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

For discussion of the E and FE mount mirrorless system
Mark K
Grand Caliph
Posts: 397
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:10 pm

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

Unread post by Mark K »

:mrgreen:
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

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?
Nothing was wrong...but it is a killer lens..to kill Sony..
Canon has this wonderful 40/2.8 stm..Sony can definitely produce one
User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3788
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

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

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

I thought the 40mm STM was for EF mount :mrgreen:

Be careful what you wish for on these types of lenses I quite like the pancake concept but would find such a lens not very useful unless you want the smaller size.
When I was using Pentax I pretty much covered 2/3 lenses with a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and it cost less than one Pentax prime :wink:

I'd like to see a few for A Mount too, but the critical point here is I want "faster speeds" f2.8 is fast for a zoom, it's nothing special for a short focal length prime.
A 40mm f2, that might be useful I need a stop's speed improvement to even think about a pancake lens.

That's why K mount is quite odd, who wants to buy a 40mm f2.8, and a 21mm f3.2 or even a non pancake 35mm f2.4 when one lens does it all and just as well I might add, for a fraction of the price.
The Canon lens is pretty cheap though, and seems to be selling fairly well.
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 post by Vidgamer »

bfitzgerald wrote:I thought the 40mm STM was for EF mount :mrgreen:
If you want a good 2.8 prime, the Sigma 30/2.8 is among the sharpest of the Nex lenses.
Be careful what you wish for on these types of lenses I quite like the pancake concept but would find such a lens not very useful unless you want the smaller size.
If you didn't want the smaller size, you could just go for an existing DSLR system.
When I was using Pentax I pretty much covered 2/3 lenses with a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and it cost less than one Pentax prime :wink:

I'd like to see a few for A Mount too, but the critical point here is I want "faster speeds" f2.8 is fast for a zoom, it's nothing special for a short focal length prime.
I have the Tamron 17-50/2.8 for A-mount. It is imperfect and large and heavy. I don't like this lens on the Nex, although it's a great lens for the DSLR.
A 40mm f2, that might be useful I need a stop's speed improvement to even think about a pancake lens.
I worry a lot less about one more stop, given the high-ISO capability of the Nex cameras. I'd bet that there's well more than a stop difference over my DSLR.
That's why K mount is quite odd, who wants to buy a 40mm f2.8, and a 21mm f3.2 or even a non pancake 35mm f2.4 when one lens does it all and just as well I might add, for a fraction of the price.
The Canon lens is pretty cheap though, and seems to be selling fairly well.
40mm on APS-C is a weird field-of-view, IMO. I wouldn't want a 40mm at any aperture.
User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3788
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

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

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

Well if you think a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 is large and heavy, wait until those Zeiss f2.8 zooms start turning up for E mount! ANd don't expect an 85mm f1.8 Zeiss to be really tiny either.

440g isn't what I call a heavy lens sure it's heavier than a kit lens, but hardly a beast to handle. It's actually pretty compact for a zoom lens of this type. If you're looking for small zoom f2.8 lenses on NEX I think you'll be disappointed.
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 post by Vidgamer »

bfitzgerald wrote:Well if you think a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 is large and heavy, wait until those Zeiss f2.8 zooms start turning up for E mount! ANd don't expect an 85mm f1.8 Zeiss to be really tiny either.

440g isn't what I call a heavy lens sure it's heavier than a kit lens, but hardly a beast to handle. It's actually pretty compact for a zoom lens of this type. If you're looking for small zoom f2.8 lenses on NEX I think you'll be disappointed.
It's a full pound! It feels heavy after hours of it hanging around the neck. It's my heaviest lens, by far. My tele-zooms aren't that heavy. But if you don't mind heavy, it's a great lens, if somewhat soft wide open, at least in the corners. (If Sony made this lens, there would be howls of disapproval at its f2.8 performance.)

I'm not looking for a small f2.8 zoom, but then, on a non-DSLR like the Nex, it could be made a bit smaller, perhaps. But the Tamron 17-50/2.8 just seems very large and unwieldy on the Nex for some reason, to the point that I don't have any desire to use it. It was often my go-to lens on the DSLR.

The new f4 18-70m looks kinda large; at least performance at f4 is supposedly pretty good. I don't think we'll see a high-end f2.8 zoom at least not any time soon. If we do, expect to hear usual complaints about a large lens on such a small camera and "balance". Personally, I think a lot of these complaints aren't very useful; either you mind the size or you don't. The camera doesn't mind being upstaged by a larger lens. ;-) Having said that, I think if you're buying a smaller camera, you probably wanted something more compact and lighter.

So, I don't mind if Sony (or Tamron...) wants to make such a lens, but I won't be interested personally.
User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3788
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

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

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

Well if you want to compare these lenses :mrgreen:

DSC02356.JPG
(184.06 KiB) Downloaded 2534 times
DSC02357.JPG
(150.33 KiB) Downloaded 2534 times
The Canon is a nice 880g, that's double the Tamron's weight (the Sony 18-135mm included just for comparison)
It's also quite a bit longer much larger filter size

Suddenly APS-C doesn't look so big and heavy after all does it?
Now if we compared a similar lens ie FF and f2.8 say a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 that's 510g with a 67mm filter v the Canon's 77mm filter and it's smaller all around.
One could argue the Canon's superior L build adds weight (I'm sure it does)

The oldie 28-85mm Minolta is 490g not light but not monster heavy either. I'm pretty much 100% convinced in lens motors, IS/VR, electronic apertures all add size and weight to a lens. I'm sure the 18-135mm SAM would be a tad slimmer if it was screw driven.

Whilst we're on the subject of quality the Canon's zoom is jammed due to a component (bolt etc) inside rattling around :roll:
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 post by Vidgamer »

bfitzgerald wrote:Well if you want to compare these lenses :mrgreen:
...

The Canon is a nice 880g, that's double the Tamron's weight (the Sony 18-135mm included just for comparison)
It's also quite a bit longer much larger filter size

Suddenly APS-C doesn't look so big and heavy after all does it?...
The oldie 28-85mm Minolta is 490g not light but not monster heavy either. I'm pretty much 100% convinced in lens motors, IS/VR, electronic apertures all add size and weight to a lens. I'm sure the 18-135mm SAM would be a tad slimmer if it was screw driven.
...
This seems like apples-and-oranges. The 17-50/2.8 doesn't suddenly appear light because you've got a lens that's twice as heavy, but if you mean that FF requires that kind of a size difference between that and the Canon, I don't buy it. Part of the 17-50's problem might be in the retrofocus design needed for SLRs; a similar lens designed for a Nex might end up even smaller. To cover an FF sensor, it'd have to be larger again, even without the AF and aperture motors. We might just have to wait to see what Sony comes out with, but there are already photos of the A7's kit lens that I guess could be used for some comparison, but the best one will be a Zeiss 24-70/f4 due in January. F4 will result in the same amount of bokeh that you'd get with the 17-50/2.8 on APS-C, but the size of the FF f4 lens is probably smaller and lighter. And then there are the flaws of the 17-50/2.8 when at 2.8; if the CZ doesn't contain the corner softness, then it will actually be more usable.... At twice the price.

Sony is coming out with a couple of f4 Nex (APS-C) zoom lenses. This seems like a good compromise, given the quality of the sensor (able to use higher ISOs). For FF, even their primes are f2.8. I assume that this is also a move to keep the size down, but I can imagine some will be disappointed.
zoeyku
Acolyte
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:05 am
Location: usa
Contact:

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

Unread post by zoeyku »

Samples on ephotozine don't look that good either.
User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3788
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

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

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

It is what it is..a FF f2.8 zoom v an APS-C one.
I don't find the Tamron a beast..we're not talking 70-200mm f2.8 here..yeah you will feel that lugging it around for an afternoon.

As for optical flaws well APS-C lenses tend to be quite good at wider apertures, that Tamron has good performance across most of the frame even at f2.8 (depending on how close a subject is at the wide end) I would not hesitate to use it at f2.8 across the focal range if needed
The 17-35mm has to be stopped down more to get those corners sharper, even on APS-C it's just a different optical design lens.

Interesting thing here is the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS Zoom Lens is slightly bigger than the Tamron length wise, and identical weight (430g) An f2.8 would be significantly bigger and heavier. Cost wise well I personally would pass on a $1200 f4 zoom lens, at least it's got OSS..but I get that for nothing on A mount anyway. And I'd be quite surprised if the corners were great at f4 on the Zeiss wide end.

It might be apples to oranges but this is where E mount doesn't appeal. I've got every lens stabilised for nothing, even primes, even Tamron/Sigma and older Minolta lenses and the cost savings are very significant. You want a stabilised 70-200mm f2.8 on a budget..well get the older Tamron screw drive lens it's a good lens and free IBIS. You'll have to pay plenty for that the 70-200mm f4 lens with a stop less speed too.

No IBIS= Not that interested this is where E mount doesn't impress.
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 post by Vidgamer »

The cost savings aren't just with IBIS working on old Minolta lenses but being able to buy old Minolta lenses! The A-mount is a good deal. True, you lose the IBIS with the e-mount-plus-adapter, so I can understand A-mount shooters being a bit agitated about the prospect of being forced to e-mount.

Of course, these days, "for free" you get 1/3 less light along with your IBIS (due to SLT), so it's not all perfect in A-mount-land.

As for the Tamron 17-50/2.8, I found it to be mostly OK at 2.8 but soft on the edges and vignetting a bit! Not exactly perfect wide open. But I was real happy with it at f4. I think part of what was great is that with the DSLR, the viewfinder is brighter and the autofocus was more responsive, making the camera operation better overall.

Although the lens isn't huge like your f2.8 tele example, it's still kinda heavy, lugging it around for a while. I prefer the Nex as a travel camera, and most of what I do is travel photos or the usual impromptu stuff-- photos of family, friends, etc. The smaller camera seems less intimidating as well.

Anyway, what was this thread about? The 16-50? I find it works pretty well, oddly enough. You'd think with all of the collapsing and compromises that it'd be poor, but it's not. One review site (DxO?) said it was best at 16mm, but it seems to blur the edges a lot at the widest angle; but overall, it seems very sharp to me. And with PDAF, the lens seems very responsive.
User avatar
Greg Beetham
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6153
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 3:25 pm
Location: Townsville, Qld. Australia
Contact:

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

Unread post by Greg Beetham »

Thing is, mirrorless AF involves light loss, and you get additional light loss when you add an SLT adaptor in front.

And btw the A7r isn’t what you would call cheap here that’s for sure, if you only buy the camera body + adaptor it’ll be $2848, and after you spend all that money for a camera without a separate battery charger you still have no IBIS.
err what’s the point again?
Ah yes now I remember, it’s to sell camera bodies, also larger monitors memory cards and hard disks, and maybe later some FE lenses, that’s what the point was, snapshot photo results remain the same as they always did regardless. :roll:
Greg
agorabasta
Viceroy
Posts: 1198
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:41 pm

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

Unread post by agorabasta »

Greg Beetham wrote:Thing is, mirrorless AF involves light loss, ...
That's exactly what it does not. Even the E-M1 with its quite efficient PDAF sheds mere 100k sensels out of 16M for that purpose. That's zilch.

Then the split-sensel design as seen in the 70D actually increases the effective aperture of the sensor - more light gets gathered, especially in the corners. (You may also remember I described a similar approach well before the Canon info got released.)
User avatar
Greg Beetham
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6153
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 3:25 pm
Location: Townsville, Qld. Australia
Contact:

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

Unread post by Greg Beetham »

Yes Agorabasta I remember, but the divided pixels in the Canon are different to your design, the result AF wise might be similar but the Canon design wouldn’t have alternate one colour column layout, but even with that new method the jury is still out on how much light loss there actually is.
The 70D doesn’t even score as well as the A77 overall and that camera is no world beater these days and wasn’t back in its day either.
Sony are supposedly going to bring A-mount mirrorless out at some point and that means they will have to come up with a compatible on sensor PDAF that works properly with legacy lenses, if they don’t who are they going to sell the camera too?
I remember seeing a diagram at one time of the Sony proposed on sensor PDAF and every second row was taken up with focus diodes (probably not the full height admittedly) which would amount to a large % image loss. The image is then re-constructed by data value association of adjacent pixels, for stills, but probably not for video. (or so I read)
I have no idea if that is the actual current or future Sony layout of course, they could have ended up doing something different.
Greg

Ps As far as the 100 thousand AF pixels go for AF on the Oly, do you have a link? 100k is 100k in my book, it’s a lot more than none. My three DSLR’s don’t have any on sensor AF or exposure diodes.
User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3788
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

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

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

I've now tried a 70d (which a pal bought) and can report the AF on sensor works very well, it's not quite as fast as the OVF phase detect..but it's not hugely slower either. No signs of the obvious DPR bad focus sample either (this one seemed good)
I'm not really into Canon, but I think they have a winner with the 70d I can see it selling well.

This is the direction Sony could have taken some time ago, OVF with mirror up and phase detect off the sensor. No additional parts or cost either.
You get the best of both worlds, and without the limitations of EVF only designs. IQ wise it's basically the same as the other Canon's so don't rush out and buy it for that. Price is a bit high, but once it drops down a tad more..Sony have really nothing to attack this with.

I expect Nikon to follow this, and Canon to roll it out across it's later models.
User avatar
bakubo
Tower of Babel
Posts: 5766
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:55 am
Location: Japan
Contact:

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

Unread post by bakubo »

bfitzgerald wrote:I've now tried a 70d (which a pal bought) and can report the AF on sensor works very well, it's not quite as fast as the OVF phase detect..but it's not hugely slower either. No signs of the obvious DPR bad focus sample either (this one seemed good)
I'm not really into Canon, but I think they have a winner with the 70d I can see it selling well.
I held a 70D on Thursday at a store. Played with it a few minutes and it was a lot like the 60D I had. I didn't do much with it though and just did a quick LV AF and it worked okay.
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests