how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
blue_skies
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to franzel, Apr 13, 2013

franzel wrote:

salla30 wrote:

haha. thats the problem, the reviews vary (sample variations?) and sample images too, seems also to depend on which camera they are mounted... phew!! variables, variables.

Its why I am seeking a wider sample population of views from the forum.

Well, you could always search the forum or Google, it's only been discussed one gazillion times ; the 5N is no different from any other Nex with a 1650 , with the exception of internal lens correction, or lack of it , in a few models .

The variables to look out for is competence variations .

Yeah, but therein lies the problem.

The 1855 kit lens has been fairly well reviewed, but has been trashed by users and non-users.

The 1650 kit has been trashed by reviewers, but has been revered by users.

Reviewers test the lens in 'RAW' without corrections. Doing so, the 1855 has mild distortion, which is useable if uncorrected, whereas the 1650 has significant distortion, which requires correction to make it useable. Hence the reviewers opinion.

Users, especially early on, did not understand the camera's algorithm, and often ended up shooting dark scenes with the (slow) 1855, resulting in exposures of 1/20th or longer, creating both camera and subject blur. This was then blamed on the lens - and heavily promoted by non-users that were posting in this forum.

Since then, the users have been showing that the 1855 lens is very respectable, especially if low-light is not part of the equitation, and day-time shots are being compared (ie. stopped down, and no long exposure times).

Generally, it is hard to filter all the information on the internet, and the OP's question is a legit one. Even so, all of us are spewing opinions, and it is difficult to reach a conclusion without actually using both lenses.

My bottom line: the kit lenses - BOTH the 1855 and 1650 - perform wonderfully IF stopped down and SW corrected (JPG in camera, or RAW plug in module).

If used wide open, the kit lenses work fine, but often you can get a better result with a faster lens. Yes, you can shoot a scene at night, but the same scene with one of the f/1.8 lenses will give you a much lower ISO rating, higher shutter speed, and less subject blur (OSS does not help), and likely more sharpness, resulting in better images.

Both kit lenses, at apertures between f/5.6 to f/11, and FL between 20mm to 35mm, are very sharp, and produce great images. The 1855 has a little more edge softness than the 1650 at the widest apertures. OSS let you use the kit lenses down to 1/20th, handheld, but most subjects do not agree with that shutter speed, and will become soft (subject blur).

If you go outside wider than 20mm or longer than 35mm, both kit lenses will suffer from some optical distortion. This distortion can be corrected in SW. The CA is also correctable in SW, and PF is not a real issue (it shows on faster lenses mainly).

However, I have high quality primes at 35mm and 50mm and they do outperform the kit lens, and are also faster. Same for the wide angle - I tend to use the S19 or E16+ECU1, rather than either kit lens at the very wide end.

So, if night falls, I tend to not use the kit lenses, but resort to faster prime lenses. To me, the kit lens is a convenient 'day-time' lens.

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Cheers,
Henry

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