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01-23-2018, 05:50 AM   #1
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Is it make sense to trade 16-50 for 16-85?

I have the DA Ltds for travelling, they are very nice and compact. But I have been also looking for an all-around zoom lens, for family event, school event, wedding or birthday party, where it's not very convenient to constantly change the lens. Recently I got a 16-50, for a very cheap price due to failed SDM. The screw drive conversion made it worked super fine again, and generally it's good enough for me.

However, I'm still toying with the idea of selling it and find a 16-85, because:

- The 16-50 is big and heavy. Having used mostly the DA Ltds, it is really big and heavy. Granted, the 16-85 is nearly as big and heavy, so I don't know it it makes any real difference in real-world use, and carrying?

- I gain extra 50-85mm, in exchange of f2.8 for variable 3.5-5.6. The f2.8 of the DA* is not spectacular, so perhaps it's worth the trade-off? Being able to zoom from 16 to 85 is nice, as I take a lot of portraits and zooming-in objects.

- DC motor is of course more attractive than screw drive.

However, since I also take a lot of portraits, I'm not sure if scarifying speed is a good idea.

Any of you who did the same switch, or in other direction? What are your thought?

01-23-2018, 06:15 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I don’t have either of those lenses because I have the DA 17-70. While I have not had any trouble with my SDM, there are some that have. It is my go-to wide lens for weddings because of the reach to 70mm and the constant aperture of f/4.

For the extra reach, I think you’d be pleased with the 16-85. If you are working primarily portraits, grab a DA Of appropriate length. I will say, if you are doing a wedding, you’ll want two bodies, which could be one with your 16-50 and the other with a longer prime for portraits. My opinion, two bodies are a necessity (I have at least 3 with me) for serious events. You never know when something will go wrong whether one dies, gets dropped or etc. Plus lens changes means you may miss something.
01-23-2018, 07:59 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I often take my DA 18-135 out rather than my 16-50.
01-23-2018, 08:10 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Grab a cheap used 18-135 and keep the 16-50.

01-23-2018, 08:26 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I do portrait and wedding work and the 2.8 can not be overlooked. From years of experiences I have found good fast glass is as important to portrait and wedding work as any other factor (equipment related) and really the most important factor.
01-23-2018, 09:12 AM - 4 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
I have the DA Ltds for travelling, they are very nice and compact. But I have been also looking for an all-around zoom lens, for family event, school event, wedding or birthday party, where it's not very convenient to constantly change the lens. Recently I got a 16-50, for a very cheap price due to failed SDM. The screw drive conversion made it worked super fine again, and generally it's good enough for me.

However, I'm still toying with the idea of selling it and find a 16-85, because:

- The 16-50 is big and heavy. Having used mostly the DA Ltds, it is really big and heavy. Granted, the 16-85 is nearly as big and heavy, so I don't know it it makes any real difference in real-world use, and carrying?

- I gain extra 50-85mm, in exchange of f2.8 for variable 3.5-5.6. The f2.8 of the DA* is not spectacular, so perhaps it's worth the trade-off? Being able to zoom from 16 to 85 is nice, as I take a lot of portraits and zooming-in objects.

- DC motor is of course more attractive than screw drive.

However, since I also take a lot of portraits, I'm not sure if scarifying speed is a good idea.

Any of you who did the same switch, or in other direction? What are your thought?
Let me start out by saying I have no experience with the DA16-50mm/f2.8 but I did own a Tamron 17-50mm/f2.8 which developed a mechanical failure in the zoom ring. Like you I thought long and hard about replacing it with another f2.8 standard lens but eventually went for the 16-85mm because of the increased versatility in range. I was not disappointed, the 16-85mm is noticeably sharper than the DA18-135mm with the added 2mm on the wide end which make quite a big difference.

In the beginning I did miss having f2.8 across the whole range but switching from my K-5 IIs to a K-70 meant I could up the ISO to account for the difference in low-light performance. The bokeh advantage never was much of an argument as I have other lenses that produce superior bokeh to that of the 17-50mm anyway.

All in all, I did have reservations against buying a variable-aperture zoom at first but the 16-85mm spends a lot of time on the K-70, more than the 17-50mm ever did. Edge and corner sharpness are pretty much in balance and the lens is worth consideration.
01-23-2018, 09:34 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I used the 16-50 for years but traded it for the 16-85 when I bought my K-1. You give up the f/2.8 but get a longer focal range and a lighter lens. No regrets. Of course I have the 24-70 on the K-1 now. But for outside work the 16-85 has proved to be very good.
01-23-2018, 10:17 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I have the Pentax 16-85. It is defined as a high performance lens in its description and it gives the user the wide to medium telephoto range that can be valuable in varying conditions. When I need light I resort to flash if needed. It is dependable and gives excellent results.

01-23-2018, 10:22 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I have the 16-85 and complement it with the limited da trio when larger apertures are needed or I need my kit to be compact. I actually got the zoom after the primes. I haven't missed not having a f2.8 zoom, this solution seems to work great for me.
01-23-2018, 11:31 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Can't imagine spending the money on a 16-85 when the 18-135 is also available for about 1/3rd less money currently and brand new. I might not be so strongly of that opinion if I didn't also own a DA 15.

I don't need a lens that is sharper or more corrected. The only thing I miss out on is max f-stop and the 16-85 is no better. So my other suggestion besides the 18-135 is the Tamron 17-50.

As you already own the 16-50 I doubt any of my suggestions are going to be of interest.
01-23-2018, 11:42 AM - 1 Like   #11
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From the style of photography you plan on doing a faster lens is definitely a better option. I went from Sigma 17-70 to da*16-50 and I do miss the extra range a bit but much prefer the pentax. However they were similar weights.
01-23-2018, 12:40 PM - 1 Like   #12
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FWIW, if you can find one, get a relatively old & cheap (I paid around $100 US!) Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 - see the lens reviews on the forum. I have a very old non-HSM one, and it definitely outperforms the Pentax 18-135 that I also have, to the extent that it is sharper on the K-3 II than it is on the K-30! Very sharp and lovely contrast.
01-23-2018, 01:08 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I have the 16-50, and my daughter has the 16-85, so I've played with both. The 16-85 is very nice. I really like it, but I would not trade my 16-50 in on one already owning it. The extra speed does come into play, and sometimes it really is the difference between unobtrusive, e.g. no flash, indoor shots at whatever the gathering is. If you want the DoF control for a portrait at the long end or the flower shot etc., you have it too. Since you mention portraits and weddings, I'd be looking to add a DA* 50-135 to the kit, not swapping out the 16-50 for a 16-85. Also, by the time you stop the 16-50 down to where the 16-85 starts, you're on par for sharpness. You still have purple fringing to clean up in post, but otherwise, it is a nice lens that can yield great results. The 16-50 and 50-135 really does make a great combo to grab and go.
01-23-2018, 01:42 PM - 1 Like   #14
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You say you do a lot of portraits. The f/2.8 is of great value for blurring a background to make your subject stand out from it, unless you would get an even faster aperture 50mm prime lens for that purpose along with the DA 16-85mm. The screw drive conversion already done would make it a very salable item, if you decide to make the switch. However, if you ever might get into fast-action sports shooting, especially under artificial lighting, or other low-light situations, the f/2.8 zoom lens is a must-have. Keeping it, and later adding the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, and even getting a DA 18-135mm for general-purpose use, are also good suggestions. You build a great system one step at a time.
01-23-2018, 06:30 PM - 1 Like   #15
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As a few others, I'm comparing only my 16-50 and DA 17-70, and I lean to 16-50 for events. The extra aperture helps more than the little bit of extra zoom, especially for events, some of which are in lower light. I'm not sure how the optical qualities of 16-50 compares to 16-85, but I'm very happy with my 16-50.
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