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Pentax smc DA 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM Lens

by Pentax

RRP: £999.99
Price: £635.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: £364.99 (36%)
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
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2 new from £635.00 3 used from £379.00
  • Super fast autofocus through ultra-sonic technology
  • Completely protected against spray and dust
  • Metal bayonet mount
  • Quick Focus for instant switching to manual focus control
  • New "Super Protection" coating for protecting the front lens element against dirt and grime

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Frequently Bought Together

Pentax smc DA 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM Lens + Hoya 77mm Pro-1 Digital UV Screw in Filter
Price For Both: £661.41

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Product details

  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.4 x 8.4 cm ; 567 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 898 g
  • Item model number: B000NO5QV6
  • ASIN: B000NO5QV6
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 27 Jun 2007
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,006 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)


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Product Description

Manufacturer's Description

The "DA Star" series opens a new chapter in PENTAX lens history. The critical capability characteristics include an extremely fast "Supersonic Motor" incorporating ultrasonic technology and a housing that is completely sealed against water and dust. The smc-DA* 16-50 mm is the ultimate standard zoom. The continuous f/2.8 aperture provides for the necessary reserves needed in poor light conditions. And for optimal operational convenience the "Quick Shift Focus System" is again provided, enabling the user to instantly take manual control of the focusing. Rounding out the intelligent design of the new the Star series lens is the proprietary PENTAX SP coating that reliably protects the lens against pollution.

Box Contains

  • Front Lens Cap
  • Rear Lens Cap
  • Lens Hood
  • Soft Bag

  • Customer Questions & Answers

    Customer Reviews

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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Alex Jørgensen on 15 April 2011
    Verified Purchase
    I am not used to write reviews even though I have bought many things from Amazon - and my native language is not english ... but anyway:

    I guess how good something is always depends on what you compare it to. In my case I come from Olympus e30 with a Zuiko 12-60. I am not sure if it's my new K5 that is better than e30 or it's Pentax 16-50 that is better than Zuiko 12-60. But all together my new setup is so much more improvement than I had expected. I am so happy with this new setup, it's even a little lighter than the old one, but most of all the photos seems to have more detail, more dimension, more boheh (not sure I spelled that one right) and hardly any noise in the shadows. I can even use ISO 6400 indoors with good results. I am not the kind that remember all the technical details or even care much about that. I go with my gut feeling and I can only say good things about this lens. Go for it if you like to do landscapes, people or street photography or portraits. It covers all of it - also indoors!
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    5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 May 2012
    Verified Purchase
    Built like a rock and looks really good on the K200D, huge diameter :)

    Got a new lens, which had backfocus issues. Managed to correct backfocus on the camera using "debug mode" and it works fine now. A little CA at F2.8 in hight contrast but not so much it becomes a problem. A fast and good lens, works well in poor lighting conditions. Love the bokeh! Weather sealing is a big plus.

    Gets 4 stars instead of 5 due to the backfocus issue. I would expect better quality control at this price range.
    I recommend thoroughly testing the lens performance using F2.8 when purchasing a new lens.

    Was very disappointed with the optical quality. At F2.8 everything is out of focus except a small portion on the right side of the photos, horrible CA, pictures are useless. At other F's quality varies along the zoom range, but trough most of it the right side is blurry.

    Can not get consistent picture quality with this lens. Autofocus is hit, miss, miss, miss. Could get some decent pictures, but only with apertures F4 and up.

    Think this is a bad sample and it will be returned. Will update this when new one arrives.
    1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

    Amazon.com: 50 reviews
    82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
    Tremendous lens, a bargin compared to... 25 Nov 2007
    By Hiram Grant - Published on Amazon.com
    If you've read my previous reviews, you know that I'm a retail camera salesperson. I get to use a wide variety of equipment, but I'm a bit picky on what I buy myself. I own this lens.

    I couldn't be more pleased with this lens for my K10D. The images are crisp at all focal lengths and apertures. The focusing is both fast and smooth. (Note: it will require updating to firmware version 1.3 for the K10D to autofocus properly.) Build quality is top-notch, and the weather-proofing is nice, although I doubt I'll test that often.

    Pentax has also equiped this lens with the older drive system, so that it can be used on older digital cameras, but the noise level goes up, and the AF performance, while decent, goes down.

    This is an amazingly good deal compared to either the Canon or Nikon lenses in the same range. The Nikon has about the same build quality, but costs considerably more. The Canon has the IS system built into the lens (not necessary with Pentax); therefore, it costs about the same as the Nikon. A very good lens, it still doesn't have the build quality "feel" of the Pentax nor Nikon. Additionally, the 16mm makes the Pentax a bit wider, a big advantage for my type of shooting.

    Simply put, without this lens, I'd be shooting Nikon.
    29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    sharp and smooth 4 Jan 2008
    By Dan_A - Published on Amazon.com
    Verified Purchase
    The built quality is exceptional. sharp, smooth and fast AF. Be sure to update your k10D firmware to v 1.3 before using this lens, so you wont be like me at first scratching my head wondering why a lens this expensive is noisy and vibrates. The lens is made in vietnam-nothing wrong with that, for some reason I was under the impression it was made in Japan.
    7/16/11 Update
    This lens did not last, been repaired/replaced twice already because it quit autofocusing. Used it from k10 to K5. Changed my star rating from 4 to 2
    38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
    A bargain...just buy it!!! 30 Mar 2009
    By Bruno P. - Published on Amazon.com
    *****2012 Update: Used it on a K7 for over 2 years now. Still the best zoom lens ever, would buy it again in a heartbeat. On par with the Nikon 17-55mm 2.8 (which is ancient, double the weight and twice the the price). Way to go Pentax!

    For Pentax K20D users:
    (Older model owners: upgrade already, you're missing all the fun, what are you waiting for? ;-)

    I reviewed tons of sites before purchasing this lens. Here the lowdown after some extensive K20D (real world studio with people, not charts) testing:

    -"Famous Urban Internet legend" QA issues: Are done and over with. Blast from the (2008) past. All current lenses in stock do not have any issues anymore (in case you heard).

    -Sharpness/Focus: Much, much better then lower grade zooms, especially if you stop down an f-stop or two (which you really should anyhow). It really shows all the (detailed) glory of your sensor. Do not settle for a third party lens (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) if you can have the real thing.

    -AF: Way more accurate then kit/consumer lenses. Dead-on 95% of the time (versus non * lenses: More like 50%-70%). And in case you're comparing: Yes, it's better than the 17-70mm Pentax.

    -A real bargain compared to Nikon/Canon glass: You would have to pay over a grand for the same quality.

    -Bottom line: The best Pentax glass you can get other than the (new digital) * primes. Even there, I think you would have a hard time to see a difference.

    And yes, I do this for a living (shooting, not reviewing, that is).
    I'm just flabbergasted how professional Pentax has become: The Nikon D300 with any glass shoots like a Coolpix in comparison (yes, I own an entire Nikon outfit).
    21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    By TOKUSHI - Published on Amazon.com
    Best walk around lens to own. With a K10D, you can have a weather proof combo for around $1,350. Where else can you find this kind of deal? If you add on a DA 50~135 with them, you can have an award winning camera with lenses range from 16~135 f2.8 for $2,100.

    Both of these lenses have EXCELLENT SHARPNESS and BOKEH. DA 50~135 has "cleaner" picture though.

    These are my 2 favorite lenses now. period.

    If you want to buy something that is worth every penny, the combo I have listed above will do!!!
    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    Looks and feels solid. Nice bokeh. Wish it had faster AF and better QC. 21 Aug 2008
    By 6x9 - Published on Amazon.com
    Verified Purchase
    This lens looks great and feels very solid. Taking into account the professional specs and the price of the lens, it seems to be a real bargain. Well, it is almost true... but not exactly so.

    But firstly, the positive:

    - Image quality is very good, especially when stepping down by at least one f/stop
    - It has good bokeh
    - Works with the old "screwdriver" bodies, as well as has SDM

    Now, the negatives:

    - The quality of this lens is very inconsistent. I knew about this before buying my copy, so it did not come as a surprise when I discovered that my lens was a bit "off". In my case one corner is slightly softer than the rest of the image, but it is only noticeable on test shots wide open and is not field relevant. So I decided to keep it and not to go into a gamble with exchange for another copy.
    - You may have a strange effect when this lens is focusing spot on in the daylight and is a complete disaster in incandescent or lower light situations. You may even experience this problem to some extent in all light conditions, depending on you copy of the lens. This happens sometimes with my lens set at 16 mm zoom position. My lens shows in some cases FF, and in some - BF, which may be a problem when shooting at large apertures. My SMCP 35 f/2.0, 77 f/1.8 or 50 f/1.4 do not have this problem on my both cameras (K10D and *ist DS), so I explain this phenomena by lens behavior.
    - Focusing is quite slow - both with SDM and with the screwdriver. This is not what you would expect from the professional-grade lens. Perhaps this is a price to pay for supporting the SDM-enabled and the legacy "screwdriver" bodies in one lens.

    +++ UPDATE +++
    Finally I have bought a new Pentax K5 last year. I took my 16-50 from a closet (where it has been spending most of he time) and put it on the new body. It seemed that all my old problems were gone. I thought so... Then fun started. First I noticed that the lens AF started being slightly hesitant after switching the camera ON - there was a tiny but sensible delay between pressing the shutter release button half-way and AF reaction. Then it became lazy - pressing the shutter release button half-way did not activate AF function immediately, but only with 0.5 s - 1 s delay. Than this phenomena started progressing, and this retard became about 10-15 seconds. Surprisingly, if the camera was left on, after waking up there was no noticeable delay in AF start up time. But one day the AF has stopped working completely and I could not activate it with any magic tricks. I have requested Pentax a quote for repair - and I could not believe the figure - 300 Euros! 300 Euros to repair the SDM bug/manufacturing issue! No way! For this money I will rather have a "screw-driver" 17-50 F/2.8 Tamron which is optically equal or even better than the Pentax 16-50, and will still have change left to buy a decent filter. Pentax have never acknowledged this issue officially and never have offered a FREE repair (unlike other manufacturers did - thank you Olympus for repairing cracks on a LCD bezel of my E-M5 camera for free!). But if you talk privately to Pentax technicians, they could tell you that the main reason it fails is the under-rated motor. What to say... disappointed. No - VERY DISAPPOINTED. Pentax (now RICOH) have lost opportunity to sell any other SDM lenses to their loyal long-time customer.
    Please stay away from this lens! It is TOO expensive now as well - I bought mine for around 600 USD a few years ago, which was not cheap either, but now the prices are nearly twice as high. Yes, now they say all is corrected and the lens do not fail... OK, may be... May be this explains the increased prices (the cost of redesign?).
    Look for alternatives (Sigma, Tamron), or buy the excellent Pentax Limited lenses instead. Pentax should start realizing that they could not screw up their customers putting costs of their bad design/manufacturing issues (and afterwards - repair) on us.
    What will I do with my dead lens? I will burn a new data into the lens' EEPROM which will allow it to work in "screw-driver" mode (big thank you to Pentax community, shame on Pentax!). Noisy, a bit brutal, but the AF will work.

    Good luck!

    P.S. The lens is still getting 4 stars from me. And Pentax (Ricoh)- ZERO in this case. The average is 2 stars. Stay away, stay away...
    P.P.S I am not against Pentax (Ricoh) as a brand. Beyond digital stuff I own the 645 system with multiple lenses, many brilliant Pentax cameras and lenses from the film era - and I love them all. But I hate to be screwed up without any choice left. I would accept a reasonable repair bill from Pentax but I do not want to finance them again for their bad job in this particular case.
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