Lens quality control

Started Sep 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
ProfHankD
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Re: Lens quality control
In reply to parallaxproblem, Sep 26, 2013

parallaxproblem wrote:

Yes, here's my experience with a (well two actually) decentered SEL16/2.8 lenses... and Sony's total disinterest in doing anything about it:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52107652

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but I've seen far worse than this. The comparably small lenses on many "prosumer" compact cameras often have at least this much badness.

The 16mm f/2.8 was a pretty nasty little design problem; honestly I don't think Sony was up to it at the time. We all know that Sony was leaning heavily on Tamron to extend the Minolta line that they acquired and Zeiss to provide high-end options, but the E-mount's APS-C sensor with a short flange distance was very new territory -- especially for making a low-cost pancake that would work with a fisheye adapter, etc. Most new lenses are variations of old SLR lenses -- computer optimization experiments starting with an existing design -- but I don't think there was an obvious starting point for this lens. I think this is why Sony's been slow coming out with new E-mount lenses... and I actually think slowly coming out with better lenses as Sony's design expertise with E-mount grows is better for all.

Aside from the design challenges, take a look at LensRentals tear-down of the 16mm f/2.8. It is designed as a very straightforward assembly -- by which I don't mean the parts are simple, but that there aren't any adjustments. If a part is a little out of tolerance, the lens will be too.

Expect better in the future....

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