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04-19-2010, 10:05 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Having owned a 16-45 and several 18-55's, I can honestly say that I don't see the difference.
Perhaps there is a difference at the pixel peeping level, but... for the most part... it wasn't really noticable as was the extra 2mm at the wide end.

My two cents at least.
How about the difference between f/3.5-5.6 and f/4 throughout the whole range? That doesn't seem like much of a difference to me, but it might to some people who notice those kinds of things.

04-19-2010, 10:56 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Having owned a 16-45 and several 18-55's, I can honestly say that I don't see the difference.
Perhaps there is a difference at the pixel peeping level, but... for the most part... it wasn't really noticable as was the extra 2mm at the wide end.

My two cents at least.
I dunno JB. when I bought my 18-55 and took some architectural photos, my initial impression was that the images weren't that solidly rendered, eventhough the lens have a strong cult following and have some good regards. although it is definitely much better than the Canikon kitlens counterparts.

I had handled the 16-45, although I haven't really tested the kitlens and 16-45 side by side, I could already see the difference. it would also be interesting to see how the 16-45 would fair against the 12-24 from 16mm-24mm. they might have the same level of solid rendering or maybe one could be better.

maybe GatorPentax could give us an idea since he had owned both lenses. if not, I might borrow a copy from Jon just for the sake of trying it again.
04-19-2010, 11:29 PM   #18
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From my copies of 16-45 and 18-55
the 16-45 is sharper at f4.. @ f5.6-f11 its really hard to tell the difference.
the big advantage of the 16-45 is its 2mm wider.
04-20-2010, 04:57 AM   #19
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DA16-45 f4

The DA16-45 is definitely a big step-up in quality from either the original DA18-55 or the AL II version. The only other Pentax lens in this range that is better is the DA*16-50 but it will cost you twice as much.

I currently have all three and pound for pound, I think the DA16-45 offers the best bang for the buck. And almost the best bang PERIOD if not for some intangibles.

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04-20-2010, 05:10 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
How about the difference between f/3.5-5.6 and f/4 throughout the whole range? That doesn't seem like much of a difference to me, but it might to some people who notice those kinds of things.
I never really did much testing but it might warrant trying.
If anyone has any ideas on how to test, I'd be more than happy to give it a whirl.

I have a 16-45 and three 18-55 II's, two of which I would call surprisingly sharp, while the other seems out of calibration somehow.
04-20-2010, 05:39 AM   #21
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Adorama still has that DA 16-45/4 lens for Final Price $415.55. hehehe...
04-20-2010, 05:47 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Having owned a 16-45 and several 18-55's, I can honestly say that I don't see the difference.
Perhaps there is a difference at the pixel peeping level, but... for the most part... it wasn't really noticable as was the extra 2mm at the wide end.
My two cents at least.
The perceived quality might depend on the size of the used screen. Mine is a 22" ips monitor, and the difference between 16-45 and the 18-55mm AL II is obvious.
04-20-2010, 06:30 AM   #23
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I definitely saw the difference in image quality and do not depend on pixel peeping for this, as my own lens "tests" illustrate. I am sure it depends on how you shoot, and what you shoot. I remember, before my purchase, someone telling me that the kit lens is OK since in real-life no-one shoots brick walls. But at the time I was doing a little project that involved... shooting brick walls! So, if you want sharpness out to the corners and already good at f/4 you need look no further.

To summarise:
1. Extra 2mm which is a big difference in field of view. I found myself shooting at 16mm a lot.

2. Faster across the range with the benefit of fixed f/4.

3. Sharper in those corners.

4. Significantly larger than the kit when extended... and it extends at the wide end, which is peculiar (but not unique).

5. The same great colour rendering as the kit lens and all Pentax.

This one was shot at 16mm for sure. What I have written about it: "Lying on the ground near sunset with frozen hands in serious winds I started to feel, for the first time, like a real landscape photographer. This view from Castle Point, Co. Clare is one of my favourites but after more than an hour waiting for light it might be a while before I revisit it!"

Lightburst At Castle Point




This shows close focus and smooth bokeh, though not in a challenging environment, to be sure.

Head For Heights



(I have many more examples, should they be needed.)

04-20-2010, 06:47 AM   #24
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Well there's no disputing it... those are some very nice shots.
But as with all things lens related, the only way to really measure the benefits is with both lenses on the bench.

Does anyone know if someone has taken-up such a challenge already?
04-20-2010, 06:48 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I definitely saw the difference in image quality and do not depend on pixel peeping for this, as my own lens "tests" illustrate. I am sure it depends on how you shoot, and what you shoot. I remember, before my purchase, someone telling me that the kit lens is OK since in real-life no-one shoots brick walls. But at the time I was doing a little project that involved... shooting brick walls! So, if you want sharpness out to the corners and already good at f/4 you need look no further.
To summarise:
1. Extra 2mm which is a big difference in field of view. I found myself shooting at 16mm a lot.
2. Faster across the range with the benefit of fixed f/4.
3. Sharper in those corners.
4. Significantly larger than the kit when extended... and it extends at the wide end, which is peculiar (but not unique).
5. The same great colour rendering as the kit lens and all Pentax.
This one was shot at 16mm for sure. What I have written about it: "Lying on the ground near sunset with frozen hands in serious winds I started to feel, for the first time, like a real landscape photographer. This view from Castle Point, Co. Clare is one of my favourites but after more than an hour waiting for light it might be a while before I revisit it!"
Lightburst At Castle Point

This shows close focus and smooth bokeh, though not in a challenging environment, to be sure.
Head For Heights

(I have many more examples, should they be needed.)
nice shots, rparmar!

looks to be taking the DA 15 for quite a ride, as far as the MTF numbers shown by photozone.de.

Pentax SMC-DA 16-45mm f/4 ED AL - Review / Test Report - Analysis

Pentax SMC-DA 15mm f/4 AL ED Limited - Review / Test Report - Analysis
04-20-2010, 06:53 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
The perceived quality might depend on the size of the used screen. Mine is a 22" ips monitor, and the difference between 16-45 and the 18-55mm AL II is obvious.
It may also depend upon the aperture. My experience with the DA17-70 was that the difference at F8 might not be worth the money, but the difference at F4 is huge. I happen to use F4 a lot indoors.

It was always interesting to me how the 16-45 omits the FL well before the length where the kit lens is weakest, so you can't really find the advantage there.
04-20-2010, 07:13 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Having owned a 16-45 and several 18-55's, I can honestly say that I don't see the difference.
Perhaps there is a difference at the pixel peeping level, but... for the most part... it wasn't really noticable as was the extra 2mm at the wide end.
My two cents at least.

I felt a bit the same and sold my 16-45. I didn't find it that much of a step up, and I just didn't enjoy using it - not that small or light, and that zooming out to get wide-angle phenomenon just felt all wrong. I found the Sigma 17-70 (once I got a good one) to be a much more satisfactory substitute for the kit lens. I found the 45mm tele limit frustration outweighed the 16mm satisfaction, although stopped down at 45mm it was very good indeed. And in the end I got a DA15 anyway.
04-20-2010, 07:40 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by tokyoso Quote
looks to be taking the DA 15 for quite a ride, as far as the MTF numbers shown by photozone.de.
Before it was released I was quite excited, and really hoped for the DA15 to be something more special. But it seems a lot of compromises were made to make it so small, which is indeed a great selling feature. The only real IQ advantage it has over the zoom is significantly lower CA. But, as those charts show, the zoom performs admirably in other regards, and is usable directly from f/4. The DA15 is not cheap and I do not want to have to be stopping it down to f/8 just to get an crisp shot!

(Perspective: all these lenses will do a fine job in the vast majority of real-world cases.)

[EDIT: One does not have to stop down to get a crisp shot with the DA15. I believe what I meant was something more like "to get the crispest shot". I have seen great shots from this lens at f/4 but even better when stopped down. It does, of course, depend on the subject. The centre is certainly sharp from wide open.]

Last edited by rparmar; 04-20-2010 at 09:03 AM.
04-20-2010, 07:48 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
(Perspective: all these lenses will do a fine job in the vast majority of real-world cases.)
True - and I suspect that if you printed many shots taken with the kit lens, the 16-45 and many of the more exotic bits of glass discussed on this forum, printed them at A4 and put them side by side on a table, most people would not reliably be able to tell the difference. And what difference there is is often completely masked by even modest sharpening or whatever in PP.

The experience of taking the shot with an expensive lens is often more satisfying than looking at the result.

Tim
04-20-2010, 08:09 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Before it was released I was quite excited, and really hoped for the DA15 to be something more special. But it seems a lot of compromises were made to make it so small, which is indeed a great selling feature. The only real IQ advantage it has over the zoom is significantly lower CA. But, as those charts show, the zoom performs admirably in other regards, and is usable directly from f/4. The DA15 is not cheap and I do not want to have to be stopping it down to f/8 just to get an crisp shot!
(Perspective: all these lenses will do a fine job in the vast majority of real-world cases.)
FWIW, I've found no problem with the DA15 at all at F4. The times one uses this lens at F4 usually involve low light and subjects that are not completely stationary. When used with good light, it has a snap to it like no other wide lens I've tried.

The photo thread on the 15 is one of the most awesome on this board. Now, I don't know that those shots are better than they would have been with the 12-24. I do know for myself, the small size has meant it was there. It is really a question of which zoom one purchased first or which zoom one wants to use.
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