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12-07-2008, 12:55 PM   #1
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16-45mm or 16-50mm or 17-70mm ?

Good afternoon. I just joined the forum and this is my first post. Please help me choose a general purpose zoom lens for my new K20D.

I have been using an *ist DS for a few years with the 18-55mm kit lens and just bought a K20D body (after seriously looking at the Nikon D90 and D300). I am now trying to determine what lense(s) to buy. I could keep the kit lens from my *ist DS and just sell the body, but if I can find something better than the kit lens, I'd prefer to do so.

I shoot more landscape and architectural photos than people, and rarely shoot sports or other action scenes. I'm looking for a general purpose zoom to supplement my 12-24mm lens.

I have read about the Pentax 16-45mm, 16-50mm and 17-70mm lenses, and found reviews comparing the 16-45 to the 16-50mm zooms. I also see that both Pentax and Sigma make a 17-70mm zoom, but I have not found any reviews that compare the two. Have any been written? Are there significant differences between those two lenses?

I don't mind spending more to get more, but is the 16-50mm DA* worth that much more than the others? Which is the best all around lens among these four options?

Pentax 16-45mm F4
Pentax 16-50mm F2.8
Pentax 17-70mm F4
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8

Thanks!

Ned

12-07-2008, 01:26 PM   #2
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I have the DA* 16-50 f/2.8 and I find it to be my most used lens. I made a trip to Monument Valley last month and never took it off. I make trips into Yellowstone and use it for my landscapes there too.

K20D, DA* 16-50mm f/2.8, 16mm, 1/180 @ f/11, ISO 100.
12-07-2008, 01:53 PM   #3
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If you already have a DA 12-24mm, then why go for another 16 or 17mm unless you want to replace your 12-24mm. Use your 12-24mm more.

16-50mm has quality issues. Just read the previous posts here. If you are lucky, then you get a good copy. 17-70mm is one stop slower but weather sealed. Thats a great advantage for many photogs.

You are shooting mostly landscapes like me, so I assume you are using f8 or 11, right? So f2.8 vs. f4 should not be a critical factor, I guess.

What about primes like a DA21, FA31, FA35, DA35 or FA50?

I am not metioning third party lenses, because I am assuming you want multiple focus point to keep everything in focus in your landscape, right? Sigma, Tammy etc will give you only a center focus point. If you are happy and do MF all the time then those will save you money for sure. Those are not bad either.

I do not know whether you will be happy with my response, but I am trying to save you from LBA bug
12-07-2008, 01:55 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neducati Quote
Pentax 16-45mm F4
Pentax 16-50mm F2.8
Pentax 17-70mm F4
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8

Welcome to the forums!

Your question is very common, and I have the impression nearly all users with the original kit lens go thru this.

First of all, in case you want to read more inputs about the same exactly topic, do a quick search and you'll find tons of info.


Now coming back to your question, here is my input, since I've already went thru this and read a lot about it and even tried different options.

- I've decided I wanted to stay with Pentax stuff, though Sigma and Tamron have some nice affordable options on the same range. I think you are missing on your list the fast Tarmon & Sigma f/2.8. (mmore options, if you like Sigma & Tamron)

- I always lusted for the DA* 16-50, and after renting it for a wedding, i concluded it was a very nice buy. BUT, since I have a K10D, I didnt want the headache trying to get a good matching copy. But the built quality is exceptional, weatherseals are peace of mind and the speed is there!

- I bought a 16-45 f/4. Decent price and very decent quality. Thing is, I DO NOT use 16<>50 that much other than a FA 35mm, so the cheaper DA 16-45 fits the bag because it is affordable, nice IQ and get used very slightly, to the point that I still havent really tested in harsh situations.

- Colors on the DA* and even the DA 16-45 are incredible. First day i received the rental DA* i could not believe the colors i was getting even shooting JPEG and the "crappy" PRIME on K10D.




12-07-2008, 01:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kibipod Quote
17-70mm is one stop slower but weather sealed.

Can someone confirm that please? I have the impression the DA 17-70 is indeed SDM but NOT weathersealed.


Also, i had the impression out of the Pentax List, (DA*16-50, DA 16-45 and DA 17-70) that the 17-70 had the "less brilliant" IQ (maybe i should say worse...)
12-07-2008, 02:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
Can someone confirm that please? I have the impression the DA 17-70 is indeed SDM but NOT weathersealed.
Yep, the DA 17-70mm has the SP (Super Protection) coating, but is not Weatherproof.
Only the DA* lenses are Weatherproof. So, in your list, only the 16-50 mm is weathersealed.
12-07-2008, 03:08 PM   #7
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Like the DA* 16-50 the DA 17-70 seems to have some spread in quality. Apart from a few less positive reports there are also very positive reports and tests (eg Colorfoto Germany).
My own experience is that its better then the FA 24-90 which is suppost to be on par with the DA 16-45. I am very happy with the image quality of the DA 17-70.

The DA 17-70 is NOT watersealed but has a rubber ring around the bajonet like the DA* lenses.
12-07-2008, 03:36 PM   #8
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I had asked myself this same question about 2 weeks ago as well. Rather than dealing with a headache of getting a good copy or not of the DA* 16-50mm (which I initially wanted) I choose the DA 16-45mm b/c of it's history of recommendations by others on this form and elsewhere.

I had never even considered the DA 17-70mm b/c I felt it just did not justify the margin of cost over the 16-45. I do still intend on purchasing the DA* 16-50mm once Pentax gets its quality issues under control though.

12-07-2008, 04:07 PM   #9
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Why not the Tamron 28-75?

read the reviews on this lens then do a search through some of Ben's posts where he compares it favorably to canon L glass. This is , IMO, one of the best bang for your buck lenses out there.
12-07-2008, 06:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kibipod Quote
If you already have a DA 12-24mm, then why go for another 16 or 17mm unless you want to replace your 12-24mm. Use your 12-24mm more.

16-50mm has quality issues. Just read the previous posts here. If you are lucky, then you get a good copy. 17-70mm is one stop slower but weather sealed. Thats a great advantage for many photogs.

You are shooting mostly landscapes like me, so I assume you are using f8 or 11, right? So f2.8 vs. f4 should not be a critical factor, I guess.

What about primes like a DA21, FA31, FA35, DA35 or FA50?

I am not metioning third party lenses, because I am assuming you want multiple focus point to keep everything in focus in your landscape, right? Sigma, Tammy etc will give you only a center focus point. If you are happy and do MF all the time then those will save you money for sure. Those are not bad either.

I do not know whether you will be happy with my response, but I am trying to save you from LBA bug
A 12-24mm lens is quite different from a 16mm or 17mm to whatever lens. Obviously, because they have different focal lengths.
The Pentax 17-70mm lens is not weather sealed.
Also, 3rd party AF lenses can take advantage of all focus points.


Anyway, for Neducati. I love my DA*16-50mm, and I believe any of the lenses listed would be an improvement over the kit lens. I personally found the kit lens to be lacking in many cases, and the DA* is much better than the kit in my opinion.

Last edited by Votesh; 12-07-2008 at 07:20 PM.
12-07-2008, 07:17 PM   #11
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Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di LD gets my vote since you want a zoom and already have the 12-24mm. Great IQ, less expensive than 16-50mm, greater reach.

Last edited by ivoire; 12-07-2008 at 07:56 PM.
12-07-2008, 07:37 PM   #12
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What the heck is the problem with the 16-50. Why can't they fix it? They are losing money and we are angry about hunting a good copy.
12-07-2008, 08:05 PM   #13
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I;m happy with my 16-50. If it has issues, I don't know about it since I haven't measurebated thoroughly.

As for your question, you already have the 12-24, a fine lens in its own right, go for the Tammy 28-75/2.8 or if you have money to spend, FA* 28-70
12-07-2008, 08:22 PM   #14
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My most used lens has become the Pentax-FA* 28-70/2.8. The IQ is just incredible. It is frequently available second hand on ebay from a reputable seller in Japan. The 28-70 is a good supplement to the 12-24.

eBay Store - Matsuiyastore: Pentax: smc PENTAX A 50mm f 1.2 Brand new, Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f 1.4 Lens

Naturally, they don't have one right now...
12-07-2008, 09:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kibipod Quote
...
I am not metioning third party lenses, because I am assuming you want multiple focus point to keep everything in focus in your landscape, right? Sigma, Tammy etc will give you only a center focus point. If you are happy and do MF all the time then those will save you money for sure. Those are not bad either.
...
Huh? WRT the K200d or K20d that's bad information... I currently have two Sigma AF lenses, two Tamron AF lenses, and two Pentax AF lenses, and I can use select focus points with any of them. Both focus point selection, and the automagic mode work just fine. I never use the auto point selection mode, but it sure works fine with a Sigma or a Tamron (I just tested it)... I would never use it for Landscapes (or anything else) because I don't like the camera to decide what point to focus on (that's my job) but it works if you want it.
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