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07-17-2013, 01:16 PM   #1
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Tried out a DA* 16-50

What should I look out for in a used lens?
I was looking at a DA* 16-50 yesterday at a used camera shop. I took some photos with my K5IIs. I also took similar photos using a SP 28-80mm that's not highly thought of 'round these parts. The DA functioned okay. I was surprised at the purple fringing. Maybe I could have lowered the ISO since the shutter was at the max of 1/8000; maybe it was at the verge of being blown out. The shots with the SP are at a different focal length, and slightly slower aperture (f/4).

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07-17-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
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Wow the SP looks better. What the heck is going on here?
07-17-2013, 02:25 PM   #3
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I rented one to use for a wedding a few months ago. Wasn't very impressed.

My Tamron 28-75 ended up getting used much more. Now that's a good lens, especially for the price.
07-17-2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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How you can actually compare two lenses at different apertures ? You should check them at the same apertures to have the least meaningful comparison. Also from these pictures it is quite hard to tell where the focus was spot on - this is another factor to consider that out of focus areas are likely have some sort of color aberrations at fully open aperture and this applies to virtually * any* lens.

07-17-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tighelander Quote
What should I look out for in a used lens?
Maybe I could have lowered the ISO since the shutter was at the max of 1/8000; maybe it was at the verge of being blown out. The shots with the SP are at a different focal length, and slightly slower aperture (f/4).
I think the first shot is blown out...certainly detail has been lost in over exposure.
Both shots were in Av...and by my maths shot 1 is at least +1.
Shot 1...f2.8, iso 400, 1/8000s
Shot 2...f4.0, iso 200, 1/4000s

This is not to say one lens is better than the other, just that the exposure is not equivalent between the shots.
Cheers
Dean
07-17-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
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Well both are at the widest aperture of each lens, and both are near the center of the frame.
The lens didn't look abused. It focused quickly and silently. I've read nothing but good reviews for the lens. I felt rushed when taking the photos, maybe it's some error on my part. I was expecting it to be much sharper than the SP since it's not only a Pentax, but a "digital" lens.
Maybe a better comparison would have been to use an auto-focus lens, like the old Pentax AF kit lens that I have, I think its the 28-80mm f/3.5 - 4.5
07-17-2013, 05:41 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dean Bradshaw Quote
I think the first shot is blown out...certainly detail has been lost in over exposure.
Both shots were in Av...and by my maths shot 1 is at least +1.
Shot 1...f2.8, iso 400, 1/8000s
Shot 2...f4.0, iso 200, 1/4000s

This is not to say one lens is better than the other, just that the exposure is not equivalent between the shots.
Cheers
Dean
Good point; I didn't think about the numbers like that.
07-17-2013, 07:17 PM   #8
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How's the SP perform at 2.8? I guess not at all. In low light, the DA16-50 will be a stop lower in ISO. Not a big deal at 200 vs 400, but a huge deal at 6400 vs 12800! That's when I want a large aperture lens. Either that, or I use the larger aperture for a shallower DOF. In this case, I'm usually focused pretty close. Again, not as possible on the slower lens.

In my experience, shooting at large apertures in bright light at medium or far distance delivers mediocre results. The focus could be anywhere, the DOF isn't what you expect it to be, there are a lot of internal reflections in the lens due to the larger aperture, contrast suffers and make the lens look soft. This, added to the fact that the shot is over exposed, lead me to recommend you ignore the results of the shot you posted. Lens designers don't expect you to take bright-light landscapes at f2.8, because that's an f11 shot, not an f2.8 shot.

Maybe take a friend along, go find some shade, and shoot a couple of portraits. Keep ISO the same. Use the hood. You should get a much better comparison. My guess is in the right lighting, with an appropriate subject for f2.8, you'll find it works much better.

07-17-2013, 07:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
Keep ISO the same. Use the hood. You should get a much better comparison.
It had the hood on it. Thanks for the advice. I think I'll go back, and try it out again on Friday.
07-25-2013, 08:12 PM   #10
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I've never been that impressed with my DA* 16-50 at f2.8, but it shines when stopped down a bit.

It's ok at f2.8, but nothing amazing, it's good to have that speed when you need it though.
07-25-2013, 09:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Maxington Quote
I've never been that impressed with my DA* 16-50 at f2.8, but it shines when stopped down a bit.
True. The lens is great at f/4. (Note: If you select MTF program line, the camera defaults f/4 as the sharpest aperture)

QuoteOriginally posted by Maxington Quote
It's ok at f2.8, but nothing amazing, it's good to have that speed when you need it though.
Well, at least you are always making use of the f/2.8 each time you look through the viewfinder. This also makes a difference in any other lighting than good.
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