What is it with the Pentax DA* 16-50mm f2.8 ED AL?


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Parchiao

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#1
This question goes out to those who owned or own this lens,

Is there anything to be concerned with when buying this lens? I have read some negative opinions about how lens misbehaves when focussing across it's range, some to the extent that suggested the lens elements to be decentered.

What is your experience and what's your take on this?
 

jesster

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i have one, and no regret at all. but expected to bear the weight. :)
 

Gengh

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#3
I have one, has been my favorite and most used lens since I got it.

I was also worried at first about the problems that seemed to be commonly talk about for this DA*, but I decided to give it a try anyway, and it didn't disappoint. I've not done a brick wall test on it before, but then again I've always been happy with the pictures it gave me, so I don't see a need for that.

The focusing problems seem to plague only the K10D, as far as I've read, the other bodies don't face that problem. Decentering and lack of corner sharpness would of course remain regardless of the body used....
 

cubular

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I bit the ($950) bullet and got one sight unseen, as I need the basic benefits of SDM when shooting events.

Although I had the benefit of two copies to choose from at the time, I don't find this lens really all that sharp, especially wide open. Also, the SDM seems a bit "laggy", but then this is probably a systemic thing.

Anyone have any links to comprehensive reviews? The ones I've seen so far are just mainly images.
 

hjbyeo

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#5
how do you know it's de-centered?
 

longko

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#6
how do you know it's de-centered?
A common way to test is take a shot perpendicular to a brick wall. If one side is softer than the other, the lens is likely decentered. A common problem with DA* 16-50mm.

Here's a thread that faisalee commented in;
http://www.flickr.com/groups/pentaxdslrusers/discuss/72157605349647317/

Edit: IMHO, if u really want to get a new good copy of standard zoom f2.8, I strongly suggest Sigma 18-50mm f2.8. It's not the sharpest of the three (DA* 16-50mm, Sigma 18-50mm f2.8, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8), but you'll have the highest chance to get a good copy. DA* 16-50mm has lots of reported issues (check in pentaxforums), the Tamron is likely to have a little BF/FF.
 

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fengwei

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#7
A common way to test is take a shot perpendicular to a brick wall. If one side is softer than the other, the lens is likely decentered. A common problem with DA* 16-50mm.

Here's a thread that faisalee commented in;
http://www.flickr.com/groups/pentaxdslrusers/discuss/72157605349647317/
I don't know why our faisalee would say something like that at flickr 'cause I know what he said wasn't really entire true :dunno: He only got one copy, and it's not Amazon where he bought from. And the only one he got was a great copy ...

Actually this problem isn't very common, it's some users who just exaggerated the problem, and they reported this everywhere, made it look like a very common problem. The majority problem w/ this lens is its back focusing issue w/ K10D/K100Ds. And this problem goes away when the lens is mounted on a camera other than the K10D/K100Ds (mostly). As far as I know, all DA*1650 sold here locally in Singapore haven't had any problem so far (source from Shriro) :cool:

Personally I bought two copies of this lens, both are good copies optically, and their subsequent owners claimed the same.
 

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longko

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#8
I don't know why our faisalee would say something like that at flickr 'cause I know what he said wasn't really entire true :dunno: He only got one copy, and it's not Amazon where he bought from. And the only one he got was a great copy ...
In any case I'm only quoting what he had commented on his flickr acc, and judging from his album it's not a ghost/clone acc as I'd seen some shots there posted here. Maybe he didn't gave u the full story.

The majority problem w/ this lens is its back focusing issue w/ K10D/K100Ds. And this problem goes away when the lens is mounted on a camera other than the K10D/K100Ds (mostly). As far as I know, all DA*1650 sold here locally in Singapore haven't had any problem so far (source from Shriro) :cool:
That's not what Kevin told me when I sent my AF540FGZ for repaired. I was talking abt my Tamron 17-50mm having FF on K20D. He told me DA* also have at wide end, the trick is to zoom-in focus then zoom-out again.

Edit:
I bit the ($950) bullet and got one sight unseen, as I need the basic benefits of SDM when shooting events.

Although I had the benefit of two copies to choose from at the time, I don't find this lens really all that sharp, especially wide open. Also, the SDM seems a bit "laggy", but then this is probably a systemic thing.

Anyone have any links to comprehensive reviews? The ones I've seen so far are just mainly images.
And from cubular comment, I think maybe there's some issues with local copies just that nobody really bother send it in. That's unless the copies cubular encountered aren't local either. I mean not everyone will do a full test on the lens, and some just dun use them at f2.8.

Unlike overseas that have return policy, I think it's good that potiential buyers get the full facts and the know how to test the lens.
 

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fengwei

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#9
In any case I'm only quoting what he had commented on his flickr acc, and judging from his album it's not a ghost/clone acc as I'd seen some shots there posted here. Maybe he didn't gave u the full story.
I don't need his full story 'cause I knew the history and story about that lens ;)

That's not what Kevin told me when I sent my AF540FGZ for repaired. I was talking abt my Tamron 17-50mm having FF on K20D. He told me DA* also have at wide end, the trick is to zoom-in focus then zoom-out again.
Hmm, that's new to me, 'cause he told me most lenses including the DA*1650 work pretty well on K20D camera ...
 

longko

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#10
I don't need his full story 'cause I knew the history and story about that lens ;)
So maybe he did had returned some lens, for all we know. I don't know the story or history of whichever lens, I can only qoute what he had witten.

Hmm, that's new to me, 'cause he told me most lenses including the DA*1650 work pretty well on K20D camera ...
Well that's what he had told me, maybe u can ask him more in details. Maybe like u said pretty well, but doesn't mean excellent/perfect.

Edit:
For those potiential buyers, maybe can do a read up on this thread.
http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/.../22297-da-16-50mm-serial-number-database.html

BTW I'm not saying it's not a good or bad lens. I can only try to provide some feedbacks of what owners said, so one can decide better. Personally, I hate having things need to send back to Japan to repair or serviced as it normally takes a few months >.<
 

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creampuff

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#11
I've been reading so many "complaints" about this lens when people shoot brick walls.
This lens is a wide aperture wide angle zoom, so I would not expect the field curvature of the lens to be flat. So if one were to shoot a flat subject like a brick wall, the corners will appear soft, but shoot at normal subjects, this isn't a problem. I think the control of the curvature aberration is a trade off for such a zoom. It isn't easy to make a fast wide angle, what more a fast wide angle zoom.
 

longko

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#12
I've been reading so many "complaints" about this lens when people shoot brick walls.
This lens is a wide aperture wide angle zoom, so I would not expect the field curvature of the lens to be flat. So if one were to shoot a flat subject like a brick wall, the corners will appear soft, but shoot at normal subjects, this isn't a problem. I think the control of the curvature aberration is a trade off for such a zoom. It isn't easy to make a fast wide angle, what more a fast wide angle zoom.
Think ppl are upset that they paid for original brand but end up a 3rd party lens giving sharper result.^^; Anyway if u did do the test correctly and still have left side sharper than right side (vice verse), it's pretty much a decentered.
 

fengwei

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#14
So maybe he did had returned some lens, for all we know. I don't know the story or history of whichever lens, I can only qoute what he had witten.
Well, he might have returned some lenses, but definitely not any DA*1650. And I know where the only DA*1650 he ever had was really from :)

Well that's what he had told me, maybe u can ask him more in details. Maybe like u said pretty well, but doesn't mean excellent/perfect.
I was with Kevin just now after work. He might have said something about the zoom focusing thing, but he never claimed any focusing problem w/ the DA*1650 on a K20D, 'cause he never really did any test w/ this combo ;) But he did say that some copies of this lens have back focusing problem at wide end on a K10D ...

And nothing is perfect I guess. If we try hard enough, we'd be able to find some defects in about anything :)
 

fengwei

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#15
Okay, need to tell you all I am using the K100Ds. :cry:
Then why not upgrade to K200D :bsmilie:





Joke side, I guess it's your own decision. Do you really need 16mm F2.8? Do you really need SDM or weather sealed barrel? The K100Ds isn't weather sealed to begin with ...
 

art2d2

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#16
I bought my DA*16-50 locally end of April this year, that time I was using my K10D. I had to bring my 16-50 to Kevin to calibrate, twice. He gave me a lot of good advice on how to properly focus with the K10D, one of them the zooming in, focus then zoom out method. 1 month later I upgraded to K20D, the 16-50 works great on the K20D. No calibration needed. I did a few outdoor and indoor events, never did had a real AF issue. The only issue I feel is the overall Pentax AF system on both the K10D and K20D.

Last week I sold off my 16-50 and exchange it with a DA21. Reason being I seldom shoot wide and I wanted something lighter and smaller. The new owner was using a K10D, and I tested my lens with him, and it didn't have any focusing issues, pics are sharp.

There is nothing wrong with the lens, its a great lens, great built (weatherproof) and not too expensive for its price compared to other popular brands. Overall I would recommend it !
:thumbsup:
 

Parchiao

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#17
Then why not upgrade to K200D :bsmilie:

Joke side, I guess it's your own decision. Do you really need 16mm F2.8? Do you really need SDM or weather sealed barrel? The K100Ds isn't weather sealed to begin with ...
I want everything, just don't need a fantastic camera body. :bsmilie:
 

Parchiao

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#18
I bought my DA*16-50 locally end of April this year, that time I was using my K10D. I had to bring my 16-50 to Kevin to calibrate, twice. He gave me a lot of good advice on how to properly focus with the K10D, one of them the zooming in, focus then zoom out method. 1 month later I upgraded to K20D, the 16-50 works great on the K20D. No calibration needed. I did a few outdoor and indoor events, never did had a real AF issue. The only issue I feel is the overall Pentax AF system on both the K10D and K20D.

Last week I sold off my 16-50 and exchange it with a DA21. Reason being I seldom shoot wide and I wanted something lighter and smaller. The new owner was using a K10D, and I tested my lens with him, and it didn't have any focusing issues, pics are sharp.

There is nothing wrong with the lens, its a great lens, great built (weatherproof) and not too expensive for its price compared to other popular brands. Overall I would recommend it !
:thumbsup:
You seem to like the 'problematic' lenses. :bsmilie:

Did you manage to get to a grip on the DA*16-50mm issue or did it handle you more when used with the K10D?
 

istDeS

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#19
I have the DA*1650 for a year now. Bought it when it's first available here last year. I did a test with the lens on my K10D a week after the purchase and realised the lens slightly back focused at 16mm - 21mm at f/2.8-3.2. Informed Shriro about it and continued to use it without much problem for about 2 months till Shriro contacted me to send in the combo to do a calibration. Now I using the lens with the K20D without problem. I'm happy with my copy and personally, I like the colors produced by this lens.
 

art2d2

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#20
You seem to like the 'problematic' lenses. :bsmilie:

Did you manage to get to a grip on the DA*16-50mm issue or did it handle you more when used with the K10D?
Hmm not sure what you are referring to but I accepted the fact that there is focusing issues on the K10D with the DA*16-50. But there are ways to work around it. At that time I also had a lot of positive feedbacks on the AF performance of the DA*16-50 on the K20D. So I did the upgrade.

So my issue is not so much on the lens, its more on the camera body (K10D) and the overall Pentax AF system which only meets my expectations, but never exceeded it. The DA*16-50 that I had, I never notice any of the issues mention from other websites.
 

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