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05-27-2015, 05:32 AM   #1
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DA* 16-50 or DA 16-85mm

I have just bought a K-S2 to serve as a replacement for my K-01 and also long term run as my backup camera as I plan to get the FF early next year.

I will be looking for a standard zoom to pair with this as I currently only have a FA20-35 for walk around use, I would like something with a wider range that could be paired with the K-S2 as a single lens combo that would go with my on my 'lightweight' pack which currently has a Sigma DP1X and DP3M rather than the main bag with the MZ-S (Future FF) and all the other lenses.

I like the idea of having a WR lens to match the K-S2, so I can have a separate kit that can go with me anywhere.

That rules out the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 and 17-70 'C' lens, as well as the Tamron offerings. I had looked at the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 and although it looks good value around 400 S/H its very Big/Heavy and not WR, other than that it would be ideal if slightly limited range.
I have ruled out the Pentax 18-55 WR and 18-135 WR as I would like something solid/well built. There is the DA 20-40mm Limited which has WR too but again, little limited with my experience with the FA20-35, its also quite expensive at 600+.
I had a play with the new DA 18-50mm HD WR when I demoed the K-S2 but I did not like the action/build although AF was very snappy.

I have narrowed it down to the DA* 16-50mm f2.8 and DA 16-85mm HD f3.5-4.5.
The DA* is around 400 S/H and the DA is 499 new right now.

Having seen the photozone.de review, the DA looks very sharp and all round very good. Its a little lighter and smaller than the DA* obviously at the cost of the wider aperture and slightly better build.
The DA* also has a 77mm filter thread which is handy as I also have some expensive 77mm filters in a 10-Stop ND and CPL left over from my DA14.

I have seen plenty of posts that people say the DA* is better than the reviews say (and plenty of SDM failure) but has anyone compared the two directly?

05-27-2015, 06:15 AM   #2
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I would suggest the 16-85mm if you are looking for a general walk around lens. I just ordered one for my KS-2. I also own the 16-50mm but I generally canny an extra lens when I use it. The 16-85 should produce just as good images with fewer lens changes but it is slower.
05-27-2015, 06:36 AM   #3
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My point is, that if to have a brick, better it was a fast brick
So I have DA*16-50 and DA 18 - 135.
Heie did a comparison on the lens review section.

A.
05-27-2015, 06:46 AM - 1 Like   #4
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There is another big review between 18-135, 16-50, and 16-85 that I've seen but I cannot remember just where... it included a lot of images from each. Might be worth your searching for it..

That said, why don't you think the 18-135 is solidly built in comparison to the 16-50? I own both and think both are pretty solid. The 16-50 is heavier due to its f/2.8 aperture throughout it's range. But that doesn't make it inherently more solidly built. They both seem to be made of the same type of plastic.

Oddly enough I was pondering whether to sell both and get a 16-85 just due to less lens swaps. Still pondering that myself.

05-27-2015, 08:02 AM   #5
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I'm sure you know this, but just to be sure, none of these are full frame compatible. I only mention it as you said you're moving to FF later.

That said, if you're truly looking for an all-in-one lens for APSC, you might consider picking up a 2nd hand DA 18-250. That was my travel lens for years before I finally gave it, along with my K10, to my niece. IQ won't be quite what hte others are, but it's still very good, particularly below 200mm. It's not WR, but I never had an issue shooting mine in almost anything other than actual rain (which I never tried).
05-27-2015, 08:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
There is another big review between 18-135, 16-50, and 16-85 that I've seen but I cannot remember just where... it included a lot of images from each. Might be worth your searching for it..

That said, why don't you think the 18-135 is solidly built in comparison to the 16-50? I own both and think both are pretty solid. The 16-50 is heavier due to its f/2.8 aperture throughout it's range. But that doesn't make it inherently more solidly built. They both seem to be made of the same type of plastic.

Oddly enough I was pondering whether to sell both and get a 16-85 just due to less lens swaps. Still pondering that myself.
Hmmmmm.....I wonder if trading the 16-50 & 50-135 for the new 16-85 would be wise as a single travel lens.
05-27-2015, 08:59 AM - 1 Like   #7
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As a general rule.. comparing a DA to a DA* is generally an apples to oranges comparison. In the DA* you are paying double the price for ƒ2.8. If you don't want the ƒ2.8 it doesn't make any sense. If you do want the ƒ2.8 the 16-85 doesn't make any sense.
05-27-2015, 09:29 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
I'm sure you know this, but just to be sure, none of these are full frame compatible. I only mention it as you said you're moving to FF later.

That said, if you're truly looking for an all-in-one lens for APSC, you might consider picking up a 2nd hand DA 18-250. That was my travel lens for years before I finally gave it, along with my K10, to my niece. IQ won't be quite what hte others are, but it's still very good, particularly below 200mm. It's not WR, but I never had an issue shooting mine in almost anything other than actual rain (which I never tried).
Hi Yes, I realise that both are APS-C only, with the K-S2 I plan to use it as my main camera until I get the FF, then this will be moved to replace my Sigma Cameras as a 'compact' system, hopefully just the single lens to cover most of my shooting.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
As a general rule.. comparing a DA to a DA* is generally an apples to oranges comparison. In the DA* you are paying double the price for 2.8. If you don't want the 2.8 it doesn't make any sense. If you do want the 2.8 the 16-85 doesn't make any sense.
This was the dilemma as there are the DA* for ~400 used (some with SDM repair/replacement already) compared to the DA which is ~499. I believe the DA* is 599 new here.

05-27-2015, 09:38 AM   #9
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You can probably overcome a lot of low light situations with a slower lens using higher ISO so the big thing the 16-50 gives with its speed is limited DOF. Do you like to shoot with a shallow DOF? If so then 16-50 is your lens. But it is big and heavy and I don't take it with me sometimes because of that.

I like my 18-135 for going light and having WR. With both that lens and the 16-50 I don't see much reason to get the 16-85. But I still longingly look at the 20-40 from time to time. I love my Limited primes and a WR Limited zoom would be nice.

Last edited by mattb123; 05-27-2015 at 10:22 AM.
05-27-2015, 10:10 AM   #10
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Thats what attracts me to the DA* 16-50, I do like to shoot portraits (admitadly with a FA43, K85 and now FA135) so it would be usefull to have the ability for nice bokeh although if its not usable wide open then there is little point.
05-27-2015, 10:14 AM   #11
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My 18-135mm lens was practically cemented onto my K5... until I picked up a used DA*16-50 that is... Now guess which one is my default mounted lens? yup... Da*

For general all purpose lens I wanted WR (those are my first 2 WR lenses)

I like having F2.8 available... I guess I'm in the camp of the 16-50 is under-rated - new it's overpriced, but used it is a pretty nice lens.
05-27-2015, 10:23 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mholford Quote
My 18-135mm lens was practically cemented onto my K5... until I picked up a used DA*16-50 that is... Now guess which one is my default mounted lens? yup... Da*

For general all purpose lens I wanted WR (those are my first 2 WR lenses)

I like having F2.8 available... I guess I'm in the camp of the 16-50 is under-rated - new it's overpriced, but used it is a pretty nice lens.
I think that's the issue most of us have with a 16-50, it's price. to match the range of my $500 DA 18-135 I'd have to pay almost $2500. Couldn't I just have a DA* 18-135 ƒ2.8-ƒ4 for $1499? Would there be something seriously wrong with that?
05-27-2015, 12:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoopsontoast Quote
Thats what attracts me to the DA* 16-50, I do like to shoot portraits (admitadly with a FA43, K85 and now FA135) so it would be usefull to have the ability for nice bokeh although if its not usable wide open then there is little point.
I use mine wide open at the long end for portraits and it's fine. If that's the goal then it should work as you won't be doing shallow DoF shots at 16mm.
05-27-2015, 12:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
I use mine wide open at the long end for portraits and it's fine. If that's the goal then it should work as you won't be doing shallow DoF shots at 16mm.
yeah its only really portraits i shoot wide open, most other stuff is all landscape and stopped down anyway.
05-27-2015, 12:21 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Hmmmmm.....I wonder if trading the 16-50 & 50-135 for the new 16-85 would be wise as a single travel lens.
I just ordered the 16-85 today and plan to use it for travel. Hoping that it will be wide enough so that I can leave the 12-24mm home. I found that sometimes the 18-135 is not wide enough and can get kind of ugly at the edges. Especially when your main subject is not centered. Time will tell whether or not the 16-85 will be enough. I could also carry the 55-300 with it for a pretty light two lens kit.
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