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Standard zooms comparison (DA16-45, DA17-70, FA24-90)

Stanovich
Posted 17/01/2012 - 22:25 Link
Now I have three 'standard-range' zooms (in addition to the 18-55 that came with my K20D) I thought I'd post a brief comparison based on some test shots I did at 17mm, 35mm and 70mm x f/4, f/8 and f/16.

There is more detail here (no images unfortunately) http://www.sld.demon.co.uk/lenses.pdf, but in summary:

For image quality the 24-90 was consistently the best performer at f/4 and f/8, with the DA lenses catching up to an extent at f/16. The difference between the 16-45 and 17-70 was less marked, with the 17-70 slightly sharper in some conditions and with a better bokeh. At 70mm the 24-90 exhibited less distortion (pincushioning) than the 17-70.

So my verdict is basically that the 17-70 replaces the 16-45 for most purposes, but I will be keeping the 24-90 for occasions when I want a light walkabout lens and don't need the wide end.

Interesting to see this comparison broadly agrees, though it doesn't include the 17-70:

http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/2010/03/standard-zoom-mega-shootout-da-vs-faj.html

Stan
K5IIs & ME Super with FA24-90, DA17-70, DA55-300, misc old primes; Fuji X20.
Opethian
Posted 17/01/2012 - 22:38 Link
I get an error 404 on your PDF link.
JAK
Posted 17/01/2012 - 23:07 Link
There's a phantom comma after .pdf - delete it and all's well!

http://www.sld.demon.co.uk/lenses.pdf

John
John K
Stanovich
Posted 17/01/2012 - 23:21 Link
Thanks John for editing the link. My web site seems to be inaccessable at the moment though.
K5IIs & ME Super with FA24-90, DA17-70, DA55-300, misc old primes; Fuji X20.
Opethian
Posted 17/01/2012 - 23:22 Link
Thanks for that! Although trying to load the file is giving me an error that it may be corrupted.
Stanovich
Posted 18/01/2012 - 00:44 Link
It should be OK now, apart from my comma:

http://www.sld.demon.co.uk/lenses.pdf
K5IIs & ME Super with FA24-90, DA17-70, DA55-300, misc old primes; Fuji X20.
timo
Posted 23/01/2012 - 15:50 Link
Stanovich wrote:
Now I have three 'standard-range' zooms (in addition to the 18-55 that came with my K20D) I thought I'd post a brief comparison based on some test shots I did at 17mm, 35mm and 70mm x f/4, f/8 and f/16.

There is more detail here (no images unfortunately) http://www.sld.demon.co.uk/lenses.pdf, but in summary:

For image quality the 24-90 was consistently the best performer at f/4 and f/8, with the DA lenses catching up to an extent at f/16.

I have the FA24-90; I used to have the 16-45. Even today I find the 24-90 delivers consistently good results, and offers also relatively little bulk and light weight, as well as a tremendously useful range. The lens doesn't appear much on forum radar, and when it does is somewhat underrated in my view. It's true that it's a bit plasticky - I wonder if that might have led to some sample variation. Whatever, some lukewarm reviews of the lens simply do not correspond with my own experience with it over the last 7 years or so. For someone interested in an optically very good, convenient zoom for walkaround or travel purposes, the FA24-90 should be on the shortlist.

Tim
Tim
johnriley
Posted 23/01/2012 - 16:06 Link
There's a lot to like about the 24-90mm, but I found in the end that it was an awkward range on digital. Quite a bit of my shooting is from, say, 18mm-45mm, so the idea I had of using the 12-24mm and 24-90mm led to a lot of lens changing.

On film, the 24-90mm was superb.
Best regards, John
Stanovich
Posted 27/01/2012 - 02:27 Link
I tend to agree, I bought the 17-70mm because I was often carrying both the 16-45 and the 24-90 on walks. I can get away with the latter in open country or along the coast, but 24mm seems too limiting in town or mountains.

Strangely I've only used the 24-90 on my ME Super once - there is something satisfying with a camera from that era in changing between old primes - maybe because that's how I started off!
K5IIs & ME Super with FA24-90, DA17-70, DA55-300, misc old primes; Fuji X20.
Stanovich
Posted 07/08/2013 - 15:18 Link
As a PS, I eventually sold the 16-45 as there didn't seem to be any real advantage in having both that and the 17-70. Unexpectedly I'm using the 24-90 more than the 17-70; looking back over the past year, just over half my shots were with the 24-90, a third with 17-70, and about 10% with 55-300 apart from a very few with A-series primes.

A DA* 16-85 would be interesting, though I wouldn't be rushing out to buy one straight away.
K5IIs & ME Super with FA24-90, DA17-70, DA55-300, misc old primes; Fuji X20.
aliengrove
Posted 10/08/2013 - 13:30 Link
I just replaced my FA 24-90 with another one after the original fell to bits. It's a perfect range for most of the aerial shots I take (much less than 24mm through the front windows and bits of the aeroplane get in the way). There does seem to be some sample variation imo: the original one I had was very good but the replacement is even better! It's the sharpest zoom I own.

I also have the 16-45, which I find good enough to stop me hankering after a DA* 16-50.

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