Pentax DA 16-45mm 1:4 ED/AL Images Quality and Specification Review

The SMC DA 16-45mm F4.0 ED AL was Pentax’s first lens created for electronic SLRs, with a reduced picture group in comparison to their current Negatives contacts, and printed to the size of the APS-C indicator. The design presented an Extra-low Distribution (ED) cup factor and two aspherical components, appealing top quality picture efficiency, and Pentax presented of its lightweight and light-weight in comparison to a Negatives structure lens with similar requirements.

Pentax DA 16-45mm
Pentax DA 16-45mm

The 16-45mm was clearly targeted at adding to Negatives users’ current conventional zooms which would lose their wideangle view on electronic indicator, and as such the rather moderate 3x zoom capability rate matches to a 24-70mm comparative variety, basically in the wide position option at the trouble of telephoto variety. The F4 continuous highest possible aperture, while by no means amazing, makes this lens a full stop quicker than most similar zooms at telephoto, while helping to keep the dimension, bodyweight and cost to a affordable level.

Although electronic SLRs have innovative in extreme measures in the four years since its release, the 16-45mm is still going strong in Pentax’s lens variety, and indeed has only also been replaced by a 16-50mm F2.8 as their top quality conventional zoom capability. But meanwhile, it’s probably been somewhat left behind by more recent styles from other producers, which usually provide much longer zoom capability varies as all-in-one ‘walkaround’ alternatives. So the question to be responded to is whether the 16-45mm is a prehistoric out of step with the modern age, or a fantastic oldie with much still to offer? Let’s find out.

Key Features

  • 24-68mm comparative central length range
  • F4 continuous highest possible aperture
  • ‘Quick shift’ guide focus
  • KA install for Pentax APS-C dSLRS only

Pentax DA 16-45mm Design

The 16-45mm comes with a extremely effective style, with far more focus on performance than appearance. It seems reasonably well-made, with development quality quite identical to, and perhaps a level above, the 18-55mm kit lens (which for once is no bad thing). The lens install is steel, and the body designed from steel and high-grade plastic materials. The extra-wide zoom capability band, with its greatly ribbed hard rubberized hold, is especially welcome, and a reasonable guide concentrate band with range range finishes the program. At a light and portable 365g, this is also a lens which you can easily continue the digicam all day long. However it’s not designed quite up to the factors of Pentax’s high-end F2.8 SWM zooms, and is not climate enclosed to coordinate the K10D or K20D digicam systems.

Pentax DA 16-45mm Body
Pentax DA 16-45mm Body

The most uncommon function of this lens is its ‘reverse zoom’ style, for example it is quickest at 45mm telephoto and expands considerably to the 16mm wideangle place. This is unusual in a lens of this category, and more usually found in professional-level F2.8 conventional zooms. A realistic effect is that this gives increase to some following their every move of the built-in display at wideangle configurations.

Pentax DA 16-45mm Images Quality


Decidedly unsociable at 16mm, where it needs to be ceased down to F11 for best outcomes, the lens enhances considerably at more time central measures, and is at its best around 28mm. Picture top quality enhances considerably on avoiding down , with F8 and F11 the lovely spot; at more compact apertures diffraction gets a cost, as always. Luckily apertures more compact than F22 are not available.

Chromatic Aberration

A pretty decent efficiency here; Pentax have usually restricted chromatic aberration to the least challenging blue/yellow kind. As always the consequence is most noticeable at wideangle, where the red-cyan factor is completely huge as to be creatively intrusive; at 28mm and above there’s little to fear about.


This is a space where the 16-45 really stands out. Due perhaps to the nice front side factor measurements and unambitious zoom capability variety, you’ll battle to see any obvious falloff (i.e. beyond 1 stop) except start up at 16mm. Well done Pentax.


Distortion is (as always) most noticeable at wideangle, but with only a 1% gun barrel at 16mm, this is uncommonly well-corrected for a wideangle zoom; an amazing efficiency indeed. As regular, the distortions isn’t ‘pure’ gun barrel, but instead a more technical ‘wave’ kind, with re-correction towards the sides. At 20mm the lens is almost completely fixed, but at more time central measures it reveals unique pincushion distortions, maxing out at -1.2% at 45mm.

Chromatic Aberration

Overall chromatic aberration is pretty well managed, but is (as usual) most challenging at extensive position. At 16-20mm, green/magenta CA can become invasive towards the side of the structure (see example below). At longer central measures, our studio room assessments show obvious blue/yellow fringing, but in real-world capturing this is basically a non-issue; it certainly doesn’t have the dangerous visible impact of red/cyan or green/magenta fringing.

Pentax DA 16-45mm 16mm, F8.0
Pentax DA 16-45mm 16mm, F8.0

Portait Structure Softness

One obvious problem with our example was excessive smooth at the side of the structure when capturing at extensive position and in image format, especially with the lens tilted considerably up-wards (perhaps not a common capturing situation, but remarkably recognizable in some structural shots). We can only think that this could be a decentring trend due to the play in the lens gun barrel when completely prolonged at 16mm.

Pentax DA 16-45mm 16mm F5.6
Pentax DA 16-45mm 16mm F5.6

Flash Shadowing

With its uncommon ‘reverse zoom’ design, this lens reveals serious following their every move of the built-in display at extensive position configurations. The impact will be influenced by the particular digicam body used, and how far the display raises above the lens axis; with the K10D, the guide declares that ‘vignetting may happen when the central duration is smaller than 28mm, or when the central duration is 28mm and the capturing range less than 1m’. Our own examining reveals these to be affordable, although somewhat traditional recommendations.


Autofocus is motivated by a screw-drive system from you body system, so AF speed, disturbance and precision is essentially based on you used. On our K10D test body system, we found concentrating to be generally fast and precise under most conditions, although with a certain propensity to battle a bit in low light. Here the quicker than regular F4 highest possible aperture at the telephoto end confers a visible advantage over the 18-55mm kit lens.

Pentax DA 16-45mm Specifications

Street price • US: $410
• UK: £310
Date introduced December 2003
Maximum format size APS-C
Focal length 16-45mm
35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) 24-68mm
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 83°- 35°
Maximum aperture F4
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 13 elements/10 groups
• 1 ED glass element
• 2 aspherical elements
Number of diaphragm blades 8
Minimum focus 0.28m
Maximum magnification 0.25x at 45mm
AF motor type • ‘Screw drive’ from camera body
• ‘Quick Shift’ manual focus
Focus method Extending front element
Image stabilization No
Filter thread • 67mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• Petal-type lens hood PH-RBL 67mm
Weight 356 g (12.9 oz)
Dimensions 72mm diameter x 92mm length
(2.8 x 3.6 in)
Lens Mount Pentax KA