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11-15-2016, 04:57 AM   #1
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Pentax 16-85 or Sigma 17-50

I am struggling between Pentax 16-85 and Sigma 17-50 for my K5IIs, I read both of them have reputation of sharpness.
Seem not much comparison between these two.
I was planning to go for the 16-85 because of the WR, but zooming weather-sealed lens when it is wet can suck it water too.
It is not a internal focus, will focusing when wet counts as zoom too, and sucks in water?
The 17-50 is very tempting at the same time, if I need to cover them both in rain...
I really need some help on deciding which one to go for...
Thank you

11-15-2016, 05:32 AM - 1 Like   #2
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The Pentax is wr, you don't need to cover it up. It has internal focus, just not internal zoom. The zoom construction is weather sealed.
11-15-2016, 05:50 AM - 1 Like   #3
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If you need the weather sealing then I would go with the 16-85 if not then the Sigma would be my choice because it is a faster lens and has a constant aperture which is very nice. You can pair that with the Sigma 50-150 and you have a great range covered in f2.8.
11-15-2016, 05:53 AM - 1 Like   #4
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If WR is important to you, then the 16-85 is the only valid choice.

Otherwise, both are excellent lenses. The Sigma has a larger aperture and the Pentax has a longer range. The Sigma is an older design, so I would guess that the Pentax will probably focus faster (it certainly is very fast).

11-15-2016, 05:56 AM - 1 Like   #5
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You could even throw the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 in the mix And the Tamron 17-50.
11-15-2016, 07:15 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Sigma 17-50: Cheaper, Faster, Sharper, NO WR.
Pentax 16-85: More expensive, slower, WR.

Keep in mind, neither lens is a slouch.

If you plan on portrait work and want better subject separation, go with the Sigma. If you need Range and WR and have other lenses to cover portrait work, go with the Pentax.

Keep in mind, you could use a DA 35 or DA 50 to cover your main portrait needs and pair that with the 16-85
11-15-2016, 07:35 AM   #7
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Thank you everyone
I got the idea of no internal focus from forum review, glad to know it is a internal focus.
About the weather-sealed zoom construction, the air still need to go into or out from the lens.
Should I give it a wipe before zooming when I am in rain?

I got a 55-300HD to cover longer range, slower of course.

WR is convenience for most of the place I take photo with, think I just answered my own question...

Sigma 17-70 and Tamron came through my mind too, but my mind also saying more sharpness.

I have a DA 40Ltd and FA 35 f/2 for portrait, Love both of them, only want a zoom in case I can carry one or bad weather.

Thank you to everyone again, I guess I will go for the 16-85.
11-15-2016, 08:26 AM - 3 Likes   #8
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I have owned and used both lenses professionally, and here is my path as it should help illuminate some light on your decision. Right from the start, I want to apologize for not having any images embedded in this post as is my usual custom (for those familiar with my contributions here). I am in an austere environment and on a work computer, so no access to my Lightroom catalog (not to mention the bandwidth needed to upload imagery), however my website is Alex Jansen Photography | index and you can gauge my photography in a general manner there.

I originally had the DA* 16-50 and sung it's praises for many years. You may have seen me as the one that buried my own copy of the lens (and other bodies/lenses) in a sandbag in Afghanistan. I used the 16-50 for about 3 years before trading it for the Sigma 17-50 as I stopped being in such extreme conditions - I relocated from Germany and being a military public affairs officer to being a student as my career path had changed. I am now in my alternate career field and find a need for austere photographic gear, but I'll touch on that in a minute.

I traded for the 17-50 because I was doing events (i.e. weddings) and I had long heard of the IQ benefits over the DA* 16-50. I decided to give it a try, especially since I secured a copy of the Sigma for about $275 and sold my DA* 16-50 for over twice that. The rumors, speculation, lore, what-have you are absolutely correct - the Sigma 17-50 is UNDENIABLY the better optic. In literally every regard. The ONLY thing that the Pentax has over it is the name brand (if that's important to you) and tank-like construction. Otherwise, literally everything else (AF, price, IQ throughout the range, CA-control, etc.) just embarrasses that of the DA*. And that's tough for me to say because I was one of its staunchest advocates for a long time. The real disappointment, however, is the realization that I should have made the switch sooner.

The one caveat to the above, however, is if you are a landscape photographer only shooting between F5.6-9 because in that range, I've never had a landscape lens make an image POP the way the DA* 16-50 does. There's something truly magical about its rendering, and I have to give that credit to where it is deserved. The Sigma is similarly sharp and crisp, but its rendering is a bit more "clinical" rather than "full of pixie-dust" as some Pentaxians have come to expect name brand lenses.

Then after about 18 months I sold the Sigma because I had a deployment coming up and there were rumors it was not going to be behind a desk...

I acquired the 16-85 as a replacement for my standard lens on my K-3 (the only crop camera I have now despite also owning/having lots of experience with the K-7, K-5, K-30, K-50, and K-5 IIs), and it has be the dominant lens on my camera since arriving to where I am. I also brought my Pentax 10-17, Samyang 24, DA* 55, DFA 100 WR, and DA* 60-250, but the 16-85 has really been the dominant lens on my camera until recently when I procured a K-1 and 28-105. Despite owning the 28-105, I find myself using the 16-85 on the K-3 because I have the DA* 55 glued to my K-1 - that combination is such other-worldly in FF mode. As such, that is my "dual wield" set-up when documenting whatever I encounter. The 28-105 is similar to the 16-85 in that it is compact, fast focusing, and very sharp and crisp across the frame. With either, I don't find myself missing the sharpness of the Sigma 17-50 however the aperture is certainly noticed.

I had to do it all over again, I'd get the Sigma 17-50 earlier and then decide very seriously if WR was really needed. If WR IS NOT needed for the crop sensor, the Sigma 17-50 is not only the best choice for a standard zoom but it is imo the only choice due to its price and features. Otherwise the 16-85 is a very close second and it's only "demise" is the aperture - IQ, especially in good daylight, will not leave you wanting.

-Heie

11-15-2016, 10:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
I have owned and used both lenses professionally, and here is my path as it should help illuminate some light on your decision. Right from the start, I want to apologize for not having any images embedded in this post as is my usual custom (for those familiar with my contributions here). I am in an austere environment and on a work computer, so no access to my Lightroom catalog (not to mention the bandwidth needed to upload imagery), however my website is Alex Jansen Photography | index and you can gauge my photography in a general manner there.

I originally had the DA* 16-50 and sung it's praises for many years. You may have seen me as the one that buried my own copy of the lens (and other bodies/lenses) in a sandbag in Afghanistan. I used the 16-50 for about 3 years before trading it for the Sigma 17-50 as I stopped being in such extreme conditions - I relocated from Germany and being a military public affairs officer to being a student as my career path had changed. I am now in my alternate career field and find a need for austere photographic gear, but I'll touch on that in a minute.

I traded for the 17-50 because I was doing events (i.e. weddings) and I had long heard of the IQ benefits over the DA* 16-50. I decided to give it a try, especially since I secured a copy of the Sigma for about $275 and sold my DA* 16-50 for over twice that. The rumors, speculation, lore, what-have you are absolutely correct - the Sigma 17-50 is UNDENIABLY the better optic. In literally every regard. The ONLY thing that the Pentax has over it is the name brand (if that's important to you) and tank-like construction. Otherwise, literally everything else (AF, price, IQ throughout the range, CA-control, etc.) just embarrasses that of the DA*. And that's tough for me to say because I was one of its staunchest advocates for a long time. The real disappointment, however, is the realization that I should have made the switch sooner.

The one caveat to the above, however, is if you are a landscape photographer only shooting between F5.6-9 because in that range, I've never had a landscape lens make an image POP the way the DA* 16-50 does. There's something truly magical about its rendering, and I have to give that credit to where it is deserved. The Sigma is similarly sharp and crisp, but its rendering is a bit more "clinical" rather than "full of pixie-dust" as some Pentaxians have come to expect name brand lenses.

Then after about 18 months I sold the Sigma because I had a deployment coming up and there were rumors it was not going to be behind a desk...

I acquired the 16-85 as a replacement for my standard lens on my K-3 (the only crop camera I have now despite also owning/having lots of experience with the K-7, K-5, K-30, K-50, and K-5 IIs), and it has be the dominant lens on my camera since arriving to where I am. I also brought my Pentax 10-17, Samyang 24, DA* 55, DFA 100 WR, and DA* 60-250, but the 16-85 has really been the dominant lens on my camera until recently when I procured a K-1 and 28-105. Despite owning the 28-105, I find myself using the 16-85 on the K-3 because I have the DA* 55 glued to my K-1 - that combination is such other-worldly in FF mode. As such, that is my "dual wield" set-up when documenting whatever I encounter. The 28-105 is similar to the 16-85 in that it is compact, fast focusing, and very sharp and crisp across the frame. With either, I don't find myself missing the sharpness of the Sigma 17-50 however the aperture is certainly noticed.

I had to do it all over again, I'd get the Sigma 17-50 earlier and then decide very seriously if WR was really needed. If WR IS NOT needed for the crop sensor, the Sigma 17-50 is not only the best choice for a standard zoom but it is imo the only choice due to its price and features. Otherwise the 16-85 is a very close second and it's only "demise" is the aperture - IQ, especially in good daylight, will not leave you wanting.

-Heie
Thank you for sharing your experience with me, very useful on making my choice.
Now just hope it will be on discount this Black Friday...
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