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06-01-2008, 10:05 PM   #1
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Want to buy the best.

A dilemna I am facing....(and I think many others are also).

I really need to buy a good wide angle (yes we have had this conversation before) and I think the DA* 16-50 is the best way to go because:
1. 16mm is wide (enough).
2. f2.8 is highly desirable if not essential.
3. weather sealing is important to me.
4. I want the best quality.

SO? how do I ensure I get a good copy given that to buy one here in Australia is going to cost $1100 (+/-) where as B&H will land one here for around $700 aud.

Can I trust B&H (or Adorama) to send me one that has been tested and not one that has been returned. I'll even go a step further if someone can guarantee me a good one I'll order it on the spot.

now for the "how" bit.
Cheers.
Grant

06-01-2008, 10:18 PM   #2
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I just sent back a DA* 16-50 for a refund. IMO save your money and look for something else. After having the DA*16-50 I was not impressed as I thought I was going to be, and that is before I ran into the decentering problem.

I have done a lot of reading the last couple of days about the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 and the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 I have decided to go with the Tamron. According to reviews I have read, it is quite good in all mounts.

As I mentioned in another thread, the other thing I didn't like about the 16-50 is the small zoom ring. It was less comfortable zooming than other lenses that have a much larger zoom ring, and smaller focus ring.

Finally, after owning the lens, I disagree that the 16-50 is the best quality. As other people on this forum have pointed out, the "*" designation on Pentax lenses in the digital world seems now only to mean sealed, and USM. Not necessarily the high build quality it used to mean.

To me the only thing that the DA* 16-50 has going for it is the sealing, and the way I feel right now, I wouldn't even trust that.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 06-01-2008 at 10:26 PM.
06-01-2008, 10:30 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
I just sent back a DA* 16-50 for a refund. IMO save your money and look for something else. After having the DA*16-50 I was not impressed as I thought I was going to be, and that is before I ran into the decentering problem.

I have done a lot of reading the last couple of days about the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 and the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 I have decided to go with the Tamron. According to reviews I have read, it is quite good in all mounts.

As I mentioned in another thread, the other thing I didn't like about the 16-50 is the small zoom ring. It was less comfortable zooming than other lenses that have a much larger zoom ring, and smaller focus ring.

Finally, after owning the lens, I disagree that the 16-50 is the best quality. As other people on this forum have pointed out, the "*" designation on Pentax lenses in the digital world seems now only to mean sealed, and USM. Not necessarily the high build quality it used to mean.
I have been following your posts very closely, both here & else where and its fair to say your findings have motivated me to ask this question. I too have been looking hard at the tammy 17-50, but I really do want to stay the Pentax path.

The quality looks to be there if you get a good one, many people have borne testimony to that.

Lets see if anyone is prepared to pick up the bait.......hheellllooooooo Pentax....I know your listening.

Cheers.
06-01-2008, 10:38 PM   #4
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Understood. I am just wondering how much of the Pentax path is becoming Tokina (DA* lenses) and Tamron (18-250) or is it the other way around?

06-02-2008, 12:57 AM   #5
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I am very happy with mine, which I bought from a guy in the states via these forums. That said, I don't know how to get a 'good copy' brand new other than trial and error, which is obviously a lot easier a process if you buy locally. I wonder how many good copies are being used world wide and how many decentred lenses are out there.

For me the reasons for the pentax over the sigma or tamron were

1) 16 is noticeably wider than 17. Less of an issue if you have another specialist lens for wide stuff, but i don't. Yet.
2) Weather seals.
3) Quick focus or what ever it is called. I can't believe people don't talk about this more... it's awesome. Flicking the lens/camera into and out of auto focus every time is a hassle.
06-02-2008, 02:18 AM   #6
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I got the Sigma 18-50 EX DC MACRO. Sent two lemons back before I got a good one. And when I say good I mean acceptable for the cash paid for it.

And in turn acceptable means, it has no flaws that will show in the photos, that I care about. But it do have some factory made scratches like this. This scratch goes almost around the whole front lens, but it doesnt impact on image quality so I decided enough is enough and kept it.

To think that you are safer with other brands is false. You will get lemons there aswell, you still have to be "hoping" to get a good copy.

EDIT: Yes, its really deep in some places.
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06-02-2008, 03:25 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
A dilemna I am facing....(and I think many others are also).

I really need to buy a good wide angle (yes we have had this conversation before) and I think the DA* 16-50 is the best way to go because:
1. 16mm is wide (enough).
2. f2.8 is highly desirable if not essential.
3. weather sealing is important to me.
4. I want the best quality.

SO? how do I ensure I get a good copy given that to buy one here in Australia is going to cost $1100 (+/-) where as B&H will land one here for around $700 aud.

Can I trust B&H (or Adorama) to send me one that has been tested and not one that has been returned. I'll even go a step further if someone can guarantee me a good one I'll order it on the spot.

now for the "how" bit.
Cheers.
Grant
Dear Grant

At Adorama, we get all our merchandise directly from the manufacturer and ship it out the same way we receive it. Any item returned to us by a customer gets returned to manufacturer for new replacement.

If you have any other concerns or queries, please don't hesitate to contact me directly: helen.oster@adoramacamera.com.

Sincerely

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Ambassador
06-02-2008, 03:58 AM   #8
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Original Poster
Thank you Helen,
I am impressed that you should see fit to respond.

Email sent.
Cheers
Grant

06-02-2008, 03:59 AM   #9
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I was in your situation very recently and was about --> <-- this close to buying the DA* 16-50mm

Reading and researching the lens, though, I simply don't feel like dealing with a potential hasssle with returns or repairs.

----

Someone mentioned the new Tamron 17-50mm and I did research on it. It's gotten very favorable reviews and is almost $300 less than the 16-50. I figure I can give up SDM and weather sealing and 1mm on the short end for $300, as they aren't that crucial to my shooting.

--------------

If you're saying weather sealing is important to you, then there's really no other path but to get the 16-50. For me, I think it was just a "bonus" that I wanted, but eventually I think I can live without.
06-02-2008, 04:58 AM   #10
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Tamron 17-50

This lens comes with a 6 year warranty. A good distributor, locally or internet, will replace it if you have any problems. The problem with the Pentax is even if you get a good copy there is the chance it might pop a seal after your 1 year warranty runs out. To much of a risk IMO.

Ken
06-02-2008, 05:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by regken Quote
This lens comes with a 6 year warranty. A good distributor, locally or internet, will replace it if you have any problems. The problem with the Pentax is even if you get a good copy there is the chance it might pop a seal after your 1 year warranty runs out. To much of a risk IMO.

Ken
Yes, one year sealed and a possibility to get seals fixed is worse then no seal at all. Thats only logical.
06-02-2008, 06:13 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
Can I trust B&H ... to send me one that has been tested and not one that has been returned.
That's two questions and the answers are no and yes. We don't open each camera and lens box and test the contents. First, doing so would be prohibitively expensive and second, customers who want unopened factory-fresh packages would squawk. As to the other question -- we get new merchandise from Pentax and we ship the same to you.
06-02-2008, 06:34 AM   #13
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I guess if you want to buy that lens, you should do so in your local store where you can pick one up and test it on the spot with your camera, I am sure you can check if it is FF or BF with several shoot.
06-02-2008, 06:53 AM   #14
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Grant

I hear your calls - I too did the same thing, went though the same process - I had the luxury of going to a local shop that had 4 and tested them with my computer. The second one seemed good to me. I took it home ran several tests and had conflicting results - some were outstanding some not so much. I had 7 days to return it. I took some very sharp shots within those 7 days and decided it was user error in the tests I was not happy with.

I still have mixed results, so I am not 100% convinced it is a good copy. That said weather sealing and SDM was something I was looking for as well in that focal range. I figure worst case I send it back to Pentax (it comes with a 2 year warranty) and live without it for 4 - 6 weeks. On the flip side it has produced some very pleasing shots as well, so to date I am blaming the flaws on user error. And you have the K20D which from the unscientific results here , appears better suited to the DA* 16-50

There are no guarantees in life and this particular lens has had a bad rap, but on the flip side some very experienced photographers here covet this lens so when a good copy is had, it is good.

You have a tough call - I think you have to be prepared to test it (focus chart, tri-pod, Brick wall) immediately. You also have to be prepared for returns - I think there has been good luck lately with the newer models maybe at least B&H can give you a serial number (all that will confirm is if it is newer stock which does not mean much as review the DA* SERIAL number thread good / bad copies are all over the place).

I have heard great things about the Sigma 18-50 as well as the Tamron 17-50 , the latter has reports of issues as well on a Pentax mount (focus issues) but it is the nature of Internet forums to complain.

The bottom line on all this banter - I bought it because I knew I would regret at least not trying. Worst case is I send it back for repairs, I need to go out and test some more. No help whatsoever haha but just what I did in a similar situation
06-02-2008, 07:20 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
I was in your situation very recently and was about --> <-- this close to buying the DA* 16-50mm

Reading and researching the lens, though, I simply don't feel like dealing with a potential hasssle with returns or repairs.

Same situation right here... I need a replacement for my kit lens, and I can't close on one solution.


The DA* is a lot of dough for my budget to have headaches down the road...
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