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10-29-2013, 08:05 PM   #1
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DA* 16-50: Quite impressed!

I couldn't justify buying this lens 5 years ago after buying my first Pentax, so it was a long wait before taking the plunge a couple of weeks ago. I'll admit that the SDM problems kept me away from it, but after reading about the Pentax tech who said the problems were supposed to be fixed with all 2012 and newer SDM lenses, I started to keep an eye out. To try to ensure a lens with good SDM, I decided to buy new and was pleasantly surprised to get an instant rebate at a Calgary retailer!

Anyhow, my observations so far. First of all, it focuses incredibly accurately on my K-5; very few "misses". Second, the SDM doesn't seem as "slow" as I thought it would be. In fact, it's faster than my 50-135 which I bought in January 2012 and thus might have the older version of the SDM, or perhaps this is just a difference between the lenses in general.

I guess I didn't have super-high expectations because of all the complaining about this lens, but the sharpness is what I'm the most impressed with, seeming to surpass my 50-135 and DA 35 Ltd, at least with respect to center sharpness.

So I couldn't help but post these findings because I've been more than impressed with this lens so far. If I ever do have an SDM issue, I'll certainly complain about it too, but the other pluses of this lens would make me more than happy to get the SDM repaired!

10-29-2013, 08:14 PM   #2
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Don't forget that you can convert it to work as a screw-drive lens if the SDM fails. It focuses just as fast and will never fail again.
10-29-2013, 08:17 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Don't forget that you can convert it to work as a screw-drive lens if the SDM fails. It focuses just as fast and will never fail again.
I think that is so cool, How the hell do you do that?
10-29-2013, 08:42 PM   #4
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There is a thread on that:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/208353-how-...m-f-2-8-a.html

10-29-2013, 08:44 PM   #5
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You hack into the lens' EEPROM file and manually edit it. You need an older camera body (I borrowed a friend's K10D).

Details HERE.
10-29-2013, 08:44 PM   #6
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I like the quietness of SDM, so I'm willing to sacrifice the tiny fraction of a second of speed for that quietness.
10-29-2013, 09:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoxatnep Quote
I like the quietness of SDM, so I'm willing to sacrifice the tiny fraction of a second of speed for that quietness.
Understandably so. The conversion is the route people tend to take when the SDM fails outside of warranty.
10-29-2013, 11:32 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoxatnep Quote
So I couldn't help but post these findings because I've been more than impressed with this lens so far.
I have had 2 DA*16-50's now, I broke the first one and insurance paid for the second.

I have similar experiences, and I am very pleased with this lens - it stays in my travel bag, and is a real go to lens for me.

I used to have a DA35Ltd, and it was certainly sharper than the DA*16-50, which is a different experience than you recorded

I too have read all the gripes about this lens - but it works for me, and I am very happy with it

10-30-2013, 01:34 AM   #9
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I have two of this lens as well.
One is still in service. SDM is not an issue, but I asked to replace anyway, since it needs to open up, clean and adjust.

Awesome lens.
forget about 3rd parties equivalents!
10-30-2013, 02:48 AM   #10
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The reputation of this lens has been tarnished by the SDM problems. These problems are definitely real, but may have been blown a bit out of proportion.
I have an early copy, and I am very pleased with it. The AF system has been repaired once, but this was thanks to the US Customs inspectors who dropped the lens when examining my luggage at an airport.
Most of the time I like the IQ it provides, the only exception being shots at f2,8 at 16mm. In the early days there obviously was a lot of variation in the optical quality. I quess those teething problems have been sorted out by now.
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