comparison of 16-50 vs 18-55 kit lens lens lens?

Started Feb 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
ProfHankD
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Re: Evolution of kit lenses in general
In reply to GaryW, Feb 5, 2013

GaryW wrote:

sure, but your tolerance may be different. I'm sure it's not significantly worse, but maybe I don't want it somewhat worse. Right now, we don't seem to know the extent.

Let me clarify: There are very likely some combinations of focal length, aperture, and area of the frame for which the 16-50mm is consistently worse than the 18-55mm... and vice versa given other parameters. However, overall, I'd bet the only way the new one is likely to have lower resolution is if you have one on the low end of manufacturing sample variation for the 16-50mm and on the high end for the 18-55mm. In other words, it's probably not my tolerance we're talking about -- it's Sony's manufacturing tolerance.

I think folks worry about this stuff way too much. I own 125 lenses that I've tested (e.g., PSF measurements) and know fairly well, and I'm pretty darn picky about pixel-level IQ, but I can't carry them all with me. When a circumstance I didn't expect appears, I still find I usually can make a good approximation to the image I want using the kit lens. Certainly, the kit zoom is the right answer for more unexpected circumstances than any other lens I own. By size and  focal range, the 16-50mm seems even more versatile than the 18-55mm. I just don't have a 16-50mm (yet) because I haven't bought a new body since it came out.... In short, worry less about this and more about how to use the equipment at hand to make the images you want.

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