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11-30-2013, 11:03 AM   #16
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I had a tamron, now i have 16-50 and pentax is simply better, that is my personal opinion and i can't land any proof but i think that no mater what review sites sad.

11-30-2013, 11:06 AM   #17
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People love to bash this lens, but it is really pretty good. Not many lenses out there give you 16mm on the wide end and a f2.8 constant zoom. The lens keeps good center sharpness, even wide open, although I generally do shoot at f4 to keep borders sharp. Weather sealing is nice to have as well.

The two weaknesses are size (f2.8 lenses are big) and flare resistance (which is not great). That said, it is a bread and butter zoom range and I am not convinced that any zooms in this range are either small or particularly flare resistant. Sigmas have gotten better, but they still flare nicely when shooting into the sun. You just don't get DA 15 limited type flare resistance when you have a pound of glass between you and the sun...







I just feel a thread without photos (when discussing a lens) is somewhat wasted. Good photography (I'm not there yet) is figuring out what your lenses weaknesses are and avoiding them. I don't shoot with the 16-50 the same way that I do with a DA 15, but I usually find that it doesn't let me down when I am shooting with it.
11-30-2013, 11:07 AM   #18
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I just ordered a 16-50 to replace my v1 kit lens 2 days ago as soon as the black friday deal went up. I knew full well about the drawbacks of this lens. But the rendering and build quality are really what drew me to it. I was tired of the cheap, wobbly feeling of my 18-55 and knew that a Tamron 17-50 was sharper, but almost everyone says it feels very cheap, and not to mention there are serious issues with back/front focusing quality control. The Sigma 17-50 was also on the list but the flare, lack of WR, and reverse zoom/focus rings again drew me away to the 16-50.

The way I approached it is that in the end, years down the road, I would have bought a 16-50 anyways because I've always wanted one. It's like buying an expensive Gibson guitar over a much cheaper Epiphone. Is the $2000 price difference worth it? Not really. The Gibson is only a tiny bit better. But you buy it anyways because you've always wanted one.

You have to be realistic when considering a lens purchase. Do you even need corner/border sharpness at f/2.8? Unless your focused subject is directly on the edge of the frame, chances are they're going to be filled with bokeh anyways. If you're shooting landscape you might as well stop down to f/8 where this lens is pretty sharp across the frame.

Considering I post process all my photos in lightroom I figure I'll be able to fix most CA that appears. I won't be doing much shooting at the 16mm end (where this lens is known for fairly bad CA) since I have a 15mm limited so I am not worried about that. However if this is going to be your only lens I can see why that could be a problem.

All in all, if you can find one new or used for $850 or under (make sure it has the newer SDM motor though), I'd go for it over the Tamron/Sigma variants. Or if that's too steep of a price, go for the Sigma. It's sharper and more contrasty and has significantly better build and quality control over the Tamron.

Last edited by NitroDC; 11-30-2013 at 11:15 AM.
11-30-2013, 11:29 AM   #19
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I don't have the lens. With landscapes as a main interest, I thought that f4 was fast enough and I did not need the motor - thus the 16-45 was just fine and is smaller/lighter. Why I am posting, is that the lens was co-designed with Tokina, and I have always wondered if Tokina had the same/similar problems. This time I actually went out and looked around a bit.

Tokina discontinued their version about 2 years ago. I saw a number of references that the 16-50 to folks was somewhat of a disappointment in terms of softness versus their experience with Tokina's 12-24 (another co-design with Pentax). The general feeling of the Canon / Nikon folks was that the Tamron 17-50/2.8 was a much better lens all around.

There seems to be two camps - folks who have it, like it, and have had no problems with it. The others are folks who had it, found weak performance by f/2.8 and at 50 mm focal length, enormous chromatic aberration at 16 mm, high vignetting, noticeable coma, sold it and went to Tamron.

It appears that of the set of lenses co-designed with Tokina [10-17, 12-24, 16-50, 50-135] (plus Tokina took the 12-24 and leveraged the design into the very successful 11-16), the 16-50 was the most problematic of the group.

Also, and I think that this was to be expected, I found very few problem posts with Tokina's lens motors. It appears that the motor problem is somewhat isolated to Pentax. I did find some references to Nikon lens motor faults. It was also interesting to find that the initial version of the 11-16 was screw-drive, with the second version having the focus motor added.



11-30-2013, 11:38 AM   #20
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I ordered the black Friday Pentax 16-50 when it was first posted. It took me a while to choose between Pentax, Sigma, or Tamron.

Based on sample images and reviews the Pentax is less sharp than the Sigma or Tamron at f2.8, but by f4 the difference starts fading. If sharpness is ultra important I will be on a tripod at f8, anyway. The Sigma and Tamron are sharper and less costly. The Pentax is slightly wider angle and WR.

Worst case, if the 16-50 is as bad as the negative reviews instead of good like the positive reviews, B&H has a generous return policy.
11-30-2013, 11:54 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by gf1 Quote
Can you explain more about the "pentax cachet"? Is it about color rendition, contrast?
Yes, I can see the argument about longevity and solidity of the lens.
How much process work need to be done with pictures taken with 16-50? Is that because of the notorious CA?

Thank you
Pentax cachet is the look of classic Pentax lenses. There is a look to the images produced that is unique to Pentax. It may be that I am used to Pentax images, having bought my first Pentax in 1961, but the images seem to have a balance between punch and colour rendition that is a cut above.

As to post processing, I use DxO. I have a coffee or a beer or two while DxO does its thing. This can take quite a while on my elderly laptop. I export to Lightroom and do my final cropping there. I only shoot RAW unless I need to pop out JPEG images for friends and family immediately when I use RAW+. From someone who has images on Kodachrome 10, I have never understood the JPEG mentality. If everything is perfect in camera, just as good. That's most of the time, of course. However, that irreplaceable image that is 1.5 stops overexposed screams for RAW. I use PEF and export DNG from DxO so I can filter before/after DxO quickly by the image extension.

Last edited by Canada_Rockies; 11-30-2013 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Added Post Processing comments
11-30-2013, 12:08 PM   #22
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why da 16-50?

Someone mentioned "make sure you get one with the new motor". As far as I'm concerned there is no way to know which lens has which motor. It's all speculation.

All we know is:
A) newer SDM lenses "seem" to fail less frequently.
B) some Pentax engineer made an unofficial comment about lenses made since Date X having a revised motor.

This assertion remains unconfirmed until someone disassembles two variations of the same SDM lens and show a difference in powertrains.

Last edited by krebsy75; 11-30-2013 at 12:22 PM.
11-30-2013, 12:19 PM   #23
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I suspect this lens is a no-no for pixel peepers. Having said that, it's a relevant photographic tool for many people.

Buy one and try it out for yourself. Extend the warranty for piece of mind. Take advantage of the current Black Friday special.

QuoteQuote:
There seems to be two camps - folks who have it, like it, and have had no problems with it. The others are folks who had it, found weak performance by f/2.8 and at 50 mm focal length, enormous chromatic aberration at 16 mm, high vignetting, noticeable coma, sold it and went to Tamron.


11-30-2013, 12:42 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
Someone mentioned "make sure you get one with the new motor". As far as I'm concerned there is no way to know which lens has which motor. It's all speculation.
*Assuming* there is a new motor, look for newly manufactured lenses. If it says Ricoh it probably has the latest tweaks while older stock lenses that have Hoya or some other brand on them might be an older design. The lack of clarity on this, either confirming an improvement or debunking rumors, will make me err on the side of caution and return my 16-50 if the sample I receive is older stock.
11-30-2013, 12:44 PM   #25
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For me, it was the easiest lens to shoot with. Good zoom range with 2.8 throughout and wr means I can shoot it in any situation. When I got home, the colors and contrast from that lens are basically near-perfect straight out of camera, so I save myself quite a lot of time in PP. I've had the tamron and 4 different fast sigma zooms, none of them offer the same ease of use over the Pentax.
11-30-2013, 12:50 PM   #26
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What DeadJohn said.
11-30-2013, 01:54 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
I suspect this lens is a no-no for pixel peepers. Having said that, it's a relevant photographic tool for many people.

Buy one and try it out for yourself. Extend the warranty for piece of mind. Take advantage of the current Black Friday special.
I don't know. I think it is a good lens. I will qualify that by saying that when I shoot landscapes, I stop down to f8 and so most of my shots in the 16 to 20mm range are stopped down. I don't usually bother with the lens correction stuff, but it is a quick click to fix things in Lightroom if you want...

I think it got a ton of bad press when first released for a combination of decentering issues and also for SDM issues. I've said for a long time that Pentax should release a second version of it (maybe an HD version), with some tweaked optics and a DC motor. Then maybe people would actually try it. But for now, it is pretty hopeless. I like it and still hesitate to recommend it because of all the smoke around its "problems."
11-30-2013, 02:37 PM   #28
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Mine needed two trips back to Pentax in its first two months (decentering and SDM) but since then no probs. Very nice, strong Pentax look to shots straight out of camera. Really not much cop at f2.8 but OK by f4. Would I buy again? Nope. The new Sigma 17-70mm sounds fine for walkaround (except for WR). And the price of the Pentax lens is a bit silly now where I live - up 42 per cent since I bought my copy only 18 months or so ago. It's more expensive here than some WR Nikon FF zooms like the 16-35mm or 24-120mm.
11-30-2013, 07:22 PM   #29
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I'm sold on WR (less likely to get dusty in the long run), solid build (less likely to get damaged), picture quality (will have to learn the lens and its "sweet spot"), consistency. I'll cross my fingers with the SDM, but will try to get an extended warranty. Like any lens, hope I'll get a good copy.
Thanks all for your help.
12-01-2013, 08:54 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by gf1 Quote
I'm sold on WR (less likely to get dusty in the long run), solid build (less likely to get damaged), picture quality (will have to learn the lens and its "sweet spot"), consistency. I'll cross my fingers with the SDM, but will try to get an extended warranty. Like any lens, hope I'll get a good copy.
Thanks all for your help.
Hope you (and I) get a good copy. I ordered one yesterday , after thinking about it for a day after the Black Friday special pricing was announced. This order was in spite of the fact I had once returned two copies something like 4 years ago for problems.
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