Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS PZ (SEL-1650) - Review / Test Report

Started Aug 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
kaiser soze
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Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS PZ (SEL-1650) - Review / Test Report
In reply to dan801, Aug 7, 2013

dan801 wrote:

http://www.photozone.de/sony_nex/842-sony1650f3556oss

So looking at these results: I was about to buy myself a new nex camera 5r. The camera seems to be perfect for what I want and seems to be an outstanding sensor compared to say m43 cameras. However now looking at the results of all the latest lens test (I would use this lens quite a bit when travelling) I'm worried about all the issues mentioned in the article. Perhaps I'm better of buying a m43 camera with better kit lens and may still come out on top? At $600 max for a camera and lens kit what do you think I should do? Stick with nex or go to say a panasonic 4/3 camera?

Presently there are better values to be had with microfourthirds. At $600 max, and looking to get the best camera you can get for that amount, you almost certainly will find a better value in one of the recently-discontinued Panasonic cameras. More specifically, you can find the G5 with manual (non-power zoom) 14-42 zoom for about $500, and it is a steal at that price. If you want the power zoom, you can buy the G5 body for about $300, and buy the power zoom separately. And if you want something more compact, you might still be able to find the GX1 for an attractive price.

That said, the concerns you have with the Sony lens, based on that review, are not really warranted. Personally I have difficulty with that lens, but for one specific reason: I do not like the way that the manual focusing ring works. If you don't often focus manually, it makes no difference. But if you like to focus manually, there is something very annoying about how that focusing ring works, that, for me, makes it extremely annoying to try and use. It is of course a "control by wire" ring, i.e., it is not mechanically linked to the focusing mechanics of the lens. The same is true for the 1855 kit lens, which is on my camera, but focusing behaves completely differently for the two lenses. With the 1650 lens, sometimes when you turn the ring just slightly, the focusing changes abruptly, and although I'm not entirely certain, it seemed to me that sometimes it changed in the wrong direction. I'm not sure about that part, but the point is that whether you do or do not like this lens will likely depend on whether you do much manual focusing. Many people rarely use manual focusing, and many people do like this lens a lot.

Among the criticisms in that article, that I thought were silly, is the criticism about the length of the lens when it is being used. I don't much care that the lens extends when being used, and I assume that this is done to make it easier to achieve longer focal length, without other tradeoffs.

The criticism regarding geometric distortion is completely, entirely bogus. All that matters is the end result, and if there is no evidence of this distortion in the end result, then it doesn't matter, period. People who object to the use of lens correction as a means of achieving the desired result are simply behaving as Luddites. They need to read up on how lens correction is being used to compensate for atmospheric distortions with earth-based astronomical telescopes. It is pretty amazing what is possible, when you are willing to embrace a new way of getting something accomplished. People opposed to lens correction are taking a stand based purely on emotion, and not on reason. Again, if you cannot tell the difference in the final result, why does it matter? And if you only care about JPEG and have lens correction enabled in the camera, you would never, ever even be able to see any evidence that the lens even has any geometric distortion. Also, it may be relevant to note that much of the testing for barrel distortion is actually only proving the effect of perspective. If you walk up close to a doorway and get as close as you can while you are still able to see both sides of the door frame, both sides of the door frame will appear curved. This is an effect of perspective. If you put a camera in the same location and take a picture that includes the door frame, why shouldn't it show the same effect? So-called fish-eye distortion or whatever it is referred to is not distortion. It is perspective.

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