Pentax DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED/AL (IF) SDM User Review

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Pentax DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED/AL (IF) SDM User Review

Postby rei_vilo » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:06 pm

Please find the list of my :arrow: Pentax K10D Related User Reviews.
---






Bonjour,

At last, after many, many months of patience, the Pentax DA * 16-50mm F2.8 ED/AL (IF) SDM has finally arrived :)

I hope to post something next week.

Stay tuned :!:
Last edited by rei_vilo on Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:09 am, edited 3 times in total.
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
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Postby Gordon Laing » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:54 pm

Congrats Rei! Looking forward to hearing what you think!
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Postby Markh » Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:12 pm

Enjoy the new lens! Look forward to a review.
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Postby rei_vilo » Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:55 pm

Bonsoir,

This Saturday was sunny, so I could test my new lens.
  1. First hands-on
  2. DA* 16-50mm versus DA 18-55mm
  3. First pictures
  4. DA* 16-50mm picture comparison versus DA 18-55mm
  5. Aperture test
  6. Pros and cons and wrap-up
  7. More pictures
  8. Depth of Field Test

Please note that the pictures shown are un-retouched.
During the test, I had to change from Flickr to Picasa, adding some troubles with links :? .
Here we go :!:
Last edited by rei_vilo on Mon Dec 24, 2007 7:56 am, edited 4 times in total.
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
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Postby rei_vilo » Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:12 pm

1- First hands-on

The SMC DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM is an impressive piece of manufacturing. It's heavy, dense, solid.

Image
The SMC DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM and the SMC DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM share the same rings : one green, another gold.

What a name! This lens is packed with so much technology!
    SMC = super multi coating
    ED = Extra-low Dispersion
    AL = Aspherical Lens
    IF = Internal Focus
    SDM = Supersonic Direct-drive Motor

The lens comes with a rear cap, a front cap (of a new and better kind, with inner handling), a hood and a soft case.

A first ring is for zooming, the second for manual focus. Both rings are large and comfortable.

Image
Due to its relatice heavyness, the 16-50 requires care when fixing and unfixing it to the K10D. That's not easy, since the fixed part between the two ring is not very large. The usual orange dot is here.

When fixed, the center of gravity remains close to the K10D. Also, the 16-50 weight isn't as heavy as the 50-135, so handling the K10D + 18-50mm lens remains easy and confortable.

Image
Contrary to the 50-135mm, the lens does move outside in accordance with the zoom.

Image
A dedicated button switches the auto-focus on and off and is logically connected with the AF selector on the K10D (continuous, single, off). Once again, Pentax ergonomics are great.

SDM motor is quiet and fast. Actually so quiet that I strongly recommend to set the bip on for focus, through MENU > Preferences > Sound > Focus.

A small windows gives the distance in metric and imperial units.

All this comes at a price. The weight of the K10D and the 16-50mm combined reaches 1,4 kg / 3,1 lb. Operating the camera with one hand is still possible but I recommend using both hands or, even better, the BG2 grip. Total weight is then pushed up to 1,7 kg / 3,7 lb! Another consequence is the need of a stronger bag.

Needless to remind that K10D firmware needs to be updated to 1.30. However, the box reads
When this lens is mounted on an *ist D series, K100d or K110D camera, autofocus is driven by the camera motor, not the supersonic motor in the lens.



Note 1 : All the picture are available :arrow: here
NOTE 2 : Obviously, the pictures weren't taken with the K10D but with a point-and-shoot digicam. I apologize for the poor quality :D .
Last edited by rei_vilo on Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
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Postby rei_vilo » Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:25 pm

2- DA* 16-50mm versus DA 18-55m

The lens connectors

We see: 1 more connector on the outer metal ring and 2 more connectors on the inner dark ring. The screw head for focusing remains in the DA*.

Left, the DA connector; right, the DA* connector
Image

The front cap

Left, the DA front cap; right, the DA* front cap, easier to handle.
Image


Comparison

Clockwise from top left : the DA at 18mm, 35mm, 45mm and 55mm
Image

Clockwise from top left : the DA* at 16mm, 28mm, 35mm and 50mm
Image

The DA* does move!By the way, I realize how compact the DA 18-55mm is.

Both lenses at min
Left, the DA; right, the DA*
Image

Both lenses at max
Left, the DA; right, the DA*
Image

I apologize for the quality of the pictures: they weren't taken with a K10D and a DA* lens :lol:
Last edited by rei_vilo on Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
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Postby rei_vilo » Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:02 pm

3- First pictures

I think it's time for some pictures. Here are the first shots I did yesterday.

All the pictures were taken in Chartres, where there'i a beautifull cathedral, in green mode or P mode.

My very first picture
1/250 f5,6 16mm ISO 100
Image

1/250 f4 50mm ISO 100
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See how the light is captured: that's simply amazing :!:
1/90 f4 50mm ISO 100
Image

1/90 f4 50mm ISO 100
Image

Now, indoors. This is a test for back-focus reported in some forums. No such a case for me, I'm lucky :)
1/2 f4 50mm ISO 1600, with shake reduction :!:
Image

That's another clear example of the winning combination of shake reduction, small f value and high ISO brough by rthe K10D and DA* lens.
0.7s f4 45mm ISO 1600, also with shake reduction :!:
Image

You could find other pictures of the cathedral of Chartres :arrow: here.

Since today's is rainy :(, we should wait for next Saturday for the DA 18-50mm versus DA 16-50mm picture comparison.

Stay tuned :!:
Last edited by rei_vilo on Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com
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Postby Markh » Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:37 pm

Great review. Very detailed and informative.
Markh
 

Postby Gordon Laing » Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:41 pm

Hi Rei, great stuff so far! Looking forward to the rest!

PS - you'll see there's a link to your K10D user review on our front page!
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Postby rei_vilo » Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:41 am

Bonjour Gordon,

Yes, I noticed the link on the front page, clicked on, and was surprised to read my own post :!:

Congratulations for the new look, it's nicier and easier.

I'm really surprised by the 10,000 views on my K10D user review :) I hope Camelabs could obtain the DA* lenses and publish a full review, they're just splendid.

Best regards,
Last edited by rei_vilo on Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com
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Postby rei_vilo » Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:58 pm

The zoom-in / zoom-out seems to be not as smooth as for the DA* 50-135mm.

Clockwise from top left : the DA* at 16mm, 28mm, 35mm and 50mm
Image

There’s a slight resistance starting at 28mm, when zooming-in if the lens points upside. It's the effort of pushing the inside barrel outside.

Similarly, there’s the same slight resistance at 35mm, when zooming-out if the lens points downside. It's the effort of pulling the inside barrel inside.

It might be caused by the fact the lens is bold new. However, best solution is to keep the lens straight vertical.

Weather permitting, I hope to post the next instalments (DA* 16-50mm picture comparison versus DA 18-55mm and aperture tests) next week :!:
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com
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Postby rei_vilo » Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:58 pm

4- DA* 16-50mm picture comparison versus DA 18-55mm

The pictures were shot on JPEF and no picture was post-processed. The center and top right crops are 600x600. I was expecting much more difference between both lenses. Maybe the explanation is the weather, somehow foggy.

DA not available - DA* - 16,0 mm - 1/500 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100
Image

Image

Image


left: DA - 18,0 mm - 1/500 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100 - right: DA* - 19,0 mm - 1/500 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100
ImageImage

ImageImage

ImageImage


left: DA - 35,0 mm - 1/500 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100 - right: DA* - 34,0 mm - 1/350 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100
ImageImage

ImageImage

ImageImage


left: DA - 50,0 mm - 1/750 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100 - right: DA* - 50,0 mm - 1/500 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100
ImageImage

ImageImage

ImageImage


DA - 55,0 mm - 1/500 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100 - DA* not available
Sorry, this picture is blurred :(
Image

Image

Image


:arrow: The DA* lens provides superior quality: less chromatic aberration and crispier images.

All the picture are available at my :arrow: album, now under Picasa.
Last edited by rei_vilo on Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:00 am, edited 6 times in total.
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com
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Postby rei_vilo » Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:01 pm

5- Aperture test

I performed two series of tests, one at 16mm, the other at 50mm, to check vignetting. See by yourself :!:

At 16mm

16,0 mm - 1/2000 sec - f2,8 - ISO 100
Image

16,0 mm - 1/1500 sec - f3,5 - ISO 100
Image

16,0 mm - 1/1000 sec - f4 - ISO 100
Image

16,0 mm - 1/750 sec - f4,5 - ISO 100
Image

16,0 mm - 1/500 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100
Image

16,0 mm - 1/350 sec - f6,7 - ISO 100
Image

16,0 mm - 1/250 sec - f8 - ISO 100
Image

16,0 mm - 1/180 sec - f9,5 - ISO 100
Image

16,0 mm - 1/125 sec - f11 - ISO 100
Image

16,0 mm - 1/90 sec - f13 - ISO 100
Image

16,0 mm - 1/60 sec - f16 - ISO 100
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16,0 mm - 1/45 sec - f19 - ISO 100
Image

16,0 mm - 1/30 sec - f22 - ISO 100
Image


At 50mm

50,0 mm - 1/2000 sec - f2,8 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/1500 sec - f3,5 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/1000 sec - f4 - ISO 100
Image
The vignetting seen in previous pictures has disappeared.

50,0 mm - 1/750 sec - f4,5 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/500 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/350 sec - f6,7 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/250 sec - f8 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/180 sec - f9,5 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/125 sec - f11 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/90 sec - f13 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/60 sec - f16 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/60 sec - f19 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/60 sec - f22 - ISO 200
Image
Last edited by rei_vilo on Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com
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Postby rei_vilo » Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:02 pm

6- Pros and cons and wrap-up

Pros
  • Build high quality
  • Silent and fast AF
  • Lens and image quality
  • In-door versatibilty
Cons
  • Some light vignetting
Wrap-up
  • With this new lens, we're dealing with truly professional gear. I would say, as for the DA* 50-135mm, that the DA* 16-50mm is the lens the K10D was waiting for.
  • As always with Pentax, ergonomics and ease of use are great. The weight and size of the lens are normal.
  • During my test today, I haven't felt the limitation to 50mm and haven't missed the extra zoom provided by the DA 18-55mm.
  • Most important, image quality is here and I had a lot of fun.

I hope Gordon and his team will test vignetting, chromatic aberration and many more technical parameters, so CameraLabs readers will get a full picture of this new lens :!:
Last edited by rei_vilo on Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com
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Postby rei_vilo » Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:04 pm

7- More pictures

39,0 mm - 1/250 sec - f6,7 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/60 sec - f2,8 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/180 sec - f4,5 - ISO 100
Image

50,0 mm - 1/180 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100
Image
See how the water is captured: amazing :!:

16,0 mm - 1/125 sec - f6,7 - ISO 100
Image

45,0 mm - 1/500 sec - f5,6 - ISO 100
Image
This is a dangerous place to take pictures with a Pentax: competition is watching :)
Last edited by rei_vilo on Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com
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