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11-04-2022, 07:01 AM   #1
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Need help: DA* 16-50mm with Pentax KP

Hello everybody. I need some advice please. I have a Pentax KP. I found a used lens ....... the now old SMC Pentax-DA * 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM at 350 Euro. I'm very tempted but the reviews confuse me. Thank you.

11-04-2022, 08:10 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flapentax Quote
Hello everybody. I need some advice please. I have a Pentax KP. I found a used lens ....... the now old SMC Pentax-DA * 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM at 350 Euro. I'm very tempted but the reviews confuse me. Thank you.
I have a KP. I used with the original 16-50 that you mentione for years. No problems, However, if you can get the later Pentax HD 20-40mm f/2.8-4 consder it. It is smaller lighter and the IQ is fantastic and itseems to pair well with the smaller KP body. Supurb small light walk bout combo
11-04-2022, 08:57 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flapentax Quote
Hello everybody. I need some advice please. I have a Pentax KP. I found a used lens ....... the now old SMC Pentax-DA * 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM at 350 Euro. I'm very tempted but the reviews confuse me. Thank you.
What is confusing you in the reviews? If it confuses you buy the lens only if you have the opportunity to return it after, say fourteen days, when you have tried it out. If you can not return it, do not buy it. The only review that is important is how you experience the lens on your camera. But I second the idea of BFD, go for the 20-40 if you find it for an affordable price and after you have sampled that lens your self. Awesome pairing with the KP.
11-04-2022, 04:58 PM - 4 Likes   #4
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Let me as a KP and 16-50 sdm owner tell you what I think:

Itís a flexible zoom that covers wide to short telephoto.

Itís reasonable fast optically.

Itís prone to sdm (internal motor) failure. It can be converted to screw drive.

It isnít quite as sharp on the wide end as the long end.

Itís a bit larger than I like for a walk around zoom on apsc. It is smaller and lighter than the replacement 16-50 PLM.

I like the DA 20-40 limited more due to size and weight. However the 20-40 isnít as wide a range zoom and isnít as fast on the long end (f4).

As to the value, thatís very personal. I wouldnít buy another to replace mine because I use it less than anticipated.

11-04-2022, 06:25 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Give serious consideration to the PentaxHD DA 16-85mm ED DC WR. It is a bulkier lens, but great performance.
11-05-2022, 11:58 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Let me as a KP and 16-50 sdm owner tell you what I think:

Itís a flexible zoom that covers wide to short telephoto.

Itís reasonable fast optically.

Itís prone to sdm (internal motor) failure. It can be converted to screw drive.

It isnít quite as sharp on the wide end as the long end.

Itís a bit larger than I like for a walk around zoom on apsc. It is smaller and lighter than the replacement 16-50 PLM.

I like the DA 20-40 limited more due to size and weight. However the 20-40 isnít as wide a range zoom and isnít as fast on the long end (f4).

As to the value, thatís very personal. I wouldnít buy another to replace mine because I use it less than anticipated.
Thanks for your answer. I fully confirm what you wrote. Yesterday I was able to test the lens at a shopkeeper. It was used, the lens was very well kept but I was disappointed when I went home to see the photos ....... I didn't like the sharpness at the edges at all lengths and it wasn't that sharp even in the center , I didn't like chromatic aberration and the autofocus was really slow. I am already talking about it in the past because I have already decided. I would never buy it! I'm starting to save to get the 2021 model. Thanks again.

---------- Post added 11-05-22 at 12:02 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
Give serious consideration to the PentaxHD DA 16-85mm ED DC WR. It is a bulkier lens, but great performance.
Yes, I've already taken it into consideration! I hope to find it used (it will be difficult) Thanks
11-05-2022, 12:50 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flapentax Quote
Thanks for your answer. I fully confirm what you wrote. Yesterday I was able to test the lens at a shopkeeper. It was used, the lens was very well kept but I was disappointed when I went home to see the photos ....... I didn't like the sharpness at the edges at all lengths and it wasn't that sharp even in the center , I didn't like chromatic aberration and the autofocus was really slow. I am already talking about it in the past because I have already decided. I would never buy it! I'm starting to save to get the 2021 model. Thanks again.
Typically, that lens is sharp in the center. The fact that it wasn't sharp suggests it badly needed fine af adjustment on that camera body or it is not in good shape.

11-05-2022, 01:10 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flapentax Quote
I'm very tempted but the reviews confuse me
Have a look at samples of what the lens can do. @Rondec has produced many outstanding images with this lens.
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Typically, that lens is sharp in the center.
Well that's straight from the horse's mouth - and from someone who has seen quite a few of them.
QuoteOriginally posted by Flapentax Quote
Yesterday I was able to test the lens at a shopkeeper. It was used, the lens was very well kept but I was disappointed when I went home to see the photos ....... I didn't like the sharpness at the edges at all lengths and it wasn't that sharp even in the center , I didn't like chromatic aberration and the autofocus was really slow. I am already talking about it in the past because I have already decided. I would never buy it! I'm starting to save to get the 2021 model.
It was good that you were able to test the particular lens. Much frustration and inconvenience avoided.

The new version of the DA*16-50 sounds like a fine lens. But it is very expensive. And heavy - about 250g more than the old version. Which raises the question: is there a cheaper and lighter-weight lens that would meet your needs?

If you need f2.8 and WR, maybe look for a better copy of the old 16-50.

If you really need f2.8 but not WR, you might also consider the Sigma or Tamron 17-50 f2.8.

If you don't really need the extra width or length, consider the DA 20-40 f2.8-4 Limited. It's a beautiful lens, light weight, fine image quality, WR. You could pair it with a DA 15 Limited for wide-end coverage and a nifty 50 for the longer end (and faster aperture).

If you don't really need f2.8 (e.g. if you are mainly shooting landscapes at f8), consider the DA 16-85 that @K2 to K50; mentioned. It has very good image quality, good sharpness across the frame, and it's more versatile, lighter and cheaper than the new 16-50.

If you want a cheaper, less bulky and more versatile option than the 16-85, consider the DA 18-135. Sharpness across the frame isn't as good as the 16-85 and it doesn't have the HD coatings, but it's still a good option. Centre sharpness is excellent and edge-corner sharpness is acceptable when stopped down. Colour and contrast are very good. You could afford a prime as well with the money saved.

Last edited by Des; 11-05-2022 at 01:19 PM.
11-06-2022, 02:37 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Have a look at samples of what the lens can do. @Rondec has produced many outstanding images with this lens.

Well that's straight from the horse's mouth - and from someone who has seen quite a few of them.

It was good that you were able to test the particular lens. Much frustration and inconvenience avoided.

The new version of the DA*16-50 sounds like a fine lens. But it is very expensive. And heavy - about 250g more than the old version. Which raises the question: is there a cheaper and lighter-weight lens that would meet your needs?

If you need f2.8 and WR, maybe look for a better copy of the old 16-50.

If you really need f2.8 but not WR, you might also consider the Sigma or Tamron 17-50 f2.8.

If you don't really need the extra width or length, consider the DA 20-40 f2.8-4 Limited. It's a beautiful lens, light weight, fine image quality, WR. You could pair it with a DA 15 Limited for wide-end coverage and a nifty 50 for the longer end (and faster aperture).

If you don't really need f2.8 (e.g. if you are mainly shooting landscapes at f8), consider the DA 16-85 that @K2 to K50; mentioned. It has very good image quality, good sharpness across the frame, and it's more versatile, lighter and cheaper than the new 16-50.

If you want a cheaper, less bulky and more versatile option than the 16-85, consider the DA 18-135. Sharpness across the frame isn't as good as the 16-85 and it doesn't have the HD coatings, but it's still a good option. Centre sharpness is excellent and edge-corner sharpness is acceptable when stopped down. Colour and contrast are very good. You could afford a prime as well with the money saved.
Thank you.

---------- Post added 11-06-22 at 02:37 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Typically, that lens is sharp in the center. The fact that it wasn't sharp suggests it badly needed fine af adjustment on that camera body or it is not in good shape.
Exactly. I think so. It was a badly kept copy. At first glance after use it did not convince me. Thank you.
11-06-2022, 03:14 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flapentax Quote
Thank you.

---------- Post added 11-06-22 at 02:37 AM ----------


Exactly. I think so. It was a badly kept copy. At first glance after use it did not convince me. Thank you.
Good thing you got to test it. The 16-50 version 1 is a good lens. The wide end (16 to 18 mm) has decent center sharpness, but the borders are really weak till you stop down to f4 or f5.6. It has a lot of distortion at 16mm too. I do a lot of landscape with mine and typically shoot it at f8, where it is great, but of course most lenses are excellent at f8.

The PLM version is a lot better, but as Des says, it is also a lot more expensive, and it is heavier.
11-06-2022, 05:54 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flapentax Quote
Thanks for your answer. I fully confirm what you wrote. Yesterday I was able to test the lens at a shopkeeper. It was used, the lens was very well kept but I was disappointed when I went home to see the photos ....... I didn't like the sharpness at the edges at all lengths and it wasn't that sharp even in the center , I didn't like chromatic aberration and the autofocus was really slow. I am already talking about it in the past because I have already decided. I would never buy it! I'm starting to save to get the 2021 model. Thanks again.

---------- Post added 11-05-22 at 12:02 PM ----------


Yes, I've already taken it into consideration! I hope to find it used (it will be difficult) Thanks
My experience with the KP is that it does not AF adjustment with any of my old AF lenses or any new one I acquired second hand. With older ones like the K-7 I sometimes needed to do so, but most of the time it turned out to be my fault/ too high expectations (the K-7 is always in desperate need of good light!). Any lens I put on my KP, they just work and the results are good. If you notice that the lens is not a match for your KP, leave it alone and look further until you find a good match. Good luck with your quest!
11-06-2022, 10:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Good thing you got to test it. The 16-50 version 1 is a good lens. The wide end (16 to 18 mm) has decent center sharpness, but the borders are really weak till you stop down to f4 or f5.6. It has a lot of distortion at 16mm too. I do a lot of landscape with mine and typically shoot it at f8, where it is great, but of course most lenses are excellent at f8.

The PLM version is a lot better, but as Des says, it is also a lot more expensive, and it is heavier.
Thank you

---------- Post added 11-06-22 at 10:12 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Mark II Quote
My experience with the KP is that it does not AF adjustment with any of my old AF lenses or any new one I acquired second hand. With older ones like the K-7 I sometimes needed to do so, but most of the time it turned out to be my fault/ too high expectations (the K-7 is always in desperate need of good light!). Any lens I put on my KP, they just work and the results are good. If you notice that the lens is not a match for your KP, leave it alone and look further until you find a good match. Good luck with your quest!
Thank you

---------- Post added 11-06-22 at 10:19 AM ----------

How about this with the adapter ?: Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f / 2.8 R LM WR Is there a Fuji lens adapter for Pentax bodies?

Last edited by Flapentax; 11-06-2022 at 10:32 AM.
11-06-2022, 02:37 PM   #13
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The older SDM DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 has indeed been replaced with the far superior PLM version. Your idea of saving for it would be a wise option. However, it is even larger than the older version. But if you need a constant-aperture f/2.8 zoom lens in this FL range, and obviously you do, they are all to some degree larger than other lenses in that range having a smaller aperture capability.

The new Pentax replacement lens is a very fine one, but I will not be buying one myself. Not long before the new one appeared, I bought one of the last new Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM lenses in stock at a discounted price, since it was being discontinued. It meets my needs for a fast, f/2.8 zoom lens in this range very well. I am very happy with its performance, which from reports I have seen is very close to that of the new Pentax lens. I often pair it with my long-time Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 lens/ Of course, the Sigma lens does not feature WR construction, and its DC AF will not be quite as fast as PLM, but its AF on my KP is very good. My copy has been giving me great results. It is well-built and well-designed. The AF/MF switch on its side is well-placed and handy. One test report noted that this lens has virtually zero field curvature- remarkable for such a zoom lens. I have other fine lenses in this FL with additionally more range, but of less aperture capability, which I use when I don't need the f/2.8 aperture. These are more compact, yet excellent. But when the larger aperture is needed, nothing else will do the job.

If you are interested in this lens, you might be able to find a perfect one used, which should be at a reasonable price.

Last edited by mikesbike; 11-06-2022 at 02:48 PM.
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