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

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

Sharpness 
 9.1
Aberrations 
 8.8
Bokeh 
 7.8
Autofocus 
 9.2
Handling 
 9.0
Value 
 8.3
Reviews Views Date of last review
37 234,609 Sat January 23, 2021
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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
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HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR
supersize

Description:
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
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 7 blades (rounded)
Optics
16 elements, 12 groups
Mount Variant
KAF3
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.5-5.6
Min. Aperture
F22-38
Focusing
AF (in-lens motor)
DC
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
35 cm
Max. Magnification
0.26x
Filter Size
72 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 83-19 ° / 74-16 °
Hood
PH-RBA 72 mm
Case
S90-140
Lens Cap
O-LC72
Coating
HD,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Diam x Length
78 x 94 mm (3.1 x 3.7 in.)
Weight
488 g (16.07 oz.)
Production Years
2014 to present (in production)
Pricing
$546 USD current price
Engraved Name
HD PENTAX-DA 1:3.5-5.6 16-85mm ED DC WR
Product Code
21387
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
☆☆☆ No coverage at any setting
Show details
Notes
Three aspherical elements and one ED glass element.
No autofocus on older bodies (*istD series, K100D, K110D, and film).

Features:
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
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 37
New Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Southern Finland
Posts: 4

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 13, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Versatile, sharp, reliable
Cons: size of hood
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5, K-3   

After two years of frequent usage (K-5, K-3) I am very happy with this lens. Sharpness is generally very good at all focal lengths. I also like the colors and contrast it produces (raw shooting mainly). The range 16 - 85 mm is very versatile making this a brilliant walk-around lens and travel lens. Being a zoom lens, of course, it is not very fast, but in low-light situations I do not hesitate to use it wide open. That is not the case with any other lens with somewhat similar specs.

DC autofocus has very seldom let me down, and in those dark low-contrast situations, I wonder if any autofocus mechanism would be 100 % reliable.

Size of the hood is the only negative aspect for me, yet not critical. (You get used to it.) Well, maybe the 72 mm filter size is another, but just because I used to have lenses with 67 mm filters earlier.

I bought my copy of this lens new, and would not say it was cheap. But it has been worth the money.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2017
Location: Sale, Cheshire
Posts: 81
Lens Review Date: September 1, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, contrast, build quality (including WR),
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

A superb lens that is as sharp as a good prime lens throughout it's zoom range (when shooting in RAW and sharpening appropriately), with excellent contrast. The lens is extremely competent, well built, and versatile, from wide angle views to landscapes, portraits and an excellent close-up lens at 85mm. At 16mm a little CA can be seen in extreme contrast conditions (removed with software), but otherwise CA is very well controlled.
The review of this lens (particularly the outstanding MTF resolution graphs) on the 'Ephotozine' website illustrates how good this lens is.
The AF is quick and very accurate and consistent, performing well into almost darkness with the K-3.
This is now my everyday lens which consistently gives excellent results, with consistent performance across the lens.
This is my 1st choice lens for camera club competition entries.
Due to its excellent performance, versatility, and weather resistance I would be loath to part with this lens.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2015
Location: California
Posts: 30

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 5, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $447.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, beautiful color
Cons: Heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-50   

I bought this as a travel lens, though it is heavier than I would prefer. The picture quality is amazing. It is as good or better than my 21mm prime and much better than my 35mm 2.4 prime. The focal range is a lot more versatile. I still use my 21mm when I want to carry something lighter. But for the weight, I would sell the 21mm and just use the 16-85.To show the color and clarity, I'm attaching a JPEGs that is straight out-of camera, at 16mm, with no processing.
As for the lens being "slow", I am attaching a second, straight-out-of camera unprocessed JPEG taken inside a relatively dark museum (Ufizzi) with no flash, at ISO 1600 on a K-50.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2018
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: September 28, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Vallue For Money
Cons: Very few
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3ii   

Excellent lens for the money. Really sharp, the go-to walk around lens in so many circumstances. If you wanted to take all my lenses away apart from one, this would probably be the one I'd choose, as it's so versatile. Really light for the range and quality and handles really well. The AF is swift and silent. Difficult to find a negative, especially at the price!






   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2016
Location: Gislev
Posts: 87

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 22, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, Ergonomics
Cons: Big, Double Cam Construction

An underrated Pentax Gem.

Up front: If you are looking for a lens this type for your Pentax Camera, GET IT! It will not let you down!

Pro: These days I don't bother hauling my Nikon D810 and its 24mm F1.4 around for anything at all. Why? Because this zoom on the K-3 II delivers photos on par with the pro Nikon full frame.

So I do recommend this lens highly!

To quote a review:
"It is an impressive lens which is easily as good if not better than similar offerings from Canon or Nikon. It is capable of producing surprisingly crisp and sharp images especially at medium aperture settings and the fairly low CAs contribute to the high quality perception.
...
The build quality is also on a high level with tight tolerances - that's despite the duo cam design (two inner lens tubes). Thanks to high quality plastics and nicely rubberized and smooth control rings, it's a joy to handle the lens out there. Some users may complain about the comparatively long size of the lens. While true you should keep in mind that there's surely a correlation to the high image quality here - big is simply often beautiful really. ..."

Weather and Dust-protection is a great thing to have, too. The autofocus is good and silent - but not blazingly fast.

I miss a focus scale, though.

It's a type of lens, I probably wouldn't buy, if it hadn't been part of the K-3 II-kit: I'm a prime lens-photographer.
And although the duo cam design works perfectly and with absolutely no wobble, it does make me uncomfortable ...

But then, there's the quality of the lens: Every time I look at the photos I make with it, i'm astonished at just how good and wonderful, they are - they are damned good. And I have to tell myself that I'm fortunate to have this lens and be a Pentax-user.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 2,438
Lens Review Date: July 4, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: range, sharpness, close focus
Cons: large hood, front element wider than body
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k-3ii   

I got this lens as an alternative to primes, it's more convenient when traveling. It fits that purpose well, the focal range is very handy. Paired with another lens, it allows for a flexible two lens kit:
- with a prime depending on the situation (normal, portrait or macro)
- with the 55-300 to cover a wide range
- with the da 15 if I need even wider angle and less flare

Across the range it's sharp. At 85mm it's better to stop down to f8. At 16mm it has some chromatic aberration and distortion is visible, but darktable comes with effective lens correction presets.. Flare control is good, especially considering the number of elements. Compared to the da limiteds, it's probably as sharp, but the rendering and color are not as special.

Bokeh is rather busy in close-up photos if branches or grass are in the background, otherwise bokeh is smoother (but not exceptional). I'm not rating how blurry the background can get but how I perceive its quality, it's not a large aperture lens.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Roskilde, Denmark
Posts: 1,382
Lens Review Date: July 8, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $611.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast, silent
Cons: weight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

This has become my new everyday lens. Of course the weight is a con when walking around, but I like the zoom-facility. This lens replaced my 18-50 DA-L lens, which came with my camera, - and what a jump in quality :-)
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Location: Budapest
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: July 4, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: super sharp everywhere
Cons: red ring; not parfocal, no distance scale
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

Why not green?

   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 11,380

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $540.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid IQ, Easy to handle
Cons: Within specs, none.

Within specs, this is really an excellent lens, delivering superior IQ. It's not fast so it won't deliver shallow DOF shots--but you knew that right?

It was my most used lens on my recent trip to Cancun, giving way to other, specialized, lenses when I needed telephoto, fast or UWA. It's definitely going to be my main knock-about lens for the foreseeable future.

FWIW while it's hard to squeeze bokeh out of this lens given the aperture limitation but when you are able to get enough separation between the subject & background, the oof areas are quite nice--maybe not exquisitely buttery, but certainly calm.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,938

8 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 4, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $447.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Even sharpness, good control of aberrations
Cons: Wide hood
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

I was impressed by this lens when it made its first (unexpected) appearance in late 2014, and am even more impressed now having used my own copy over the last week to photograph fireworks, flowers, people, and architecture. The sharpness approaches a very good prime, and is remarkably even across the frame.The bokeh is smooth and very attractive. Aberrations are well controlled, with only minor CA near the edges. The barrel distortion at 16mm is almost gone by 21mm, and is easily corrected. Autofocus is fast, accurate, and unobtrusive. In summary, there is nothing not to like in this lens, though of course one could always wish for more speed.

The common comparator of the DA 16-85 is the DA 18-135. They look very similar and are built to similar high standards. However, the 16-85 is clearly superior optically. The 18-135 is noticeably soft at the edges and prone to CA there; the 16-85 is pin-sharp, and CA is both less common and less pronounced. Now, I LOVE the 18-135; it's a terrific travel lens, but in most respects it is bettered by the 16-85. Perhaps the only area where the older lens wins (depending on your taste) is its more vibrant colour rendition. On a sunny blue-sky day, the 18-135 seems to have its own built-in polarizing filter; the 16-85 too, but less so. The 16-85 is slightly bigger and slightly heavier than the 18-135, but nothing too noticeable. It is not a big lens when you compare it with what you see on Canons or Nikons.

Of course, the biggest difference between the two lenses is the (defining) focal length range. Anyone looking to purchase one or other of these lenses should primarily be concerned with whether they need or prefer the extra 50mm at the long end of the 18-135, or the extra 2mm at the short end of the 16-85, and then secondarily with the optical quality. Balancing off 2mm with 50mm seems an uneven contest, but that 2mm really does translate to a substantially wider field of view. My perspective is that if I were limited to one WR zoom while travelling, I would take the 18-135. However, if I had the 55-300 or equivalent with me too, I'd take the 16-85 instead, even if I also had the DA 15 Ltd with me as well (I never go anywhere without the DA15).

Whereas my copy of the DA 18-135 is just on the verge of zoom creep, the 16-85 is by comparison very stiff. There is no danger of creep with this lens.

I also like the new-style lens cap on the DA 16-85. It's big and easy to handle. The only very minor complaint is that the hood is very wide when attached to the lens in reverse for storage in a bag, making the fit a little awkward at times.

All round, I really can't see any reason not to give this lens full marks, relative to price.

UPDATE: After a lot of shots at a sand sculpture exhibition, in brilliant sunshine, I retain my view that this lens is an excellent all-rounder. However, do not expect it to rival the DA15 at its short end. Although sharp enough at 16mm, it lacks the prime's punch there, which is not surprising for a 5.3x zoom. My limited sampling of focal lengths so far suggests the 16-85 is particularly strong from 20-60mm, but really, you have to pixel peep pretty hard to see any flaws beyond that range.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 7

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 29, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: tagliente anche a tutta apertura
Cons: nessuno
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: pentax k3   

Ottimo obiettivo, va bene anche per il ritratto, avrei preferito un f4 ma va bene cosi,


   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2010
Location: Sebastopol, California
Posts: 2,020

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 12, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Covers most-used focal lengths
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

I've tried my share of zoom lenses and never found one that met or exceeded my expectations. For that reason I've always had a stable of prime lenses.

But this zoom is a treasure. I wanted a zoom with first rate IQ that I could use for 90% of the shooting I do, and this lens is serving well for that. So my overall 10 rating is meant to bestow high praise on what was achieved for a zoom covering this particular FL. I could've found ways to criticize, but I'm so grateful someone made such a quality, lightweight lens in the 16-85 range I can't bring myself to nitpick (sure, if it were F2.8 that would be great, but then it would also be a lot bigger and heavier, and I most often shoot at F5.6 and F8 anyway, so any lens is a compromise in some manner). For me, this is the best all-purpose lens Pentax offers right now, and the price new seems fairly reasonable as well.

Shot at 48mm, F5.6:
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 4,491

15 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 17, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $646.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, contrasty, vivid color rendition, excellent performance throughout zoom range
Cons: 72mm filter ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5iis   

The DA 16-85 has quickly established itself as one of the very best APS-C standard zooms for the K-Mount, rivaling even the DA* 16-50 for sharpness and contrast. You give up aperture speed to gain the longer range. For landscape and general travel photography, you cannot do any better.

The lens is tack sharp, corner to corner, throughout much of its range, only losing a little sharpness toward the far edges in the 50mm to 85mm range. Thanks to the HD coatings, lens contrast is remarkably good, especially considering the amount of glass in the lens. Flare control is good as well, although it doesn't quite match what can be attained by the DA limiteds. At 16mm, this lens is sharper toward the edges than my DA 15 (although not as sharp away from the edges); and it's at least as sharp as my HD DA 21. The limiteds render a bit better; but the differences are often quite subtle, and can take a sharp eye to notice. For landscape photographers shooting Pentax APS-C, the DA 16-85 is the ideal lens to build a kit around.

At 16mm:



At 26mm:



At 35mm:



At 85mm:

   
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:

http://smarcoux.zenfolio.com/p1060481141

A really useful lens for my Nature photography quest for sure and also useful for family photo and vacation.
My review on my Blog: http://steevemarcoux2.com/2015/03/20/pentax-da-16-85mm-wr-early-review/
   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Posts: 7,816

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





f8


f5.6
















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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