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01-22-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
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DA* 16-50 Purchase

Hi there, I am looking for some advice, I have read thorugh the reviews of the DA* 16-50 lens and am somewhat concernced about purchasing this lens. I am wondering if anyone has used this lens for night photography and how they have made out with it. Thanks

01-22-2013, 02:09 PM   #2
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What is concerning you? The SDM motor? The optical quality for low-light?
01-22-2013, 02:16 PM   #3
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The SDM motor some, I figure if I bought extened warranty for 3yrs I should be good to go. but ya the quality in low light, more specifically taking star pictures at 16mm.
01-22-2013, 02:29 PM   #4
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Not sure how to answer this, low light I think has more to do with the camera / sensor than the lens. It is an f/2.8 so that is about as good as you are going to get in a zoom. At 16mm it does have some distortion, which is easily corrected in Lightroom using the lens profile. I think anything at 16mm is going have some distortion on the edges.

In general it is a good lens, though heavy. It has a lot of detractors, especially those that had SDM troubles and are understandably upset with it. For image quality it is good, maybe not great. Sigma and Tamron both have 17-50 f/2.8 lenses that are similar. Pentax has stated that lenses made in 2012 or later have an updated SDM mechanism, and so far I have not seen any complaints on something proven to be made after that date.

Here is a comparison review: DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

01-22-2013, 02:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Good stuff, wish I had seen this when I was looking into buying a lens in this range. I ended up getting the Tamron and have been happy with it. Someone might want to look at updating the prices in the article though, the DA* has really jumped in price.
01-22-2013, 02:51 PM   #6
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thanks for the information, I decided to take the plunge and have purchased it, I got it for half the price that B&H is listing it new for, Ironically Henrys in canada has it listed for $1100 instead of $1495. Hopefully I have made the right decsion . How do I tell when the lens was made?
01-22-2013, 03:21 PM   #7
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I just picked a used copy on the Pentax Forum site and have been using it for a month. I am very happy with this lens. I went to Luray Caverans, in very low lit conditions. It worked really well and fast. It did hunt a few times, but that is normal for any lens in that environment. I took this lens because of the good wide angle and weather sealing since it was very wet and water dripping. Also, no SDM problems and pleased with the sharpness.

Enjoy the lens!!
01-22-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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Looking forward to it..hoping mother nature will soon cooperate and the northern lights get active again

01-22-2013, 04:09 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I know many people complaint about this lens, reg 'soft' on the 50mm end. I am pretty happy about it at 16mm lens f2.8, as it allows me (along with K5) to take starry night pics.
Here are few (hopefully they help convince your purchase...)


01-22-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by fewing1 Quote
Hi there, I am looking for some advice, I have read thorugh the reviews of the DA* 16-50 lens and am somewhat concernced about purchasing this lens. I am wondering if anyone has used this lens for night photography and how they have made out with it. Thanks
"16-50" - Search Results - PentaxForums.com
01-22-2013, 06:50 PM   #11
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Since it's pretty easy to de-SDM it, I don't see it's a big deal even the SDM stops working. Just go for it.

I've used them all (Sigma 17-50, 17-70, Tamron 17-50, Pentax 16-50, 17-70), and to me the DA*16-50 is the best (built quality and IQ).
01-23-2013, 11:14 AM   #12
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Very nice pictures LFLee, I cant wait until I get mine and can get out with it
01-23-2013, 06:14 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Since it's pretty easy to de-SDM it, I don't see it's a big deal even the SDM stops working. Just go for it.
If you de-SDM it, you end up with a very expensive manual focus zoom, don't you?
01-23-2013, 06:31 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by snofox Quote
If you de-SDM it, you end up with a very expensive manual focus zoom, don't you?
What he meant is altering the 16-50 to not use SDM but rather screw-drive. So technically yes de-SDM, but enabling screw-drive. So it does not mean it won't autofocus.
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