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03-31-2020, 09:39 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I would have preferred that 70mm but they are much harder to come by and more expensive generally. And of course WR would be nice and so too would be a bayonet hood. I took some photos recently with the 50mm with some OOF areas and I should check to see how they look, I honestly don't think I've paid much attention but now that you mention it, I should.
Many times once you reach a certain quality of lens, the out of focus areas are the only places you really see a difference.

I once saw a comparison between the Sigma 30 1.4 and the 31 ltd. It was only examining the out of focus areas you would have picked one over the other.

The Sigma was slightly better at 1.4 than the 31 was at 1.8, but with the same aperture the 31 was better at every ƒ stop. Whether or not you'd have paid the extra (and some would argue both were very good) for the 31 of course is personal preference. The in focus areas were pretty much identical.

---------- Post added 03-31-20 at 01:24 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by MortenV Quote
I've owned the following lenses: Tamron 17-50, Sigma 17-50, Pentax DA 18-135, Pentax DA 16-85 and the DA* 16-50. And the only one I kept was the DA* 16-50. It's not perfect but it's the lens I like most. It's not the sharpest either - but it's realiable and I like the rendering from it. My copy of the DA 16-85 had soft borders and the images I took with it was boring and lacking something. I like the colors and the contrast from the DA* 16-50. Maybe I have a good copy because I also use it at 2.8 and don't get bothered by CA. My Sigma 17-50 was better at 2.8, but the colors were missing something - too cool to my taste.
You can argue what's good and bad about a lens, but really, no one can argue what's right for you. And liking the rendering is completely where it's at. How can you care if the lens is the sharpest out there, if you don't like the rendering?


Last edited by normhead; 03-31-2020 at 10:26 AM.
03-31-2020, 10:24 AM - 4 Likes   #17
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I like my 16-50. I find it is fine on a K3 at f3.5 throughout the focal range. At f2.8 it does have soft corners. It does have quite a bit of fringing and flares badly in some situations.

I guess the question is which you value more, f2.8 or the extra focal length? I guess the other thing I would caution is that a number of people have mentioned decentering with the 16-85 as being an issue that they had with several copies.

A couple of shots with said lens...





03-31-2020, 11:22 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Quote
I like to know which camera you use. You have a really good lens: the 18-135. But the 16-85 is also very good. Those two are compared in the 16-85 review on this forum. Both are unique lenses, there is not a better quality lens with the same mm specifications.
You mean for k mount or generally?
If looking generally I am not too sure, but I never took time to examine other brands aps-c lenses too much in the last decade.
Just a list of lenses I think of that possibly may compare, but I do not know myself
16-70 f4 Sony Zeiss
16-80 f2.8-4 Nikkor
16-80 f4 Fuji

I own the 16-85, and after service by Pentax it is okish for me.
I never really liked it, I only take it at bad weather (the DFA 50 is my only weather sealed prime in this range) or if I have absolutely no idea if I will take photos at all and have no idea which kind of photos I will make. I mostly use it as a wide angle, but at 50mm and above I am really not a big fan of the outcome.
It is tough, as long as the 16-50 does not get reworked, to come up with a better zoom at this range for k mount though.
I am much more of a prime shooter and maybe am just not the right audience for such a lense, but I never fell in love with it as others here seem to have.
If weight is not an issue and you do not need the long end, you may have a look at the sigma 18-35 f1.8 in combination with your primes too or if you prefer combine the DFA 24-70 with another wide angle lens like the 15mm limited.
03-31-2020, 02:25 PM   #19
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I have both of them, and donít really use them that much, nor ever do a side by side comparison. Nevertheless I feel the my 16-85 a tiny bit sharper across the frame than my 16-50. For general purpose I would prefer the 16-85 since for non low light shots 50-85mm is more useful than f2.8. The 16-85 at 16-50 rang is not that slower (f3.5-4.5), its also smaller and lighter though by no means a small lens. If your photography includes a lot of portraiture, shooting in the forest, the 16-50 would be more interesting, sometimes having f2.8 is very handy.

In my case I use the 16-85 for hiking, the 16-50 for event and indoor only. If you already have the 18-135, the 16-85 would not be a huge improvement though itís better, so maybe go for the 16-50. If I were you I would go for a telephoto lens or a fast and high quality prime to complement your 18-135, and look to upgrade it later

03-31-2020, 03:12 PM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by WorksAsIntended Quote
f weight is not an issue and you do not need the long end, you may have a look at the sigma 18-35 f1.8 in combination with your primes too or if you prefer combine the DFA 24-70 with another wide angle lens like the 15mm limited.
A lot of folks whos opinions I trust have said that the Sigma 18-35 can be very problematic for adjusting the back and front focusing issues at different FLs. Just looking at screen shots of the software in action, at the price they are charging for it, I would buy a couple of Pentax primes instead.
03-31-2020, 03:42 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
A lot of folks whos opinions I trust have said that the Sigma 18-35 can be very problematic for adjusting the back and front focusing issues at different FLs. Just looking at screen shots of the software in action, at the price they are charging for it, I would buy a couple of Pentax primes instead.
I think this is supposed to be better now than at release, but when buying the Sigma one should include the price of the usb-dock and they are, afaik, out of production now. It is possible to calabrite it very precicessly and than it is a nice lens.

I personally mostly always prefer primes, but currently there are not many (or none) fast wide angle ones available for Pentax at the moment.

The Sigma is not a no-brainer, but I think for some people it is a very good option.
What are the Pentax primes in this range available new? DA15 f4, DA21 f3.2, FA31 f1.8, FA35 f2, DA 35 f2.8, DA35 f2.4 are the ones I can remember out of my head. Did I miss one? There is only the FA Limited with f1.8, that alone makes the Sigma a valid option. I do not mean everybody needs fast wide angles, but some do.

The full Penron lineup is also an option of course. 15-30 f2.8 and 24-70 f2.8.
03-31-2020, 06:18 PM   #22
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It boils down to the need for f/2.8 aperture. I don't agree that f/2.8 is not useful for wide angle shooting. I use it quite often for low lighting situations. Also for action subjects or when both situations are combined. I passed on the DA* 16-50mm. For one thing it is subject to SDM failure. Instead I went for the Sigma 17-50mm EX DC HSM. It is sharper wide open, very fine imaging overall. A good, well-designed, well-built, sharp lens. It also has near-zero field curvature, a remarkable achievement for such a zoom lens. But unfortunately no WR, if that is an issue. Price can be found very reasonable for a new one here in the US. I have no issue with its color reproduction, when used with my KP. I have yet to try it on my K-5 IIs. Just to comparatively verify my satisfaction with this lens, I also have the DA 20-40mm f/2.8-4 Limited, which I also use regularly when I need compact carrying and not f/2.8 aperture throughout.

---------- Post added 03-31-20 at 07:00 PM ----------

BTW, I do also have the DA 18-135mm zoom lens, and I have to say at least my copy is very good. For all-around use, when I need more zoom range than other lenses and perhaps to avoid having to change lenses, I have no hesitation in employing it. It can even do very good closeups and with good bokeh. When used with apertures and at focal lengths where it best performs, its quality is surprisingly high. You can check the thread- DA 18-135mm WR show us what it can do- to find many examples. As you know, it does feature WR construction in a well-built lens.

Last edited by mikesbike; 03-31-2020 at 06:24 PM.
03-31-2020, 07:34 PM   #23
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I am very happy with my 16-50, although I almost never use it wide open. Actually, the only one of my seven Pentax lenses that I don't hesitate to use wide open is my 70 Limited, although f/2.0 on the 43 Limited is very nearly wide open and fine when I need it. I did buy the 20-40 Limited just to lighten my carry when traveling by air and have to say that it is a very impressive lens, especially on the wide side (at least for my copy). I'm still more likely to take the 16-50 out if I'm just checking out the neighborhood. I have no experience whatsoever with the 16-85 and was unimpressed with the one copy of the 18-135 that I briefly handled. Nonetheless, any of these lenses used properly can take great photos, so consider weight (16-50 is probably the heaviest although quite a bit lighter than my 55-300), focusing speed (20-40 easily beats 16-50 and I imagine that the 16-85 does too), rendering (16-50 and 20-40 give different senses of color), and the need for that 16mm end.

04-01-2020, 12:07 AM   #24
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Thanks everyone for all the honest replies! I like all your rational arguments and your subjective experience / feelings about the lenses maybe even more!
04-01-2020, 12:56 AM - 1 Like   #25
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If you want something better for rough conditions I would go with the 16-85. As you can see at opticallimits the lens wide open is better then the 18-135 at every focal length and it has less vignetting. For the range of the 16-50 you still have your primes. If you like them and are happy with lens changing, I would not go for a 2.8 with the limited focal length.
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