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11-27-2013, 10:29 PM   #16
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Check out my DA* 16-50 images on Flickr. I personally find it to be a great lens. If you want to see a very large PEF or DNG or JPEG PM me. I'll find one that stresses the lens a bit.

QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
I swear I have posted responses a couple of times now, and they have disappeared never to be seen again.



As I mentioned above, the key thing I'm curious about is image quality.



At this point I was looking specifically at the Pentax brand, because there's a current discount. From what I understand, the IQ of the DA 18-135 and DA 17-70 aren't as good as the DA 16-45 even though a bit of extra focal length on the long end would be nice. So of the lenses you've mentioned, I guess I'm curious about comparing the IQ of the DA 16-45, DA 20-40 and DA*16-50. If a longer range zoom really has IQ as good or better than the DA 16-45 I'd be interested, but I don't think such a beast exists.


11-27-2013, 10:40 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
If you confine yourself to starting at 16mm or wider, then there isn't anything that I know of. But the 20-40mm comparison really doesn't matter, because the focal length is so much longer at the short end, it's a completely different category of lens.
Given the lenses I listed in the text you quoted, it's odd that you presume that the lens has to start at 16mm, but I have to say that having the 35mm equivalent of a 24mm lens has been really helpful when travelling. A 28mm field of view often isn't quite wide enough. The DA 20-40 equates to 30-60mm which is close to 28-50 or a wide to "standard" field of view. It's possibly a bit of a narrow range, but if the IQ is so much better than the 16-45 I'd consider it. Anyway, from what you're saying, you don't believe that the DA*16-50 doesn't have better IQ than the DA 16-45? I'd rather carry two lenses when travelling, and the 16-45 zoom is a really useful range. In practice when travelling it's the lens that I have used the most, and only put the DA 55-300 zoom on when I needed the long end of the focal length. I haven't found the range between 55-250 necessary most of the time.
11-28-2013, 03:17 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
I really like the 16-45 and am on my 4th copy. I've tried several 18-55s as well as two 18-135 and Sigma's 17-70 and 18-50 (both f/2.8-4.5). While I find the 16-45 to be my favorite of the bunch, the 18-55WR is almost as good* and the WR makes it irresistible to me.
Interesting that you say the 18-55WR is almost as good. I have one, and to be honest I've never tried it out. I agree, WR on the 16-45 would be nice - I have been nervous many times when using it in rainy conditions.

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
If you like your 16-45, why consider changing it? Hypothetical reasons : not fast enough, focal range too short, no WR. Apart from that I don't see why it should be replaced. I don't own it but by all accounts it's a fine lens. On that range the 16-50, Tamron 17-50, Sigma 17-70 are all great choice with comparable IQ to the 16-45. The 18-135 has better range and WR but IQ is not as good. A few prices to supplement your 16-45 could be a good idea. The 40 is a great idea but only if you like that focal, length. My personal primes kit is made of the 21, 40 and 100 macro WR. Those three make a killer combo and cover most situations well. I'd like to have the 70 but would rarely use it honestly.
I'm considering changing it only because there may be a lens with better IQ in the same sort of focal length range. The idea of the 40mm pancake was simply as an easy to carry prime lens for situations where I wanted some extra IQ and the focal length suited. Having looked at some reviews, it seems that the DA 17-70 gets the most points for IQ in this sort of range. Sadly, the DA 17-70 is not a WR lens, but I think I can live with that, since the 16-45 is not WR anyway. The thing is - I could get the DA 17-70 and the DA 40 limited for the same price as the DA*17-50.

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
The DA*16-50 is a brilliant lens. Yes, I have have had a couple of copies experience SDM failures, but now my remaining one is converted to screw drive I need never worry again. It is my most used event lens and is a total joy. Some recent output:
I have to say that your examples are really impressive!

QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I use my 18-135 more often now, but I haven't sold my 16-45. It's too useful indoors and anywhere I don't need a lot of reach. It's always been reliable and accurate. Don't let the low cost dissuade you, it's a nice lens. Granted, I haven't played with any of the 17-70 lenses.
I like the 16-45. I've got lots of great photos out of it. My main complaint is that in the last year or so, it seems to have issues with focussing at infinity which it didn't have when new. I was surprised when I read a review that said there wasn't much improvement between the kit lens and the 16-45, but I suspect that the kit lens they were talking about was the Pentax one, not the Sigma sold in Australia as a kit lens, which is very ordinary indeed. When I first changed from the Sigma to the DA 16-45 it was like buying a whole new camera! The diference in IQ blew me away.


QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I have an early DA* 16-50. I bought it in 2007. It has not yet failed. It is, for myself, the lens for walkabout. The constant f/2.8 aperture - it doesn't get slower at longer lengths where you need the fast aperture even more - the Image Quality is plenty good, and can approach superb after using DxO software to correct the flaws without any user input. The SDM problems were statistically worse with the early SDM lenses (My 50-135 was one and I am now using the plebian 55-300), but not all of them were bad by a long shot. My personal take is that Pentax lenses have a "look" to them that is unique, and I really like all my lenses to have controls that turn in the same direction for the same effect. I have tried Sigma lenses but most of their lenses turn in Canon directions rather than Pentax/Nikon directions. Many years ago a professional photographer stated that the only reason to buy a lens that was not made by the camera manufacturer was because the camera manufacturer did not make the lens you absolutely had to have. One old phart's opinion. See Dave (Dadipentax) signature for disclaimer.
Thanks for your input! You certainly have some nice images from the DA*16-50. Can I ask which piece of DxO software you're referring to? They have several.

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
DA*16-50 is a very good lens. And most likely would be rated much higher if it were not for the "it has SDM so I'm giving it a 2 rating" reviews. If you go through the reviews and discount the SDM complaints it moves up quite a bit. Not trying to downplay the SDM issues, many people have suffered through multiple failures. I would not buy a used one but if mine was stolen today I would buy a new one tomorrow. It is by far my most used lens, and I have way too many lenses. That said, it is big and heavy and while I use it in the studio and when flexibility is important if I'm carrying the camera all day I tend to leave the DA*16-50 off if I can.
I have a Promaster lens which has the equivalent of SDM and it seems much faster to focus than any of my Pentax lenses. However, it doesn't have the colour or contrast quality of even the DA 55-300. The weight of the DA*16-50 may be a consideration because I already want to carry the DA*300 which is much heavier than the DA 55-300.

QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
Yes, there are better lenses, but better in what way? What do you need that the 16-45 isn't giving you? WR? Silent focusing? Greater zoom range? More resolution? Better microcontrast? Better color rendition? Faster aperture. It was most noticeable in prints, which just didn't have the same visual impact. So I purchased the FA 20-35 as an upgrade. There are many other lens that, like the FA 20-35, are better, at least in some ways, than the 16-45. For WR, there's not only the 16-50, but the new DA 20-40 and the DA 18-135. Both Sigma and Tamron, along with Pentax, offer faster, f2.8 standard zooms. Pentax offers four standard zooms with focus moters: the DA 18-135, the DA 17-70, the DA 20-40, and the DA*16-50. While none of these alternatives are likely to offer significant more resolution (the DA 16-45 is pretty good in that respect), some of them (at least the Pentax star and limited options) will likely give you images that have bit more contrast and "pop."
Thanks! The 20-35 and 20-40 have pretty narrow zoom ranges, which is a nuisance when I'm trying to minimise the number of lenses I carry when travelling. It's mostly IQ I'm looking for, but as a result of this discussion I'm thinking that the DA 17-70 might be a good compromise - a wider zoom range, at least on the long end, and apparently better IQ, with the faster, quieter SDM AF. But... looking at the user reviews here on PF, it seems to have AF issues, and perhaps the Sigma 17-70 is better... *sigh*

Last edited by RobG; 11-28-2013 at 03:30 AM.
11-28-2013, 03:18 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Check out my DA* 16-50 images on Flickr. I personally find it to be a great lens. If you want to see a very large PEF or DNG or JPEG PM me. I'll find one that stresses the lens a bit.
Thanks for your input - your photos certainly show that technical reviews aren't everything and using a lens in practice in some ways counts for more.

11-28-2013, 04:15 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
I like the 16-45. I've got lots of great photos out of it. My main complaint is that in the last year or so, it seems to have issues with focussing at infinity which it didn't have when new
I bought my 16-45 used, on my K-x it didn't want to focus at all up to 20mm, on my K-30 it's much better, but very soft in the corners. The barrel have a few mm play, especially at the wide end. On what I've found around the web, it seems as if this is a problem the 16-45's develop with age, the front barrel drops a bit when extended at the wide end, causing a problem with lens alignment, leading to infinity focus problems and very soft corners. The work around, is a thick rubber band . Once you've acquired range and focus, slide the rubber band on the front barrel, till it stops against the lens body, lifting the sagging barrel, unfortunately that interferes with AF....from 20/24-45, no problems.

I've got the 18-55 DA L and WR, and there is no way either one gets near the 16-45 as far as IQ goes..
11-28-2013, 04:28 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by altopiet Quote
I bought my 16-45 used, on my K-x it didn't want to focus at all up to 20mm, on my K-30 it's much better, but very soft in the corners. The barrel have a few mm play, especially at the wide end. On what I've found around the web, it seems as if this is a problem the 16-45's develop with age, the front barrel drops a bit when extended at the wide end, causing a problem with lens alignment, leading to infinity focus problems and very soft corners. The work around, is a thick rubber band . Once you've acquired range and focus, slide the rubber band on the front barrel, till it stops against the lens body, lifting the sagging barrel, unfortunately that interferes with AF....from 20/24-45, no problems. I've got the 18-55 DA L and WR, and there is no way either one gets near the 16-45 as far as IQ goes..
Thanks for this! Maybe my best option is to buy a new copy of the DA 16-45 since it's only $250! I certainly haven't had issues as serious as those you describe. I've been wondering if I should send the DA 16-45 to CRK for servicing, but I don't know if that would be worthwhile with a new copy so cheap. By the time I pay for freight and the actual service, I'd probably be paying very close to the price of a new one.
11-28-2013, 05:49 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
I'm considering changing it only because there may be a lens with better IQ in the same sort of focal length range. The idea of the 40mm pancake was simply as an easy to carry prime lens for situations where I wanted some extra IQ and the focal length suited. Having looked at some reviews, it seems that the DA 17-70 gets the most points for IQ in this sort of range. Sadly, the DA 17-70 is not a WR lens, but I think I can live with that, since the 16-45 is not WR anyway. The thing is - I could get the DA 17-70 and the DA 40 limited for the same price as the DA*17-50.
If you're considering upgrading to a 17-70 lens, I urge you to look at the Sigma 17-70, it is a better all-around package than the Pentax version. The Pentax is fine, just not as good. The DA*16-50 is a different beast, bigger, less reach, faster at 50mm, WR.
11-28-2013, 06:11 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
If you're considering upgrading to a 17-70 lens, I urge you to look at the Sigma 17-70, it is a better all-around package than the Pentax version. The Pentax is fine, just not as good. The DA*16-50 is a different beast, bigger, less reach, faster at 50mm, WR.
Thanks! I presume you mean the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4? Hmmm... two Sigma options to compare; 17-50 f2.8 and 17-70 f2.8-4. Strange - the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is cheaper than the Sigma.

Edit - I have just ended up buying a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 because I found it for AUD$322 delivered, while the Sigma was going to be at least $200 more. From the comparison on this site (linked earlier in this thread), the Tamron is in some ways optically better than the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 but perhaps the build quality isn't as good. Anyway, for the price I figured it was worth a try, because I was contemplating getting another copy of the DA 16-45 which would have been 2/3 of the price of the Tamron - and I already own a copy.


Last edited by RobG; 11-29-2013 at 03:02 AM. Reason: update
11-29-2013, 06:02 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Thanks! I presume you mean the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4? Hmmm... two Sigma options to compare; 17-50 f2.8 and 17-70 f2.8-4. Strange - the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is cheaper than the Sigma.
for the record, the Tamron is regarded by most as being better optically. It is probably the best choice on the market (for 17-50mm), regardless of the brand, except if you want special features like WR.

QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Edit - I have just ended up buying a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 because I found it for AUD$322 delivered, while the Sigma was going to be at least $200 more. From the comparison on this site (linked earlier in this thread), the Tamron is in some ways optically better than the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 but perhaps the build quality isn't as good. Anyway, for the price I figured it was worth a try, because I was contemplating getting another copy of the DA 16-45 which would have been 2/3 of the price of the Tamron - and I already own a copy.
Wow, that is a great deal. You made a good choice and if for whatever reason you are not happy with the lens, you can resell it for nearly the same price.
11-29-2013, 02:41 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
for the record, the Tamron is regarded by most as being better optically. It is probably the best choice on the market (for 17-50mm), regardless of the brand, except if you want special features like WR.
Thanks! That's what it looked like from the reviews, and what I was looking for was IQ, so hopefully I'll like what I chose. Of course there's more to IQ than sharpness, but the Tamron rated well on plenty of things other than simply sharpness. Some people have reported inconsistent results, so I'm hoping I get a good copy and don't have to exchange it.

QuoteQuote:
Wow, that is a great deal. You made a good choice and if for whatever reason you are not happy with the lens, you can resell it for nearly the same price.
And it's from a store I've used before. I have a feeling that the DA*300 won't get delivered before I go on holiday which could be a problem, but if I get the Tamron before I leave, at least I'll have one new lens to use. Fingers crossed that CRK can get the DA*300 delivered as well!
11-30-2013, 09:55 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
If you're considering upgrading to a 17-70 lens, I urge you to look at the Sigma 17-70, it is a better all-around package than the Pentax version. The Pentax is fine, just not as good. The DA*16-50 is a different beast, bigger, less reach, faster at 50mm, WR.
I used Sigma 17-70/2 0.8 to 4, 5 and 17-70/2 0.8 to 4 and finally stayed happy with the Pentax 17-70/4, Pentax has a beautiful color and the constant quality of sharpness throughout the range as and width (center-angles) which is not the case with the sigma-especially at the wide end, sigma has other advantages if you are a important faster shutter 17 to 22mm f2, 8 and cheaper than the Pentax, I bought second hand DA 17 -70/4 one year old and I had already used three and a half years and I had no problems with the SDM, who needs that range and to whom is sufficient aperture f4 I recommend the Pentax DA17-70/4

Last edited by mbukal; 11-30-2013 at 10:23 AM.
11-30-2013, 11:44 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by altopiet Quote
I bought my 16-45 used, on my K-x it didn't want to focus at all up to 20mm, on my K-30 it's much better, but very soft in the corners. The barrel have a few mm play, especially at the wide end. On what I've found around the web, it seems as if this is a problem the 16-45's develop with age, the front barrel drops a bit when extended at the wide end, causing a problem with lens alignment, leading to infinity focus problems and very soft corners. The work around, is a thick rubber band . Once you've acquired range and focus, slide the rubber band on the front barrel, till it stops against the lens body, lifting the sagging barrel, unfortunately that interferes with AF....from 20/24-45, no problems.

I've got the 18-55 DA L and WR, and there is no way either one gets near the 16-45 as far as IQ goes..
My 16-45 suffers from this - I'm not sure to what extent age/use is a factor, or whether there are just a (large) number of poor quality 16-45s.

However I think the rubber band idea is very dangerous, unless you commit to manual-focus-only with all lenses. It's too easy to forget the rubber band and/or autofocus setting, and damage the screw drive mechanism. I believe there have been some posts about people who've had the wobble repaired, but I'm not sure at what cost, or what the before/after wobble measurements are. If we knew what Pentax considers acceptable wobble, exactly in thousands of an inch (mm, whatever), that would make me more confident in sending it for repairs. It would be discouraging to pay money only to hear it's "within tolerance."
11-30-2013, 12:02 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Given the lenses I listed in the text you quoted, it's odd that you presume that the lens has to start at 16mm, but I have to say that having the 35mm equivalent of a 24mm lens has been really helpful when travelling. A 28mm field of view often isn't quite wide enough. The DA 20-40 equates to 30-60mm which is close to 28-50 or a wide to "standard" field of view. It's possibly a bit of a narrow range, but if the IQ is so much better than the 16-45 I'd consider it. Anyway, from what you're saying, you don't believe that the DA*16-50 doesn't have better IQ than the DA 16-45? I'd rather carry two lenses when travelling, and the 16-45 zoom is a really useful range. In practice when travelling it's the lens that I have used the most, and only put the DA 55-300 zoom on when I needed the long end of the focal length. I haven't found the range between 55-250 necessary most of the time.
I worded the reply poorly, but all I was saying was that including the 20-40 is almost like saying that if a 90mm macro has better image quality, you'd go with that. 16 is just so much different from 20mm. Just 1mm makes a lot of difference at the wide end, so in that sense even a 16 is an advantage vs. a 17mm (unless of course you have something else covering the range.) If I didn't have a 10-20mm, I'd be reluctant to swap a (repaired) 16-45mm for the 17-50 tamron, for example - assuming there's actually 1mm of difference, other than on the label.

I have no experience with the 16-50 pentax. Regarding the tamron, image quality with that and a non-defective 16-45 are both good by my standards, except of course for the stunning focus field curvature the tamron has at the wide end (definitely not suitable for photographing a wall, for example.)
11-30-2013, 01:25 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
I really like the 16-45 and am on my 4th copy. I've tried several 18-55s as well as two 18-135 and Sigma's 17-70 and 18-50 (both f/2.8-4.5). While I find the 16-45 to be my favorite of the bunch, the 18-55WR is almost as good* and the WR makes it irresistible to me. Stop me if you've heard this one: if only the 16-45 were WR -sigh- The 16-50 is excellent optically though heavier than I'd like, and I've never tried the Tamron 17-50.

* yes yes, distortion and a bit of vignetting, it's the rendering and versatility that I like.
I have two copies of the 16-45. Both are soft. One was sharp for a while and went soft after a short period of time. Why have you gone through 4 copies? The same issue? I love the rendering and output of this lens when it is sharp, but the build quality just seems awful! Both copies of mine have significant play in the barrel. I just got my k-5 back from CRIS, so I will be sending in one of my copies soon so CRIS can fix it and maybe I'll do that with the 2nd so I can have a backup again. I'm just really reluctant to keep throwing money at this lens if its going to be unusable 6 months after I fix it. I know that some people have said that it provided years of service, but is that on the camera all the time, every day? I also carry my camera constantly, so my lenses tend to take some abuse. I think the only solution is to eventually save up and get a 16-50, which should have better build quality.
11-30-2013, 03:22 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by mbukal Quote
I used Sigma 17-70/2 0.8 to 4, 5 and 17-70/2 0.8 to 4 and finally stayed happy with the Pentax 17-70/4, Pentax has a beautiful color and the constant quality of sharpness throughout the range as and width (center-angles) which is not the case with the sigma-especially at the wide end
Very interesting! The only first hand experience I have of the difference between a Sigma and a Pentax lens is between the kit Sigma lens and the Pentax DA 16-45.

QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I believe there have been some posts about people who've had the wobble repaired, but I'm not sure at what cost, or what the before/after wobble measurements are. If we knew what Pentax considers acceptable wobble, exactly in thousands of an inch (mm, whatever), that would make me more confident in sending it for repairs. It would be discouraging to pay money only to hear it's "within tolerance."
Agreed - I was also thinking that with the last of the new DA16-45 lenses selling new for $250, the cost of repair plus freight might not be much different.

QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I worded the reply poorly, but all I was saying was that including the 20-40 is almost like saying that if a 90mm macro has better image quality, you'd go with that.
Not really, since the zoom range of the 20-40 is at least within the range of the 16-45 and it's not a prime. The thing is, if the 20-40 doesn't have significantly better IQ, why does it exist other than to add WR?

QuoteQuote:
16 is just so much different from 20mm. Just 1mm makes a lot of difference at the wide end, so in that sense even a 16 is an advantage vs. a 17mm (unless of course you have something else covering the range.) If I didn't have a 10-20mm, I'd be reluctant to swap a (repaired) 16-45mm for the 17-50 tamron, for example - assuming there's actually 1mm of difference, other than on the label.
And as I said early on, I'd miss having a lens with the equivalent of a 24mm field of view, but I'd be prepared to consider it if the gain in IQ made it worthwhile. Yes I could carry a 12-24 as well as something in the 16-50 range but frankly there's few scenes that I wanted to capture that required the 12-15mm part of the field of view.

QuoteQuote:
I have no experience with the 16-50 pentax. Regarding the tamron, image quality with that and a non-defective 16-45 are both good by my standards, except of course for the stunning focus field curvature the tamron has at the wide end (definitely not suitable for photographing a wall, for example.)
Good to know.

QuoteOriginally posted by zosxavius Quote
I have two copies of the 16-45. Both are soft...I know that some people have said that it provided years of service, but is that on the camera all the time, every day? I also carry my camera constantly, so my lenses tend to take some abuse. I think the only solution is to eventually save up and get a 16-50, which should have better build quality.
I haven't tested mine in detail, but in my case the issue seems to be finding correct AF at infinity. I don't think it's less sharp in general than it used to be, and there's a bit of play in the barrel. I have used the lens a great deal over the last four years. When travelling, I've had this lens on the camera most of the time, on rare occasions swapping it for the 55-300. At home, I tend to use the 55-300 more, but that's because I'm usually trying to photograph birds and animals. For general photos (interior, landscape, architecture) I use the 16-45. Given the amount of use it's seen and being lugged around in the backback for four years, a bit of wear and tear is unsurprising. Sorry to hear that you've had a bad experience. You may be right about the 16-50 and certainly the build quality is said to be great, although the optical performance doesn't seem up to DA* standard compared to the other lenses in the star range (according to reviews). I'm wondering though, if the DA 16-45 is discontinued, will Ricoh bring out a replacement? The replacement is likely to be WR, which would be nice to have. It's interesting that Pentax chose not to address the optical shortcomings of the DA*16-50.
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