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01-13-2018, 01:33 PM   #1
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DA 16-85 issues

Hey All,

I am just wondering how everybody feels about the 16-85 build quality? Are they generally good and I got a lemon? I have had one for a little over a year and it has been sent away three times now for repair. It had a problem with an internal screw coming loose twice and one time it was because I couldn't control the aperture. The last couple of times I have been out the aperture or electronics leading to it are wonky again. Even in manual I can't stop the lens from way over exposing. It will work in Green mode but that isn't much good to me, I need to be able to control the DoF and shutter.
Anyway I am getting frustrated and am ready to toss this lens but I don't know what to replace it with. Are they regarded as good quality and should I just buy another? I like the image quality and focal range but each time I go I out I can't rely on it.

I should add I use my equipment in pretty harsh areas, I live on the ocean in Atlantic Canada and the worst the weather the more chance I am out shooting. I was considering the Sigma 17-70 but I need the WR.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions

John

01-13-2018, 01:34 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Sorry to hear about your problems

I have had no problems with my DA 16 - 85

however, I have not subjected it to the " experiences " you relate
01-13-2018, 01:38 PM   #3
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Thanks, maybe mine was just a bad copy. If enough people comment and say they have not had any problems I will buy another. I really like everything about it other than the build quality.
01-13-2018, 01:40 PM - 1 Like   #4
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16-85 is regarded as good quality (both optically and mechanically), albeit several users reported problems with loose screws. Looks like your copy is a lemon:/

01-13-2018, 01:41 PM - 1 Like   #5
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have you looked at the reviews by users

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/hd-pentax-da-16-85mm-f35-56-ed-dc-wr.html

and the in depth review

HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

perhaps there might be something in those that could be helpful
01-13-2018, 02:27 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Could be a bad repair job the first time around causing trouble later on, perhaps. Any way you can get the lens exchanged?

Adam
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01-13-2018, 02:32 PM - 1 Like   #7
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The 16-85 is generally considered to be a very good lens, though we've had a few reports of issues with it, and I went through several new copies before giving up. I suspect I was just unlucky, but it was enough to make me look elsewhere, and I chose a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 instead (less versatile in focal length, and not WR, but fast constant aperture). The thing is, there's quite a lot going on in the 16-85 mechanically, so for a consumer / hobbyist-oriented lens, you'd expect a few failures and lemons, I think.
01-13-2018, 03:41 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I owned one in the past and never had any issues with the build quality. I take my gear into the outdoors and am often hiking with the camera out, exposed to the elements. That said, this lens didn't see that much use before I sold it because it was just too big and awkward to hike with. I eventually replaced it with a DA 20-40 Ltd WR, and it's a lot more compact, but you lose A LOT of reach on either end. The 16-85mm focal length range is a very useful one. If I were you, I'd give the lens another shot. Get it repaired, sell it, and use the proceeds to buy a new one with a new warranty. You could have just gotten a lemon.

01-13-2018, 05:13 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Had mine two and a half years and used extensively in varied climates and conditions including sub zero ski trips and extended travelling in the tropics and have always been very pleased with its results and no operational problems or defects.
01-13-2018, 06:30 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I carry the 16-85mm on my sailboat every day in the summer in Newfoundland. That can certainly be harsh. No problems to date. It is my favorite lens for normal ranges and landscapes. I use the 55-300 PLM for wildlife.
01-13-2018, 07:18 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I've not had any problems with mine. The only loose screw is me. You must have gotten a bad copy.
01-14-2018, 05:49 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgnfld Quote
I carry the 16-85mm on my sailboat every day in the summer in Newfoundland. That can certainly be harsh. No problems to date. It is my favorite lens for normal ranges and landscapes. I use the 55-300 PLM for wildlife.
I use to hang over the side of my sailboat shooting pics of waves hitting the boat. That was with my old K10, for some reason I don't feel the newer Pentaxes are as rugged.

Btw I just bought another boat to use here in Lunenburg/Mahone Bay this summer
01-14-2018, 11:02 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Hi John, welcome to Pentax and this forum. It would be of interest to learn what subject matter you like to shoot most and also which camera body (ies) you use with this lens. Unfortunately, there have been more than average quality-control complaints cropping up with the otherwise fine DA 16-85mm lens. Here are alternatives, some of which are costly, but offer other advantages. One is the DFA 24-70mm f/2.8 WR, which offers very high image quality, an even more robust pro-style build, and of course the fast, f/2.8 constant aperture for low-light, fast action, and reduced depth-of-field uses. 24mm still provides moderate wide angle for APS-C cameras, which the DA 16-85mm is designed for. But the lens is larger and heavier due to having such a wide aperture capability. Unfortunately, a wide-angle complementary lens offering WR would be a likewise large, heavy, expensive lens, the DFA 15-30mm f/2.8, which is very costly. However, if you don't need WR for wide angle use, there is the very fine DA 12-24mm f/4.

The closest all-around, versatile lens to the DA 16-85mm having WR is the yet more compact DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 DC WR where you trade some wide angle for a lot more reach. Its build quality is excellent, and only in edge sharpness does it trail the DA 16-85mm model. Its central-area sharpness, however is excellent throughout its zoom range. Its AF is very fast and sure, and quality control issues with it seem to be very rare. For aperture speed, it can keep to f/4-4.5 all the way out to 70mm, which is pretty decent. Someone here has posted having software (by DxO?), with which he can successfully correct edge softness in this lens when needed. I have the costly, very fine DA 20-40mm Limited, which I love on a compact body, and a fast, pro-style Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8, but I still do Love my very versatile, fine DA 18-135mm!

Last edited by mikesbike; 01-14-2018 at 11:17 PM.
01-15-2018, 11:30 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
Hi John, welcome to Pentax and this forum. It would be of interest to learn what subject matter you like to shoot most and also which camera body (ies) you use with this lens. Unfortunately, there have been more than average quality-control complaints cropping up with the otherwise fine DA 16-85mm lens. Here are alternatives, some of which are costly, but offer other advantages. One is the DFA 24-70mm f/2.8 WR, which offers very high image quality, an even more robust pro-style build, and of course the fast, f/2.8 constant aperture for low-light, fast action, and reduced depth-of-field uses. 24mm still provides moderate wide angle for APS-C cameras, which the DA 16-85mm is designed for. But the lens is larger and heavier due to having such a wide aperture capability. Unfortunately, a wide-angle complementary lens offering WR would be a likewise large, heavy, expensive lens, the DFA 15-30mm f/2.8, which is very costly. However, if you don't need WR for wide angle use, there is the very fine DA 12-24mm f/4.

The closest all-around, versatile lens to the DA 16-85mm having WR is the yet more compact DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 DC WR where you trade some wide angle for a lot more reach. Its build quality is excellent, and only in edge sharpness does it trail the DA 16-85mm model. Its central-area sharpness, however is excellent throughout its zoom range. Its AF is very fast and sure, and quality control issues with it seem to be very rare. For aperture speed, it can keep to f/4-4.5 all the way out to 70mm, which is pretty decent. Someone here has posted having software (by DxO?), with which he can successfully correct edge softness in this lens when needed. I have the costly, very fine DA 20-40mm Limited, which I love on a compact body, and a fast, pro-style Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8, but I still do Love my very versatile, fine DA 18-135mm!
Thanks Mikesbike,

I had read a fair bit about the 18-135 and thought it was well built. The extra length would be a bonus and I think I could get by without the 2 mm on the wide end. I had read about the difference in sharpness and wondered how much difference it was in the real world. I do sell some of my pictures but many times I have them printed on canvas so I can get away with a little less sharp on canvas. I have a couple of primes and there are times when a really sharp picture is oh so nice though.
I was wondering about the 24-70 as well, it sounds like a beautiful lens. I am worried it might not be quite wide enough for me. I know I can carry a few lenses but when I am into bad weather I hate swapping lenses. Sadly the 16-85 is the perfect length for me. From what I have read it seems like the majority are pretty good but there are a few out there that don't seem to hold up.
I am thinking if you love the 18-135 and you obviously use some fine lenses so you are fussy about your picture quality so I may look more serious into it.

I literally live on the side of the Atlantic ocean in Lunenburg NS, Canada. It is the perfect area for my style because the harsher the weather the more likely I am out. We had a winter hurricane go thru last week and I was on a beach capturing 25 ft waves. It was nasty and I was the only fool on the beach but I am in heaven on days like that. I also bring my camera kayaking with me so again even on nice days it is not the ideal element for a camera run by a computer chip. Lol I should have kept my old K1000
01-15-2018, 01:46 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Mine's been stellar...

QuoteOriginally posted by jonn47 Quote
Hey All,

I am just wondering how everybody feels about the 16-85 build quality? Are they generally good and I got a lemon? I have had one for a little over a year and it has been sent away three times now for repair. It had a problem with an internal screw coming loose twice and one time it was because I couldn't control the aperture. The last couple of times I have been out the aperture or electronics leading to it are wonky again. Even in manual I can't stop the lens from way over exposing. It will work in Green mode but that isn't much good to me, I need to be able to control the DoF and shutter.
Anyway I am getting frustrated and am ready to toss this lens but I don't know what to replace it with. Are they regarded as good quality and should I just buy another? I like the image quality and focal range but each time I go I out I can't rely on it.

I should add I use my equipment in pretty harsh areas, I live on the ocean in Atlantic Canada and the worst the weather the more chance I am out shooting. I was considering the Sigma 17-70 but I need the WR.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions

John
somebody forgot the Locktite!

Cheers,
Cameron
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