Just how crappy is the 16-50 kit lens? Test vs 17mm prime & 11-16 Tokina

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
captura
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Re: You might be asking the wrong question
In reply to cptrios, Apr 3, 2013

cptrios wrote:

captura wrote:

However, the OP's original question was, "Just how crappy is the 16-50 kit lens?"

At about than about 20mm and wider, the 16-50 is worse than the 18-55. So the correct answer is;  Very Crappy.

I didn't want to say it quite so harshly, but it's true. At the wide end it looks to be potentially worse than the 16/2.8 (at least in the OP's samples). Which just reinforces my opinion that Sony really should have been more conservative with their pancake design and made it an alternative to the 18-55 rather than a replacement. A 20-50mm pancake, for example, would have allowed for a much simpler design and (theoretically) given us better IQ and less distortion on the wide end.

Also, can we quiet the usual jabs at "pixel-peepers?" Yes, a lens most certainly does not have to be pin-sharp at 100% viewing to be a quality piece of glass. There are lots and lots of amazing film photographs from the last 100 years that look very soft when blown up even to modest sizes. However, in this case it's not even an issue of pixel-peeping. When an optic performs so badly on the borders that there's glaring softness even in an 8x12 print, I'd call it a borderline toy lens. Having an outer 15% of the frame be noticeably less sharp than the center, when it should be identical, is a big distraction.

The soon-coming 20-2.8 is rumored to be a much higher quality pancake lens. And the lens roadmap calls for a high-quality new 18-55 zoom lens this year. Plus the G-lens (have my doubts.)

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