Pentax SMC-DA 16-45mm f/4 ED AL - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Pentax

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published April 2007

Special thanks to Rüdiger Neumann for providing this lens for testing!


The Pentax SMC-DA 16-45mm f/4 ED AL is something like a "consensus" lens in the Pentax community. It is affordable enough for starters yet interesting enough for enthusiasts. Its field-of-view is equivalent to 24.5-67.5mm in the 35mm format - a pretty attractive range specifically for those with a preference for wide angles. On the downside a 3x zoom ratio isn't all that impressive anymore these days. Typical for all Pentax DA lenses it is compatible to APS-C DSLRs only.

The build quality of the lens is fine although you shouldn't really expect much of an increase in perceived quality compared to the much cheaper DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL. The outer body is made of a combination of plastic and metal parts assembled with comparatively tight tolerances. Both the zoom and focus ring operate quite smooth. As you can see above the lens extends towards the WIDE end of the zoom range which is unusual although not unprecedented (e.g. the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM L does the same). The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem. Some users complain about its comparatively "chunky" size but its relatively fast max. aperture (for a standard zoom) comes at the expense of (comparatively) large glass elements.

The lens has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. As a result AF operation will generate a moderate degree of noise. The AF speed is extremely fast and accurate on the K10D. Thanks to a "Quick-Shift Focus System" manual focusing is instantly possible once the AF has achieved focus - this works very well and noiseless.

Equiv. focal length24-67.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/6 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction13 elements in 10 groups inc. 1 ED and 2 aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades8
min. focus distance0.28 m (max. magnification ratio 1:4)
Dimensions72 x 92 mm
Weight365 g
Filter size67 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal shaped (supplied)
Other features-

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