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04-20-2008, 05:09 PM   #1
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img from DA*16-50/2.8, is it "okay"? Or, return for repair?

This is one of the first images taken with my DA*16-50/2.8 lens, and one of the reasons that I'm not totally satisfied with my purchase. The first image is a sized down full-frame snap. Subject matter is not important, but for those curious, it was snapped as an illustration to demonstrate what contour lines on a U.S.G.S. topographical quadrangle look like in real life. The second image is a full resolution extract of the area outlined in red in the first image.

Is this acceptable? Or, am I expecting too much from this lens? Is it a candidate for return for repair? Thank you for your opinions.

Too late to return to store for refund or exchange, it would have to go directly back to Pentax. Also crossposted to dpreview, as not everyone here monitors there too.

lens at 16mm, f/2.8, 1/1000s, ISO 100

Image #1, sized down full frame

Image #2, full resolution extract of area outlined in red in the above image

04-20-2008, 05:51 PM   #2
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Okay, so that's a wide open shot. What's your focus point? If you focus in the middle of the frame, the outlined area is obviously not in the same focus plane.
04-20-2008, 06:38 PM   #3
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Do a newspaper test to really figure it out, though that already looks kind of strange to me.
Also, do yourself a favor and stop down when taking landscape photos, unless this was just a test. It makes it much easier to get eeevverrything in focus.
04-20-2008, 06:45 PM   #4
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Agreed with concensus, especially if you're focused near to or at infinity at that f-stop - the foreground _should_ be out of focus.

04-21-2008, 01:18 PM   #5
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You are all correct, of course. Focus point was at infinity, and the foreground should be out of focus. And, I should have shot at f/8 or f/11. However, I often use my lenses at f/2.8, especially for indoor flashless shots and in low-light situations, such as high school gymnasiums.

What I'm objecting to is the quality of the bokeh. It's downright ugly! Not what one would expect from a * lens. No problems with any other Pentax lens I own. The 50-135 produces fantastic bokeh. Even the cheap Zenitar has better bokeh. But this thing...yuch!

That's all. Otherwise, I like this lens.
04-21-2008, 01:34 PM   #6
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that is some ugly bokeh
do you have other examples of bad bokeh from this lens?
most lenses don't do well with branches and thin lines
04-21-2008, 02:37 PM   #7
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it's a pretty ugly subject, so I'd kinda expect ugly bokeh. You have any "real world" shots that show ugly bokeh?
04-21-2008, 03:25 PM   #8
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It is hard to do well with bokeh against a background filled with branches, dry grasses and alike.

Da* 16-50 is a winner on bokeh as high contrast and creamier than some pentax primes. However, it does have double contour harsh bokeh at times.

04-22-2008, 09:34 AM   #9
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Also remember that this lens' absolute worse performance is at 16mm, wide open! By all means, do step it down at 16mm!!!! If you are serious about wide angle photography, I highly recommend you get the DA12-24, which is absolutely stellar at, and around, 16mm, especially considering the reasonable price.

04-23-2008, 05:59 AM   #10
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I agree with Hudsong, you should do a formal newspaper test.
04-24-2008, 11:30 AM   #11
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if it still looks like that on newsppaper, send it in, its worth getting it checked...

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