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06-01-2009, 01:17 PM   #1
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16-45 and 16-50: One must go

As a result of some dumb luck, I now have the 16-50mm f/2.8 and the 16-45 f/4.
I haven't done any extensive tests of the 16-50 (focus chart, wall and newspaper tests, etc.) to determine if I have a relatively good or bad copy, but so far I'm pretty pleased with the DA*. However, the 16-45 is such a solid performer, and I'm not sure which one to hold on to.

I'm now taking shots for my girlfriend's vintage store on etsy.com, and I'm wondering what to do. An inexpensive strobe kit seems like it might be a good investment, (maybe selling the 16-45 could cover most of that cost), or I would love to have the FA 31mm (would sell my FA 35 and 16-50).

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks

-Jason

PS Of course, selling one and keeping the money could be an option since I'm recently unemployed, but you guys know how LBA and similar ailments go.

06-01-2009, 01:22 PM   #2
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Based on these two premises, of which I'm not sure how true they are:

- the 16-50 is worth more money
- you are very satisfied with the 16-45

I would say sell the 16-50.
06-01-2009, 01:28 PM   #3
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Test the 16-50mm to see if you have a good copy. If so, keep it and sell the 16-45mm.
06-01-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevinschoenmakers Quote
Based on these two premises, of which I'm not sure how true they are:

- the 16-50 is worth more money
- you are very satisfied with the 16-45

I would say sell the 16-50.
Both premises are true. How very rational.

Great night shots, btw!

06-01-2009, 01:31 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cosmo Quote
Test the 16-50mm to see if you have a good copy. If so, keep it and sell the 16-45mm.
Yeah, I suppose I should do that before making any big decisions.

Thanks.
06-01-2009, 01:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PrimeObjectif Quote
Both premises are true. How very rational.

Great night shots, btw!
Thank you, good luck with your very tough decision.

Last edited by kevinschoenmakers; 06-01-2009 at 03:07 PM. Reason: good, not got
06-01-2009, 01:49 PM   #7
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Also do some real world test shots with these two lenses comparing their results.
I sold off my trusty 16-45 for a 16-50 when it passed the sharpness and focus test, but also found that the colours and contrast were significantly better rendered with the 16-50 under some conditions.

It isn't the simplest comparison to make as they are different classes of lenses, but one thing's for sure - you don't need both of them!
06-01-2009, 02:07 PM   #8
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I own 16-50mm, the lens is well built with weather sealing, handling is superb. In terms of image quality, it has obvious dark corners at f/2.8, but over f/4 there is no problem and the sharpness is great. I don't own 16-45mm, but as I know it has severe color shadows. In my opinion you should go for 16-50mm.

06-01-2009, 02:38 PM   #9
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If you're planning to shoot extensively with strobes.... you'll be surprised to find out that you're shooting mostly on f/5.6-f/11... thus money-wise, the 16-50 is a total waist... I'd keep the 16-45 which is a very solid lens wide open or stopped-down...

On the other hand, the cost of 16-45 will cover a couple of 285HV's and a kit of cheap wireless triggers...

Good luck... :-D
06-01-2009, 03:08 PM   #10
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As I only own the 16-45mm I can't make a direct comparison but would typically keep the faster, weather-proofed lens over the slower, un-sealed one all else being equal. As far as the CA issue mentioned by Fengy...I never knew that, and I use my 16-45 at 20mm to shoot landscape panos and dont see the CA. So I searched and see it started with the photozone.de quote in 2007 and many reviews seem to re-quote it but threads such as in PentaxWorld where owners discussed it, its not there, or at least to any extent that its an issue. So I would still be happy to own your faster, sealed lens for that day we a sudden total solar eclipse in the middle of my pano shoot but until then can go back to relaxing with the 16-45mm. If I HAD to sell one I would base it on how much money I needed and back into the lens since both do the job.
06-01-2009, 03:40 PM   #11
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I upgraded to 16-45mm f4 but still have the kit 18-55mm AL II which doesn't see the light of day any more, and I've been wondering about further upgrading to 16-50mm f2.8 if I ever found a good deal on a good copy. Then I came up on this article, which merely shows their performance side-by-side:

Pentax 16-45mm and 16-50mm zoom lenses compared

It certainly made me want to rethink before deciding to buy. It may make you rethink also before deciding to sell.
06-01-2009, 03:44 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by PrimeObjectif Quote
As a result of some dumb luck, I now have the 16-50mm f/2.8 and the 16-45 f/4.
I haven't done any extensive tests of the 16-50 (focus chart, wall and newspaper tests, etc.) to determine if I have a relatively good or bad copy, but so far I'm pretty pleased with the DA*. However, the 16-45 is such a solid performer, and I'm not sure which one to hold on to.

I'm now taking shots for my girlfriend's vintage store on etsy.com, and I'm wondering what to do. An inexpensive strobe kit seems like it might be a good investment, (maybe selling the 16-45 could cover most of that cost), or I would love to have the FA 31mm (would sell my FA 35 and 16-50).

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks

-Jason

PS Of course, selling one and keeping the money could be an option since I'm recently unemployed, but you guys know how LBA and similar ailments go.
I would like to suggest a crazy third option: sell both and buy the DA17-70.

Here's a favorable review of the lens:

Pentax SMC DA 17-70mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM - Review / Test Report

Rationale: Through a compromise, you'll get some of what you liked from the 16-50 and the 16-45, without the major problems of either. Also for the combined amount of the 16-50 and 16-45 sold at a decent price used, I'm guessing you could have an extra $200-300 on your hands to put toward the FA31 or your wireless flash kit idea.

On the other hand, I have the FA31, DA16-45 combo and they compliment each other well. I would make your decision primarily on what you think you'll need more -- a flash kit with the DA16-45/DA17-70 or the weather sealing and extra speed of the DA*16-50.

I hope that helps.
06-01-2009, 04:48 PM   #13
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I was going to say keep the 16-50 until you said you might get the 31 LTD with the earnings...
06-01-2009, 04:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by PrimeObjectif Quote
I haven't done any extensive tests of the 16-50 (focus chart, wall and newspaper tests, etc.) to determine if I have a relatively good or bad copy, but so far I'm pretty pleased with the DA*
Being a bit contentious, I'd suggest if you want to test your 16-50 for decentering, do so at infinity, not at a close by wall or floor. I personally reckon the newspaper test is flawed, especially for wide angle lenses, and has led to lots of people returning 16-50s which were fine.

The reason I say this is that the focal plane curvature on that lens is pretty substantial, so if you don't get the entire lens perfectly perpenticular to the test surface, it's pretty much a given that one side will be less sharp than the other.

Oh yeah, to answer your actual question - you'd have to pry my 16-50 out of my cold dead hands. It's well worth keeping, I reckon.
06-01-2009, 06:08 PM   #15
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I'd probably also look into the 17-70mm if I was in this situation, though it depends a lot on how the lens is typically used.
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