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12-21-2008, 07:53 PM   #1
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DA versus DA*

I know this is probably a silly question, but I'm trying to determine the true difference between the DA and DA* series lenses.

I have never owned a DA* but have several DA series including the 10-17mm and 16-45mm. I have been tossing about the idea of someday possibly upgrading to the better DA* series but am wondering if the cost difference is really worth it or not.

I am pretty happy with my DA series. I'm sure the DA* lenses are better in many ways but I'm just not sure it's worth the extra cash.

My photography is mostly centered on landscapes. I use my 10-17mm and 16-45mm regularly as well as a Tamron 28-75mm. I'm most concerned with overall IQ versus things such as weather sealing.

As an example, what would the real difference be between the 16-45mm DA and the 16-50mm DA* as far as IQ goes? I've heard of ups and downs with both. Is it minor or is there a huge difference?

Any thoughts?

12-21-2008, 08:29 PM   #2
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A few differences

DA* will cost more
DA* is weather sealed
DA* has SDM (focus motor)
DA* zooms has constant ampeture (I think ??)

As for you question "As an example, what would the real difference be between the 16-45mm DA and the 16-50mm DA* as far as IQ goes? I've heard of ups and downs with both. Is it minor or is there a huge difference?"

I think it is an unfair question - too many vaiables. I would suggest you would be hard pressed to tell the difference let's say at f8 with your best 16-45 and a DA* 16-50 ... Now at dusk (low light) 2.8 in the poriing rain at a funeral (SDM is quiet) - I would want a DA* 16-50

For me it was SDM and weather sealed I was after - very happy with the IQ with both my DA* 's.

Last edited by daacon; 12-21-2008 at 08:35 PM.
12-21-2008, 08:36 PM   #3
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I think the issue is not DA vs DA*, but what are the best lenses for landscape which enjoys corner to corner sharpness, where both DA16-45/4 & DA*16-50/2.8 fail. Unfortunately, Pentax have never been strong on zooms (except a few A zooms back in the 80's). For current lenses, DA12-24/4 and an array of primes seem to be the best solution image quality wise. The Tokina 11-16/2.8 is also awesome but not available in K mount. But that's just my opinion on Pentax and I am sure many will disagree.
12-22-2008, 07:16 AM   #4
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Original Poster
It was probably a poorly worded question. It's hard to compare apples to apples with my question. But I think you both provided an answer I needed.

I have my eye on a couple primes as well. I'm thinking the DA 40/2.8 Limited might be a great option. Also the 21mm limited.

I will admit that these are probably better options than a zoom for landscapes. It's just nice to have the FL options on the fly.

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