My DA* first conclusions

Started Aug 13, 2007 | Discussions
Ishpuini Veteran Member • Posts: 6,259
My DA* first conclusions

Hello all,

Perhaps nothing much to add to other threads, but I don't have the time to check up on it, so I thought I would just post a new thread.

I received my two DA*s Saturday and I tried them out immediately. The DA*50-135/2.8 is optically clearly the better one of the two. From the first shots I was clear to me that zooming in on the LCD screen the DA*50-135 delivered crisp sharp images similar to what I get from the best of my glass. I'm sure there will be pixel peeping differences, but not of the magnitude that I would care... The DA*16-50 was a bit less, but still I found it better than the average results of the DA16-45.

The weight of the lenses is considerable, but they balance well on the K10D with grip. Mounting them on the camera feels different because you feel the weather sealing slightly damping the rotation. I did miss a firm grip on the lenses while mounting them, with the wide focus ring and the wide zoom ring there's not much fixed barrel to grip onto. I still regret Pentax abandoning the little ball for gripping onto... But this is more a habit than anything else. Once I get used to holding the lenses further from the mount when (dis)mounting I'm sure it'll be as easy as other lenses.

The focus ring obviously doesn't rotate when AF is working (same with SDM or traditional AF), and quick focus sets in from the moment you turn it yourself. This works great providing much more grip on the lens, but if you're used to holding the focus ring without it affecting focus like on the Sigma EX lenses some getting used to is required. The focus ring doesn't stop at the extremes of the focus range, as you can turn it further though you feel additional friction. Makes for steadier handling, similar to FA* standards.

The zoom ring is considerably different between the two, with the DA*16-50 feeling much more rigid than the DA*50-135. The latter having internal zoom makes the difference I guess, since the DA*16-50 extends when zooming in, which means two weather sealed barrels are pushed out of the construction, the first one rotating, the second not.

SDM... By my observation (not measurement!) it is NOT significantly faster than regular AF. Strange thing is that when I looked at the movement of the distance scale when focusing, I didn't notice any difference in speed, but I did when looking through the viewfinder. The lens seemed to slide into focus much faster... Guess the noise makes a big difference in perception. Also you don't feel the lens rotate, which was the case with traditional AF ever so slightly. Not a faster but a much nicer experience nevertheless.

Makes me think the actual difference in AF speed between Pentax and the other quieter brands isn't so much after all, more perception than anything else?

SDM is retained when using a TC with powerzoom contacts. Though SDM AF does seem to suffer more easily from adding a TC. I mounted the Tamron 1.4x without problems on the DA*50-135. Neither will mount onto the Sigma EX2x TC however because of its protruding front element.

With a polarizer the DA*16-50 focuses no problemo! Not like the DA16-45 which sometimes refuses to focus with a polarizer, esp at 16mm. Haven't tried the DA*50-135 yet, but it will inherit the polarizer of the DA16-45.

The hoods on both lenses are of better quality than the ones on the DA16-45. Both have the polarizer door at the bottom, which is inserted nice and tightly. The front lens cap has a center pinch to remove it, which makes for practical usage with a mounted hood.

Both lenses come in the classic Pentax pouch. the rear caps have the rim to protect the contacts. Nothing different to what we know there...

The DA*16-50/2.8 seems to deliver images similar to the DA16-45/4. Not in terms of sharpness of so, but in terms of exposure. I guess the 16mm wide angle is mostly responsible for that. I fear the threads about underexposure with this lens will be coming soon... Though those who came to appreciate the DA16-45/4 know this is a very relative thing, some Ev compensation at the wide end may be required in certain situations. I didn't experience this with the DA*50-135, but that's normal since telephoto scenes generally have less DR than ultra wide angle ones. Anyway, it's not a problem for me, but I guess it should be mentioned for those who might consider it so...

Closest focus distance is very workable on both, though the DA*50-135 at 1m is at the limit. It having a slightly shorter minimum focus would have been handy. The 30cm of the DA*16-50 feels much less than 30cm.

Overall both lenses are very much to my satisfaction, and I think both with serve me well for the purpose I got them, i.e. travel to the wetter and/or more dusty places on our planet.

I think this about covers all aspects that I considered. I'll post an update should I think of anything else.

hth, Wim

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janneman02 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,733
Ah, finally...

I knew you'd pick them up earlier I was wondering, what's keeping him from posting???? Nice review. Now I just have to wait. As you must have gotten hold of cheap Asian counterfeits, I think mine will be even better....

My main regret is that they have split the range have come to like a lot with the FA*28-70/2.8 so I am likely to keep that ens as my favourite.

Ah well, maybe the 17-70 will become something nice like SDM and esp. sealing and maybe even constant f4 ( to complement the 60-250) and presto, I will get me that too.....
Aaaargh....
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  • Janneman ( adaptation of the Kings quote from Albert Einstein)

interpix Regular Member • Posts: 387
Re: My DA* first conclusions

Thanks for an interesting post and nice also to read some about the DA 50-135. From shooting a couple of days now with the DA 16-50 I discovered that it handles contra light very well. Im very impressed by the centre sharpness that is one of the best I ever seen.

Priyantha Bleeker Regular Member • Posts: 373
Re: My DA* first conclusions

Somebody has already some pictures to judge if the two DA* lenses are flare resistant ?
--
Greetings, Priyantha Bleeker

Vaards Senior Member • Posts: 1,328
Re: My DA* first conclusions

Ishpuini wrote:

Hello all,

Perhaps nothing much to add to other threads,

Why not - my thread is still not banned.

V.

P.S. Very nice observation! Just got feeling like I would tried to play with these lenses by myself.

janneman02 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,733
The V.

Vaards wrote:

Ishpuini wrote:

Hello all,

Perhaps nothing much to add to other threads,

Why not - my thread is still not banned.

V.

P.S. Very nice observation! Just got feeling like I would tried to
play with these lenses by myself.

Hmm, the V. wll soon be unavalable!!!!

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janneman
http://www.pbase.com/jl2

The difference between genius and LBA is that genius has its
limits.

  • Janneman ( adaptation of the Kings quote from Albert Einstein)

OP Ishpuini Veteran Member • Posts: 6,259
Re: Ah, finally...

janneman02 wrote:

I knew you'd pick them up earlier I was wondering, what's keeping him
from posting???? Nice review. Now I just have to wait. As you must
have gotten hold of cheap Asian counterfeits, I think mine will be
even better....

LOL, I really hope so for you!

My main regret is that they have split the range have come to like a
lot with the FA*28-70/2.8 so I am likely to keep that ens as my
favourite.

I don't mind so much splitting the range, but having overlap is always useful indeed. You cannot go without splitting somewhere unless you go far a ultrazoom like the Tamron 18-250, but that's always at a cost... The split will always be around a useful focal length in some situations. Having an overlap renders this a non-issue... I'm sure your 28-70 will work nicely for that.

Wim

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janneman02 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,733
Re: Ah, finally...

Ishpuini wrote:

janneman02 wrote:

I knew you'd pick them up earlier I was wondering, what's keeping him
from posting???? Nice review. Now I just have to wait. As you must
have gotten hold of cheap Asian counterfeits, I think mine will be
even better....

LOL, I really hope so for you!

My main regret is that they have split the range have come to like a
lot with the FA*28-70/2.8 so I am likely to keep that ens as my
favourite.

I don't mind so much splitting the range, but having overlap is
always useful indeed. You cannot go without splitting somewhere
unless you go far a ultrazoom like the Tamron 18-250, but that's
always at a cost...

To be honest, I am considering that one as well. Maybe far from prime quality but especially in broad daylight it will, together with the K100D, be a very nice and usefull "glovecompartment"combo, small enough to tuck away in an inconspicuous bag when you leave your car..
Maybe not top IQ, but as far as I ave been able to tell more than acceptable

The split will always be around a useful focal
length in some situations. Having an overlap renders this a
non-issue... I'm sure your 28-70 will work nicely for that.

And the powerzoom makes it easy to handle, even with a plastic bag wrappend around it.

Wim

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janneman
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The difference between genius and LBA is that genius has its
limits.

  • Janneman ( adaptation of the Kings quote from Albert Einstein)

OP Ishpuini Veteran Member • Posts: 6,259
on the DA*50-135

interpix wrote:

Thanks for an interesting post and nice also to read some about the
DA 50-135.

I feel the DA*50-135 turns out to be the hidden gem of the two. It is big though, esp with the hood.

One thing about it though... Having gotten used to the narrower FOV of tele lenses on APS-C, the 135mm is like returning to the classic 200mm FOV on 135film. I did have a 135mm, but 135mm at the end of a zoom takes some getting used to. OTOH, I never had an issue with only having 200mm when that was my limit in my film days, except for wildlife, but that requires much more...

Wim

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interpix Regular Member • Posts: 387
Re: My DA* first conclusions

This is with DA16-50 at 16 mm f 5.6

Larry Winters Veteran Member • Posts: 4,837
Yes indeed thanks

Hello Wim:

Thanks for taking the time for such a lengthy analysis...I'm looking forward even more to the arrival of my 50-135 tomorrow...I have always desired it the most even though I'll try the 16-50 just because...And I've always felt the 50-135/150 is a more desirable APS-C range than the older 70-200...But too each his/her own...

LW

Ishpuini wrote:

Hello all,

Perhaps nothing much to add to other threads, but I don't have the
time to check up on it, so I thought I would just post a new thread.

I received my two DA*s Saturday and I tried them out immediately. The
DA*50-135/2.8 is optically clearly the better one of the two. From
the first shots I was clear to me that zooming in on the LCD screen
the DA*50-135 delivered crisp sharp images similar to what I get from
the best of my glass. I'm sure there will be pixel peeping
differences, but not of the magnitude that I would care... The
DA*16-50 was a bit less, but still I found it better than the average
results of the DA16-45.

The weight of the lenses is considerable, but they balance well on
the K10D with grip. Mounting them on the camera feels different
because you feel the weather sealing slightly damping the rotation. I
did miss a firm grip on the lenses while mounting them, with the wide
focus ring and the wide zoom ring there's not much fixed barrel to
grip onto. I still regret Pentax abandoning the little ball for
gripping onto... But this is more a habit than anything else. Once I
get used to holding the lenses further from the mount when
(dis)mounting I'm sure it'll be as easy as other lenses.

The focus ring obviously doesn't rotate when AF is working (same with
SDM or traditional AF), and quick focus sets in from the moment you
turn it yourself. This works great providing much more grip on the
lens, but if you're used to holding the focus ring without it
affecting focus like on the Sigma EX lenses some getting used to is
required. The focus ring doesn't stop at the extremes of the focus
range, as you can turn it further though you feel additional
friction. Makes for steadier handling, similar to FA* standards.

The zoom ring is considerably different between the two, with the
DA*16-50 feeling much more rigid than the DA*50-135. The latter
having internal zoom makes the difference I guess, since the DA*16-50
extends when zooming in, which means two weather sealed barrels are
pushed out of the construction, the first one rotating, the second
not.

SDM... By my observation (not measurement!) it is NOT significantly
faster than regular AF. Strange thing is that when I looked at the
movement of the distance scale when focusing, I didn't notice any
difference in speed, but I did when looking through the viewfinder.
The lens seemed to slide into focus much faster... Guess the noise
makes a big difference in perception. Also you don't feel the lens
rotate, which was the case with traditional AF ever so slightly. Not
a faster but a much nicer experience nevertheless.

Makes me think the actual difference in AF speed between Pentax and
the other quieter brands isn't so much after all, more perception
than anything else?

SDM is retained when using a TC with powerzoom contacts. Though SDM
AF does seem to suffer more easily from adding a TC. I mounted the
Tamron 1.4x without problems on the DA*50-135. Neither will mount
onto the Sigma EX2x TC however because of its protruding front
element.

With a polarizer the DA*16-50 focuses no problemo! Not like the
DA16-45 which sometimes refuses to focus with a polarizer, esp at
16mm. Haven't tried the DA*50-135 yet, but it will inherit the
polarizer of the DA16-45.

The hoods on both lenses are of better quality than the ones on the
DA16-45. Both have the polarizer door at the bottom, which is
inserted nice and tightly. The front lens cap has a center pinch to
remove it, which makes for practical usage with a mounted hood.

Both lenses come in the classic Pentax pouch. the rear caps have the
rim to protect the contacts. Nothing different to what we know
there...

The DA*16-50/2.8 seems to deliver images similar to the DA16-45/4.
Not in terms of sharpness of so, but in terms of exposure. I guess
the 16mm wide angle is mostly responsible for that. I fear the
threads about underexposure with this lens will be coming soon...
Though those who came to appreciate the DA16-45/4 know this is a very
relative thing, some Ev compensation at the wide end may be required
in certain situations. I didn't experience this with the DA*50-135,
but that's normal since telephoto scenes generally have less DR than
ultra wide angle ones. Anyway, it's not a problem for me, but I guess
it should be mentioned for those who might consider it so...

Closest focus distance is very workable on both, though the DA*50-135
at 1m is at the limit. It having a slightly shorter minimum focus
would have been handy. The 30cm of the DA*16-50 feels much less than
30cm.

Overall both lenses are very much to my satisfaction, and I think
both with serve me well for the purpose I got them, i.e. travel to
the wetter and/or more dusty places on our planet.

I think this about covers all aspects that I considered. I'll post an
update should I think of anything else.

hth, Wim

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Vaards Senior Member • Posts: 1,328
Re: My DA* first conclusions

Hey hey hey!

Every lens what I saw had flares. Some of them small ones... with chance to find right angle to avoid them in frame. So.. I know you are optimist - but be so kind, shoot pic with flare - just to see how big, small, disturbing, pleasing etc it is.

So - I don't believe that lens might be free of flares

V.

interpix wrote:

This is with DA16-50 at 16 mm f 5.6

OP Ishpuini Veteran Member • Posts: 6,259
Re: Yes indeed thanks

Larry Winters wrote:

Hello Wim:

Thanks for taking the time for such a lengthy analysis...I'm looking
forward even more to the arrival of my 50-135 tomorrow...I have
always desired it the most even though I'll try the 16-50 just
because...And I've always felt the 50-135/150 is a more desirable
APS-C range than the older 70-200...But too each his/her own...

LW

Hi Larry, No probs, the least I could do as I'm not posting any images... though I might this evening if I find the time. I'll focus on the DA*50-135 then.

I see what you mean about the DA*50-135 being more desirable. Personally I never really had the need for longer than 135mm for non-action of non-wildlife. As such the 135mm will be quite enough too.

However, I might put my FA*300/4.5 in the bag when traveling just to make sure I have glass to get a picture of that occasional nice looking bird that happens to sit in the tree or so... Don't think my Sigma EX70-200 will see much use anymore, but I'm not selling it just yet... Hmm... I said that about my FA35/2 as well, but I just sold it over the WE...

I wonder what the DA*300/4 will be like. If as good as the FA*, I might replace it by the DA* version (SDM, WS, tripod collar, 0.5 stop extra,...).

Wim

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OP Ishpuini Veteran Member • Posts: 6,259
Re: My DA* first conclusions

Vaards wrote:

Why not - my thread is still not banned.

No reason why it should, but I just felt that posting this under a thread with disappointment in the header would not serve the neutrality of the post. Plus that the contents should be accessible to readers of the forum rather than being drowned between the various replies to yours.

P.S. Very nice observation! Just got feeling like I would tried to
play with these lenses by myself.

It is a nice feeling indeed...

Wim

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OP Ishpuini Veteran Member • Posts: 6,259
Re: My DA* first conclusions

Priyantha Bleeker wrote:

Somebody has already some pictures to judge if the two DA* lenses are
flare resistant ?

I might give it a go this evening, but that depends when I get home. It'll probably be my only shot at it this week, unless wednesday (when we have a day off here in Belgium) but I'm not sure when I will be able to post images after that...

OTOH, I sometimes like a bit of flare in a picture... Sometimes even take off the hood esp for that...

Wim

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Lance B
Lance B Forum Pro • Posts: 33,398
Re: My DA* first conclusions

Congratulations on receiving your lens and also on a well balanced and non hysterical evaluation of the DA*16-50 f2.8 and DA*50-135 f2.8.

I look forward to your images and my own copy of the DA*16-50 f2.8.
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Jonson PL Veteran Member • Posts: 3,600
Re: My DA* first conclusions

Ishpuini wrote:

I still regret Pentax abandoning the little ball for
gripping onto... But this is more a habit than anything else. Once I
get used to holding the lenses further from the mount when
(dis)mounting I'm sure it'll be as easy as other lenses.

Hi Wim,
Thanks for your input.

What do you mean regarding the “little ball for gripping onto”

Was that the one, there was on the A lenses, you’re talking about ?

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SFT007 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,874
Thanks Wim

A good read and it sounds like these lenses are delivering for you. I have only pre-ordered the 16-50 but the 50-135 is really sounding good too. Reason I skipped out of that is because I am quite interested in the 60-250 but am now thinking if I need such a huge lens since even the 50-135 is big. 50-135 and the DA*200 could be a nice combo too But then I would really be carrying a lot of weight and it will be quite a bit more expensive too Have to think over it but all these posts about the 50-135 aren't helping! Still an all in one 60-250 even if it is a stop slower may be more convenient for me, my wallet and my camera bag - just gotta force myself to be patient!!

I'd be interested in more from the 16-50 as well. Comparo to the 16-45 would be nice and performance at f/2.8 too since that is a major plus for me as I like to handhold in low-light.

Thanks for your feedback and take care.
Cheers
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OP Ishpuini Veteran Member • Posts: 6,259
Re: My DA* first conclusions

Lance B wrote:

Congratulations on receiving your lens and also on a well balanced
and non hysterical evaluation of the DA*16-50 f2.8 and DA*50-135 f2.8.

Hysterical is not a word in Belgian vocabulary...

I look forward to your images and my own copy of the DA*16-50 f2.8.

I can imagine. I will put up images when I can, but as you know am having a "hard" time finding the time for that...

Will try to depending on the weather Wednesday (day off, but bad weather forecasts)...

cya! Wim

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OP Ishpuini Veteran Member • Posts: 6,259
Re: My DA* first conclusions

Jonson PL wrote:

What do you mean regarding the “little ball for gripping onto”

Was that the one, there was on the A lenses, you’re talking about ?

Yep, the yellow one on the A lenses. Pre A-lenses had an off white one I believe, and the F series still had a smaller black ball in the same spot. It was dropped on the FA lenses except for the FA limiteds (FA31 and FA77, not FA43) where it is green. None have had it since...

Sorry, my English turned out insufficient to adequately describe this feature... What should it be called I wonder...

I always liked that touch...

Wim

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