16mm pancake?

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
GaryW
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to Dennis, Apr 24, 2013

Dennis wrote:

deryn wrote:

Hi all, can someone direct me to a review of the 16mm pancake lens that is positive? Most of what I have read is not favourable towards the lens. I would like a lens wider than the kit lens and thought this would be good for my F3.

I think it's great if you're on a budget.  It's not perfect, but unless you're really obsessive about lenses, you may like it just fine.  It is very soft in the extreme corners, and this reduces eventually disappearing at f7.1 on my copy.

The only gripe I ever had with the lens is that I wished (and STILL wish) Sony did a pancake that's more "normal" in FL - so I don't object to what the lens is so much as what it isn't

I hear there's a 20mm pancake -- that's closer to "normal".  

That out of the way, I like it well enough.  I have limited use for a 16mm prime, but it's proven handy now & again.  I must have a good copy.  It's very sharp in the center wide open.  I don't really care about corners when I shoot wide open (it's rare that I'm shooting a flat subject, and despite the wide angle, you can easily have corners outside of the DOF at f/2.8).  I'll stop down to f/5.6 for anything where I want DOF and then worst case, the very extreme corners are a bit soft at 100% and not to the point where I think I'd notice in any print I'd make.

Much of the time, the soft corners just look like it is out of focus anyway.  Or it's sky and doesn't matter.  Or it has nothing to do with anything in particular and it doesn't matter.  In short, it usually just doesn't matter.  But, if you must have corner-to-corner sharpness, then avoid the lens.  Once I knew about this limitation, I was pleasantly surprised.  I wanted a compact lens, and it has turned out to be a lot of fun, with such a wide angle.

- Dennis

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Gary W.

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