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12-21-2008, 11:50 AM   #1
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Pentax 16-50mm F2.8 DA* ED versus Pentax DA 17-70 f4 AL (IF) SDM

Hi all,

I have been lurking for ages, but here at last is my first post.

I have just pressed the button for a 12-24mm f4 DA ED AL IF lens (the current UK 50 cashback helps with this one) and I am just considering either adding the Pentax DA 17-70 f4 AL (IF) SDM (a further 50 cashback) or the Pentax 16-50mm F2.8 DA* ED.

I just wondered if anyone had any views regarding the 17-70mm versus the 16-50mm. I have the Samsung GX10 (hoping this will not anger anyone )

I already have the kit 18-55mm and the 50-200mm, as well as the beautiful Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX IF DG.

Many thanks to all for an excellent and informative forum BTW.

12-21-2008, 12:59 PM   #2
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welcome to the forum
in terms of 17-70 vs 16-50, just finished their test on the 17-50 and they did the 16-50 recently
in terms of how good the 17-70 is, check this great thread
DA17-70 side by side with Sigma 17-70: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
12-21-2008, 01:30 PM   #3
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Just a little insight from me who has been using Da* 16-50 quite a lot.

Besides its wide spread criticisms about this zoom regarding corner sharpness, Ca issue and autofocus capability, this zoom is really designed for waterfalls shots. Or even sea coast with low contrast environment.

This zoom brings out beautiful contrast. Even micro contrast for that matter. The waters in long exposure mode brings out the best flow in the images much better than any zooms I have experienced.

The zoom also deals with colour green pretty well too. I would think this zoom should be marketed that way as I found this zoom very good for this purpose!
12-21-2008, 01:36 PM   #4
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In need of a normal zoom, I've been wondering whether I should get one of these or go with the Tamron. Here in Finland the 17-70 costs only 150eur less than the 16-50, which costs about 650eur. If the 17-70 price would come down a bit, it would be much more interesting choice.

12-21-2008, 01:51 PM   #5
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My thinking is that the DA* lenses are so cheap why buy anything else? Stick with the Pro glass if you can. All other things being equal you are trading off reach (50-70) for speed (2.8-4) and I've shot my 16-50 at 2.8 enough times that I know the speed is worth more than the reach for me - in an ideal world you get to have it all but not in this world.

I think I've taken enough good pics with my 16-50 to say its a good lens but why not have a look at the shots Ben took recently...

I was excited about the 17-70 when it was announced but I heard a few bad reviews and I've never looked at it again. $150 extra for the DA* lens seems well worth it. Pentax Photo Gallery only has 4 shots from that lens right now so it's tough to judge it at this point..
12-21-2008, 05:35 PM   #6
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Wow - 4 replies already. Many thanks to all for the insight.

I think that having read your replies, I will hold off the 17-70mm.

This means that I do not have to rush to beat the cashback ending date (31st Jan 2009).

I may wait until the reviews of the new DA*55 F1.4 comes out, and then make a decision whether to buy that or the DA*16-50mm.

I know this throws more confusion into the equation with a prime instead of a zoom

12-21-2008, 08:23 PM   #7
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Well, if Da 15mm ltd is going to perform well, I am selling my Da* 16-50mm f2.8

It is always the question of weight vs image performance for me instead whether the lens is prime or zoom.

12-21-2008, 09:36 PM   #8
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That DPreview thread is awful.

The only actual comparison he gives us between the sigma and pentax is a crop at 70mm, and he doesn't even bother to mention where in the frame this crop is from. The sigma and the pentax look equally mediocre here. Then he compares it to a FA24-90 at 68mm, which obviously blows both away. Ok so, a lens with a less ambitious zoom range at 75% of its maximum reach is better than other lenses full tele. Moreover, if the crops are from the edges, he's possibly comparing the borders of a FF and APS-C lens.

If you look at the tests, you'll see there's not much in it between the 16-45 and 17-70. The 16-45 is sometimes a little sharper in the center, and surprisingly the 17-70 is sometimes a little sharper in the corners, but other than that both lenses are more or less similar performers. The 16-50 has the best center resolution out of the three, but isn't quite as consistent with the border performance.

Seeing that the 17-70 is so close to the 16-45 we all know and love, it does represent a rather attractive option as a standard zoom. I might be tempted to try and replace my 16-45 with it.

However, the x-factor here is color rendition and micro-contrast. Most of us already have 16-45s or 16-50s, or have opted for the sigma 17-70 if we really wanted the reach, so nobody seems to be buying the pentax 17-70. As such, I've seen almost no pictures from the new lens. The 16-50 is well proven in that regard, and day by day my 50-135 is making me less and less happy with my 16-45.
12-21-2008, 09:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kirivon Quote
That DPreview thread is awful.
did you even read the thread?
the thread had a link to other threads written on the lens as well

he did link to more comprehensive tests that he did, maybe i should have linked to that

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