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HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Reviews Views Date of last review
37 234,535 Sat January 23, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
92% of reviewers $527.79 9.08
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

The HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm zoom was presented at Photokina 2014 and is expected to ship in November of 2014.

This zoom represents an upgrade from the 18-55mm kit lens being wider as well as having a longer reach and adding to that silent autofocus thanks to a built-in DC autofocus motor.

The lens is weather resistant.

HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 7 blades (rounded)
16 elements, 12 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (in-lens motor)
Min. Focus
35 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
72 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 83-19 ° / 74-16 °
PH-RBA 72 mm
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Diam x Length
78 x 94 mm (3.1 x 3.7 in.)
488 g (16.07 oz.)
Production Years
2014 to present (in production)
$546 USD current price
Engraved Name
HD PENTAX-DA 1:3.5-5.6 16-85mm ED DC WR
Product Code
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
☆☆☆ No coverage at any setting
Show details
Three aspherical elements and one ED glass element.
No autofocus on older bodies (*istD series, K100D, K110D, and film).

Supersonic AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos

Add Review of HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Buy the HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 31-37 of 37
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: montreal
Posts: 136

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 25, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, WR, range
Cons: location of the focusing ring
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K50   

I bought that lens because of it's range and WR, there wasn't much user opinions or review but I decided to go ahead and buy one. No regret, it's a great lens with very good sharpness even at close range and in the corners. Nice Bokeh as a bonus of the rounded aperture blades, no CA up to now. I like to use it for "intimate view" .... small part of the landscape or close-up shots.
I did some comparison with my Tamron 90mm Macro (model 72E) and at f/5.6 the Tamron have a slight edge on sharpness but at f/8 there is no real advantage and in the field it would be irrelevant (this was for center sharpness since I didn't care about the corners, I want to use it for photographing frogs and corners are not important).
Here is a gallery of photos taken with it, I will load photos as I gain more shooting images from the field, not a place to look at sharpness but more for rendering and Bokeh:

A really useful lens for my Nature photography quest for sure and also useful for family photo and vacation.
My review on my Blog:

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Posts: 7,815

12 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 21, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $680.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, well-made, WR, great colours, DC focus
Cons: Large
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

I've been asked to post my opinion about my newly acquired HD 16-85mm. So here it is. You can click images to get to larger versions.

I am comparing the lens mainly to the DA 18-55 WR and the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-f4.5 (version 1). The 16-85 will replace the kit lens as my WR lens, and might replace the Sigma for many walkaround occasions. If it lives up to my expectations, that is.

The lens is larger than I thought. Mainly longer. It's surprisingly larger than the Sigma. However, it has the same weight.

It is, of course, much larger than the kit lens, but I decided to include pictures to give a sense of scale.

The finish matches the K-3 (and other bodies) perfectly. Really beautiful. It balances well also, because of the relative low weight. The zoom ring falls under the hand quite naturally. This is my first lens with the focus ring near the body. It's ok, not better than at the front, but I don't expect to use it a lot.

The zoom ring is smooth, and I am not worried by the lack of a lock : I'm sure it won't move. The focus ring is interesting, in the fact that it has soft stops. This means that when you reach the end of its throw, it keeps moving with more friction. It's nice, though the 60-25, which has the same system, has much more friction, so the transition is easier to see. There are no focus distance marks anywhere.

Quick note : the lens cap is a new design, with less rounded features than the usual.

In use the lens is just great. 16mm makes a visible difference, even when compared to 17mm. It feels like I've stepped into UWA territory for the first time. The 85mm range is also a bonus over what I own. All in all the range feels extremely useful and well chosen (Pentax is not alone in choosing this range of course). Here is an example of the same scene at 16 and 85mm to give a sense of scale.

AF is a wonder. It's even more silent than the SDM motor of the 60-250. It's faster by all accounts. It seems accurate, at least I've had no misses so far. It is also leagues ahead of any screw-drive lens when using live view or video. The Sigma is no slouch but the 16-85 is even more responsive.

I have mainly tested the lens outside, in good light. That's where I expect to use it. And it performs above my expectations there. Colours are saturated and accurate, sharpness is better than excellent, there are no CA and PF to speak of. I see some distortion at 16mm, as expected, but it's not bad at all.

Here are many samples pictures. I invite you to click the images to get to larger versions. In particular, look at the texture on my son's hat. And if you see haze in the outdoors images, it's because the waterfall is throwing mist around



Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2009
Location: West Cornwall
Posts: 123

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 25, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $743.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Good zoom range, especially wide, feels nice to use.
Cons: Average sharpness for the price, poor max apertures.
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 3    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-3   

I cannot agree with the glowing reports this lens is getting. I bought one to try before any technical reviews were out and tested it (unscientifically) around my area.
Bearing in mind I was comparing it to the 18-135 which I had relegated to a shelf "in case I need a Weather Resistant lens one day" I was hoping for great things from the price and preliminary write ups.

The first couple of days I was impressed by the smooth quiet and accurate focusing, and the wide angle reach at 16mm, but the next couple of dull days showed the limits of the narrow aperture especially at the long tele end of the range, with auto ISO selecting comparatively high settings.

Then going through the images I had made, I began to get a general "MEH" very average impression. None of the images "Leapt off the monitor" with biting sharpness or zingy contrast.

Looking closer revealed smeary unsharpness in corners at the wide end, and distortion-unattractive!

At the tele end the corners were better but it seemed OVERALL sharpness was down to achieve better corners.

I was left with a feeling of disappointment that a fairly expensive lens, even at a good discount price had - for me - an average performance.

This lens in OKAY but no more, I have returned it as unsuitable while the 18-135 still keeps its place on my shelf, and occasionally on my camera.
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2011
Posts: 968

79 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 7, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $646.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent Zoom Range, 16mm, Outstanding Sharpness, DC/WR
Cons: Constant F/4 would have made it perfect :/
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-3   

I am not the owner of this lens however it was sent to me to help with the official in-depth review that Adam is about to publish very soon. Hence why you won't see any sample images other than my crop comparisons below

BUT I wanted to share my experience with the lens since I'm not writing the actual review and it may be of some benefit to some of you

First Impressions and Build Quality

Not as big as I thought it would be, as the photos from Photokina and CP+ made it look a lot bigger. I thought it would dwarf the 16-50, especially with its "massive" hood, but that isn't the case. Here are some product photos taken to compare its size against both the DA* 16-50 and the 18-135 WR:

By themselves:

By themselves, zoom fully extended

Hoods reversed for storage:

Hoods attached normally:

Hoods attached, full zoom extension:

As for the build itself, it's extremely well made and has an excellently tight build quality. Nothing rattles, shakes, jiggles, wobbles, etc. The zoom ring is tight as well - moreso than either the DA* 16-50 or the 18-135 and even at full extension with the hood attached there wasn't the slightest hint of lens creep in either direction ("slipping out" or "shrinking in").

I haven't tested the WR (shocker, I know ), but I am confident it would do just fine here. I had it in a light drizzle, but we all know that doesn't count for a weather sealing test

The hood is very well made and has an excellent feel to it. I think they used a different material to line the inside of it because it's matte black as you'd expect but it's the finest (by "fine" I mean smallest/thinnest/smoothest/etc.) material I've ever felt in a hood like this. Really impressed. And then the hood has the expected window for polarizer filter rotation.


Not much to say here - very quick and silent. The focus throw is a bit longer than I expected (longer than the 18-135 by quite a bit), but it didn't seem to have an impact on focus speed (so....faster DC motor?). So for it's intended purpose - for a landscape/all-in-one zoom lens it's not a hindrance in the slightest as I've noticed.

Image Quality

What you've been waiting for, huh? I took comparison shots and merged them into single files to make it easier to view. All the images are labeled below using the three lenses mentioned above.

Also, they are all 100% crops taken from the same position, on a tripod, using 2s timer, and with both center and their associated corner crops.

16mm/18mm, wide open

16/18mm, f/5.6

16mm/18mm, f/8.0

Moving up to 50mm to test the center (ish) of both the 16-85 and 18-135 and the long end of the DA* 16-50.

50mm, wide open

50mm, f/5.6

50mm, f/8.0

And now I compared both the last two DC WR zooms at their max zoom, and then upres'ed the 16-85 image to match the 18-135 to see how that would compare.

85/135mm, wide open

85/135mm, f/8.0

Aperture Range

This chart should help:

Apologies for the lack of uniformity in the styles - I used the same chart from the 18-135 review that I wrote but I simply (and quickly) added the 16-85 info using MS Paint for this user review.


My down and dirty assessment? Many people bitched and complained about Pentax losing their ability to make lenses because it was "only f3.5-5-6" and thus it was going to suck as a way over priced kit lens.

It's good to see Pentax still has it's A-game as an optics company, because this lens has impressed the hell out of me. Way more expensive than the 18-135 because it deserves to be - significantly better optics and the 16mm vs 18mm is a critical difference for landscape shooters. Critical. And it's not much larger as well.

If you can afford it, then I'd recommend the 16-85 over the 18-135 100% of the time. Without any reservation.

As for the 16-50, that's a tough one. It appears sharper wide open than the DA* (by quite a margin) but the 16-50 pulls ahead when you stop down. It seems the 16-85 is damn near its peak from wide open, which is impressive. And while perhaps not the best choice at times if you need max resolution, the DA* 16-50 still does offer that constant f/2.8 across the zoom range. So as it is, at full retail, I'd recommend the 16-85 (unless you need the f/2.8 and beefier weather resistance) and if you can get the DA* for a good deal used for less than the 16-85 (as it's too new to have any used samples available), then I'd go for the DA*.

Regardless, this means only one thing - the 16-85 is a fantastic optic (have you noticed the Z-E-R-O amount of CA any any aperture?!) and I can't wait to see what Ricoh has in store for any future Pentax lenses (DA* 16-50 MK II, DFA* 24-70, etc.). Bravo, Pentax. Bravo.

As for the scoring, I gave it a 10 in sharpness although it lagged a hair behind the DA* at f/8.0 because of it's unbelievable corner performance, especially compared to the other two. I'm blown away. Ditto for Aberrations (a level of performance I've never seen before, from any lens).

Overall I gave it a 9/10 because yea, it's expensive and f/5.6 rather than constant f/4.

Bottom Line - Will I buy it?

So am I going to buy one? Right now no, for no other reason than I don't have a need for it as my photography has become less about adventure/outdoor pursuits and more about family portraiture (and I'm in the process of streamlining my kit and reducing overlap between lenses).

BUT I will find myself in a deployable manner once again about this time next year, and if there's no DA* 16-50 replacement, I can honestly tell you that I will seriously consider using the DA 16-85 DC WR for my next deployment photojournalism series as a standard lens. It's very possible, because it's that versatile and capable.

I hope you found my user review helpful!
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Brussels
Posts: 12

10 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 31, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, contrast, reach, robustness, WR
Cons: Fairly large, extends a lot when zooming
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

I got this lens a month ago as a walk-around solution, for those days when I do not want to carry several primes with me. I have compared it extensively to my existing lenses at F5-6 to 8 - the f stop range at which I use my lenses most of the time. At these settings it clearly beats my cherished FA20-35 at every focal length in terms of resolving capacity, sharpness, colour and contrast. It is on par with my FA31 and M50 1.7, and beyond 50mm it is not much behind my DA*50-135. In short, at the wide end I find this lens to be outstanding and at the long end I think it is still very, very good. Add to that its sturdy construction, good handling, almost total absence of CA, WR, and fast DC focussing and you have a clear winner. Here are a few examples:
Junior Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Cardiff, UK
Posts: 47

13 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 24, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, WR, colours, contrast, range
Cons: no point in asking for it to be faster - it is what it is
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

No lens is perfect, but this is the lens that the flawed 17-70 should have been. It may not have the constant f4, but it goes wider and longer and outdoes it easily in every other respect. It is sharp through the range - consistently excellent sharpness, too. 16mm is really impressive; even at 85mm it is very good indeed. Focusing is spot on: even in relatively low light it copes well, although limitations become visible (as they often do at f5.6 onwards) once the light levels dip a lot. Bokeh: surprisingly good (but do not expect 85mm f2 style bokeh). Contrast and colour: excellent. Much better than the deservedly loved 16-46 through that zoom range. Much better than the 18-135: on centre sharpness alone this beats it and across the frame it does by a distance. Better than the 18-250: good as that lens might be in many ways, it gets softer after around 65mm whereas this one is sharp all the way to 85mm wide open. Also preferable to the Sigma 17-50 in many of these respects, too. The latter is faster, but is not reliable focusing at wide angle (where it is hardly any faster at all), is nowhere near so well built and its range is limited to 50mm. CA well controlled. There are prime lenses that might do better (FA 43; DA35, 15, 70, & 21 Ltds - especially for compactness), but the differences are not as great as one might think. This is the 'standard' zoom that the K3 deserves.
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Posts: 27

26 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: general performance and sharpness 16-35 across the frame, hardly any CAs, low distortion, compact and good built
Cons: needs lot of light, sharpness 55mm and above
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

I recently received my copy of the HD 16-85 and after some short shootings I should be ready to share some early technical observations concerning the lens. I may add, the review is based on a short phase of usage and might by supplemented by later experiences.

In short the performance between 16 and 35mm is impressive and definitvely a step forward from the DA 16-45/4, a lens it shares with its dimensions. The lens weak spot is clearly located at 85mm.

The lens is made in Phillipines. The zoom ring is quite stiff with even resistance, which only falls off short of 85mm. In contrary the focussing ring is smooth running enabling very fine focus adjustment. DC motor focussing is generally fast and almost inaudible, but it in low light it obviously needs the focussing assistant light more often than other standard zooms. The focusing ring is very nonslip but the nubs soon collect some dust soon. Having the lens hood removed the lens shadows the built in flash (K5) between 16 and approximately 24mm. With the lens hood attached, the shadow last for a wider range.
As far as I can tell the lens shows good colour response.
Sharpness between 16mm and 35 is exellent across the frame excelling the well received DA16-45 in this regard. Fall off to the edge of the frame is really small, showing a very even focusing plane. Sweet spot seems to be around 24mm. But also at 35mm there is hardly any difference between this lens and the DA 35/2.4@4.5. However sharpness from 45mm onward is a different story, where performance is similar to or below that one of a DA18-250 (being a lens with a quite good reputation with regard to sharpness characteristics).
A small amount of chromatic aberrations occur at 16mm (yellow-magenta) while being literally invisible between 20 and 55mm. At 85mm very few red-blue aberrations reapear remaining hardly visible.
Moderate barrel distortion is present at 16mm, zero crossing around 24mm, afterwards light pincushion distortion is visible.
Vignetting characteristics remind me of a DA18-250, especially at 16mm/3.5 vignetting is visible.
Built quality is very good, definitely a step forward from the DA16-45.
Add Review of HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Buy the HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

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