Pentax HD DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DC WR - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Pentax

Sample Images & Verdict

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Make PENTAX
Model PENTAX K-5 II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 53.0mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make PENTAX
Model PENTAX K-5 II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 28.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make PENTAX
Model PENTAX K-5 II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 16.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/160s
Make PENTAX
Model PENTAX K-5 II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 26.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/160s
Make PENTAX
Model PENTAX K-5 II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 68.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make PENTAX
Model PENTAX K-5 II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 16.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/200s
Make PENTAX
Model PENTAX K-5 II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 31.0mm
Aperture: f/4.5
Exposure 1/40s
Make PENTAX
Model PENTAX K-5 II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/400s
Make PENTAX
Model PENTAX K-5 II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 53.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/250s

Verdict

Some may argue that the death bells are already ringing for Pentax but the new Pentax HD DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DC WR actually shows that the company is still up and kicking. It is an impressive lens which is easily as good if not better than similar offerings from Canon or Nikon. It is capable of producing surprisingly crisp and sharp images especially at medium aperture settings and the fairly low CAs contribute to the high quality perception. Image distortions are high at 16mm but otherwise not really an issue. The lens shows some vignetting at 16mm at fully open aperture but this is in line with most lenses in this class anyway.

The build quality is also on a high level with tight tolerances - that's despite the duo cam design (two inner lens tubes). Thanks to high quality plastics and nicely rubberized and smooth control rings, it's a joy to handle the lens out there. Some users may complain about the comparatively long size of the lens. While true you should keep in mind that there's surely a correlation to the high image quality here - big is simply often beautiful really. You may debate whether the DC AF motor is a progress compared to Pentax' ultrasonic SDM drive. It's quite fast by Pentax standards but not a speed demon.

The price tag (750US$/700EUR) may feel to be a little too steep but keep in mind that e.g. the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 USM IS plays in a similar ballpark here actually. All in all we think that Pentax has produced a winner here and it's certainly better than the Pentax DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED IF AL WR. Thus assuming you can get a good sample ... highly recommended!

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