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SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM

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138 531,827 Sun November 12, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
83% of reviewers $723.38 8.36
SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM

SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM
SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM

Like all other DA lenses, the SMC Pentax DA* 16-50mm is designed exclusively for Pentax APS-C format DSLR cameras. It was announced in late February, 2007. It auto-focuses with an SDM ultrasonic motor on the K10D (firmware 1.30) and newer cameras. On older cameras the lens will auto-focus with the 'screw drive' mechanism.

SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF]
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 9 blades
15 elements, 12 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (in-lens motor or screwdrive)
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 83-31.5 ° / 74-27 °
PH-RBJ 77 mm
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Yes (AW)
Other Features
AF/MF Switch
Diam x Length
84 x 98.5 mm (3.3 x 3.9 in.)
565 g (19.9 oz.)
Production Years
2007 to 2021
$1049 USD current price
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA* 1:2.8 16-50mm ED AL [IF] SDM
Product Code
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
☆☆☆ No coverage at any setting
Show details
Internal zoom.
Three aspherical elements and two ED elements.

Screwdrive AutofocusSupersonic AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedInternal FocusingAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital OnlyDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:

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Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Brno
Posts: 295

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 12, 2023 Not Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Weather sealing
Cons: Sudden Death Motor, weaker resolution wide open
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 5    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K20D, K5, K3   

I bought 2nd hand DA*16-50/2.8 in package with other things. I also have Sigma 17-50/2.8 for many years and Sig18-35/1.8 too.

My "new" DA*16-50 lens already had issues with Sudden Death Motor and although it looks like new and was only used with camera having less than 2500 clicks on shutter counter, the motor was already dead. DA*50-135/2.8 in same pack was struggling at the beginning, but after some time it was possible to wake the motor up and lens works. But 16-50/2.8 refused to do anything, so I had to convert the lens to screw drive only.

Camera driven AF +/- works, but it is only so-so usable with +10 AF fine tuning especially on wide end. F2.8 image is weaker than what Sigma 17-50/2.8 can do. It needs about F4 to show some good image. On longer end central part is usable with F2.8 and whole image needs at least F3.5 to be usable outside of center.
Screw drive AF is quite fast and even in live-view it is usable altough not a speed demon. But at least live-view is more accurate.

Back in K10D era when this lens was introduced, the price was already premium and +/- corresponded with what this lens can provide. But in 2009 the price was increased to unbelievable level and it remained quite overpriced in Ricoh hands until it was replaced by the new HD-DA*16-50/2.8 PLM AW (which is again overpriced, but at least has better image output).

In general, this lens only makes sense if it has some low price and you accept the fact, that motor will die over time. Even later lenses produced after 2012 are having many SDM issues, so the problem was not entirely fixed.
Usually you'll be able to find Sigma 17-50/2.8 offered with lower 2nd hand price, so unless you need weather sealing, get that Sigma instead. That one millimeter at wide end is noticeable, but nothing dramatical and AF on that Sigma is quiet and works well for many years. And if you need high resolution output, then just get Sigma 18-35/1.8. It has crisper image with F2 than this lens can do at F4
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 574

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 15, 2023 Recommended | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: F2.8 across, center sharpness, wr, general ruggedness
Cons: heavy

This lens is always on my K-5 and it gets abused a lot. In the 8 years I've been using it, it got hit by a baseball bat (had to go to the repair shop) dropped twice, has been in heavy rain, heavy snow, covered in frost, got hit by quite a few massive waves in Virginia Beach and the Carabean...

-15°C is the coldest I'll use it for an extended period of time (sitting on a tripod doing astrophotography). The grease between the gears gets quite stiff below that.

I really love working with this lens. The F2.8 is so so useful for when the light isn't ideal (about 75% of the time). SDM is so discreet, on the K-5 I have no problem shooting "quiet" events like a few years back my sister's thesis defense. SDM is still working great. I did think it was going down in 2017 when it started acting up. But, here what seems to have settle the problem: "reviving" the lens on the K-5 with a fully charged battery, and then using it every week or so. (For some reason I could not revive it with a fully charged battery on my old K-50) Now, it's as good as new! No reviving necessary even after a month or two unused.

Center sharpness is good at f/2.8. From f/4 and up, it's a stack of primes. After 8 years of abuse I must say IQ slightly went down but the image below (taken last month) is a testimony to the fact it still yields good results. It's not the best in any categorie but so good in all of them I gave it an overall 10.

Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2023
Posts: 53
Review Date: September 26, 2023 Recommended | Price: $215.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Weather and dust resistant, Compact and well balanced for a K5 Optimal focus and zoom ring positioning, Learners lens
Cons: Only goes to 50mm, weak front coatings, lens hood+ filters cause zoom creep
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

I will start off by saying i am still learning this lens and i did manage to remove some of the coatings of the glass just by cleaning it, (image quality has been impacted minimally if not improved) I Will also state that i use this lens with a clear protective filter all the time as its mostly for automotive events, primarily burnout competitions, sidecars and drag racing so metal hairs, burnt rubber and asphalt chunks will come in contact with the lens.

1. How good is this lens? For me id say its about a 7/10 overall, honestly the small focal range is such a pain, you setup in a great spot for your events and come to find when ya zoom in your too far out. I'm not saying that it needs to go to 70mm but even hitting 60mm would have helped so much in this case, although i found myself learning a lot more about where to sit in order to fully use the 16-38mm focal lengths of the lens.

Depending on the location of the sun i found the lens hood only made the images worse, it bakes the darks as black and messes with the colours in a way that makes it simply look off, not to mention without the hood i have found it preserves more whites, mind you if you blow out the whites its lost but i had more cases where they were able to be saved when not using the hood.

Sharpness is subjective but i found it to be just below where i want it to be although i feel that slightly comes down to user error as when focus hits, damn does it hit, although most of the time its more or less soft but detailed.

For the DA* colour profiling, when i 1st got it, it was more of a warmer very muddy looking image but quite sharp, although since i managed to accidentally clean off some of the coatings, its very clean, more or less neutral but leans more towards greens and pinks, the original look was more of an Alice in wonderland kind of thing.

For the durability of this lens id say its passable, high strength glass coated in weak degraded coatings that just wipe off after 7 uses kinda meh, i decided to get a Hoya fusion protector, doesn't impact the image much although i want to upgrade to a nano protector at some point cause the glass used in the fusion protectors are absurdly soft. The lens itself apart from the glass so far has been about a 6-7/10, just kinda feels clunky and when your out in the wet mostly annoying as just the fact that its external zoom makes me overly cautious. It has a rubber gasket that holds back the water from getting inside the lens but since its humid where i am if it even fails slightly the lens is done for. In terms of usefulness in cases with a bunch of dust or debris, this lens functions well, keeps all that nasty stuff out though i recommend getting a protector as the glass gets a little soft when exposed to general heat (38C or higher), not to mention when cleaning its highly susceptible to coatings failing and wiping off.

2. Value, Ehh certainly not wroth the $430AUD i paid for it, honestly its a great lens but $300AUD ($150USD) is more accurate of a price for this lens, Its more of a low Quality high end product. It has so many short-comings that its only benefit to me is the fact it goes to 16mm and fits in well as a great walk-around lens.

I definitely do not dislike this lens in-fact i more or less love it, It somehow fits perfectly into the place of where its good enough that you can use it for actual work, not high paying stuff but work, although not good enough that it does all the work for you. It is a lens i find myself using because it captures what i want to capture but forces me to think far more about what I'm doing, it gets me into the zone and allows me to "Somewhat" be in the action. It's a lens that i enjoy picking up because it can still take some horrible shots but when you want it to can almost take a great moment and turn it into something even more special, mind you i still suck at photography since I'm blind but hey I'm getting there and this lens 100% helps with that.

My main annoyance with the cost of this lens for what it provides is it just feels cheap, focus ring is too loose and light, the plastic doesn't feel nice in my hands it feels more like moist dog hair, when it gets hot the lens can sometimes feel slippery because it isn't a very breathable material, the zoom for the lens is too stiff due to the rubber gasket and sometimes locks up. Overall its just not what i want out of a lens that brand new cost over $1,000AUD but i can ignore all that because when it comes down to it, it does the job.

3. Image output. Now this is somewhat of a difficult thing for me as I find its never really a hit or miss since I never know what I'm doing but it seems to like subjects being 1.2-3 meters away anything more or less then that will still work but it just doesn't seem to "Pop" as much, although i have found that just messing with aperture, it likes f8 for a clean more flat image, f5.6 more lively and more depth to the image although is more hit and miss, f4 somewhere in-between that and F2.8 being the same as f8 but inverted.

Images come out good, if you want a more stylized look, look elsewhere. the lens flairs aren't bad, they still blow out the image but it doesn't ruin them like some of the other lenses i have. softness vs sharpness is neutral, i generally have my sharpness at 0 but will start using it at default 1 again. 0 gives it more of a film look but not sharp, more of the softer type but not smooth and oil like, think of it more like how film prints come out, while the negative is pin sharp the print is very slightly soft due to small light bleed (edges are still clean)

4. Day and night usage. This is a great lens for to pair with the k5 IMO, during the day it gives somewhat of a slight dreamy vibe to it while night is more of the surreal film look and all of that is simply due to the green and red/pink bias of the lens, very similar to the older Kodak colour profiles found in the 400-600 series, can't remember if it was the B, C or D versions, though i remember a 560A. I don't know, last time i touched Kodak was 2006/2007 film isn't my thing.

Point is, it's great for night photography if you can use the lighting effectively.

Do I recommend this lens for someone upgrading from basic lenses? Yes,

Do I recommend this as a good used lens to get into something to start making money? No.

If the price was right would i recommend this to a beginner? depends on how cheap you can get one, 150USD i would say go ahead, any more then that its not worth their investment as it feels more like a niche lens that gets you out of the basic lens market but just barley locks you out of being able to take on low level professional work.

I hope this review was useful.
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2016
Location: Bristol, Tennessee
Posts: 369

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 23, 2020 Recommended | Price: $345.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: well built, sharp stepped down, weather resistance
Cons: auto focus issues, soft wide open, stiff zoom
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3   

I love this lens! I bought it used 4 years ago when I upgraded to the K3. Before that I was using the 18-55 kit lens. I have taken over 30k photos with this lens. I shoot mostly travel, landscape, city-scape, family photos, and this lens has the best focal range for what I'm shooting most of the time. I only break out a longer lens when shooting sports, concerts or nature. It is a solid, well built lens. This does make it heavy, but on a heavier body like the K3 I find it well balanced. The lens is very sharp when stopped down, and wide enough for landscapes. This lens is not quite wide enough for real estate indoors shots in tight places (bathrooms, walk-in closets), but you can get by, and the images are great. The constant 2.8 allows lots of light for night and concert type shots, but it is a bit soft wide open. Although for the enthusiast like me, shooting band concerts, most wouldn't notice, and it'll look much better than the kit lens. My version was converted to screw drive before I purchased it, so I don't have to worry about SDM failure, but the screw drive autofocus is a bit noisy. It's quick and accurate enough for most uses (limited only by the AF system in the camera). You're probably not going to be using this for video, but the zoom ring is quite stiff, so zooming while videoing is not going to be easy without shaking the camera. On the plus side, it'll stay put where you have the zoom set. In the photos I've taken, I've had aberrations that made an image unusable a very small number of times. Most of the time they are easily corrected. The weather sealing is great. I've had this at the beach, in a rain forest and I've not had any issues. Overall, this lens is excellent, especially if you can pick up a used, screw-drive converted copy.
New Member

Registered: December, 2014
Posts: 6

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 27, 2020 Recommended | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: F2,8 for whole length, sharpness at center, WR resistance
Cons: heavy, ring handling, corners not sharp, expensive
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 6    Value: 6    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3 II   

For this price i expected much more. Price is really the biggest downside of this lense i would say. New piece still over 1000 dollars is crazy. This lense is heavier than similar lenses. The zoom adjustment ring was very hard to turn, not pleasant to use. Autofocus is rather slow. At corners it is not sharp enough. On K-3 II body i had problems with autofocus! First it was struggling to get focus right, going back, front little bit, back again, it literally took several motor adjustments to connect the focus. What was worse, It tended to focus behind the object all the time, and even fine adjustment in the menu didnt help to solve it, but this was rather occasional problem appearing only with this body, On K-5 i didnt have this problem, it worked surprisingly great !

At center it provides really great sharpness. Aperture F2.8 through the whole length is a great feature. Overall build quality is very good and weather resistance is also very important for me.

However, i would rather recommend this lense instead -- HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR. Although not so great on specification, it provides really great overall performance.
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 156

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 30, 2019 Not Recommended | Price: $685.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Great range, lightweight
Cons: temperamental, slow focus, not sharp, prone to fail
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 7    Value: 6    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-10, K-5IIs, K-3   

This review is a long time coming, and I have had this lens since it came out....well this model of lens, as I will explain. I have had issues with this lens, and my experience shows that maybe not everything was right before Pentax sold to Hoya oh way back when, and this lens suffered.

So I got this lens new to replace the kit lens on my K-10 back in the day. I knew I needed a lens that could let in more light, and I was in favor of using a Pentax-branded lens.

In the years with my K-10, things were just fine. Look this was not a speed demon to its contemporaries then, but I was happy with it, along with the weather sealing, which was very important.

When I slapped this on the K-5 as I upgraded my camera body, this lens began showing its limitations. It just doesn't get as sharp as you would expect it would. I found myself living with the results (or not, as I stowed it for bunches during my year to shoot manual focus). I kept coming back because it was convenient, it had the perfect range I wanted, and I relied on my 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.4 for detail work.

Then came the K-3. I never had the issue with the motor others had - my lens stopped focusing. That was until I got the K-3. Then I had problems again and again with it. It was weird. It just wouldn't work on the K-3, but it worked fine on my K-5 and K-01. I was on the phone with Support, and they were just like the lens must be dying, be happy you got enough time (to get out of warranty) with it.

Then, doing my own testing, in-between times I sent the lens and the K-3 in for review, I noticed something. Whenever it didn't focus, I would switch into LiveView, and sure enough it focused fine. Actually it focused great, and then my camera would connect to the lens in traditional mode. I don't know if this was a K-3 issue, or a 16-50 issue, but they replaced my lens for not cost, and the new version worked perfectly fine.

Still using today, still not wowed by the results, had an issue with the power connectors breaking, but fixed and working. Still no motor failure, knock on wood
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 1,090

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 19, 2019 Recommended | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharpness stopped down, WR, f/2.8
Cons: Lack of sharpness wide open at wide angles
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

My impressions are consistent with most of the others here. I have have two copies of the lens and IQ is very good on both, I suppose there may be a few duds out there but my wife and I have been using this lense for 4 years without issue. Its good enough for professional work but a bit heavy to lug around on a hike. For zooms I have owned the kit lens, sigma 17-70 f2.8 - 4, Pentax 17-70 f4 and finally this one. I have never thought I needed a better zoom lens after getting this one. Although something lighter would be nice.
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Lévis, Canada (Québec)
Posts: 144

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 19, 2018 Recommended | Price: $475.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Weather sealing, good IQ when stopped down
Cons: IQ wide open at wide angle, AF
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 6    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5, K-7, K10D   

I bought this lens used on eBay Canada to replace my 16-45mm F4 ED, as I wanted a wide angle lens with weather sealing.

The lens is a mixed bag when it comes to sharpness. The center sharpness is very high at medium apertures throughout the whole range, but wide-open, it's another story, with muddy corners and soft borders. For really sharp results across the frame, I have to stick to the 28-35mm range. The problem isn't much of an issue for portraits, as I tend to shoot at 50mm and F2.8, with the subject usually sitting in the sharp central area. Shooting wide open at 16mm is another story: F4 is usable, but the lens needs to be stopped down (to F5.6 or F8, depending on the focusing distance) to produce really sharp results across the frame. All that said, it's sharper than my old 16-45mm at F4 (the 16-45mm needed to be stopped down to F8 for good corner image quality and the center sharpness is great from F2.8, which still makes the lens more usable.

The bokeh is surprisingly good wide open and at pretty much all focal lengths: it's not buttery smooth, but it's rather pleasant for a zoom lens.

Lateral chromatic aberrations are very high throughout the 16-50mm range. They can be a real problem at wide angle, especially in the corners. I shoot RAW, so I can correct this in a single click, but JPEG users should be aware. Distortion control is nothing to write home about: there is a visible (slightly mustache-like) barrel distortion at 16mm. Thankfully, the distortion is much more manageable from 18mm. The vignetting is also pretty high wide open, which can be pleasing at 50mm, but is more of a bit of a nuisance at 16mm.

The high CAs in the corner and visible distortion and vignetting, combined with the less than satisfactory sharpness in the corners all point to the light not falling perpendicular to the sensor plane in the corners. The rear lens has a rather pronounced curvature for a modern lens, so one thing seems to explain another.

Lens flare is pretty well controlled, though not as good the 16-45mm.

Like with my 50-135mm F2.8, the autofocus is rather unimpressive: it's fast enough for most situations in good light, but it tends to hunt and be slow in low light. The accuracy is pretty good, however.

Bottom line, the lens is a good replacement for my 16-45mm, albeit an expensive one. Brand new, the lens is a bit overpriced considering its optical performances, but one of the very few that offer both weather sealing and wide angle. For the best possible value, buy the lens used (with some form of return policy, in case the SDM fails).
New Member

Registered: November, 2018
Posts: 14

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 4, 2018 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: build quality, all metal construction, sharp, large aperture
Cons: Non for a zoom lens
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-x and K3ii   

This is a zoom lens. People need to be aware of that. You cannot compare prime lens with a zoom lens. For what it is this lens is fast durable solid build with large aperture. I have used it since 2010 and i never regret buying it. It is expensive but you get what you paid for. Once you get to the high end product you get small incremental increase in performance and quality for a large amount of money. This lens is for somebody that is ready to pay and wants ultimate quality with weather seal and large aperture. If you are looking for a deal you can get a prime 50 mm lens from Pentax for 150 or less brand-new. It will be faster and has larger aperture.
But it is fixed length no weather seal no zoom. If you are taking indoors pictures and you don't need wide angle it will be good. But for using it outside it is a different story.
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 424
Review Date: July 30, 2018 Recommended | Price: $560.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Excellent build, quiet focusing, great in low light
Cons: Softness begins about 45% out from center when wide open, heavy,
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-70   

I gave my son-in-law my trusty SMC DA 16-45mm F4 ED AL K when I ordered this lens. I wanted a weather sealed lens I could use for landscapes as well as indoor and low light shooting.

This is a zoom lens, so it's not a prime lens. It is quite capable of producing good photos, but I was expecting a bigger jump in IQ overall for the money.

The constant aperture feature is nice, especially for indoor shots and decent bokeh.
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2015
Posts: 33

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 29, 2018 Recommended | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: great optics
Cons: chromatic aberation between f/2.8 - f/4
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 5    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax k5II and Pentax k5IIs   

Maybe i was expecting more from this lens if i put in balance the price i paid.

I tested this lens on Pentax K-5 II and Pentax K-5 IIs , but honestly i don't know what to say. For the price i paid i was expecting more.

- Chromatic aberration at f/2.8 and f/3.2. I got less chromatic abberation on a cheap Tamron 18-200/f3.5-6.3
- Lazy focus. I was expecting more from a SDM
- the hood is a litle bit larger. If you use this lens for holidays, is a little bit bigger with the hood on.

- Great optics after f/4
- Sharp
- Nice bookeh
- Bright
- Great colours
- very good in details
- Solid and high quality construction

So, if you can buy this lens with less than 500euro, go for it. It is a great lens for all around/travel.

Is much more better than Tamron 17-50/f2.8 and sigma 17-50/f2.8. It captures some details that only on full frame you can see.

I also attached some pics, straight from the camera.

Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 796

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 20, 2018 Recommended | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Constant F2.8 aperture, WR, silent AF
Cons: Big, heavy, not so good IQ, uncomfortable zoom ring
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 6    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-30, KP   

While stopped down the IQ of this lens is good, wide open not. I would not recommend a constant F2.8 standard zoom with this image quality below F4 if there were a comparable WR alternative. I had the tamron 17-50 F2.8 and that lens has a much better IQ except the bokeh. I have to say this lens has a nice bokeh, much better than what the tamron had. Altough the tamron was sharper, was more flare resistant and that was lighter and much cheaper. (and had focus issues...) The DA*16-50 also has a bad barrel distorsion at the wide end. I bought this lens for the WR-ness and the silent AF.
The build quality is very good, but the zoom ring is a little hard to move and not big enough to be comfortable while the focus ring is much bigger, then what I need. Also this lens is heavy and big. The hood is enourmous. If I can I leave it at home and bring only primes, but this isn't an option for a wedding for example. There are alternatives, but in general the lens is up to the challenge, so finally I recommend it.

Here are some images:
IMG170414_0019 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170603_0020 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170415_0027 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG161127_0015 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG161120_0021 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG161022_0014 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160709_0194 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160625_0001 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG180428_0388 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

And a cross eye 3D:
IMG180428_0104 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2018
Location: Kütahya/Merkez
Posts: 27

8 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 14, 2018 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast Aperture, Superior Build Quality, Sharp For A Zoom Lens, WR.
Cons: Minor Cons: A Bit Heavy, A Bit Slow AF, Vignetting, CA.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

Great all around lens.
+ Sharp enough for a zoom lens. (The edges are a little bit soft at wide open as usual.)
+ Covers the most needed focal lenghts for most jobs. (24-75mm Full Frame Equiv.)
+ Weather and Dust Proof.
+ Build like a tank. (This lens is really solid.)
+ Constant F/2.8 aperture saves lives when it comes to low-light shooting and portraits. (Especially at 50mm)
+ Bokeh is pretty good at 35-50mm f/2.8
- AF is a little bit slow. It's not the best lens for events or street photography. (That's why there are prime lenses.)
- Heavy and big. (It looks even scary at 50mm with the hood on. )
- It has serious vignetting problems at 16-24mm at f/2.8-4 (It can be easily fixed at post-processing.)
- It has serious CA problems. (It can be easily fixed at post-processing.)
- Manual focus ring is smooth but the range is so small, It's hard to use.
- Not the best lens when it comes to price/performance. (It definetly worth it for me but it's subjective.)

So, who should buy it?
* Beginner and enthusiast photographers who're looking for good quality all around lens for APS-C. This is the best you can find in the market for now.
* Any photographer who's looking for a WR, fast zoom lens. You don't care about anything. Simply take your camera and this lens and you're good to go. No worries at all.
* It's subjective but most travellers prefer to carry 1 or 2 lenses with them. This lens should definetly be one if you're using an APS-C body.
Who should not buy it?
* Photographers who shoot at events a lot and need fast AF to work with. This lens performs ok, but not the best when it comes to AF. It's a little slow.
* Street photograhers. This lens is a little bit big and heavy for this neeche. It pulls all the attention when it's zoomed in, especially with the hood on. It also lacks of fast AF. Go for a prime lens instead.

A few sample images taken with K-3 and DA* 16-50mm 1:2.8 SDM (Especially pay attention to chromatic aberration and sharpness):

This image was taken using manual focus but for some reason, the stars were blurry when i focused to infinity or around infinity. They were sharper when i pulled the focus to about 1.5 to 2 meters. It's weird, I'm trying to figure it out. Note that the blur in stars also has to do with the shutter speed being 30 seconds.

Some chromatic aberration is visible in high contrast areas like the edges of the flower. It was taken at F/4 at about 35 - 40 centimeters distance from subject.

This image was taken using Pentax K-3's HDR feature at +/- 3 Stops Auto setting. The lens was looking directly into the sun (behind the archer on the right). This image shows how DA* 16-50mm 1:2.8 SDM handles chromatic aberration in harsh light, literally shooting directly into the sun but it was taken to experiment and for fun.

An "OK" shot taken at sunrise.

You can also do street photography with this lens, in fact i did quite a lot of street photography with this lens but personally, i prefer the Pentax-A 50mm 1:1.7

The starburst effect at apertures F/8-22 is also quite pleasing for me.

Forum Member

Registered: August, 2014
Posts: 59

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 8, 2017 Not Recommended | Price: $349.00 | Rating: 1 

Pros: Good Bokah when needed, Quite AF,
Cons: Super bad AC, Super Soft on edges wide open, Vignetting, heavy
Sharpness: 3    Aberrations: 1    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 1    Handling: 3    Value: 1    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-3   

Kit lens is better, I would never recommend this lens.

I wanted a good zoom for my portraits, this was not it. Go ahead and skip it and get it out of your brain. I am looking at the 24-70 now for the replacement of this lens.
I did send it back after 2 sessions with this lens and I was super disapointed in the quality.
Contrast was OK but It could have been better.
If you are a pro or expect crisp images, this is not the lens you want.
For those hobbiest and don't care, it would make a good wide little zoom (NOT)
I do own a 18-275 which I love better, but I also own a 35m, 77m Limited and a 100 2.8. I have also owned a lot of other lenses as well and this has been the worst lens I have ever purchased.

I found super bad AC, distortion, vinetting around the edges. Auto focus was slow. Bad fringing.
It was heavy for the price as well as being super soft. I did find it to be the sweet spots as long as it was over F5 but even at that I need to shoot wide open most of the time for my kind of work... If your work is over F5 then use your judgement and don't say I warned you.

The only time I would recommend this lens is you were shooting over F5 for landscapes or if you needed it for other Geners of Photography. For portraits I would totally stay away from it. You get better quality from the regular Kit lens. Manual focus worked better than the autofocus. The autofocus was super disapointing to me.

Handling- Was very heavy, manual focus worked better than the autofocus. I was disapointed. Not only was it slow but it was soft. No crisp pretty sharp wide open. Again, for it to work right it had to be over F5.

Value- Even the value was horrible, I brought this used and was hoping for some awesome quaility but I was super disapointed in this lens and especially of how much it costed. I sent it back.

STAY AWAY! Keep with the Kit Lens!
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2012
Location: Joensuu (Finland)
Posts: 1,761

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 15, 2017 Recommended | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: High contrast, sharp
Cons: Lens flare in some situations
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5, K-5IIs, K-3II   

This was my third DA series lens. The first one was the very respectable DA18-55WR that came with my K-5 and later the DA10-17 joined the fun. I do have some very fine glass from the film era such as A24, F28, M35 and F50 so I have quality and speed covered, but not the versatibility of a zoom lens, WR and wide angle. After some analysis on lightroom regarding lens and focal lengths use (great tool for this purpose), I noticed that a lot of the shots done on good locations (generally bad weather conditions or difficult to move freely) were taken using the DA18-55WR. Comparing these with the few taken with F28 or F50 showed a subtle but worthy difference...
The DA*16-50 is a polemic lens and so I read, asked and read a little more to understand what the softness, aberration, distortion, etc. problems where all about. Finally, comments from other users and numerous samples at different settings convinced me that it was a good choice for my needs.

The following are some findings I didn´t read about when researching the lens.

Size & weigth: Ok, everybody writes about this regarding this lens, but perhaps this is a different approach: Not long ago, I was able to replace my F80-200 (300grs, sweeet) with the FA80-320 (550grs, similar size and weight as DA16-50). At first I was hesitant about this, but afer trying it I realized the weight and size actually helped with stability and felt better balanced with the body. Funny, I had never mounted a lens heavier than 300grs on my camera.
As expected, this also applies to the DA16-50, though not when picking it up or maneuvering one handed, even if only for a few seconds.
Transporting the lens is another thing. I was thinking about selling the DA18-55WR to recover some of the investment, but now I am thinking of keeping it for the times when portability is more important than ultimate IQ and/or adverse weather conditions are not expected.

Control layout: Excellent. I don´t know if this is relevant to more experienced users but I find it really easy and intuitive to set. May sound silly or obvious but I value a good efficient design.

Manual focus: I was surpriced to discover how easy it is to manually focus (stock viewfinder screen). Short but well dumped focus throw / ring makes things really pop on the viewfinder once in focus. I made a comparison with the A24/2.8, which has a similar distance scale (although larger focus throw), and the experiment confirmed the finding. Focus ring is big and well dumped. One more thing about focus ring: infinity stop actually corresponds to infinity!
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM Buy the SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM

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