Pentax SMC P-DA J 16-45mm f/4 ED/AL Reviews

Aug 18th, 2006johnriley

Price Paid
285

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
Less than a year

A very fine quality standard zoom for the Pentax DSLRs. A 35mm equivalent 24mm is a very respectable ultra-wide and that makes this a very versatile lens. Drawing is good, the constant aperture especially useful for flash work, and the results are outstanding. This lens could happily cover 90% of my general photography.
Oct 14th, 2006Vytautas

Price Paid
$450

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
Less than a year

One of the best lenses I had ever owned. Recently, I made a comparison shot with my SMC-FA 50/2.8 Macro (there is no need to talk about what this lens is capable of). I set the 16-45/4 zoom to 45 position. And I was really amazed to see, that when uploaded, pictures from both lenses showed no visible difference in a real life shot. Kudos Pentax! I also compared a 16 focal distance image distortion characteristics against samples of what I could find from other manufacturers on the net, like luxury Canon 17-40/40, 16-35/2.8 and similar. O, man! The Pentax beats them in all respects. The only drawback I see is build quality, which is not up to the standard of professional lenses. But, off course, its still good for the price. The fact that the front element extends when zoomed to the widest setting and obstructs the small camera flash from lighting all scene is no matter to me, because I never use the camera flash. (I usually put an on-camera flash or fire other flashes using a flash trigger.) Once more, Kudos Pentax!
Apr 20th, 2007romancos

Price Paid
$550 USD

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
Less than a month

Absolutely love anything about it, the look, feel of it in my hand. It is sharp and with very good contrast full-open throughouts entire zoom range. Internal focusing is fast, quiet and accurate. Awkward is how lense barrel extends by some 1? inches at 16mm focal length and collapses at 45mm focal length. There's slight CA in some shooting conditions and 67mm filter thread that could be quite expensive for some creative filters like polarizing filter. Speaking of which, front element isn't rotating and creative filters are easy to use. Petal shaped hood (included) allows adjusting the filter angle with hood on.

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Dec 29th, 2007lqjs

Price Paid
$400 USD

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
Less than a month

It is a best lenses for travers!
May 10th, 2008joekashi

Price Paid
$379 USD

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
Less than a year

This is the sharpest, highest quality lens that I have yet used on a digital SLR, although large and limited to a constant f4 aperture. If I had only one lens for a Pentax dSLR, this would be the one.

Sharpness and contrast are excellent. Although some published reviews suggest a problem with chromatic aberration at high contrast sharp edges, I did not experience CA very often and, when I did, the CA was readily correctible in PhotoShop. There is a good review with MTF sharpness data at and their tests suggest that the wide angle in particular produces very high sharpness, which is my experience as well. Unlike most zooms, I did not experience a noticeable drop-off in resolution at either end of the zoom range.

I do not find the f4 aperture to be a problem for most work. I bought an excellent 50mm f1.4 for low light use and the Pentax 35 mm f2 gets similarly high reviews if you need a wider field of view.

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