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10-29-2014, 03:00 PM   #1
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HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm Officially Announced

The HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR has officially been announced. This is a premium weather-sealed alternative to the 18-55mm kit lens.

Read more on the PF homepage...

10-29-2014, 03:19 PM   #2
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I'm quite surprised at the price with it not being constant aperture or at least an f/2.8-4.
10-29-2014, 03:34 PM   #3
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I wonder whether the aspherical elements are solid glass, or just laminated hybrids.
As with the DA Limited Zoom, a higher price is justified if they're solid.

The marketing e-mail did say "high-grade" aspherical elements, whatever that means.

---------- Post added 10-29-14 at 05:42 PM ----------

BTW, the description on the forum says "weather sealed", like it was a DA* lens.
But the e-mail only says "weather resistant."

---------- Post added 10-29-14 at 05:46 PM ----------

It would be fun to compare this lens with the FA 24-90 in the in-depth review, as well as with the DA kit lenses.

---------- Post added 10-29-14 at 05:52 PM ----------

Another curious feature.

Jim Malcolm says 11 seals, while the e-mail says "eight special seals".
Maybe the other three are not so special?

Last edited by lytrytyr; 10-29-2014 at 03:47 PM.
10-29-2014, 05:23 PM   #4
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I think the benchmark for comparison is the A-mount Sony Zeiss 16-80mm f/4 lens. That lens had a reputation for being very sharp overall but suffers from a lot of vignetting.

—DragonLord

10-29-2014, 06:05 PM - 1 Like   #5
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For $50 more, one can buy the world's fastest APS-C zoom (Sigma 18-35/1.8).

Canikon lenses may cost a similar amount but they do include image stabilisation.

If there were no alternatives, Ricoh may get away with their lens pricing but if weather-resistance is not crucial then there are very good, more affordable alternatives available. Also, I personally would not put too much faith into "weather-resistant" (as opposed to "weather-sealed"). This lens extends, so it will suck in rain drops. If only someone could invent an internal focusing system... BTW, if Sony can give their smartphones IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, why can't Ricoh for their lenses and cameras?

As an FF lens, this would have been attractive, but as an APS-C lens at this price it is a "yeah, nah" for me.

Last edited by Class A; 10-29-2014 at 07:30 PM.
10-30-2014, 03:58 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
BTW, if Sony can give their smartphones IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, why can't Ricoh for their lenses and cameras?
I would suppose the WR lenses would get IPX4 or IPX5 and the AW (including DA*) lenses would get IPX6. The weather-sealed bodies would get IPX6.

—DragonLord

Last edited by bwDraco; 10-30-2014 at 06:11 PM.
10-30-2014, 04:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
I think the benchmark for comparison is the A-mount Sony Zeiss 16-80mm f/4 lens. That lens had a reputation for being very sharp overall but suffers from a lot of vignetting.

—DragonLord
Yup, that's the price to pay for such a compact size for that (relative) speed. Its a trade-off I would accept, but I don't know if the majority of users would.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
For $50 more, one can buy the world's fastest APS-C zoom (Sigma 18-35/1.8).
Less than half the range, completely an apples-to-oranges comparison.

QuoteQuote:
Canikon lenses may cost a similar amount but they do include image stabilisation.

If there were no alternatives, Ricoh may get away with their lens pricing but if weather-resistance is not crucial then there are very good, more affordable alternatives available. Also, I personally would not put too much faith into "weather-resistant" (as opposed to "weather-sealed"). This lens extends, so it will suck in rain drops. If only someone could invent an internal focusing system... BTW, if Sony can give their smartphones IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, why can't Ricoh for their lenses and cameras?

As an FF lens, this would have been attractive, but as an APS-C lens at this price it is a "yeah, nah" for me.
Compared with Canikon, and keeping in mind this is the introductory price, I think Pentax did a good job on pricing. The lens will drop by $50-100 fairly soon, I think. Canikon lenses include the IS, but Pentax counters with WR.

Perhaps Ricoh doesn't want to attach IP ratings to the equipment because that would imply culpability if there's a failure.

---------- Post added 10-30-14 at 07:20 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
The marketing e-mail did say "high-grade" aspherical elements, whatever that means.
There's a company fairly close to me named High Grade Beverage. The sell Labatt and Budweiser.
10-30-2014, 06:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Yup, that's the price to pay for such a compact size for that (relative) speed. Its a trade-off I would accept, but I don't know if the majority of users would.
This is probably the reason they made it f/3.5-5.6. Although this is slow at the long end, it's probably a tradeoff made for better corner-to-corner sharpness. Keep in mind this lens has a construction more complex than that of the the 18-135, 16 elements in 12 groups.

—DragonLord


Last edited by bwDraco; 10-30-2014 at 06:50 PM.
10-31-2014, 12:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Less than half the range, completely an apples-to-oranges comparison.
It was meant to be an apples to oranges comparison, in that the orange should cost three times as much as the apple but does not.

Extending the zoom range does not add to the cost proportionally. A 13x zoom does not cost 4.5x as much as a 3x zoom.

Making a lens faster, on the other hand, adds to the cost more than proportionally. The Sigma 18-35/1.8 is a constant f/1.8 zoom and could be a lot more expensive than it is and no one would raise an eyebrow.

The Pentax 16-85mm, in contrast, is a variable aperture lens that is not even close to fast even at its wide end. Given how stellar the Sigma 18-35/1.8 performs optically, there is no way the Pentax 16-85mm can justify its price through optical performance in comparison to the Sigma. I guess to some weather-resistance (not weather-sealing, though) is worth paying that much extra, but for many the answer will probably "no".

We can hope that the price of the Pentax will come down to more reasonable levels in the not too distant future.
10-31-2014, 12:18 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
I would suppose the WR lenses would get IPX4 or IPX5 and the AW (including DA*) lenses would get IPX6. The weather-sealed bodies would get IPX6.
That may or may not be the case.

Unless the official tests are run, we don't know. We have some anecdotal evidence about what Pentax gear has survived, but that does not allow firm conclusions. My iPhone 3GS survived a little water accident despite not being rated water-resistant. Still, that this particular copy survived a particular accident, does not make the model water-resistant.

QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Perhaps Ricoh doesn't want to attach IP ratings to the equipment because that would imply culpability if there's a failure.
That is likely.

It may also cost a bit to get the certification.

It is understandable why Pentax does not want to be specific about the level of protection -- it would be interesting, e.g., what the difference between "WR" and "*" is -- but unless you have some hard specification it will always be difficult to argue the case that you have treated your gear reasonably in case some damage occurs. If you don't make guarantees as the manufacturer, it can always potentially be the customer's fault.
10-31-2014, 04:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
It was meant to be an apples to oranges comparison, in that the orange should cost three times as much as the apple but does not.

Extending the zoom range does not add to the cost proportionally. A 13x zoom does not cost 4.5x as much as a 3x zoom.

Making a lens faster, on the other hand, adds to the cost more than proportionally. The Sigma 18-35/1.8 is a constant f/1.8 zoom and could be a lot more expensive than it is and no one would raise an eyebrow.

The Pentax 16-85mm, in contrast, is a variable aperture lens that is not even close to fast even at its wide end. Given how stellar the Sigma 18-35/1.8 performs optically, there is no way the Pentax 16-85mm can justify its price through optical performance in comparison to the Sigma. I guess to some weather-resistance (not weather-sealing, though) is worth paying that much extra, but for many the answer will probably "no".

We can hope that the price of the Pentax will come down to more reasonable levels in the not too distant future.
I wasn't implying that the severity of the zoom correlated to the price, just that the lenses were not meant to be compared to one another.

However, re price, remember that so-called third party lens makers traditionally charge less than lenses from the camera manufacturers themselves. When the Pentax 16-85 is compared with similar lenses from Canikon, the price is not so outrageous considering it is the introductory price. The price is justifiable relative to comparable alternatives, and if one considers the Sigma 18-35 a "comparable alternative", then the 16-85 isn't really targeted at that person, anyway.

Sure, Sigma could charge more for the 18-35, but a) they likely wouldn't sell as many and b) the AF issues that lens reportedly has across multiple brands would be causing even more discontent than it already has.
10-31-2014, 04:41 AM   #12
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Ok ow for me I already have premium lenses to cover the entire range, and I have WR over the entire range too. Ohh well, let's hope we get a long WR lens.
11-01-2014, 07:50 PM   #13
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MTF charts available here: HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mmF3.5-5.6ED DC WR / Standard-Angle Lenses / K-mount Lenses / Lenses / Products | RICOH IMAGING

These seem to be pretty good for a multipurpose zoom. If anything, the marginal corner performance at 16mm is likely to improve dramatically when stopped down to f/5.6-6.3.

—DragonLord
11-01-2014, 08:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
MTF charts available here: HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mmF3.5-5.6ED DC WR / Standard-Angle Lenses / K-mount Lenses / Lenses / Products | RICOH IMAGING
The bokeh in the sample image of the plate looks excellent.
11-02-2014, 07:53 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
MTF charts available here: HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mmF3.5-5.6ED DC WR / Standard-Angle Lenses / K-mount Lenses / Lenses / Products | RICOH IMAGING

These seem to be pretty good for a multipurpose zoom. If anything, the marginal corner performance at 16mm is likely to improve dramatically when stopped down to f/5.6-6.3.
How would you even know that those MTF charts aren't already for a stopped-down aperture?
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