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SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4

Reviews Views Date of last review
106 346,861 Tue July 11, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
94% of reviewers $284.35 8.72
SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4

This wide-angle to normal lens is among the earlier DA lenses. It has a fixed maximum aperture of F4 across the entire zoom range.

SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4 ED AL [IF]
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 8 blades
13 elements, 10 groups
Mount Variant
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
28 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
67 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 83-35 ° / 74-30 °
PH-RBL 67 mm
Lens Cap
F 67 mm
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
71 x 91 mm (2.8 x 3.6 in.)
366 g (12.9 oz.)
Production Years
2003 to 2014
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:4 16-45mm ED AL [IF]
Product Code
User reviews
One of the earliest DA lenses.
Two aspherical elements, one ED element.
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital OnlyDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos

Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4 Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 106
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 101

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 11, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great walkaround and travel lens
Cons: Reverse behavior for somewhat noisy zoom
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-r and K-5   

This is my favorite lens. I almost always get good shots, be they landscapes, portraits, or even action shots. Sharpness is found at f5.6 and tighter, but face shots at f4.0 are very nice and slightly soft with natural and tungsten lighting. I prefer this to any zoom or single lens. It's a little on the heavy side and the zoom feature works reverse to what most people expect (it contracts when zooming).

Overall, just a great build and exceptionally good glass.
New Member

Registered: December, 2016
Posts: 21

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 25, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: useful range of focal, light, fast AF, sharp from wideopen
Cons: build feel plastic, could be a little shorter, hard to take off lens hood
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-70   

I have to say i don't use this lense much ...BUT everytime I use it i take a shoot im glad with! I don't know why this lense have so poor reviews.
I haven't noticed ANY ABERRATIONS! Every! So that's weird especially in compare to the other lenses that have so much better "abberations" rates at pentaxforums/lensreviews ...but in real life they suck with chromatic aberrations ( like a Vivitar 70-210 by Tokina for example )

Im useing it for wide shoots - landscapes etc

Sharpness is very good from wide open! And it doesen't change till the end. Seriously. I wanted to post some shoots with different /f 's but almost nothing change with the sharpness so don't need to post it here

Aberration - as i said, i never noticed ANY!

Bokeh - I didn't know how to rate it - most shoots I take I Take at infinity, so there is no bokeh. I might don't even seen the bokeh of this lense

Autofocus - is fast and accurate. Never have any complaints.

Handling - well it's not a small lense, but the biggest issue is a hood. It's hard to take off. When it's mount upsidedown you can't reach focus ring! Lense doesen't feel strongly build - plastic feel weak but i've never broke anything.

Value - it's very useful lense. I guess you won't find any wider lense with af for such price. Im always have it with me no matter what

edit. i've tested the lense for sharpness and i get STUNNING effects at f11! anyway it's nice even from f4 but the f8 and f11 are kind of a breaking points

New Member

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: February 9, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Quite wide, no distortion and SHARP!
Cons: Inverted physical zoom (extends when zoomed out)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-7   

This lens is well worth its money!!! Sharp, constant aperture of f4 and quite wide with no distortion. i picked mine up off of gumtree with a 20mm extension tube and a 50mm f2 FOR ONLY $115 AUD!!!!!!!!!!
New Member

Registered: March, 2016
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: January 22, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Low weight, constant f, 16mm, SHARP!
Cons: Maybe f4?, not WR
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: k3II   

I got this lens 6 months ago and i thought it was great but now I want a zoom with more luminosity. After trying the Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 I have decided to keep the Pentax.

With the Pentax you get really great results at all focal lenghts and at all apertures. You also get stable results not like the Sigma which in some focal length and aperture combinations you get different results. Furthermore the Pentax results are reasonably more stable throughout the frame, not like the Sigma.

Maybe the best "standard" zoom lens out there.
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2012
Posts: 137

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 26, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

New or Used: New   

Did anyone know this lens becomes a 20-45mm on the K-1 and covers the full frame with no vignetting at those focal lengths? I tried it and it does. So if you still have one this breathes new life into it and an obviates the need to go scrounging for the out of production 20-35mm, also an f/4 constant aperture lens. If I am not mistaken the 16-45mm is pretty highly regarded.

So I just saved you $500 !!
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2016
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Better than 18-55 kit
Cons: Awkward handling
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 5    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-30   

+ Goes waaay close even though it's not advertised as having macro capabilities: magnification ratio is 1:3 at 45mm.
+ Because of close focus ability you can have nice blurry backgrounds even though the lens isn't that fast.
+ 16mm is useful to have both for cramped indoor shots as well as landscapes.
+ Uniformly sharp at f/4.0
+ Focus ring is ok for an AF lens.
+ IQ and especially image rendering is superior to the 18-55.
+ Not that heavy.

- Feels clumsy in use, difficult to remove lens cap when the hood is on, extends very long when zoomed in.
- No WR.
- Tele is on the short side.
- Hood interferes with on-board flash casting shadows.
- Hood casts shadows if used when doing extreme close-ups.

In conclusion it's a class above the 18-55 and its close focus ability in combination with 16mm does make it easier to be creative. Worthy upgrade. Wouldn't pay more than I gave, though.

New Member

Registered: August, 2016
Location: Sandpoint, ID
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Closer than the 18-55, Fast AF, decent IQ
Cons: BIG/HEAVY vs DAL kit lenses, light/bright and soft in "auto", some purple fringing
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 6    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-70   

Cons and Pros pretty much say it all...I would just keep the kit lens (depending on which one you get) as this just doesn't feel like an upgrade... I wanted the shorter throw and the DA lens, would stick with a regular DAL 18-55 if I did it again... THAT being said I haven't tested them side by side as I usually prefer - PLUS I want to try the 17-50 or 17-70 by sigma/tamron, etc... I will post if I try one of those and do not keep this lens :-)

The feather pic is stopped down to 8 (it typically stays in 4f with "auto" selected), as this yielded the best results.

Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 5,305
Lens Review Date: July 4, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, f4, good zoom range for me.
Cons: Not WR.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3 and K20D   

This lens is a little gem. It started its life as the kit lens on the K20D, but has proved itself to be a very versatile piece of glass. It is a very sharp lens that renders colors beautifully IMO. For landscape and street photography it is excellent. The only shortcoming of this lens is the lack of weather sealing. Everything else is above average. I can highly recommend this lens.
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 34
Lens Review Date: June 8, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Colors, Sharpness, Wide Angle
Cons: Not long enough sometimes
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3   

Very versatile lens. On my K3 this is quite sharp from f5.6 on, and very decent at f4.

Shot below is a 2/3 crop of Caesar in Vegas

This one is of a fountain with a lot of detail. Obviously the un-resized picture has greater detail. But the colors here are great.

And lastly Caesar's Palace. Again, the un-resized picture has more detail.

Registered: January, 2015
Location: mid nth coast,nsw
Posts: 2,947

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 31, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: low cost,light weight
Cons: not WR

Well I like this lens, its a different proposition on the K1,vignettes from 16-20, so becomes a 21-45 f4.Its my wide angle walk around and if I need longer I switch to crop mode.
New Member

Registered: January, 2014
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: February 29, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $155.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: bargain superwide, colors, good AF and performance
Cons: contrast never just right, wobbly barrel
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-30   

I have the feeling people get this lens for the 16-24 end, and the 24-45 is an added bonus.

This lens is pretty good, but I'd rather there be a DA 16, 17, or 18 mm f/4 lens from Pentax that I can get for the same price. I understand that's intruding on the territory of the DA15 ltd, but as it is, it's just moderately better than the 18-55 kit and moderately worse than the DA 16-55. So there's a weird overlap anyway. But it's the cheapest AF 16mm you can buy (really), so I bought it.


In the right conditions, it sings. Well-lit scenes with prominent foreground figures can bring out really nice depth and color. Pretty sharp across the frame at most apertures. It also shoots well into the sun-- it can manage a lot of direct sun into a pleasing flare while retaining some contrast in a scene. As my only dedicated DA, it performs great for quickly catching moments with accurate AF.


That sweet spot for contrast is relatively narrow. Shoot into the depth of the woods on a flat-lit day, and you get an even flatter scene. But then shoot those woods on a blaringly sunny day, and you lose all the shadows into blackness. The great AF can catch my dog running through snow, but all of the color depth in his black and silver fur just goes to a black mat. And I know this is a convenience/style thing, but I would never shoot this lens at 45. The F or FA 50 1.7 is like 100-150 bucks now. It almost fits in your pocket. It's strikingly better in every way. If I think the shot is *that* worth capturing at 45-50mm, then it's probably *not* worth shooting with the DA 16-45. I'm not shooting weddings or wildlife, so I don't need to catch kisses or chipmunks before they get away.

I think what it comes down to: this is a great budget lens, and depends on your style. If you are super functional and like a lens you can grab and go, being able to rely on it to cover a good range and hit focus and simply work, this is an awesome lens. If you came into this through the old MF lenses, have a general aversion to zooms like me, if your style is not to take 300 shots and look for a few good ones, and you are more attached to the particular character of a lens, then this is just an OK lens that's still a great bargain for the wide angle.

@16mm f/5.6 1/160

@45mm f/5.6 1/250

Pentax F 50mm 1.7 @ f/5.6 1/800 (for comparison to long end of DA 16-45.... both images JPEG straight out of K-30)
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 71

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 20, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good image quality, lightweight
Cons: Size, corners soft at the wide end
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-50   

My copy is very nice from 18mm or 19mm but not so great in the corners at 16mm, even when stopped down. This was a bit disappointing since I mostly bought it for the wide end. For me it's essentially an 18-45mm that is much larger than it should be for what it does, but for the price on the used market it's tough to complain.

I took some test shots at 28mm and compared to my SMC K 28mm f/3.5. Old reliable is sharper with less distortion and better colors, with the greatest gains in the corners. Just a point of reference, as these are different lenses designed for different usage patterns, and the DA 16-45 is still plenty sharp with the distortion and colors correctable in post.

I have lots of old glass in my collection but have never owned or tried the kit lens so I can't compare there, but no reason to believe this is not a big upgrade as others have stated. My RMC Tokina 17mm f/3.5 looks better in the corners when compared to the 16mm setting, but worse compared to 18mm, so call it a wash. Between 18mm and 28mm you probably won't find better in the vintage realm (without breaking the bank anyway) until you hit the K 3.5/28. I found nothing to nitpick about between 28mm and 45mm, images are very solid if not spectacular in this range.

This lens gets a strong recommendation from me if you can get it at the right price. I am thinking 8.5 but that rounds up to 9, so there you go.
New Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: February 19, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: well-built, sharp, constant aperture
Cons: no WR, bokeh
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

Clearly better than the standard DA 18-55. The constant aperture is really a good thing. I have this lens since 2010. This lens is good at all but never "excellent".

However, this lens is now outdated by a lot of another lens (17-70, 16-50, etc). So if you only have the standard kit lens and you find it under 200$, it's still a good deal.
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2012
Posts: 29
Lens Review Date: January 4, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, good value, colour rendition
Cons: none for the price
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K3   

Great lens when it come to value for money. This is the sharpest lens in my bag, especially at wide angles and using apertures between f4 and f5.6.

This lens is optically superior to the DA* 16-50, however, the 16-50 feels like better physical build quality.

IMGP2068 by Richard Mozis, on Flickr
Junior Member

Registered: October, 2014
Posts: 41

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 1, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharp, good build quality, constant aperture, very fast and precise AF
Cons: distortion at 16 mm, vignetting at 16mm F/4, large CAs at wide end
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

It is hard to say what was the purpose of Pentax Corporation when they made a decision to develop smc Pentax-DA 16-45mm F/4 ED AL (unlikely that it was designed as an alternative to a 18-55/3.5-5.6 kit lens), but I can safely say that the lens produces a good impression. Being a standard zoom lens, it is very sharp at the entire focal range, has a compact and lightweight housing with good build quality and very fast and precise autofocus.

The lens is not perfect but its drawbacks are typical for all lenses with the same or similar field of view. I mean very strong distortion at focal length of 16 mm, strong vignetting at problematic combination of focal length of 16 mm and F/4 and strong lateral chromatic aberrations at the wide end. All these aberrations can be corrected during post-processing (but not without some loss of details in the corresponding areas of the image, of course).

On the other side, the lens has no significant advantages over smc Pentax-DA 18-55/3.5-5.6 AL WR: it has 2 additional mm of focal range at the widest end and constant speed 4 at the entire focal range. The main advantages of kit lens are wider focal range, just slightly worse image sharpness at the entire focal range and similar correction of optical aberrations, moreover, the kit lens is lighter, more comoact and weather-resistant. Both lenses rely on in-camera AF motor and support Quick-Shift Focus System.

The smc Pentax-DA 16-45/4 is a pretty good companion for those who are into travel photography. Being a lens with useful focal range, it is capable of shooting of architecture and landscapes, however the final images should be post-processed for correction of optical aberrations. As for the interior photography without tripod, it is difficult with this lens due to its slow speed. The lens also does not produce impressive background blur at focal length of 45mm and F/4 therefore I recommend to get a fast prime lens for portrait photography or bokeh photography, fortunately the choice of such lenses in the Pentax lineup is wide enough, especially if you won't limit yourself only with lenses which are now in production. The same advice goes for the low-light photography.

My review of this lens with photos from my trip to Philippines:
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4 Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 16-45mm F4

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