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02-17-2009, 03:36 PM   #1
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16-45mm versus 18-55mm kit lens?

is the 16-45 really that much of a jump over the kit lens?

yes; i have been searching threads and found alot of mixed reviews on good and bad copies of the 16-45; which makes me think to only buy a new copy because someone selling a used one probably had a bad copy

02-17-2009, 03:39 PM   #2
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I think one of the largest issues with it is the reverse zoom ring. You can't use the on camera flash at wide angle because the lens goes out too far.
02-17-2009, 03:48 PM   #3
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Not true (referring to bad copies of the 16-45).
Most people selling the DA 16-45, a fine lens, move onto the DA* 16-50 or other 17-50/17-70 lens.
The only advantage I see with going that way is to utilise f/2.8, which the DA 16-45 cannot do.

Over the kit lens, the 16-45 is a logical progression - it performs significantly better and for a very good market price. I presented some of the MTF data on another thread comparing the DA 16-45 with the DA* 16-50, which is a very good lens, and the results surprisingly came up with the DA 16-45 matching or even beating the DA* 16-50.

Now as mentioned in that thread, there's a lot more to IQ than just MTF data, so take that into account. But it indicates to you that the DA 16-45 is an EXCELLENT lens with a better track record than the DA* 16-50 with regards to QA.

Last edited by Ash; 02-17-2009 at 07:40 PM.
02-17-2009, 10:05 PM   #4
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QuoteQuote:
is the 16-45 really that much of a jump over the kit lens?
Yes it is. It doesn't have the vignetting wide open that the kit lens does. If you see yourself shooting in conditions where you are shooting wide open, it's just as sharp as f/8.

It's bigger than the kit lens, but not obnoxiously so. The biggest drawback for me is that the filter size is 67mm which makes any filters pricier than the 52mm size of the kit lens.

02-18-2009, 08:12 AM   #5
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I have the 16-45 lens. I don't have an 18-55 lens so can't compare. I can tell you though the 16-45 is an excellent lens. I use for landscapes, buildings, general purpose and taking pictures of vintage and special interest vehicles.

In taking pictures of hot rods, etc....I have to say that my K10D / 16-45 combo has exceeded my expectations in clarity, colour rendition, ability to get interesting perspective.

I haven't used the 16-50 Pentax, etc....but I see no reason to go with them ...so happy am I with my 16-45.

I like to think that I have high standards...in my film days I used a Pentax ES 11, K1000, Leica Rangefinder and Mamiya TLR medium format.

Problems...I can't use 16 mm with my 360 Pentax flash...lens intrudes on picture...so...I use around 20-22 mm or so (don't know exactly) and still wide angle...more moderate...and all's well with the world.
02-18-2009, 09:39 AM   #6
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I just upgraded to the 16-45mm from the 18-55 kit lens and have experienced a noticable improvement in sharpness, color, and image quality. I also really love the extra little bit of wideness at the short end which helps cram more into the frame when shooting indoor room shots, for example.

As for the downside, yes the larger size of this lens obstructs the pop up flash for wide shots, so if you use flash, you need your accessory flash. not too big a deal unless you just want a tiny splash of fill flash to light up face shadows on the quick.

It is doubtful i will ever afford a limited lens to replace this one, so I feel comfortable I have this FL range covered now and can concentrate on taking some pictures. [LBA is in remission...for now]
02-18-2009, 09:50 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdrum76 Quote
is the 16-45 really that much of a jump over the kit lens?
yes. The best "value" lens in the Pentax lineup imho.
02-18-2009, 02:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdrum76 Quote
is the 16-45 really that much of a jump over the kit lens?...
I had both and can say 16-45 is much better than the kit.
f4 on 16-45 is already sharp enough while the kit lens has to stop down to f8 to match (maybe my kit was a bad copy ). Also images from 16-45 are more contrasty.

The only drawback of 16-45 for me was that 45 is a bit short.

02-18-2009, 02:35 PM   #9
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Just to confuse things a bit: how much better is a DA* 16-50 than a DA 16-45? Or is there a thread already comparing them?
02-18-2009, 03:44 PM   #10
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After having used several 18-55s, I finally got a 16-45 as a carry-around lens... and I was really impressed. I'd have to agree that it's one of the most under-estimated Pentax lenses. Really sharp wide open, damn sharp closed down to 5.6-11. And awesome macro capability as a bonus. I've actually liked the fact that it's quite large, feels serious... It's also a bit freaky since the 16mm is reached fully extended... go figure... In any case a keeper for me and a huge step-up from the kit lens.

That being said, I still have hard time taking of the 50/1.4 of the camera... gotta love these nifty-fifties...
02-18-2009, 05:03 PM   #11
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I just snapped this today; here is what 16mm wide looks like through this lens:


User Photo Gallery - Miscellaneous

FYI: This shot had purple fringing along the white keys which i mostly removed. sharpening applied in Adobe Camera Raw.

Last edited by mikeSF; 02-18-2009 at 05:53 PM.
02-18-2009, 05:05 PM   #12
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reverse zoom ring?

i was playing with a canon 24-70m, which also has a reverse zoom ring; is there any reason for this?

it is not a big deal at all; i am curious if there is a scientific explanation

it might be a financial reason coupled with IQ throughout the zoom range; any ideas?
02-18-2009, 05:15 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Not true (referring to bad copies of the 16-45).
Most people selling the DA 16-45, a fine lens, move onto the DA* 16-50 or other 17-50/17-70 lens.
The only advantage I see with going that way is to utilise f/2.8, which the DA 16-45 cannot do.

Over the kit lens, the 16-45 is a logical progression - it performs significantly better and for a very good market price. I presented some of the MTF data on another thread comparing the DA 16-45 with the DA* 16-50, which is a very good lens, and the results surprisingly came up with the DA 16-45 matching or even beating the DA* 16-50.

Now as mentioned in that thread, there's a lot more to IQ than just MTF data, so take that into account. But it indicates to you that the DA 16-45 is an EXCELLENT lens with a better track record than the DA* 16-50 with regards to QA.
I would agree with all of the above. I've owned the 18-55mm (best kit lens on the market) and then moved to a DA16-45 which I used for a bit more than a year. That was just sold this past weekend to get a Sigma 18-50mm f2.8. Frankly the DA beats the Sigma at f4 and they are about the same at f5.6. I just needed the speed for weddings. So I sold a perfectly good copy and will miss the lens.

I tested a DA*16-50mm f2.8 at a store against the 16-45mm and really with a few quick test shots, there wasn't a lot of difference. What you do get is much better build quality, dust repellent front glass, more speed, weather seals and SDM. There is a little bit better corner sharpness but not much.


QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
Just to confuse things a bit: how much better is a DA* 16-50 than a DA 16-45? Or is there a thread already comparing them?

Last edited by Peter Zack; 02-18-2009 at 05:22 PM.
02-18-2009, 05:27 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
Just to confuse things a bit: how much better is a DA* 16-50 than a DA 16-45? Or is there a thread already comparing them?
Going by the plain numbers, not much, if at all (at least at f4 anyway). Apparently the 16-50 is sharper in the centre, but softer at the edges.

I don't own a 16-45 so I can't comment on that, but the 16-50 certainly produces stunning colours - go check out some of the landscapes people have captured with it in the PPG.

Like the 16-45 the 16-50 also casts a shadow with the built in flash. The 16-50 is really well built - it feels like you could beat a Canon kit lens to death with it, and then use it to take photos of the remains! MF on the 16-50 is also pretty good for an autofocus zoom, plus you get SDM which while debatable in terms of speed improvement is nearly silent. In theory, the 16-50 should have slightly better autofocus in poor light due to the larger maximum aperture. And of course, the 16-50 is waterproofed.
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