Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

For discussion of the E and FE mount mirrorless system
User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3638
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:45 am

Ran across this by accident, but I was really shocked at the poor review the lens got.
http://www.photozone.de/sony_nex/842-sony1650f3556oss

Shame really as a compact lens like this could appeal to users and pull people towards the NEX line. That distortion is shocking, so is the fall off. We know Sony can make good lenses, so what went wrong?

Vidgamer
Imperial Ambassador
Posts: 527
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:37 am

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby Vidgamer » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:32 pm

bfitzgerald wrote:Ran across this by accident, but I was really shocked at the poor review the lens got.
http://www.photozone.de/sony_nex/842-sony1650f3556oss


After you recover from this review, check out ephotozine -- they're much more positive about it.

Shame really as a compact lens like this could appeal to users and pull people towards the NEX line. That distortion is shocking, so is the fall off. We know Sony can make good lenses, so what went wrong?


What distortion? The camera corrects it. Also, the RAW converters correct it, at least the one I use. Vignetting too. So, you end up with a perfect lens, with nothing wrong. :wink: :P

This is what the m43 system has had for a while, the ability to make "compromised" lenses that were corrected in software. Before judging whether or not this makes a lens inferior, keep in mind that correcting such distortions in the lens requires additional glass with its own compromises; maybe better, but who knows with a zoom? You might compromise other focal lengths in order to correct the wide end, for example. But my guess is that what this allows is a smaller lens, and that may be the biggest advantage.

The bottom line to me is that you really need to compare it directly against another lens to decide if it's better or worse. Compared against my 18-55, I find I prefer the 16-50 overall, except for the bokeh.

User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3638
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:43 pm

Couple of quick remarks. Samples on ephotozine don't look that good either.
I know micro 4/3 has it's share of distortion and vignetting, but not on this level 5 stops of fall off is astonishing really never seen anything like it!

Looks like a bit of a turkey it happens from time to time, problem is nex really needed a good normal zoom.

User avatar
pakodominguez
Minister with Portfolio
Posts: 2539
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby pakodominguez » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:22 am

bfitzgerald wrote:Looks like a bit of a turkey it happens from time to time, problem is nex really needed a good normal zoom.

A "good normal zoom" is supposed to be introduced this year (A technical representative from Sony, not a REP, told me about it during an Adobe event a couple of moths ago) that will be at the shape and filter size of the really nice 10-18mm (62mm filter size).

Barry: I don't understand how can you expect a good performance from a lens that has it's compactness as strongest point. I haven't use this lens, but I can imagine that with the in-camera correction plus a little bit of Lightroom, this lens is a fine kit lens.
Pako
------------
http://www.pakodominguez.photo/blog" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Vidgamer
Imperial Ambassador
Posts: 527
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:37 am

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby Vidgamer » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:50 am

bfitzgerald wrote:Couple of quick remarks. Samples on ephotozine don't look that good either.

Samples of the raw? They gave it a pretty favorable review. Why was that if it didn't look good?

I know micro 4/3 has it's share of distortion and vignetting, but not on this level 5 stops of fall off is astonishing really never seen anything like it!

But do you even see any of it? After correcting the distortion, the corners will be cropped. And then, we're only talking about 16mm.
Looks like a bit of a turkey it happens from time to time, problem is nex really needed a good normal zoom.

If you want a higher-end zoom, it's been on the roadmap; should be coming soon.

The 16-50 isn't a turkey, it's a kit lens.

Vidgamer
Imperial Ambassador
Posts: 527
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:37 am

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby Vidgamer » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:08 am

bfitzgerald wrote:Couple of quick remarks. Samples on ephotozine don't look that good either.
I know micro 4/3 has it's share of distortion and vignetting, but not on this level 5 stops of fall off is astonishing really never seen anything like it!

Looks like a bit of a turkey it happens from time to time, problem is nex really needed a good normal zoom.


More thoughts...

I did a search of your old messages, and found this quote from you regarding the 18-200:

Pancake lenses are the way to go for such small bodies.


Well, now you have a pancake zoom, with the optical compromises that make that happen.

I recall that in the early Nex days, there were lots of complaints about large lenses on such a small camera. I can't wait for Sony to come out with the "good" zoom and hear the complaints... Too large, too expensive, Nikon xx-yyy is better, etc.

User avatar
Birma
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6679
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby Birma » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:35 am

I'm expecting to get one tomorrow (attached to the front of a Nex 6 8) ) so I'll be interested to compare it myself with the 18-55. I had to think hard about whether to get another Nex kit lens, but the very good price as part of a kit was a clincher. As Vidgamer has said, the small pancake size is a plus if you're trying to minimise size of the overall camera plus lens package.

I've seen very mixed reviews around the internet for the lens, but I've seen plenty of very nice pictures from it as well.

(The one positive, for me, already has been getting to buy the 'cutest' UV filter I've yet seen. 40.5mm! Who knew they came so small :) ? It is of course a moot point whether this lens can cope with a filter or needs it.)
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

User avatar
aster
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 5469
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:33 pm

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby aster » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:34 pm

Hi Andy,

Though the thread is this on particular kit lens, I'm curious as to why you decided to acquire a NEX 6?

What were the atractions and the technical merits?

I'm eyeing these cameras with their kit lenses and adapters as well, so seeing that you went for a NEX 6 rather than a NEX 7 is curious for me.

Just a couple of pointers would be great. :D Thanks.


Yildiz

User avatar
bakubo
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 5670
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:55 am
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:16 pm

In Tokyo they always have tons of filters out. I have seen 37mm also. I am trying to recall if I have seen smaller. I think I have.

User avatar
UrsaMajor
Imperial Ambassador
Posts: 681
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:36 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby UrsaMajor » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:30 am

Birma wrote:I'm expecting to get one tomorrow (attached to the front of a Nex 6 8) ) so I'll be interested to compare it myself with the 18-55. I had to think hard about whether to get another Nex kit lens, but the very good price as part of a kit was a clincher. As Vidgamer has said, the small pancake size is a plus if you're trying to minimise size of the overall camera plus lens package.

I've seen very mixed reviews around the internet for the lens, but I've seen plenty of very nice pictures from it as well.
That is the same reason I have the 16-50 lens - it came at an attractive price as a kit lens, plus I was buying the NEX-6 with the goal of putting together a relatively small and light camera package for the specific purpose of travel by air. I knew before I got the kit that the lens design requires correction in software, but that correction was already available, so it did not bother me.

I have no justifiable complaints about the 16-50 lens. I wish that it were faster, but I was fully aware of that issue before I ever placed my order. I now have several thousand images taken with this lens on my NEX-6 and I have no complaints about any of those images that I can lay at the feet of the lens. Obviously, not every image has turned out as I envisioned when I pressed the shutter, but none of those failures were due to a lens problem.

As I mentioned above, one of my reasons for acquiring this lens and the NEX-6 was for use when traveling by air.

Last month I posted an image here that was taken with this lens while on a trip by air. That image is at:

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7794

I have no complaints about the way in which the 16-50 delivered that image.

- Tom -

User avatar
artington
Imperial Ambassador
Posts: 565
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:22 pm

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby artington » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:50 am

Of course this is not a top grade zoom lens. At this price and size it cannot be. Leica primes can be this small but cost ten to twenty times as much and the tri-Elmar triple focal length (and not zoom) is much bigger. However, as a travel lens it is brilliant and the software correction works well (as does ACR for raw files); not perfect but good enough. As photozone says it might have been better to push the range up a bit, say 18-20 to 70 but I think it's a great compromise. The faster zoom people are waiting for will be a lot bigger, heavier and much more expensive. For real quality purposes I use a Minolta M-Rokkor CLE 40/2, originally made for the Leica CL, also with a 40.5 filter which is handy. This is a superlative lens and can still be bought for about £400 (see below), One of the great lens bargains IMO. Yes, it is manual focus and needs a Leica-M adapter for use on the NEX but the results are amazing and it's F/2.0. !!. Also, it has a proper aperture ring. I wholeheartedly recommend it for the NEX7.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksi ... &_from=R40

Or, try pasting this line into eBay:

Minolta M-Rokkor CLE 40mm F2 con Paraluce. Leica M CL Con scatole Come Nuovo

User avatar
Birma
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6679
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby Birma » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:43 pm

aster wrote:Hi Andy,

Though the thread is this on particular kit lens, I'm curious as to why you decided to acquire a NEX 6?

What were the atractions and the technical merits?

I'm eyeing these cameras with their kit lenses and adapters as well, so seeing that you went for a NEX 6 rather than a NEX 7 is curious for me.

Just a couple of pointers would be great. :D Thanks.


Yildiz


Hi Yildiz,

I'll start another thread to explain my logic behind getting the 6 ;)
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

alphaomega
Viceroy
Posts: 1196
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:20 pm

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby alphaomega » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:45 pm

I am quite satisfied with my 16-50 pancake on my NEX-6, in fact I was surprised how good it was even in the corners. RAWs corrected in LR4 I use. In fact I am surprised that Adobe have seen fit tor correct my 55-210 and 10-18 E mount zooms as well. I also rarely find CA in Jpegs produced by these lenses. Good corrections in my NEX-6 and NEX-5N I shoud add. Also the RX100 is good at correcting CA in Jpegs. Encouraging indeed. For its size and price I consider my 16-50 pancake a consistently good lens.

Vidgamer
Imperial Ambassador
Posts: 527
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:37 am

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby Vidgamer » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:32 pm

artington wrote:Of course this is not a top grade zoom lens. At this price and size it cannot be. Leica primes can be this small but cost ten to twenty times as much and the tri-Elmar triple focal length (and not zoom) is much bigger. However, as a travel lens it is brilliant and the software correction works well (as does ACR for raw files); not perfect but good enough. As photozone says it might have been better to push the range up a bit, say 18-20 to 70 but I think it's a great compromise.


According to DxO, the sweet spot is 16mm @f4. (Why would you want to cut the best part of the lens? ;-) ) The DSLR Sony kit lens I have is 18-70, and maybe the expanded range contributes to it's poor performance. But i like the 16mm view. No, I think the 16-50 range is pretty good. I find that I either prefer wider angles, or I want more than 50mm. So, if I get to pick my range, make it 16-70. Or maybe 16-105. I don't think we'll see that in a pancake!

The faster zoom people are waiting for will be a lot bigger, heavier and much more expensive. For real quality purposes I use a Minolta M-Rokkor CLE 40/2, originally made for the Leica CL, also with a 40.5 filter which is handy. This is a superlative lens and can still be bought for about £400 (see below), One of the great lens bargains IMO. Yes, it is manual focus and needs a Leica-M adapter for use on the NEX but the results are amazing and it's F/2.0. !!. Also, it has a proper aperture ring. I wholeheartedly recommend it for the NEX7.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksi ... &_from=R40

Or, try pasting this line into eBay:

Minolta M-Rokkor CLE 40mm F2 con Paraluce. Leica M CL Con scatole Come Nuovo


Sure, if you want better results, you can try a top grade prime. I find the 16-50 to be pretty good overall.

I compared against my 18-55, and the 16-50 looks better. That's not what I expected! Only when it comes to bokeh do I much prefer the 18-55. In most cases it may be a wash for resolution, but the contrast is much better on the 16-50.

User avatar
pakodominguez
Minister with Portfolio
Posts: 2539
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Unread postby pakodominguez » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:54 pm

Vidgamer wrote:According to DxO, the sweet spot is 16mm @f4. (Why would you want to cut the best part of the lens? ;-) ) The DSLR Sony kit lens I have is 18-70, and maybe the expanded range contributes to it's poor performance.

The 18-70 was the kit lens for the Maxxum 5D, and it was a good performer on 6MP. I used on the A100 and it was still a good performer. Probably on the 12P of the A700 performance was not as good and Sony came with the 18-55, that is a fine kit lens, and quite good at close focus.

Other lenses are in the same situation, specially legacy lenses, that are good matched with some sensors but deficient with other sensors/AF systems. DK published a picture I took with the Maxxum 7D and a Minolta 24-105, impressed of how well it worked (he expected more aberrations, but the worst part of the lens was not there, it got cropped off on an APS size sensor). I sold that lens after some time trying to make it work decently on the A700, but apparently 12 MP and the A700 AF was not a good match for that lens. DK lately wrote on a post that he got a late Sony version of this lens that works pretty well on the A99, I guess is because the AF system works better and because correcting the lens' weakness on LR and it fabulous lens profiles make this compact, light kit lens (yes: it was the kit lens for the Maxxum 7 film camera) a good option again.

I have no real hope in other lenses, like the Minolta 20mm f2.8 (the KM 17-35 f2.8-4 performs better at 20mm than the prime, in any single camera I tried)
Vidgamer wrote:But i like the 16mm view. No, I think the 16-50 range is pretty good. I find that I either prefer wider angles, or I want more than 50mm. So, if I get to pick my range, make it 16-70. Or maybe 16-105. I don't think we'll see that in a pancake!

I got the 16-105 because I needed a DT lens for small events (I always shoot raw, but I don't need 24 MP) and this lens at 12MP on the A900/A99 works OK, specially after LR lens profile does it's mambo-jambo. But on the NEX7, regardless I use a plain adapter or the EA-LA2, looks terrible, specially at the long end.
Pako
------------
http://www.pakodominguez.photo/blog" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Return to “Alpha E-Mount system”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests