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02-28-2015, 12:13 PM   #1
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HD DA 16-85mm vs DA* 16-50mm?

Hello Pentax friends,

I currently own the DA* 16-50mm. I have been really satisfied so far by the lens but I read in some instances that it was outresolved by the K-3 (my camera), having been designed in a time where only lower resolution sensors (with AA filters) were available. I noticed it in a few instances myself.

I have seen the release of the new HD DA 16-85mm lens and have read in this forum that it was designed for the K-3 sensor and should be a very sharp lens. Also the short review that is available in this forum HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database gives it a better sharpness rating than the DA* 16-50mm:
SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Being mostly a landscape photographer, I don't need the wide opening of the DA* and I have a few prime lenses for portrait that should still do the job. I also read that the AF in the new lens was better (although I never had to complain about the SDM in my DA* lens) and it is also about 100g lighter (good for my backpack...).

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts and experiences on these two lenses. I could probably get a good price for my DA* and swap it for that new one.

02-28-2015, 12:53 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Based on my tests, the 16-85mm also turned out to be sharper than the 16-50mm. It's a very good lens. The build quality isn't as good as the 16-50mm, but IMO it pulls ahead in most other areas.

Adam
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03-01-2015, 02:35 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Based on my tests, the 16-85mm also turned out to be sharper than the 16-50mm. It's a very good lens. The build quality isn't as good as the 16-50mm, but IMO it pulls ahead in most other areas.
Thanks Adam. That confirms my initial thoughts.
11-01-2019, 07:41 PM   #4
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In my opinion, from personal experience that is, 20-40mm > 16-50mm > > 16-85mm

I am quite certain of that now.

(Hoping that my late-2019 answer to this thread can still help someone new to such quandary!)

11-02-2019, 01:15 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marathonianbull Quote
In my opinion, from personal experience that is, 20-40mm > 16-50mm > > 16-85mm

I am quite certain of that now.

(Hoping that my late-2019 answer to this thread can still help someone new to such quandary!)
Which to a certain extent reflects the price differential between the three.
Iíve always personally thought the 20-40 focal range to be a bit of an odd one,not really wide enough at one end and only goes up to 40mm.You might just as well stick with a 30/35mm prime and do the minimal zooming involved with your feet.
11-02-2019, 06:39 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marathonianbull Quote
In my opinion, from personal experience that is, 20-40mm > 16-50mm > > 16-85mm
Unless you need the extra 1 to 2 stops of the 16-50mm
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