconds.
Transporting the lens is another thing. I was thinking about selling the DA18-55WR to recover some of the investment, but now I am thinking of keeping it for the times when portability is more important than ultimate IQ and/or adverse weather conditions are not expected.

Control layout: Excelent. I donīt know if this is relevant to more experienced users (this is my first "pro" level zoom) but I find it really easy and intuitive to set. May sound silly or obvious but I value a good efficient design. "A picture is worth a thousand words" they say...

This sensitive layout allows seamless operation between quick shift, catch in focus and auto focus. Lots of choices with ease and speed to go through them.

Manual focus: I was surpriced to discover how easy it is to manually focus (stock viewfinder screen). Short but well dumped focus throw / ring makes things really pop on the viewfinder once in focus. I made a comparison with the A24/2.8, which has a similar distance scale (although larger focus throw), and the experiment confirmed the finding. Focus ring is big and well dumped. One more thing about focus ring: infinity stop actually corresponds to infinity!

Hood: I wish it had a tighter fit when reversed, like the ones on DA18-55 or DA18-135, as it really adds bulk. Also, it wonīt allow the on board flash or focus assist lamp to work properly. I guess this is the price to pay for the 16mm wide end.

I hope someone finds this helpful. I will update if I find out something of interest as some chances to try out this gem appear.
And after all, all this trouble is for the pictures, right? Hereīs a couple taken with... well, the DA18-55WR of course! What did you espect? Iīve only had the DA*16-50 for a week or so!
The first one was taken at base camp "El Salto" in Mendoza, Argentina at 4000 meters above sea level (masl) during night (everyone was already in their tents and I was setting long exposures out in the cold). The second one was taken at 5000 masl "Cuesta del Portezuelo", while making our way to the summit.

Regards,
Francisco
--------------------------------------------------
UPDATE
I had the chance to take a walk with my new lens and took the opportunity to compare it against my primes.
The "second part":
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/228275-da16-50...ml#post2423291

Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
WT19a  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 

Last edited by carrrlangas; 06-17-2013 at 09:15 PM. Reason: Update
06-14-2013, 05:31 AM   #2
Veteran Member
treebeard's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Windham, NH
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 795
Thanks for posting your thoughts on the lens.
06-14-2013, 05:58 AM   #3
Pentaxian
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cottbus (Berlin)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,738
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by treebeard Quote
Thanks for posting your thoughts on the lens.
Glad you liked it. Thanks for reading.
06-14-2013, 06:22 AM   #4
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 631
Personally, I've never had much of a complaint about this lens. Sure, as people have stated over and over, it's not the sharpest wide open at 50. Though, if you're shooting artsy portraits, perhaps that's a good thing. And if it truly bothers you, slap on a 50-135, or a fast 50.

I also love the layout of the lens, how perfectly dampened the focusing ring is and the decent weight for it's size.

Perhaps my largest complaint about it is that it's lens hood is almost too large for most camera bags.

06-14-2013, 06:50 AM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Southern Indiana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 15,435
I like the 16-50. I think a lot of the complaints come from folks who haven't actually used the lens, but either have heard bad early reports about image quality and decentering or, have fears about SDM failure (these are probably quite real, but improved since you can "hack" the lens).

I have been very happy with my copy -- the only issue is a tendency to flare with strong light sources.


06-14-2013, 07:32 AM   #6
Site Supporter
geedee's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Berlin / Freiburg / On the road
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 99
Hola Francisco,

I was actually thinking about buying this lens to take it onto my alpine mountaineering. Which mountain did you climb? Is that on the way to Aconcagua?

Georg.
06-14-2013, 07:42 AM   #7
Pentaxian
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cottbus (Berlin)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,738
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Eulogy Quote
Perhaps my largest complaint about it is that it's lens hood is almost too large for most camera bags.
I hear you...
At 50mm, I do value the MFD of 0.3m vs my non macro 50mm at 0.45m

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I have been very happy with my copy -- the only issue is a tendency to flare with strong light sources.
I havenīt seen any strong flare yet, some "green drops"
06-14-2013, 08:27 AM   #8
Pentaxian
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cottbus (Berlin)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,738
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by geedee Quote
Hola Francisco,

I was actually thinking about buying this lens to take it onto my alpine mountaineering. Which mountain did you climb? Is that on the way to Aconcagua?

Georg.
Hallo Georg,
I trekked (no climbing on this hills) the "Cerro Vallecitos" that is located at 5700 masl. The highest peak of the second picture is the "Cerro El Plata" at 6050 masl. These and others of similar height (Cerro El Plata being the highest) are located within the mountain complex known as "Cordón del Plata". It is often used as practice before attempting the Aconcagua because of similar atmospheric and climate conditions but without the extra 1000 meters of elevation . It is near the Aconcagua (7000 masl) which locates at the left of the second picture. I am now preparing for Aconcagua for the next season (Summer, February 2014).

Regarding the lens, beware, I often used the F80-200. But for summit attack and else, the DA18-55WR with CPL had no match. So for that application, Iīd recommend the DA16-50.
Iīll attach some more images later if you are interested.


Last edited by carrrlangas; 06-14-2013 at 11:27 AM.
06-14-2013, 11:25 AM   #9
Site Supporter
geedee's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Berlin / Freiburg / On the road
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 99
Francisco, I think I'll check out if the DA* 16-50 lens works for me, since I can get it used for a good price. I wanted to make a step up from 16-45. But the weight and size is considerable, and I could also get WR in the 18-135. Too much choices!

Would be nice if you could post some more pictures of your trip. I'll be in Chile beginning of 2014 and Aconcagua was always on my mind for a long time. Let's just meet for a mate at the summit in February ;-)
06-14-2013, 11:56 AM   #10
Pentaxian
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cottbus (Berlin)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,738
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by geedee Quote
Francisco, I think I'll check out if the DA* 16-50 lens works for me, since I can get it used for a good price. I wanted to make a step up from 16-45. But the weight and size is considerable, and I could also get WR in the 18-135. Too much choices!
I donīt think that you will find great IQ improvement vs the DA16-45 for this particular application, but handling and reliability will be much better on the DA*16-50. Even if SDM fails, manual focus is a breeze. Regarding the extended range, that is why I was mentioning I also used the F80-200. But the DA18-135 is still a superzoom.. You may be better off with the DA16-45 imo. Depends on your FL use.
Maybe buy the DA*60-250 and we can swap at the summit?

QuoteOriginally posted by geedee Quote
Would be nice if you could post some more pictures of your trip. I'll be in Chile beginning of 2014 and Aconcagua was always on my mind for a long time. Let's just meet for a mate at the summit in February ;-)
Chile is GREAT. Are you going to Torres del Paine? Donīt leave your tripod behind..
Here are some more photos of the "summit atack" and, in case we miss each other at Aconcagua, hereīs the mate Iīm having rigth now.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
WT19a  Photo 
06-14-2013, 12:22 PM   #11
Pentaxian
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cottbus (Berlin)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,738
Original Poster
Vallecitos Summit attack

1. View of the "Cuesta del Portezuelo", where the path splits: to the left, cerro "El Plata" and to the right, "Vallecitos". 7am (started at 4am in the dark), the moon is setting.
2. Arrived to "Cuesta del Portezuelo", facing the final stretch and the summit of "vallecitos". 11am
3. On the way to the summit, looking to the left fo the path. You can see the Aconcagua on the background. 13hs
We would arrive to the summit at 14,30hs
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
06-14-2013, 01:48 PM   #12
Senior Member
romeck's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Piekary Śląskie
Photos: Albums
Posts: 156
QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Control layout: ...
Thanks for the "picture-worth-1000-words"!
06-14-2013, 04:05 PM   #13
Pentaxian
carrrlangas's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cottbus (Berlin)
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,738
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by romeck Quote
Thanks for the "picture-worth-1000-words"!
haha, you are mostly welcome
06-14-2013, 05:42 PM   #14
Veteran Member
treebeard's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Windham, NH
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 795
QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
1. View of the "Cuesta del Portezuelo", where the path splits: to the left, cerro "El Plata" and to the right, "Vallecitos". 7am (started at 4am in the dark), the moon is setting.
2. Arrived to "Cuesta del Portezuelo", facing the final stretch and the summit of "vallecitos". 11am
3. On the way to the summit, looking to the left fo the path. You can see the Aconcagua on the background. 13hs
We would arrive to the summit at 14,30hs
Wow, what a view on the last one!
06-15-2013, 01:07 AM   #15
Site Supporter
geedee's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Berlin / Freiburg / On the road
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 99
QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Maybe buy the DA*60-250 and we can swap at the summit?
Haha, nice try Pancho, I already got the 55-300, after lifting up a brick like the da 16-50 I'll surely abstain from taking the 60-250 with me, even though I'm well informed about it's quality.

Already went to Torres some years ago (2003) then still with the ME Super. Suppose I won't be going there this time since some mountains in Chile and Argentina are on my list and also got some work to do in Santiago.



Salud!
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
da*16-50, da16-50, da18-55wr, focus, k-mount, layout, lens, level, pentax lens, size, slr lens, viewfinder, weight
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fungus in my DA* 16-50mm & DA* 50-135mm davidt Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 32 03-01-2012 04:46 PM
Urgent opinion...is my 16-50 faulty? manowar1978 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11 06-01-2011 03:00 PM
help... second opinion on my 16-50? yenemy Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 01-07-2009 02:34 AM
Last minute thoughts on a DA*16-50 gkopeliadis Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 17 05-12-2008 01:56 AM
please - your thoughts on this DA* 16-50 (large img) tlfaust Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 04-23-2008 05:34 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:48 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top