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07-19-2007, 09:30 AM   #1
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Pentax DA*16-50mm Lens Worth It?

I have been in the market for a new lens in the teens-50/70mm range for awhile now. I have been reading as many posts that I can find here dealing with the Pentax, Tamron and Sigma choices in this range. At the same time I keep hearing about the pending release of the Pentax DA*16-50mm lens. I took a look at this lens and figure a price range around $1000 for the lens and a good quality protective filter and good quality polorizer filter. Most of the other lenses are cconsiderably less expensive. I see several posts by folks that have either already ordered this lens or can't wait for it to hit the stores.

So, I have to ask, is this lens really worth the extra $600 +/-?? What makes this lens worth soooo much more?

What skill level are you at to want this particular lens? I am new to digital photography and plan to keep it at the hobby level. Is this lens going to be the one I need or can I get quality photos with the lens choices all ready out there?

Another wrench thrown into the equation is the chart showing the new lens releases due out from Pentax that shows a DA 17-70mm waiting in the wings. Any thoughts on this lens or knowledge on it's capabilities vs. the DA* 16-50mm?

Maybe I am mixing apples and oranges here lumping all these lenses together and someone can sort this out so I can get more info before I finally make a purchase.

Thanks - Gary

07-19-2007, 09:40 AM   #2
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The Pentax star lenses, along with the limiteds, are Pentax's ultimate quality line. The star lenses, in addition to having excellent optical characteristics, will have SDM focusing, are weather/dust sealed. They are the equivalent of the Canon L lens line.

As to the optical quality, it should be superb, but the truth is, nobody will know for sure until they are released and in users and testers hands.

Only you can decide if the added cost is worth it to you.
07-19-2007, 09:54 AM   #3
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The you get what you pay for is still true.

On top of what roscot said. The DA* will also have the focus clutch so you can focus after the SDM is done focusing. Having a f/2.8 will make it an acceptable low light lens as well.

I believe the retail on the 16-50 DA* is $899 US which I agree is a significant price difference. If you don't need the extra convenience and flexibility, then get the 18-50mm sigma f/2.8, it's a good lens.

The DA* should be better than the 17-70 in just about all categories. Construction quality, IQ, focusing speeds, aperture size, etc.
07-19-2007, 10:14 AM   #4
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Tokina AF 16-50mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX (Nikon)- Photozone Lens Test Report / Review

There's the Tokina version on a Nikon mount. I know its not saying much because of the lack of SMC coating but it gives a pretty good picture of the lens.

07-19-2007, 11:13 AM   #5
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But isnt that like comparing say a Ford Mustang with a Cobra SVT version? They may share the same design and some componenets but its the tweaking that makes it so much better. I would expect at a minimum for the DA* to perform better than the Tokina.

I've seen a couple other posts pointing to that lens but until we see the real thing we just can't tell.
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