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

Started Aug 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Sol Invictus
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Re: Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS PZ (SEL-1650) - Review / Test Report
In reply to Pete_S, Jan 3, 2014

Pete_S wrote:

Just adding another opinion to an old thread.

I recently purchased the 3N with the above lens as an update to my old NEX-3 with 18-55 and was very surprised at the quality of the 16-50. Over most of the frame from 20mm onwards it's better than the 18-55 and at 16mm it's vastly better than the 16/2.8. I've never been happy with the original kit lenses, both in regards to centering and general sharpness, and the new 16-50 is very pleasing. Even the IS is better than the IS in the 18-55, which never did much to my mind.

Maybe it's because I have early samples of the original kit lenses and a later example of the new one. It's possible that Sony tightened up production after the initial luke warm reviews.

I should add that I have in camera sharpening set at minimum and also use old Pentax primes on my original NEX-3, so I do understand what lens sharpness rather than artificial sharpening means

The 16-50 seems an amazing feat of design taking size, weight, and price into consideration. I'm tempted to carry my 3N around instead of my RX-100, which I've always had lens sharpness/centering and IS issues with, probably because of having a slightly poor sample.

My experience as well as of many others says that the SEL1855 is sharper than the SEL1650, most noticably @ 50mm. I run a thorough test between the two on a NEX-6 yesterday and across all focal lengths, they were pretty close but always the SEL1855 came marginally better in sharpness (especially to the borders of the frame) as well as exposure. 50mm test between the two showed that the SEL1855 is better than the 1650. You can also handle the 1855 better.

Here are the two of them at 50mm (optimal aperture size was set for both lenses). Tripod was used, OSS disabled. You may notice that the 1855 gave more shadow detail as well as better sharpness overall, especially on the background trees and foliage.

SEL1855, focus on the center of the trunk

SELP1650, focus on the center of the trunk

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