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As well as the pBase Gallery here are a few relevant images (some also appear in the gallery) with comments.

In Melrose, the abbey requires a careful viewpoint to keep verticals straight. The 16mm angle of view makes all the difference. Technically, the CZ lens at 16mm produces strong barrel distortion around 6mm out from the axis, which changes to neutral at around 10mm, then goes slightly to pincushion as you reach the very limit of the horizontal frame length at 11.5mm out. It is likely to cause problems with architectural verticals in portrait format shots, but to work very well in landscape format. You can see that hint of mechanical cut-off on the top right corner again. This lens produces a very tight image circle; you can’t zoom to 24mm and cover full frame, or even zoom to 80mm and cover full frame. It will not be suitable for any imaged 1.3X or full frame future Sony DSLR. It is strictly for 1.5X and in some ways would be even happier with a Canon size 1.6X sensor.

The colour quality, contrast and general rendering of dimensional ‘feel’ all work well here in surprisingly flat, misty, warm colour temperature Spring sunshine.

Next we have two images. The one on the left is my final result, and it is only 9 megapixels not 10. It is processed from the raw .ARW file, like all my work. On the right, you can see the full in-camera JPEG. The colour is duller, though perhaps more natural, and the image is slightly angled as my hand-held composition has let me down. The glasshouse seems to be leaning to the right, and this needs correcting. In Photoshop ACR, the Align tool is used to draw precisely down the middle of the building, and this rotates the crop correct automatically. Tone and colour adjustments complete the job.

If you click on the left-hand image, a full size version is available.

This one from inside the glasshouses is included to show the very attractive ‘bokeh’ of the 16-80mm. While it has many of the faults of all zooms, and can be a bit wiry in some circumsances, this images shows foreground detail (the left hand hanging buds) as well as background detail but the blend is so subtle I’ll bet you can hardly tell. This indicates a very well place iris diaphragm in the lens, distributing sharpness in differential focus most naturally. Or, I should say, attractively – since the human eye never sees this. It’s purely a photography thing, yet we are all used to it now. Click the image for an enlarged version (not full size in this case) to see it better.

Finally, I include this one more to make a point about the Sony A100 camera. This is hand-held for 1/2 second at minimum aperture on the Zeiss lens, which happens to be a very useful f29 at the 60mm focal length used. With many lenses, loss of sharpness at such small apertures is destructive. The 100mm macro instances begins to lose its bite on 10 megapixels once you stop down below f11. Many lenses are very poor at f22. The CZ 16-80mm is not one, and retains good image detail at pixel level even at f29.

But that’s not the entire point – the shot is hand-held, and not supported by any fence or post or other convenient prop. The Sony A100 SSS anti shake has pinned this down to sufficient accuracy to make a 50 megabyte stock image file. I took two shots, and checked on the camera screen. The second looked as good as I was likely to get. It was. As you can see, there is some sunshine in this shot although most is in shade.

I don’t think there can be a better overall combination for landscape, travel and generic pictorial/scenic work than the Sony A100 with 16-80mm

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