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01-11-2010, 01:54 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
as far as comparison between 16-45 and 16-50 is concerned, I tend to agree with Ash. I saw some photo results comparing the two lenses side by side and unless you compare both results, you wont really see the difference. no matter how people say that the 16-45 is the cheaper and slower equal of the 16-50, and despite the fact that the 16-45 truly has a great sharpness and contrast, it is not as sharp and contrasty as the 16-50 as people hope to be. but it does the job extremely well. I would say that the 16-45 is the wide zoom partner of the 55-300, as the 55-300 is the budget equivalent of the 50-135, but with the advantage of additional range. that versatility would make the 55-300 an indispensable and better tool in most occasions. well, probably the 60-250 lens would be the more ideal equivalent.

the good thing about the 16-45 though, is it's reliability.
I've owned the DA16-45 and the DA*16-50, and to me the biggest difference in image quality is in qualitative rather than quantitative measures. For example, the 16-50 has much smoother bokeh than the 16-45 (9 aperture blades versus 6), while both lenses have comparable sharpness.

This said, I'm really fond of the 16-45 because it performed so well for me when I had it, and I wish I was rich enough to own it in addition to the 16-50

01-11-2010, 02:02 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
I've owned the DA16-45 and the DA*16-50, and to me the biggest difference in image quality is in qualitative rather than quantitative measures. For example, the 16-50 has much smoother bokeh than the 16-45 (9 aperture blades versus 6), while both lenses have comparable sharpness.

This said, I'm really fond of the 16-45 because it performed so well for me when I had it, and I wish I was rich enough to own it in addition to the 16-50
no, I wasn't referring to bokeh comparison between the two. I was referring to sharpness and contrast comparisons at different fl and different aperture speed which I saw. unless if you call those results unreliable or let's say that copy of 16-45 is defective which I would doubt, but you might have an argument if you did own both.

and Yeah, I know you're a rich guy. you got the 3 ladies there with ya.
01-11-2010, 02:48 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
Just sell the Mark II zooms at an appropriately higher price and discontinue the Mark I zooms to phase them out.
Higher price? No, thank you. The recent price hike (it exists outside the US) was already painful. The moment Pentax is up their with the big boys it can ask for the big money but until then they better be recognisable as a budget brand.
01-11-2010, 02:55 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
...For example, the 16-50 has much smoother bokeh than the 16-45 (9 aperture blades versus 6), while both lenses have comparable sharpness...
The 16-45 has 8 blades.

01-11-2010, 02:55 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
no, I wasn't referring to bokeh comparison between the two. I was referring to sharpness and contrast comparisons at different fl and different aperture speed which I saw. unless if you call those results unreliable or let's say that copy of 16-45 is defective which I would doubt, but you might have an argument if you did own both.

and Yeah, I know you're a rich guy. you got the 3 ladies there with ya.
Haha, I actually acquired the limited trio, each used, one at a time, over a period of a few years, and I'd usually sell another lens to defray some of the cost even further. I don't think I could have afforded to buy them new, especially now. Point taken, though

I understand what you're saying about the DA16-45 often seeming very similar to the DA*16-50 in comparison shots. For example, there are shots that I took with the DA16-45 where I look at it and doubt another lens could do have done that much better, at least for all practical purposes.

Like this one at f/4.5:



My point was that the difference between the two lenses shows up more in situations like narrow depth of field shots, where the DA*16-50 is clearly superior.

My favorite thing about the DA16-45, though, was that it is very consistently good , and it generally performs exactly how you expect that it will. I've never tried the DA55-300, but from what I've read I think your comparison with that lens is spot on in that regard. Just really reliable results for the money.
01-11-2010, 03:08 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Higher price? No, thank you. The recent price hike (it exists outside the US) was already painful. The moment Pentax is up their with the big boys it can ask for the big money but until then they better be recognisable as a budget brand.
In my hypothetical upgrade scenario, the upgraded Mark II version of these lenses would have motors with comparable performance to the motors in Canon lenses -- or at the very least improved speed over SDM performance. If that was true, I don't see what would be wrong about paying the price in accordance with that improvement.

If, on the other hand, the lens AF speed didn't improve, I agree with you that a price hike wouldn't make much sense.
01-11-2010, 03:13 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The 16-45 has 8 blades.
It says 6 blades on the Pentax website. They might have it wrong, though:

PENTAX DA Zoom Lens for Digital SLRs and Compacts: smc PENTAX DA 16-45mm F4.0 ED AL

I remembered this factoid because the DA17-70 has 7 aperture blades, and someone (on this forum I think) asked if that meant it had somewhat smoother bokeh than the 16-45.
01-11-2010, 03:32 PM   #68
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OK since this has been hijacked into a 16-45 thread, let me get back on topic.

Just a quick recap of my experience with DA*: (please note that I am an engineer, and am very careful with my mechanical devices, so I don't believe any of this is due to mishandling. I have never before had a problem with any Pentax lens. Only DA*. When I trade in my gear, I always have gotten a 10/10 on condition. I have also been a Pentaxian since the early 1980's. I am not a photography novice)

DA* 16-50 #1: Decentered lens, and started showing signs of SDM disease.*
DA* 16-50 #2: Decentered lens
DA* 16-50 #3: So badly decentered that when I posted pictures here on this forum, one of our members said it "made him physically ill."

Three strikes and you're out. I got a full refund on the DA* 16-50, never to go back again.

DA* 50-135 #1: After almost 1 year, it started showing SDM disease. After not being used for a day or two, one would have to "wake it up" by turning the focus ring etc. etc. (no, it is not dirty contacts) Eventually SDM completely failed.
DA* 50-135 #2: Pentax service sent me back a brand new one with a full 1 year warranty (I have never complained about Pentax service). Seemed fine when I got it, and it worked well for a while. Then on the night of my daughters recital, it started to "SDM" again. Took me several minutes to "wake it up." (Missed some important shots in the meantime). After that it worked fine, until the next day when the process had to be repeated. This time, I didn't wait for the slow lingering death. I sent it back in right away.
DA* 50-135 #3 Sold. Never again will I go back to SDM.

The lack of confidence I have with SDM is not only because of my experience, but because Pentax has decided to go the cheap route and use ultrasonic micromotors instead of ring-motors. Canon uses micromotors in only their cheapest lenses. Pentax now uses them in their "pro-level" lenses that cost as much as Canon "L" glass that use ring-USM! I am therefore very suspect about using any SDM product.

Peter's thread was the absolute last straw for me. A pro photographer who has been having similar problems to what I have been through. I have been a Pentax defender for so long, but it is getting difficult. I don't want to think about my gear anymore, and whether or not it will work when I need it. I want to take it out of my bag and get out of my way. I finally decided to downsize my Pentax gear to a minimum while I can still get the value out.

Sorry if I sound bitter, but hopefully you will understand.

(* SDM disease -> "Sometimes Doesn't Move")

01-11-2010, 03:45 PM   #69
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Wow, what a bad run.
No luck with either.
Sorry to hear.
Really hope Pentax reads, listens and acts.
01-11-2010, 06:07 PM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Higher price? No, thank you. The recent price hike (it exists outside the US) was already painful. The moment Pentax is up their with the big boys it can ask for the big money but until then they better be recognisable as a budget brand.
well then they have to apply the chinese business principle of selling less for selling more, a.k.a by earn by quantity. oh I forgot, Pentax is a japanese company.
01-11-2010, 06:36 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
Haha, I actually acquired the limited trio, each used, one at a time, over a period of a few years, and I'd usually sell another lens to defray some of the cost even further. I don't think I could have afforded to buy them new, especially now. Point taken, though

I understand what you're saying about the DA16-45 often seeming very similar to the DA*16-50 in comparison shots. For example, there are shots that I took with the DA16-45 where I look at it and doubt another lens could do have done that much better, at least for all practical purposes.

Like this one at f/4.5:



My point was that the difference between the two lenses shows up more in situations like narrow depth of field shots, where the DA*16-50 is clearly superior.

My favorite thing about the DA16-45, though, was that it is very consistently good , and it generally performs exactly how you expect that it will. I've never tried the DA55-300, but from what I've read I think your comparison with that lens is spot on in that regard. Just really reliable results for the money.
I have both the 16-45 and 55-300...both are very sharp. I find the 55-300 does not lose sharpness, even at 300mm...which is good as I use it for wildlife shots.
01-11-2010, 06:39 PM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I'll disagree with you there.
I've gone from the 16-45 to the 16-50 and can admit a noticeable improvement in the quality of images beyond what MTF data report (https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/49602-da%2A-16...e-quality.html). The 16-45 was excellent for me as it is for you but once you shoot with the 16-50 you'll see the difference - 16-45 images, while sharp and reasonably contrasty, have less 'soul' and the colour/microcontrast X-factor the 16-50 seems to produce with its images.

The concerns are unfortunately going to come much more than the praise for this lens due to its high price tag and thus high expectations. For the initial QC issues of decentrering, which seemed to have been rectified (of course *without* an admission from Pentax that something was wrong), and now the SDM failures, the lens takes a further bad rap and and good that it may have is quickly forgotten.

Peter I do hope the service goes well for you and it significantly improves its reliability for you afterwards. I like you are eagerly awaiting Pentax's development in the new generation of SDM lenses.
I've never shot the 16-50 so I can't comment on it's sharpness, except to say, if I paid the amount of money that the 16-50 is going for, I would be very unhappy if it had the reliability issues some of these lenses seem to have as per discussed in this thread.
01-11-2010, 07:08 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
(* SDM disease -> "Sometimes Doesn't Move")
Even funnier: Sometimes Does Move.
01-11-2010, 08:00 PM   #74
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I'd love a DA* 16-50 to go with my 50-135. I took a risk and got the 50-135 because it was on sale and comes with a two year warranty in Canada.

I do feel tho that based on other threads and the number of people complaining that their repaired copies were faulty too (and sometimes the repair's replacements), Pentax couldn't give a shit.

These are $1,000 lenses and as such should be made to exemplary standards.

This is why Pentax has been tanking recently. Retailers don't want to deal with faulty parts and customer complaints. (You try having thousands of dollars tied up in inventory that is stuck in an RMA process...)

Consumers are also quite savvy these days, and forums such as this makes it really easy for people to see that Pentax produces high-end paperweights.


Not to say that the OP is whining, but there is a lot of complaining on this forum about problem lenses yet little action to get a letter together for the CEO of Pentax.

I suggest that someone more skilled in letter writing than I draft a letter which we can all sign that formally complains about the quality of the product and the absolute shit service many Pentax service centers provide.

We can vent here all we want but until Ned Bunnell gets a registered letter delivered to his desk nothing will be done.
01-11-2010, 08:07 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
We can vent here all we want but until Ned Bunnell gets a registered letter delivered to his desk nothing will be done.
Good idea - want to volunteer?
I have a letter all prepared too - all I need is his office address to post it to...
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