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11-30-2013, 03:35 PM   #31
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Did I miss something is there a technical review somewhere that says the 16-45 was the best lens out there? I must have missed it. Maybe I just couldn't get by the CA numbers on photo zone.

11-30-2013, 03:39 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
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.

I have tested both of mine in detail and something seems loose internally or the barrel. When I manual focus it to infinity at 16mm, it is hitting the stop. Even there I get really soft corners in the upper half. Unusably soft. If I flip either lens to portrait it looks awful in the upper half with a clear shift to out of focus. The photozone sample of the sign in portrait shows the same exact defect. The dpreview samples don't look much better. Yeah, I'm actually afraid to send it into CRIS and spend $200 or so and have it come back in not much better shape. If I had to do it all over again, I would have bought a new copy (which had gotten pricey when they first were discontinued) and played the sample variation game but this lens might just have some design flaws that maybe some people are more ok with than me. Some users have told me that they sent their versions into CRIS and they came back in good shape and that I shouldn't have as much play as my barrels are exhibiting. I don't find the widespread reports of problems with this lens all that encouraging though. That your copy hung around for 4 years is somewhat welcome to hear. I don't like the 17-70 as much and the 16-50 is kind of expensive for what it is IMO. If I'm going to spend money like that, I'd probably get the 20-40. The 12-24 gives me enough wide angle.

[edit] someone mentioned the kit lens? The kit lens is pretty decent at resolution. I have version 1, which may possibly be sharper at the 55mm end than version 2 seems to be, My copy has been vastly abused and now shows decentering at times, so it probably has a floppy element inside. When its aligning properly and at F11 its quite sharp across the whole frame at most focal lengths. Its not going to outresolve the 16-45, but its quite decent, especially in the center where it is actually sharper than the 16-45. Its main weaknesses are average color rendition and contrast. Even with decent post processing the pictures won't pop as much as say the 16-45. Its bokeh and OOF areas are not nearly as smooth or nice as the 16-45 as well. The 16-45 is pretty good in that regard with fairly pleasing rolloff into OOF. I love how close it focuses and it does fairly well with an extension tube and can give you 1:1 pretty easily with a 25mm tube. Yeah, maybe I should fix mine. They can be quite nice.

Last edited by zosxavius; 11-30-2013 at 03:46 PM.
11-30-2013, 03:50 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Did I miss something is there a technical review somewhere that says the 16-45 was the best lens out there? I must have missed it. Maybe I just couldn't get by the CA numbers on photo zone.
My question wasn't based on the premise that the DA 16-45 was the "best lens out there". It was based on the premise that I have one and was wondering if there's another lens which is better for the same purpose. I wasn't asking which Pentax lens is the best of all, which is a different question and to which I can't imagine a sensible answer. Interestingly though - articles I have read suggested that CA on the DA*16-50 is more of an issue than on the 16-45.
11-30-2013, 03:50 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Did I miss something is there a technical review somewhere that says the 16-45 was the best lens out there? I must have missed it. Maybe I just couldn't get by the CA numbers on photo zone.
The CA is a weakness, but its the type that is easily corrected in lightroom. The lens profile seems to erase 90%-100% of it, so not really an issue.

11-30-2013, 03:58 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by zosxavius Quote
The CA is a weakness, but its the type that is easily corrected in lightroom. The lens profile seems to erase 90%-100% of it, so not really an issue.
Yes and people also say you can do barrel distortion correction in software, since getting a Sigma 8-16 (barrel correction down to 12mm, you'll never convince me that software correction gives you as good an image as getting it right straight from the lens. I'm convinced that one of the reasons Sigma 8-16 images look so sharp compared to other WA images I've seen would be the fact that the glass corrects the CA and barrel distortion. I'd like to hear someone who has both an image taken with a corrected lens and one corrected in software side by side before I'd be likely to take that at face value. For myself, I wouldn't buy any Pentax lens for 16mm, or the 15 ltd, because as far as I can tell they all have serious barrel distortion, and less controlled CA.

Last edited by normhead; 11-30-2013 at 04:07 PM.
11-30-2013, 04:03 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by zosxavius Quote
Some users have told me that they sent their versions into CRIS and they came back in good shape and that I shouldn't have as much play as my barrels are exhibiting. I don't find the widespread reports of problems with this lens all that encouraging though. That your copy hung around for 4 years is somewhat welcome to hear. I don't like the 17-70 as much and the 16-50 is kind of expensive for what it is IMO. If I'm going to spend money like that, I'd probably get the 20-40. The 12-24 gives me enough wide angle.
When I get the Tamron lens, I'm bound to post some results in the forum. I'm quite interested to find out how I feel about the two lenses after actually using them, as opposed to reading reviews. If I had the 12-24, I might have gone for the 20-40 myself. I should add that I'm still using the 16-45!

QuoteQuote:
someone mentioned the kit lens?
I think someone mentioned that th Pentax kit lens came close to the 16-45, but thanks for your comments about things like the bokeh. In Australia, the "kit" lens is actually a Sigma and it's nowhere near the Pentax kit lens. The Pentax lens is also WR.
11-30-2013, 04:27 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
For myself, I wouldn't buy any Pentax lens for 16mm, or the 15 ltd, because as far as I can tell they all have serious barrel distortion, and less controlled CA.
Sorry, what?

The 15mm limited has almost no distortion at all. And CA is very well controlled.
11-30-2013, 06:08 PM   #38
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QuoteQuote:
The DA 15mm f/4 Ltd produces moderate barrel distortion (~1.5%) - this is comparatively low although you may spot the problem in very critical situations.
When I tested it, it must have been one of those critical situations.

It also has Chromatic aberrations of about .8, I generally look for .7 and under.

11-30-2013, 07:34 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
When I tested it, it must have been one of those critical situations. It also has Chromatic aberrations of about .8, I generally look for .7 and under.
Which just goes to prove that what is "acceptable" for one person isn't for another. Maybe I'm not picky enough about specifications.
12-04-2013, 04:49 AM   #40
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FWIW I should get the Tamron lens on Friday, so I'll be able to try it on the weekend.
12-04-2013, 07:17 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
FWIW I should get the Tamron lens on Friday, so I'll be able to try it on the weekend.
Let us know how it works out… I don't get to use this lens very often. Tess thinks it's hers…. I hate it when that happens.
12-04-2013, 02:31 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Let us know how it works out… I don't get to use this lens very often. Tess thinks it's hers…. I hate it when that happens.
I'm sure I'll be sharing some pics! If I get it tomorrow (Fedex hasn't updated the location since HK), I'll have time on the weekend to test it out a bit.
12-04-2013, 06:06 PM   #43
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You made the right choice. 16-45mm wasn't a bad lens, but it's main appeal was the 16mm and being affordable. I personally didn't find it that sharp, it's not bad but not great.
The Tamron on the other hand, subject to getting a good one and not having AF body issues is without question optically superior to the Sigma and the Pentax.
12-04-2013, 10:21 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Spocko Quote
You made the right choice. 16-45mm wasn't a bad lens, but it's main appeal was the 16mm and being affordable. I personally didn't find it that sharp, it's not bad but not great. The Tamron on the other hand, subject to getting a good one and not having AF body issues is without question optically superior to the Sigma and the Pentax.
Thanks! I'll test it thoroughly to establish whether it's OK or needs to be returned.
12-05-2013, 10:18 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Thanks! I'll test it thoroughly to establish whether it's OK or needs to be returned.
PS The lens arrived today, and it works. I'll need to figure out some focus tests for it on the weekend. I might have to dig out the US resolution chart.
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