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Review of the Pentax DA 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM lens
Nice balance and robust feel
Slightly stiff and jerky zoom action
This pro-caliber, standard-range, bright digital zoom ($1030, street) is the second Pentax to use sonic-wave autofocusing for very smooth and quiet AF. It works with newer Pentax bodies that accept the KAF2 mount. On older bodies such as the K100, it defers to the noisier, body-housed AF motor.
It is difficult to find a final verdict for the Pentax SMC DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM. On the one hand it has some obvious problems like a weak border performance at max. aperture and very pronounced lateral chromatic aberrations (CAs).
This lens is faster than most of my others, which is why I bought it for night photography.So there was a little learning on my part. At this time this lens not only gives me a much wider shot than my 50mm f1.4 but a cleaner sharper photograph.
I've waited a long time to get this lens and that wait was due to the worries of the SDM issues. However, it was assignments at my job that now prompts me to buy. Rather than getting new, I decided to try my luck at used.
I have had this lens for more than a year now and my experience is unfortunately quite mixed. I used it mainly for landscapes, with additonal filtering (Hoya Pro 1 D polarizer and Cokin P system).
- Weather sealed, - Sharpness, - Color accuracy
- Questionable durability/solidness (definitely in my case), - Poor flare resistance, - High level of chromatic aberration, - Needs the largest (and most expensive) square filters (vignetting is visible even with a wide-angle adapter for Cokin P system), - High price
Most of these reviews are misleading because they not all reviewing the 16-50mm lens (the product I wish to buy), but other pentax lens.
This lens has a lot going for it, and in my case a couple of problems. It's a good size, solid and smooth to use. Optically I can't fault it and it has stood up to some pretty wet conditions. It's the main lens I use on my K-7. I do find focussing a bit slow for this price point.
This lens performs very well at outdoor landscape photography, for which I use it almost exclusively. I really like the fact that it maintains constant f/stop while zooming. The auto-focus is quiet and quick, and the optical quality is high.
Semi-pro, whatever that means; an ex-art-school, passionately serious amateur.
Excelent for landscapes...
I owned this lens when I have my pentax k-5 like 3 years ago. Now all the sudden I want to write a review for this lens. I have used canon, Panasonic and now sony since I dump Pentax system 3 years ago. But now I look back at those photos took with Pentax k-5 and this lens.
Used this lense now for about 5 months. I love the quick Auto Focus. So far I have not had any issues with the SDM motor. Picture quality is outstanding. I also had the 16-85. sold on [[@]]. I just love the 2.8 on this lense. Once you get used to the size. You will be fine for almost every day use.