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11-09-2013, 03:43 PM   #1
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pentax da 16-45 vs 16-50 da* for K5?

hello all,

Any thoughts, opinions on da 16-45 against 16-50 da * for K5?
I understand that the da 16-45 is out of production, but I can still get it used. A professional advised me not to get the 16-50 da* due to CA at all focal length, poor value and not as practical. The 16-45 seems to be sharps with great value, light, but I read that on K5, the lens doesn't show its full sharpness and remains somewhat disappointing.
Depending on which camera, lenses seem to perform differently.
Please give your opinions.
Thank you.

11-09-2013, 04:06 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by gf1 Quote
A professional advised me not to get the 16-50 da* due to CA at all focal length, poor value and not as practical.
Hmmm, well everyone is entitled to an opinion. DA*16-50 is my most used lens, I've sold more images taken with it than anything else. I don't recall ever seeing any CA when using it, but that's just me. It certainly has it's detractors, but if you eliminate all the reviews that say "I hate this lens because it is SDM" then it ranks very high. Some say it is soft in the corners, has some distortion at 16mm and is expensive, which is all true. It is also heavy. But if mine disappeared tomorrow, I would order a new one on Monday.

I've never used the DA 16-45 but it is supposed to be also quite good, but I don't think it is in the same class as the 16-50, it is f/4 for one thing.

Here are the lens reviews:
SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4 Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Either will do a nice job, depends on whether you have the budget for the 16-50 and can carry the weight. 16-45 is much lighter and much less expensive.

Just MHO, YMMV
11-09-2013, 04:42 PM   #3
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I never used a 16-45 but I would have considered it if I couldnīt afford the 16-50. Main difference I predict is that 16-50 is very very sharp by f/4 at every focal length, while 16-45 would be "wide open" and wonīt have a chance to compare... After that, Iīd look at how many aperture blades the 16-45 has against 9 in the 16-50.
11-09-2013, 07:19 PM   #4
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The 16-45 will show CA too. It should win on value because it's way cheaper. I think I saw a test showing the 16-45 has less distortion than the 16-50 at the wide end. CA and distortion are often fixable in processing. Eight aperture blades and screw drive.

If I had the money, I'd buy a 16-50 and an extended warranty.

11-10-2013, 12:57 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gf1 Quote
hello all,

Any thoughts, opinions on da 16-45 against 16-50 da * for K5?
I understand that the da 16-45 is out of production, but I can still get it used. A professional advised me not to get the 16-50 da* due to CA at all focal length, poor value and not as practical. The 16-45 seems to be sharps with great value, light, but I read that on K5, the lens doesn't show its full sharpness and remains somewhat disappointing.
Depending on which camera, lenses seem to perform differently.
Please give your opinions.
Thank you.
I have the DA 16-45. It is a surprisingly good lens. Maybe the best value in the Pentax world.

But, I don't believe it is in the same class as the DA* 16-50. The DA* is 2-3 times more expensive, and the build quality and optics reflect this.
11-10-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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People always seem to complain about the distortion at 16mm on the DA* 16-50. First of all, which wide angle zoom doesn't exhibit some sort of linear distortion at the wide end, except perhaps the DA 12-24? And also, when does linear distortion matter unless you're photographing architecture? If that's your main subject, then either resolve to quickly correct this distortion in Lightroom, etc. or else buy a different lens. If it's not, then this lens is perfect for photographing everything else.

That said, I briefly debated buying the 16-45 versus the 16-50 but chose the latter because, far more often than not, you get what you pay for with optics. I have absolutely no regrets that I took the time to save up for the better lens: faster max. aperture, weather sealing, extra 5mm, silent AF, better build quality. But for you, what you wish to spend depends on what you consider important to have in a lens.
11-11-2013, 02:30 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your feedbacks, that helps with decision making. I have to say I might stay away from the 16-50 and go for the 16-45 because of SDM possible issue and questionable QC. I feel like the 16-50 is a little bit like a gamble: good copy translates to incredible lens but bad copy...? The other thing is, weight. I'll be traveling, the 16-45 might be more practical. Although if I pick the 16-45, I probably miss the f 2.8, WR and build quality.
Decision, decision...
11-11-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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WR is over rated, build on 16-45 is good (Iīve hold one before) you can have small f/2.8 primes even manual 35mm 50mm 28mm 24mm

11-11-2013, 03:26 PM   #9
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16-50

my is at service, waiting for parts (forever?), got another to use.
11-11-2013, 03:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
WR is over rated, build on 16-45 is good (Iīve hold one before) you can have small f/2.8 primes even manual 35mm 50mm 28mm 24mm
What if someone wants to actually autofocus AND not carry 4-5 lenses?
11-11-2013, 03:51 PM   #11
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I got the 16-45 to replace the 18-55WR kit on my K-5, and it is noticeably better as far as sharpness and distortion are concerned. F4 max aperture is no hardship when balanced against the rest of its performance - I've stopped using my primes for anything except very low-light work, as from f7.1 on, the 16-45 output is pretty much indistinguishable. Build is OK, and it feels really well-balanced on the K-5.

If people are having trouble with the 16-45 on a K-5, it's important to remember to calibrate the lens focusing. Once that's done, there should be be few issues. Also remember to use the supplied lens hood, it does make a difference.

The combination turns out pictures with the classic Pentax depth of colour.
11-11-2013, 03:57 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
What if someone wants to actually autofocus AND not carry 4-5 lenses?
I meant that having f/4 in the wide 16-24 range is enough.. if you need bigger apertures in longer FL, you can complement the lens with 24 28 35 40 or 50mm primes even manual ones.
Itīs all about trade offs and compromises... Depends on each task, instant conditions and personal choice.
Budget is tight? need AF, fast glass in normal range? Tamron 17-50 for U$300 used.. But WR is a must? use a plastic bag and elastic bands or the like.
Find it cumbersome or ugly or whatever? will the 18-55WR do? and so on..

I love 16-50 for studio and back packing but no way I am lugging that thing arround a city or park, etc.
11-13-2013, 11:08 AM   #13
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I have the 16-45, and find it is quite good wide open except right at 16mm when you really need to go down one stop. If you are shooting RAW, you absolutely have to apply CA correction - easy to do and will almost totally eliminate the problem. If you don't like the lens for any reason, they are easy to sell used. I don't agree that the build is very good, but I am rough on lenses and it hasn't gotten worse in several years of steady use.

If you don't want to do post-processing then I would recommend looking at the alternatives - Sigma or Tamron 17-50s at f/2.8. I'm not about to say one or the other is better. Tamron might be bit a sharper and smaller, but has a severe field curvature issue (might or might not be a real concern); the Sigma might be better in the corners and build is more solid. Take a look at the solid comparison I believe Adam did here in the reviews section - that included the Pentax 16-50...
11-14-2013, 12:16 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by microlight Quote
I got the 16-45 to replace the 18-55WR kit on my K-5, and it is noticeably better as far as sharpness and distortion are concerned. F4 max aperture is no hardship when balanced against the rest of its performance - I've stopped using my primes for anything except very low-light work, as from f7.1 on, the 16-45 output is pretty much indistinguishable. Build is OK, and it feels really well-balanced on the K-5.

If people are having trouble with the 16-45 on a K-5, it's important to remember to calibrate the lens focusing. Once that's done, there should be be few issues. Also remember to use the supplied lens hood, it does make a difference.

The combination turns out pictures with the classic Pentax depth of colour.
Agree completely. I'm not a pro, but I replaced a DA15 and WR 18-55 with a DA16-45 to raise money to upgrade to a K-5 and I'm not disappointed.
11-14-2013, 04:17 PM   #15
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After reading more of your comments, I might take the plunge, and lean toward the 16-50. Might think I'm crazy given the 16-50 bad reputation (SDM, reviews..) but pictures look so sharp with this lens. Still scared by reliability though. What has been your experience?
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