why has the 16mm f2.8 got such a bad rep?

Started Jul 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mike Fewster
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,633
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Re: You need to know the history
In reply to Keit ll, Jul 30, 2013

Keit ll wrote:

Mike Fewster wrote:

This lens was released with the very first Nex cameras. On those models, the lens had very soft corners. The reviews of the new camera and Nex at the time duely pointed this out and marked the lens down, although most said it was very good in the centre. Those reviews are still the reviews that people read when they look for evaluation of this lens.

These reviews are less than accurate on two grounds. The lens had highly variable performance with some copies much better than others. Clearly a quality control issue at Sony. Later releases of the lens tended to be considerably better. More importantly, on later Nex models, Sony changed the micro lenses in the camera and this made a significant difference to the edges.

There you have it, a later build lens on one of the later Sony models is much better than its reputation and an absolute bargain.

You are probably right in saying later productions of the 16mm are better than earlier models but when the first 16mms were said to be discarded because of faults how was it that Sony were able to supply kits onto the market literally weeks later with up to date 16mm's ?

I takes time to produce kits & ship them to foreign markets. How is the average buyer to know what is new & old ? Does anyone have serial numbers which indicate when properly QC'd models came onto the market ?

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Keith C

I never heard of earlier models being discarded. Some people early users reported and posted shots that looked good. Others were clearly sub standard. I think the early samples were variable and that the quality control tightened up. I have a fairly early model and I am quite happy with it. I don't think it can be tied to serial numbers, the early quality was just variable. I would hesitate to buy one second hand unless I had done some shots or was confident it was a relatively recent lens.

More important than this is the performance of the lens once it was on cameras with the improved micro lenses. But by that time the damage re the rep was done. I had argument after argument over on the mft forum about this lens. mft owners would make general claims about Sony lenses and quote figures from the reviews done of the original lens on the original Nex. Like several other Nex owners, I invited them to base their discussion on actual samples of images, but no one seemed to want to take this up.

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Mike Fewster
Adelaide Australia

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