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11-12-2011, 01:52 PM   #1
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New To Pentax Forum - DA* 16-50mm SDM

Hi fellow Pentaxians,

I just purchased a K-5 and have been equivocating over what lens to buy. I thought I would get the DA*16-50mm - voted Best in Class by Pop Photo Magazine. I've read many reviews and blogs on the internet, and there seems to be many mixed reviews. Much criticism is aimed at the SDM problems and ppl having to send the lens to Pentax for a new motor. I'm most concerned about IQ. I would like for others to weigh in on this lens. Those who know about or use the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and the Sigma 17-70mm are also welcome. Thanks.


Last edited by Rocky Lotar; 11-12-2011 at 05:45 PM. Reason: grammatical mistake
11-12-2011, 02:13 PM   #2
Ash
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In terms of IQ, the 16-50 was my most favoured wide-normal zoom. Its colours and 3D rendition just made images 'pop'. The Tamron 17-50 is about as close as you can get to the 16-50 whilst not being prone to AF failures. I still prefer the 16-50's results, but the 17-50 is significantly cheaper also.
11-12-2011, 05:31 PM   #3
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Welcome to PF!

After owning the DA* 50-135 for awhile (which I absolutely love) I sprung for the DA* 16-50 but I'm very unhappy with it. I'm sure it's just a poor copy but it put a bad taste in my mouth for this particular lens (which I can't return until I get home from my overseas travels). Plus, I just bought an FA 31mm limited and now the only time I use the 16-50 is if I need to shoot in nasty weather or need wide angle (until I get the 15mm anyway). The 31mm just destroys the 16-50 in IQ, sharpness, etc.

So, now that I've had these experiences, I'm heading down the prime path instead. I hope it's just an issue of getting a poor copy of the 16-50, but even still I feel like primes are the way to go (for me at least). To me, they're more fun and produce better quality photos.
11-12-2011, 05:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for your response. I'm also a big fan of the prime lenses. People the world over love Pentax prime lenses, especially the FA 31mm and the 43mm. I use my DA 35 mm f2.4, FA 50 mm f1.4 and DA 70 mm Limited a lot and I'm really pleased with them - and this is on my K-x! I just bought the K5, so I really haven't used it much yet. I think I'm reluctant to spend the dough on a DA* 16-50mm because so many Pentax users have returned them for one reason or another. Perhaps the Tamron is the better call?

How about the DA 18-135 mm WR? Again, mixed reviews, but the zoom range is pretty enticing ...


Last edited by Rocky Lotar; 11-12-2011 at 05:58 PM.
11-13-2011, 12:30 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, Rocky. I have the 18-135, and have gotten a lot of great shots with it, and although the 12-24 and 50-135 beat it for IQ, it is a very versatile and useful (WR - helps in Vancouver) lens, w/ no focus or SDM issues.
11-13-2011, 01:57 AM   #6
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The Tamron 17-50/2.8 is a highly thought of lens on this and almost every other Pentax forum. Whilst there are those that argue the 16-50 has something 'special' if you check the likes of Photodo, Photozone, DxO, SLRgear etc you'll find the figures of the Tamron are just as good (or maybe even sharper) and at about $370 to the Pentax's US$850 it's a no-brainer, put the balance towards another lens and walk away a happy man with no worries about the 16-50s SDM !

n.b. for some reason the two lenses with the highest SDM failure rate are the 16-50 and the 50-135 and it maybe because these are zooms that they suffer the most (though the 60-250 doesn't seem to have the same issues, or at least no-where near as many as a % of sales).
11-14-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
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Thanks for your input. BTW, I checked out your website - very nice! I see that you shoot with the DA* 300/4. What do you know about the DA* 60-250 mm f4 SDM lens? I'm thinking of getting the Tamron17-50 f2.8 and this zoom. Seems like a pretty formidable zoom combo to go with my prime lenses. Your thoughts?

11-15-2011, 07:09 AM   #8
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I find the DA* 16-50 and 60-250 a hard combo to beat.

The 16-50 is a mixed bag for sure. I love mine, but many here seem to strongly dislike it.

11-15-2011, 07:17 AM   #9
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DA* 16-50 Great lens - just sent mine back as the zoom won't zoom no more - only 2 months old

Last edited by 5bdh5; 11-15-2011 at 04:09 PM. Reason: clarify
11-15-2011, 07:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rocky Lotar Quote
Thanks for your input. BTW, I checked out your website - very nice! I see that you shoot with the DA* 300/4. What do you know about the DA* 60-250 mm f4 SDM lens? I'm thinking of getting the Tamron17-50 f2.8 and this zoom. Seems like a pretty formidable zoom combo to go with my prime lenses. Your thoughts?

I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on those two. Both are great lenses and would make an excellent 2 lens zoom kit. When I bought the *300 I compared it directly, shot for shot, to the 60-250 before purchasing, but a number of factors swung it the way of the *300 because I wanted it for birding (the *300 is a touch sharper, a touch longer, a touch faster focusing and works better - as a fixed lens - with the AFA x1.7 than a zoom would) but the 60-250 will be one of the next two lenses I buy (the 77 being the other). Wonderful lens and a great range (still very sharp at 250).
11-19-2011, 09:33 AM   #11
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Good insight. I'd love the Pentax but feel the Tamron may best suit my bank account.
11-19-2011, 10:32 AM   #12
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Frogfish,

I purchased the DA* 60-250mm a couple of days ago and I am waiting on delivery of the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8. The DA* 60-250 is unbelievable - I guess I'm simply not used to using stuff this good! ;0)
I live near High Park in Toronto and took some lovely pics of wildlife. I'm new to this Forum and I am not sure how to upload my pics without having a URL website link.
11-19-2011, 12:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rocky Lotar Quote
Frogfish,

I purchased the DA* 60-250mm a couple of days ago and I am waiting on delivery of the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8. The DA* 60-250 is unbelievable - I guess I'm simply not used to using stuff this good! ;0)
I live near High Park in Toronto and took some lovely pics of wildlife. I'm new to this Forum and I am not sure how to upload my pics without having a URL website link.
You can use a free photo sharing site such as TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting to easy upload and reduce your photos for posting on sites such as PF.

Congrats on the purchase of a fantastic lens ! One tip - don't shoot at 250 but just a tiny twist back to 220/230mm will give you much sharper shots at the long end (even cropping them to the 'same' FL the 220/230 shots are much sharper).

You will notice a big difference between the build quality of the Pentax and the Tamron but don't be misled - the Tamron produces superb IQ.

Enjoy your wonderful new lens - I'm jealous !
11-19-2011, 01:07 PM   #14
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Congrats on that great lens. You can also export photos to your desktop, and then upload to an album, post or gallery, just check size using the info at https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/6-how-upload-photos-begi...tart-here.html.
11-24-2011, 02:42 PM   #15
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Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 with K5

I have a Pentax K-5. I picked up a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 the other day. I have taken many photos both indoors and outside. I am really disappointed with focus issues. Although I have taken some great shots, many photos are slightly to REALLY out of focus!! I'm going to return it to the shop I bought it and get another copy. I can't think of what could be wrong. It's really weird. So many ppl have praised this lens. Any comments from Tamron users?

Thanks.

Last edited by Rocky Lotar; 11-24-2011 at 02:50 PM.
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