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Upgrading from Pentax 16-45 f4 - what to buy?

Posted 26/06/2017 - 12:56 Link
I'm off travelling to Peru for a month in the summer and looking to get a sharper lens to replace my pentax 16-45 f4 (which is my go to lens atm).

I will also taking my DA* 50-135 with me.

The two I am considering are:
Pentax DA* 16-50mm
Tamron 17-50mm F2.8

My question is are those two noticeably better (sharper, speed of focus) than the 16-45 f4? Should i be considering a different lens? Or stick with what I've got? My Budget is around the 300 mark (although i can stretch it abit).


Posted 26/06/2017 - 17:16 Link
The 16-50 would be my recommendation from the two lenses as having owned them both the Pentax is a better lens than the Tamron.

That said the Tamron is a cracker and far cheaper.

I know this is beyond what you asked but for travel I have a Sigma 17-70 f2.8 - 4 which suits my needs and is light enough and nice and sharp.

"I'm here because the whiskey is free" - Tyla

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Posted 26/06/2017 - 17:25 Link
I always liked the 16-45mm, it's a bit clunky but mine was very sharp and the IQ was great. I sold it in favour of the 17-70mm f4 (no focusing problems here) which I use quite a bit more than the 16-50mm.

Personally I would keep the 16-45mm and look at buying a macro lens (but then I like doing macro) as I would presume there would be plenty of interesting subjects in Peru.
Posted 26/06/2017 - 18:54 Link
Wouldn't the 16-85 make a much more versatile choice? If you can get a good copy then you've got the perfect all-rounder.

It may not be the best for low light but f/5.6 is only two stops away from f/2.8. You could compensate by lowering the shutter speed and bumping up the ISO a bit more.
All the gear with no idea
Posted 26/06/2017 - 19:17 Link
Keep what you have, better the devil you know, money better spent on a prime or macro
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Posted 26/06/2017 - 19:22 Link
I doubt you'll find anything much sharper than the 16-45 in a zoom. I can't comment on the 16-50 as I've never owned one, but the 16-45 always seemed to me to be a pretty sharp lens. You can find lenses with better build quality, including the Pentax 17-70 and the Sigma 17-70, which is IMO sharper than the Pentax lens, but probably not sharper than the 16-45.

If sharpness is your reason for wanting to swap, you may have a poor copy, or you may have to spend a lot of money to better the 16-45! If your reason is to get a better handling lens or a longer focal length, or wider aperture, or better bokeh I can understand this, but I wouldn't assume you will get sharper if you swap.


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Posted 26/06/2017 - 20:42 Link
Another vote for keeping the 16-45.. Wouldn't part with mine in favour of the options you have listed...
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Posted 27/06/2017 - 00:31 Link
+1 for keeping the 16-45, unless there is something wrong with the one that you have.

If size and handling bother you, then how about a Limited prime, such as the DA21 ?
Posted 27/06/2017 - 07:15 Link
I've got a 16-45 and it's very, very good.

I've also got a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 and that's even better in almost every respect. It's around 329 at present
Edited by Jimd: 27/06/2017 - 07:19
Posted 27/06/2017 - 10:15 Link
I'd keep the 16-45 and add either an 18-135 for days when you want a single WR lens solution. Or a Sigma 10-20 which would be handy for interiors or vistas. The 18-135 is small enough to get in a jacket pocket.

Posted 27/06/2017 - 11:20 Link
Thank you all for coming back to me on this,

hmmm i'm going to re think this and keep the 16-45 (it has served me well over the years after all) and might look into a prime instead
Posted 27/06/2017 - 11:32 Link
Jimd wrote:

I've also got a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 and that's even better in almost every respect. It's around 329 at present

If it is permitted to mention this here, this lens has the highest rating, of those zooms mentioned above, in the many user reviews and the in-depth review on the US Pentax forum web site.

Posted 27/06/2017 - 11:59 Link
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

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Posted 27/06/2017 - 12:38 Link
Had a 16-45. Never happy with infinity focus. My copy clearly! Sharp enough, punchy. 16mm is useful.

Loved my Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5. Now sold awaiting postage. Hated the poor flare control and the rendering though.

Now have the Tamron 17-50. Chuffed. Great rendering. Great flare control.


Posted 27/06/2017 - 13:22 Link
will6558, the photos in your gallery taken with the K-3 & 16-45 look pretty sharp to me. What are you viewing them on?
John K

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