How to Evaluate a New Lens? (Sort of Disappointed with the 16-70)

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CameraCarl
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How to Evaluate a New Lens? (Sort of Disappointed with the 16-70)
5 months ago

I just received a new Sony/Zeiss 16-70mm lens which I bought because I was not happy with the corner and edge sharpness of my kit 16-50 on my NEX-6.  Today I went out and shot several hundred images to compare the two lenses.  I used a tripod, OSS off, and the self timer to photograph both a large building and a large bookshelf.  I took photos at 16, 24, 28, 35, and 50mm at apertures from f4 to f11.  I'm comparing both jpegs and RAW images (with lens corrections applied) in Lightroom 5 side by side at 100%.

The results seem to be all over the place. Both lenses seem to be equally sharp in the center.  At some focal lengths and apertures, the 16-70 is better at the edges and corners.  At other focal lengths and apertures, the 16-50 is better at the edges and corners.  What is surprising is that the 16-70 does not knock my socks off in image quality.  In daylight (how I tested it today, both outdoors and indoors) I can see the 16-70 has a slight edge in contrast and color, but in the matter of sharpness, there is no clear superiority.  I'm still sorting through all the images and will post some comparisons tomorrow, both in this thread and in my gallery.  Meanwhile I'm wondering if I am not evaluating the 16-70 properly since I was expecting a lot more from it for $1000.  Any suggestions how to evaluate a new lens?

 CameraCarl's gear list:CameraCarl's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS +1 more
Sony Alpha NEX-6
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