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Old Dec 7, 2013, 12:58 AM   #1
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I couldn't resist the Black Friday Weekend deal at B&H for a weather sealed wide angle. I've wanted one for a long time and had bought the 16-50 back when the K7 came out. There was a rebate on a number of lenses if you bought the camera so I got one along with 2 other lenses that had rebates. Unfortunately, I ended up returning it (I returned 2 copies) because I ran out of time for the rebates. The second copy gave me an idea of why some love the lens, I considered keeping it and sending it in for repair (the zoom ring was messed up) but didn't think that was right.

When I went to bed last night I wasn't sure whether it was going to be delivered today or not - I did the free shipping and it hadn't been scanned into anywhere in California yet. I got up to go to work and saw that it had arrived, so I took the day off. I spent the day enjoying the first fire in the fireplace in 2 years, and jumping every time I heard a truck drive by.

It arrived after dark (of course!), so I tried it out inside.

The usual coffee mug picture:



I was surprised, this lens is really nice! I shouldn't have been so surprised, because so many people love this lens, but I wasn't expecting much because of my past experience with it.

One thing I'm still missing is the generic camera plate for my Really Right Stuff quick release clamp, so I'm not able to use the tripod. That got me thinking about trying the flash.

I really struggle with flash - there's just something that has always happened to make sure I don't get what I want. One of the things I discovered was that I couldn't get the on-board flash on the K5 to work right when it came to wireless. No matter how I had it set, the on-board flash contributed to the picture.

So not expecting much, I put the flash on the camera and bounced if off the ceiling. I was happy with the lighting here, even if the picture shows how congested that particular corner of my kitchen is:



I then tried the wireless flash. I had forgotten that you had to set the flash and the camera to talk to each other - ended up reading through both manuals to figure out how to do it. In the end I managed it, then started playing around with the flash off-camera. I think I'll start really trying to figure out flash, because I actually got it to work the way I wanted. Again, this isn't exactly what people normally try to get, but I wanted this type of very directional, high contrast, slightly back-lit look. I've never been able to get this effect before for some reason. Next time I'll choose a more exciting subject.



I now can't wait until tomorrow, so I can try the lens outside and make sure it really is as good as it seems to be right now.
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Old Dec 7, 2013, 11:37 AM   #2
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What lens did you get?
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Old Dec 7, 2013, 4:34 PM   #3
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Sorry, I edited my original draft and somehow took out the lens information. I was distracted by the success of the flash.

I was all ready to purchase the new 20-40 Limited since it's weather sealed and B&H had it for $100 off last weekend. But then I scrolled down and saw the 16-50 was marked down even more, making it $50 cheaper than the 20-40. I asked on PF if anyone had thoughts about that choice, and the basic consensus was to get the 16-50, at least you would know that a good copy was capable of spectacular results. Since it was cheaper and it's not that big/heavy of a lens (compared to the 50-135, 200 and 300), I decided to save the $50 and give the 16-50 another try (besides, it is constant f2.8, though that isn't such a big deal to me as I was looking for a landscape/weather sealed lens, I have other fast or faster wide angle options.

I've decided that it was back-focusing slightly, so I adjusted it a bit. I'll use it some more to see if I need to fine-tune the adjustment a little more. But here are a couple from today, showing why I really wanted weather sealing and why its arrival was perfect timing:

For all you folks suffering through the cold and snow in the East:



You aren't alone.

Don't ask me what the previous owner was thinking when he put these faucets where they are - they aren't hooked up to anything.



When you photograph something with an odd-colored background in odd lighting that the camera doesn't figure out right, and you can't get it to look right, convert it to b&w. This is what the camera looked like after this morning's walk-about.



The view from the upstairs window, as the storm wanes.



My first impression is that this DA*16-50 is really under-regarded due to the quality control and SDM issues in the past. I'm really impressed with the optics and think I'm going to be really happy with this lens.

I think I'll try for some more sunshine/snow pictures, it's starting to clear off.
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Old Dec 7, 2013, 6:08 PM   #4
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Looks like a great lens in some very capable hands. Will look forward to seeing more of your fine photos with it!
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Old Dec 8, 2013, 8:59 PM   #5
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Very nice photos. Last year on Cyber Monday, when B&H had the DA* 16-50 on sale, I bought one. My copy had autofocus problems almost straight out of the box, but Pentax repaired it under warranty, and since then it has worked very well. I am also very impressed with this lens. It is now my regular "walking around" lens. By the way, I was very glad to read that you laid a fire in the fireplace. That always makes a home very pleasant during cold weather.
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Old Dec 8, 2013, 9:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnman View Post
Very nice photos. My copy had autofocus problems almost straight out of the box, but Pentax repaired it under warranty, and since then it has worked very well. I am also very impressed with this lens. It is now my regular "walking around" lens. By the way, I was very glad to read that you laid a fire in the fireplace. That always makes a home very pleasant during cold weather.
I think it will be my regular walk-about lens also, something different for me since I've been a detail/telephoto type of person.

And I did enjoy the fire very much. It gave me a chance to try taking pictures of flames (always fun). They were taken with the 50-135, still trying to decide what to do about this lens. It had gone down to coals by the time the lens arrived, so no pictures of the room with the fire. Maybe next time.

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