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PentaxSMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens
 
4.3

(based on 106 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (63)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (24)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (6)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (78)
  • Strong construction (72)
  • Consistent output (58)
  • Durable (56)
  • Rugged (52)

Cons

  • Heavy (37)
  • Slow focus (10)
  • Blurry focus (8)
  • Poor in low light (5)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (56)
  • Night photography (42)
  • Low light (38)
  • Weddings (31)
  • General purpose (25)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (39), Enthusiast (18), Semi-pro photographer (16), Semi-professional (9), Casual photographer (7)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (56)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Amazing Lens-Not for the Faint of Heart!

First things first - this lens is not for amateurs (the point and shoot crowd who are now upgrading to DSLRs and using the Auto feature only), it is made for photographers,...Read complete review

First things first - this lens is not for amateurs (the point and shoot crowd who are now upgrading to DSLRs and using the Auto feature only), it is made for photographers, professionals, people who really know how to use their cameras and take advantage of its subtle nuances.

When I first got this lens I went out and shot some landscape photos, they were nice but not as great as the hype – at least in my opinion. I loved the range of the 16-50mm zoom, I loved the lens's ability to capture light but I was not happy with the overall quality of images, I was expecting more, especially since it is not a cheap, lens, much more on the pricier side.

And more is what I got. As soon as I started pushing myself, really learning my camera (and not being lazy by relying on all the auto features), this lens started producing results that were beyond my expectations. The images are amazingly sharp, the bokeh is excellent, the focusing speed is good, not the fastest or the slowest but I have not found any difficulty with it. This lens has become my "daily driver" and I rarely go to my other lenses these days unless I'm doing something specific like macro or fisheye photography. I really enjoy the size of this lens, it is pretty large but very easy to handle. I'm a big guy and I like a larger lens to hold. Definitely does not feel like a toy lens.

I really have no negatives to say about this lens. I have read them from other reviews (to heavy, to big, slow focus,) but I do not or have not found any of those items to be an issue. When you buy a lens (any lens), you have to learn how to use it, and the camera too – RTFM dudes!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not as durable as others claim

A dream lens except for two flaws:
1. On a K10 my lens cannot decide on the focus distance beyond 25 feet; the focus indicator blinks continually preventing the shutter from...Read complete review

A dream lens except for two flaws:
1. On a K10 my lens cannot decide on the focus distance beyond 25 feet; the focus indicator blinks continually preventing the shutter from releasing. Be prepared to shift to manual focus at longer distances. This problem occurs even when attempting to focus on sharp contrasting edges on the subject.
2. I question the durability claims. When I bumped the lens against the back of a chair (mounted on a K10), the internal mechanisms became inoperable. I sent it to the factory to have both problems repaired. Focusing remained a problem. Three months later when I stood up with camera strap around my neck; the lens bumped a handrail. It goes back to the factory later this week. My old Pentax lenses have always been durable, even in Vietnam.

Reviewed by 106 customers

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5.0

Love It

By Crazy Carl

from Lebanon, PA

About Me Casual Photographer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Photography
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

    I bought this lens because I had previously purchased the 50-135 DA* and liked that one so much. Auto-focus is super quiet and pictures turn out great.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    3.0

    NICE LENS BUT

    By DOZER

    from SALT LAKE CITY UTAH

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Video
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

      Nice and sharp if can get it to focus, i need to send it in again.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      This lens is killing me

      By JP

      from New York, NY

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Nice Bokeh
      • Sharp

      Cons

      • Af Problem
      • Poor in Low Light
      • Slow Focus

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery

      Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

      Optics are fantastic and no complaints there. The problem is the AF. It only works when it wants. I am on my third lens and same problem every time. Well, the first one the AF never worked, second was great and then a week later died. Now after a few months it started acting up, then ok for a while and now just refuses to work. The photos are sharp and I love the output, but Pentax cannot get this lens right. They should take it off the market and FIX the problem. It is widely known that the AF is a HUGE problem with this lens. It is kinda a joke in Pentax world. Except for those of us who shelled out quite a bit of money and get stuck with a MF lens.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      GREAT LENS until the auto focus quits

      By BDS Photography

      from Vernon, NJ

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Autofocus Failed

        Best Uses

          Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

          Had this in the shop once and now the autofocus is acting up AGAIN. Not sure if I could recomend this. If you get a good one then you will love it. If the AF dies it's expensive to get fixed.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          My 3rd copy with QC problems

          By Ferd

          from Juneau, AK

          Pros

          • Pleasing Colors

          Cons

          • Blurry Focus
          • Slow Focus

          Best Uses

          • A Rain Lens

          Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

          In all 3 copies, the front of the lens wobbles in varying degrees. The build quality is not comparable to Canon L lenses (the cost is). Auto-focus lock is horribly slow. On a positive note, the lens has a nice soft focus at 2.8 and sharp at 4.0. The color rendition and detail exceeds comparable Canon L lenses.

          This lens is overpriced considering the poor quality control.

          Pentax has some very nice lenses. This is not one of them.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Need time to get familiarised

          By MythGuy

          from Brisbane

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Large Constant Aperture
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Strong Construction
          • Weather resistant

          Cons

          • Heavy
          • Slow Focus

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Portrait Short Tele
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

          This product is superb in optics but flawed in some areas. That being said, it doesn't mean you should blame the lens for it's flaws. This is a lens that need a lot of time to get familiarised with its functions and how to maximise its output. For example, on some Pentax body the auto-focus will hunt or fail under low-light (which lens doesn't?) So you need time to know when the lens will work and when it won't, otherwise you will not be able to get good results from it. Overall it is a good buy if you already have couple of year of shooting experience and are looking for a weather-resistant good overall image quality lens.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          outstanding lens!

          By gf

          from denver

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Photography

            Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

            This lens is truly outstanding! The optics are amazing (sharpness, contrast, colors...), as good as my prime limited lens. The quality of built is superb. I even like the size and weight of this lens that balances out well with the body of my camera (K5). I love the range from wide angle to a portrait range. THis lens stays on my camera all the time. I look at this lens as a long term purchase. I hesitated a long time due to its price but...I have say, it's worth the price

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            My favorite pentax lens thus far...

            By Brandeezy1975

            from Chandler, AZ

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Macro Photography
              • Night Photography

              Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

              Super sharp from 16 to 50, great for portrait or landscape, awesome in low light, street scenes, good carry around lens for all situations with professional output. Makes the average joe look like Ansel Adams.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great lens

              By Ronen Yahav

              from Lapid,Isreal

              About Me Photography Student

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                    Great lens,produces very sharp images with great details,and vivd colors.
                    using Pentax k-5iis

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Quiet and Fast Lens

                    By The Accidental Tog

                    from NYC, NY

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                    • Chromatic abberations

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Photography
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                    Excellent, fast normal zoom, with great build quality. I've been considering this lens for sometime but already own the Tamron non-vc 17-50mm f2.8. I was hesistant to buy the DA* with all the SDM issues reported online. However, after a good experience with the DA* 50-135, finally decided to give this lens a try.

                    Compared to the Tamron - Better colors, contrast, slightly brighter, better build quality, weatherproof and silent.

                    It may not be quite as sharp as the Tamron, but this doesn't really affect the way that I shoot (mostly portraits and family pics).

                    The main drawback comes in the form of CA, or color fringing. It's fairly easy to invoke CA particularly if you're shooting at the wider apertures. You can work around in PP but hard to remove completely.

                    In summary, a very good lens that is just short of being great.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No
                    • Similar:
                    • Pentax DA* 50-135mm F2.8 SDM

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Excellent for Walking Around

                    By FWBIGD

                    from Saginaw TX

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Lightweight
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                    • Chromatic Aberrations
                    • Soft wide open

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Portraits
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                    An excellent waking around lens, it's the equivalent of 24-70 for a full frame camera. This make it great of general purpose lens. It can be used for landscapes to portraits. The bokeh is excellent. The features and handling of the lens are excellent. Overall image quality is excellent, but is a little soft wide open with a little chromatic aberration at F2.8.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Still working good.

                    By Bone

                    from China

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Photography
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                    I was hoping the lens' manufacturer is Ricoh, not HOYA, but it turned out to be HOYA. SN begin with 904. seems old stock. But the lens is working pretty well, no SDM issue yet.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Perfect for all occasions

                    By Dvaughan

                    from Australia, queensland

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Night Photography
                        • Video
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                        Have only recently bought this lens but so far it's been great. Prior to this I owned the well rated tamron equiv but was in need of a weather sealed option. The image quality and handling feels similar to the da*50-135 however I found it to be surprisingly smaller aNd lighter then reviews suggest! So far have endured sandy beaches and rain showers with this lens on the trusty k-5, neither has missed a beat:). Couldn't be happier with my new purchase.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        3.0

                        Inconsistency result

                        By DF

                        from Virginia

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Durable
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Rugged
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                        • Blurry Focus
                        • Heavy
                        • Slow Focus

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery

                        Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                        The build quality is exceptional, while optical is a mixture. In general the center sharpness is great but the borders do suffer at wide angle. My copy has some problems in auto-focus so I just decided to return it. If you could find a perfect copy then it will delivery satisfactory result.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Great lens

                        By JAuerbach

                        from Lyons, CO

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Rugged
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery

                          Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                          Was missing a lens in the 30-50mm range, mostly for landscapes and scenics, and this was the answer. It is very comparable to the awesome Pentax 50-135 I also own, in build/function/features and most importantly, image quality. No complaints so far.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Lovely lens

                          By reactionist

                          from the, south

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Durable
                          • Easily Interchangeable
                          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                          • Lightweight
                          • Nice Bokeh
                          • Rugged
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Indoors/Low Light
                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Night Photography
                            • Sports/Action
                            • Video
                            • Weddings/Events
                            • Wildlife Photos

                            Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                            Quick lens and it has been a while since I have had a lens that can handle f/2.8 from stem to stern (in this case from 16 to 50mm). I am still looking for the sharpest f-stop and it seems (like most lenses) to focus just past my chosen spot.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Outstanding Workhorse Lens!

                            By Heie

                            from Deployed to Afghanistan

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Durable
                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                            • Lightweight
                            • Nice Bokeh
                            • Rugged
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Photojournalism
                              • Weddings/Events

                              Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                              I was skeptical to get this lens after reading reviews about it being faulty (SDM) and not having the best IQ. I am glad I ignored the negative nancies and got it, because being deployed to Afghanistan (my second job is quasi photojournalism with all the reports I have to submit), it has taken the role of being my workhorse. It is used for 85% of all my photos, and I wouldn't imagine being without it. If I were to have all of my camera gear stolen, this is the first lens that I would get to replace the loss. An oustanding lens, I highly recommend it. The IQ is great, great contrast, and the build quality/durability is second to none. I often take it in the shower with me after being out and having it covered in baby powder like dust out here (it's really that fine).

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (4 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              1.0

                              disappointing

                              By Photopossum

                              from Los Angeles, CA

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Pros

                                Cons

                                • Blurry Focus
                                • Heavy

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                                  The copy of the DA* 16-50mm I ordered was a huge disappointment. It front focused dramatically, and when it did manage to find focus, there was severe purple fringing. The overall image quality did not seem as good as my Pentax primes, even when neither of the above-mentioned problems reared its head. I returned my lens for a refund (thanks to B&H for making that process easy and stress-free). It wasn't worth the asking price, even assuming a better copy without the front focus issue, and that was at the old price, which was about half of what it is sold for today. I can't think of any reason to recommend this lens - it's big and heavy, has mediocre to poor image quality, a bad reputation for reliability (the SDM focusing system), and costs a small fortune. The weather-sealed kit lens (18-55mm) which came with my K7 is as about as good (or as poor, as the case may be) of a lens, without the problems and the high price.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

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                                  (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  1.0

                                  Unfortunately, a Piece of Junk

                                  By Retired in Idaho

                                  from Idaho Falls, Idaho

                                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                  Verified Reviewer

                                  Pros

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Landscape/Scenery
                                      • Sports/Action

                                      Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                                      This is the second copy that I have bought in hopes that Pentax had cured their autofocus failures in the earlier units. I was wrong. To make matters worse, I also bought a K-5. I own two other DA* lenses and they are great! However, my new 16-50mm DA* started to fail on autofocus within 20 shots. The only smart move I made was to buy B&H's extended warranty.
                                      The first copy failed at 90 days and Pentax replaced it with an older (lower SN) copy. It failed 60 days later. That lens was repaired and worked for 22 months (maybe 2000 shots). I had it repaired again at no cost by the Pentax repair contractor and promptly sold it and bought my present disaster. The lens is great when it works, but right now I deeply regret my decision to stay with Pentax and not roll to Nikon or Canon.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

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                                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Awesome & Incredibly Versatile

                                      By Itai

                                      from Canada

                                      About Me Pro Photographer

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Consistent Output
                                      • Durable
                                      • Rugged
                                      • Strong Construction

                                      Cons

                                      • Slow Focus

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Indoors/Low Light
                                      • Landscape/Scenery
                                      • Night Photography

                                      Comments about Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens:

                                      This is the most versatile lens from Pentax, it covers ultra-wide to normal range of focal-lengths and has a bright aperture to capture plenty of light and shallow depth-of-field. This lens is so essential to my photography that I bought a backup just in case.

                                      The lens sharpness is excellent once you stop down to F/4. At F2.8, there is some corner softness which is only visible in relatively large prints.

                                      The weather-sealing is top notch and this lens resisted a rough sandstorm which totaled several other lenses and cameras and the filter I was using to protect it.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

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