how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions
salla30
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how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
Apr 12, 2013

i am toying with lens upgrades myself for my nex.

i got the RX100 and just love it's portability. It's why i got it in fact, as the NEX 5N was gathering dust.

Now my use of the RX100 has catalysed the use of the NEX 5N again, ironically, and I am appreciating the potential the NEX 5N has to offer more and more.

I am now considering to get the 1650e for my Nex replacing the kit 1855 zoom lens, simply to reduce the profile and also to get the power zoom for videoing.

So, question is: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?

Any thoughts? Ive seen such mixed output from it and differing opinion online, am really unsure! I definitely dont want to take a step backward in IQ

It's either get the 16-50 or a couple of cheap sigma primes or maybe stretch to the CZ 24mm prime which is pretty desirable!

Thanks in advance for any comments.

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Herts_JoaTMoN
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to salla30, Apr 12, 2013

salla30 wrote:

i am toying with lens upgrades myself for my nex.

i got the RX100 and just love it's portability. It's why i got it in fact, as the NEX 5N was gathering dust.

Now my use of the RX100 has catalysed the use of the NEX 5N again, ironically, and I am appreciating the potential the NEX 5N has to offer more and more.

I am now considering to get the 1650e for my Nex replacing the kit 1855 zoom lens, simply to reduce the profile and also to get the power zoom for videoing.

So, question is: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?

Any thoughts? Ive seen such mixed output from it and differing opinion online, am really unsure! I definitely dont want to take a step backward in IQ

It's either get the 16-50 or a couple of cheap sigma primes or maybe stretch to the CZ 24mm prime which is pretty desirable!

Thanks in advance for any comments.

I've been considering this swap as well.

My understanding is that on average the 16-50 is marginally worse that the 18-55 (once correction has been applied. With out correction is a completely different story...). Make sure you update the 5N firmware if you go down the 16-50 route to take advantage of the auto preview correction that fixed the distortions etc inherent with the compact lens design.

For me, the added convience of the size out weighs the marginal reduction in IQ, BUT! I use prime lenses when IQ is my main concern. What has put me off is the additional cost. If i can get a good deal on a NEX 6 with this lens then I'll most likely pick one up in a year or so, but I cant justify the addtional cost of the lens itself over 18-55. Id only get about £90 for my current lens and will have to pay about £200 for the PZ. £110 is beyond my current budget as my heart is set on purchasing the 35mm 1.8.

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joe talks photography
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to salla30, Apr 12, 2013

Generally the 16-50 power zoom by many of the more reliable sources is considered a better lens than 18-55, which has always been viewed fairly poorly.

After saying this, I don't know why you would waste the money unless your only intended use for it on the 5n is video.

The RX100 should get a refresh (at least according to me!) fairly soon. I owned one and it is stellar at lowest ISOs. Aside from poor ergonomics, if I am going to shoot without and evf/ovf, that's is what I would use.

Finishing up, I have to say that I will never go for the overpriced pedestrian performing 24 1.8 CZ lens. But good luck with that.

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RezaTravilla
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to Herts_JoaTMoN, Apr 12, 2013

Herts_JoaTMoN wrote:

My understanding is that on average the 16-50 is marginally worse that the 18-55 (once correction has been applied. With out correction is a completely different story...). Make sure you update the 5N firmware if you go down the 16-50 route to take advantage of the auto preview correction that fixed the distortions etc inherent with the compact lens design.

For me, the added convience of the size out weighs the marginal reduction in IQ, BUT! I use prime lenses when IQ is my main concern. What has put me off is the additional cost. If i can get a good deal on a NEX 6 with this lens then I'll most likely pick one up in a year or so, but I cant justify the addtional cost of the lens itself over 18-55. Id only get about £90 for my current lens and will have to pay about £200 for the PZ. £110 is beyond my current budget as my heart is set on purchasing the 35mm 1.8.

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Ben Williams - UK
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NEX 5N / E 18-55. Sigma 19. / Minolta MC 50 1.4. Tamron 90 2.5 Macro. Vivitar 100 3.5 Macro. Soligor 135 2.8 / Raynox DCR-250 / 49mm CP filter / Spare battery / LIM's flash bounce. Film canister diffuser / OPTECH wriststrap
Nikon V1 / N1 10-30. N1 30-110 / Franiec Grip.
Sony TX10.

i've read somewhere in this forum that even we already upgrade the firmware to 1.02, the distortion correction can't be applied on JPEG.

I also use Sony NEX5n and thinking to chance my kit lens to 16-50mm PZ. Is it truly the distortion correction can't be applied on JPEG?

Kindly advise.

Regards,

Reza.Travilla

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blue_skies
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to RezaTravilla, Apr 12, 2013

RezaTravilla wrote:

Herts_JoaTMoN wrote:

My understanding is that on average the 16-50 is marginally worse that the 18-55 (once correction has been applied. With out correction is a completely different story...). Make sure you update the 5N firmware if you go down the 16-50 route to take advantage of the auto preview correction that fixed the distortions etc inherent with the compact lens design.

For me, the added convience of the size out weighs the marginal reduction in IQ, BUT! I use prime lenses when IQ is my main concern. What has put me off is the additional cost. If i can get a good deal on a NEX 6 with this lens then I'll most likely pick one up in a year or so, but I cant justify the addtional cost of the lens itself over 18-55. Id only get about £90 for my current lens and will have to pay about £200 for the PZ. £110 is beyond my current budget as my heart is set on purchasing the 35mm 1.8.

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Ben Williams - UK
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hertsjoatmon/
NEX 5N / E 18-55. Sigma 19. / Minolta MC 50 1.4. Tamron 90 2.5 Macro. Vivitar 100 3.5 Macro. Soligor 135 2.8 / Raynox DCR-250 / 49mm CP filter / Spare battery / LIM's flash bounce. Film canister diffuser / OPTECH wriststrap
Nikon V1 / N1 10-30. N1 30-110 / Franiec Grip.
Sony TX10.

i've read somewhere in this forum that even we already upgrade the firmware to 1.02, the distortion correction can't be applied on JPEG.

I also use Sony NEX5n and thinking to chance my kit lens to 16-50mm PZ. Is it truly the distortion correction can't be applied on JPEG?

Kindly advise.

Regards,

Reza.Travilla

The inverse - distortion correction cannot be turned off on JPEG.

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Henry

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Rccarruth
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to blue_skies, Apr 12, 2013

In this thread, the first response says the general view is that the 18-55 is better.  The second response says that the general view is that the 16-50 is better.

Conclusion: Read professional reviews, look at sample images and come to your own conclusion.

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-Clark

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salla30
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to joe talks photography, Apr 12, 2013

Thanks

There are 2 reasons i am considering the 1650,size and power zoom. I do a lot of video for family events and kids.

You say the cz24 is not a good deal, what would be your recommend?

I may just go for the sigma 30 prime as taster for now

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offtraildog
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to salla30, Apr 13, 2013

I recently went thru this .. was considering the rx100 since the kit lens size was large enough to not encourage me to take the nex5n everywhere (skiing, hiking, backpacking, casual walking around)

i went to the local camera store and took sample shots with both and a zeiss 24. Zeiss clearly was the best but still too long .. similar to the kit .. but a great IQ comparison

was very hard to tell the difference on normal viewing between the 1650 and kit lens.  .. maybe i have a good kit lens or don't care about viewing my images at 100% since that is bigger then my 24" monitor!

i got the 1650 and am happy.  i would be happier if it were as sharp as the zeiss but the 5N now fits into a lowepro dashpoint 20 and i take it just about everywhere.

the 5N is a better camera then the rx100 and with the 1650 is a great blend of IQ and size.

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salla30
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to offtraildog, Apr 13, 2013

Thanks for this.

I appreciate the input. Do you have any full size wide aperture long distance views you could post so i can check edge distortion? this is possibly my biggest worry.

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salla30
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to Herts_JoaTMoN, Apr 13, 2013

thanks!

i have 1.02, is that the latest firmware? i did do an update.

its a tough call between prime or basically replacing an already OK lens with another possibly inferior one, but smaller... hmmmm, dilemma. Lol. Sitting on the fence is the easiest option at the moment

Am tempted by the Sigma 30mm prime, the only thing putting me off is the 2.8 aperture. I would really want to go to 1.8 if i am going prime. But the price is tempting, only 126chf here in switzerland.

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salla30
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to Rccarruth, Apr 13, 2013

haha. thats the problem, the reviews vary (sample variations?) and sample images too, seems also to depend on which camera they are mounted... phew!! variables, variables.

Its why I am seeking a wider sample population of views from the forum.

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joe talks photography
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to salla30, Apr 13, 2013

salla30 wrote:

Thanks

There are 2 reasons i am considering the 1650,size and power zoom. I do a lot of video for family events and kids.

You say the cz24 is not a good deal, what would be your recommend?

I may just go for the sigma 30 prime as taster for now

If you don't mind being a bit over invested as far as cost, buy the cz24. For me, it is definitely a decent lens but a lens that is far too costly. I don't buy Leica lenses either, but that's me.

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joe talks photography
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to Rccarruth, Apr 13, 2013

Rccarruth wrote:

In this thread, the first response says the general view is that the 18-55 is better.  The second response says that the general view is that the 16-50 is better.

Conclusion: Read professional reviews, look at sample images and come to your own conclusion.

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-Clark

I do read 'professional' reviews that have technical information to support findings.

You should do the same and avoid dissing opinions left in response to other's questions.

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Joe

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franzel
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to salla30, Apr 13, 2013

salla30 wrote:

haha. thats the problem, the reviews vary (sample variations?) and sample images too, seems also to depend on which camera they are mounted... phew!! variables, variables.

Its why I am seeking a wider sample population of views from the forum.

Well, you could always search the forum or Google, it's only been discussed one gazillion times ; the 5N is no different from any other Nex with a 1650 , with the exception of internal lens correction, or lack of it , in a few models .

The variables to look out for is competence variations .

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blue_skies
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to franzel, Apr 13, 2013

franzel wrote:

salla30 wrote:

haha. thats the problem, the reviews vary (sample variations?) and sample images too, seems also to depend on which camera they are mounted... phew!! variables, variables.

Its why I am seeking a wider sample population of views from the forum.

Well, you could always search the forum or Google, it's only been discussed one gazillion times ; the 5N is no different from any other Nex with a 1650 , with the exception of internal lens correction, or lack of it , in a few models .

The variables to look out for is competence variations .

Yeah, but therein lies the problem.

The 1855 kit lens has been fairly well reviewed, but has been trashed by users and non-users.

The 1650 kit has been trashed by reviewers, but has been revered by users.

Reviewers test the lens in 'RAW' without corrections. Doing so, the 1855 has mild distortion, which is useable if uncorrected, whereas the 1650 has significant distortion, which requires correction to make it useable. Hence the reviewers opinion.

Users, especially early on, did not understand the camera's algorithm, and often ended up shooting dark scenes with the (slow) 1855, resulting in exposures of 1/20th or longer, creating both camera and subject blur. This was then blamed on the lens - and heavily promoted by non-users that were posting in this forum.

Since then, the users have been showing that the 1855 lens is very respectable, especially if low-light is not part of the equitation, and day-time shots are being compared (ie. stopped down, and no long exposure times).

Generally, it is hard to filter all the information on the internet, and the OP's question is a legit one. Even so, all of us are spewing opinions, and it is difficult to reach a conclusion without actually using both lenses.

My bottom line: the kit lenses - BOTH the 1855 and 1650 - perform wonderfully IF stopped down and SW corrected (JPG in camera, or RAW plug in module).

If used wide open, the kit lenses work fine, but often you can get a better result with a faster lens. Yes, you can shoot a scene at night, but the same scene with one of the f/1.8 lenses will give you a much lower ISO rating, higher shutter speed, and less subject blur (OSS does not help), and likely more sharpness, resulting in better images.

Both kit lenses, at apertures between f/5.6 to f/11, and FL between 20mm to 35mm, are very sharp, and produce great images. The 1855 has a little more edge softness than the 1650 at the widest apertures. OSS let you use the kit lenses down to 1/20th, handheld, but most subjects do not agree with that shutter speed, and will become soft (subject blur).

If you go outside wider than 20mm or longer than 35mm, both kit lenses will suffer from some optical distortion. This distortion can be corrected in SW. The CA is also correctable in SW, and PF is not a real issue (it shows on faster lenses mainly).

However, I have high quality primes at 35mm and 50mm and they do outperform the kit lens, and are also faster. Same for the wide angle - I tend to use the S19 or E16+ECU1, rather than either kit lens at the very wide end.

So, if night falls, I tend to not use the kit lenses, but resort to faster prime lenses. To me, the kit lens is a convenient 'day-time' lens.

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salla30
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to franzel, Apr 13, 2013

Well, you could always search the forum or Google, it's only been discussed one gazillion times ; the 5N is no different from any other Nex with a 1650 , with the exception of internal lens correction, or lack of it , in a few models .

The variables to look out for is competence variations .

thanks. perhaps you can point me to some forum link discussion threads (I did search of course but the search criteria varies wildly depending on nomenclature)?

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Rickj23
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to salla30, Apr 13, 2013

salla30 wrote:

Well, you could always search the forum or Google, it's only been discussed one gazillion times ; the 5N is no different from any other Nex with a 1650 , with the exception of internal lens correction, or lack of it , in a few models .

The variables to look out for is competence variations .

thanks. perhaps you can point me to some forum link discussion threads (I did search of course but the search criteria varies wildly depending on nomenclature)?

The SEL1855 is a better lens for still photography by far.  The SEL1650 PZ has too much distortion at 16-20 mm and it is not very sharp fully extended.  It is not that compact either, the moment you switch the camera on.  The PZ lens was developed specially for the new range of the cameras that were to follow the NEX 3N it was never meant to be used with the upper range of the NEX cameras.  As Sony fell on the hard times .. they have decided to standardise instead of using 3 different standard lenses (NEX 7 uses black  SEL1855 that is made in Japan).  Optically, the PZ lens is really only usable within the 20 to 40 mm range and only with f11 or higher apertures.  I had that lens 24  hours and tried it on macro and portraiture / candids in the low light, no flash in my locall coffee shop ... side by side with SEL1855 on two NEX 5N cameras (I have one 5R and two 5N cameras).  Next day I went back to John Lewis in London and got my money back.  The lens is slow on start up, slow to operate, has the non standard 40.5 mm filter thread etc.

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Annex
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to Rickj23, Apr 13, 2013

Rickj23 wrote:

salla30 wrote:

Well, you could always search the forum or Google, it's only been discussed one gazillion times ; the 5N is no different from any other Nex with a 1650 , with the exception of internal lens correction, or lack of it , in a few models .

The variables to look out for is competence variations .

thanks. perhaps you can point me to some forum link discussion threads (I did search of course but the search criteria varies wildly depending on nomenclature)?

The SEL1855 is a better lens for still photography by far.  The SEL1650 PZ has too much distortion at 16-20 mm and it is not very sharp fully extended.  It is not that compact either, the moment you switch the camera on.  The PZ lens was developed specially for the new range of the cameras that were to follow the NEX 3N it was never meant to be used with the upper range of the NEX cameras.  As Sony fell on the hard times .. they have decided to standardise instead of using 3 different standard lenses (NEX 7 uses black  SEL1855 that is made in Japan).  Optically, the PZ lens is really only usable within the 20 to 40 mm range and only with f11 or higher apertures.  I had that lens 24  hours and tried it on macro and portraiture / candids in the low light, no flash in my locall coffee shop ... side by side with SEL1855 on two NEX 5N cameras (I have one 5R and two 5N cameras).  Next day I went back to John Lewis in London and got my money back.  The lens is slow on start up, slow to operate, has the non standard 40.5 mm filter thread etc.

This is complete drivel. I've owned 2 18-55s and the 16-50 on a NEX3/5N&6:

  • The 16-50 was produced with the 6, not the 3N.
  • The reason the NEX7 uses the black 18-55 is because it is OUTDATED and imminently to be replaced by the 7N.
  • The PZ is usable all through it's range and is sharp at most apertures above wide open at 16mm.

The reason the above poster is posting such tripe is

  • Lack of experience (24 hours...)
  • Lack of knowledge (shooting uncorrected raw?)
  • Bizarre self justification??? I dont know its just 99% nonsense
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blue_skies
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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to Rickj23, Apr 13, 2013

Rickj23 wrote:

salla30 wrote:

Well, you could always search the forum or Google, it's only been discussed one gazillion times ; the 5N is no different from any other Nex with a 1650 , with the exception of internal lens correction, or lack of it , in a few models .

The variables to look out for is competence variations .

thanks. perhaps you can point me to some forum link discussion threads (I did search of course but the search criteria varies wildly depending on nomenclature)?

The SEL1855 is a better lens for still photography by far.  The SEL1650 PZ has too much distortion at 16-20 mm and it is not very sharp fully extended.  It is not that compact either, the moment you switch the camera on.  The PZ lens was developed specially for the new range of the cameras that were to follow the NEX 3N it was never meant to be used with the upper range of the NEX cameras.  As Sony fell on the hard times .. they have decided to standardise instead of using 3 different standard lenses (NEX 7 uses black  SEL1855 that is made in Japan).  Optically, the PZ lens is really only usable within the 20 to 40 mm range and only with f11 or higher apertures.  I had that lens 24  hours and tried it on macro and portraiture / candids in the low light, no flash in my locall coffee shop ... side by side with SEL1855 on two NEX 5N cameras (I have one 5R and two 5N cameras).  Next day I went back to John Lewis in London and got my money back.  The lens is slow on start up, slow to operate, has the non standard 40.5 mm filter thread etc.

Maybe so, but I doubt that Sony is in the business of designing and manufacturing 'bad' lenses.

The Sony 'kit' lenses have a specific price/performance formula, but I see no difference from the E mount to the A mount, and for that matter, the Konica/Minolta products.

There are 'price leaders' and there are 'specialty lenses'. But even the price leaders must adhere to rigorous quality standards and the market is very non-forgiving for poor design.

The other manufacturers, and segments (such as m43), have pushed the bar higher, and Sony is a pretty good contender - see the reviews of the 1855 against similar lenses by Canikon.

The 1650PZ kit lens is not 'worse' than the 1855, not after corrections, and not in the 'sweet range'. Both lenses perform mid range and mid aperture.

The slow startup issue was remedied with a firmware update - did you get V1.02 installed? This also fixes the preview distortion and adds in-camera JPG correction. It sounds that you got caught in seeing the non-corrected behavior of both lenses - which points you to the 1855 by far.

Shooting in the coffee shop with a kit zoom lens means that you are probably using f/4 to f/5. That is fine, but you are getting ISO 800 or higher and 1/60th or lower. These will not be your sharpest shots anyways.

Try some outdoor scenery and daytime shots before you form an opinion. Most 'bad' images from the kit lenses are shot indoors under poor lighting (on subject), with longish shutter times. That does not make the lens bad, it is because of poor circumstances. Use a tripod, or a flash, or a prime lens, or turn on some lights, to get a better picture.

Similar to the A line, Sony is planning to release 'higher-end' zoom lenses, most notably the "G" lens. This will be a sharper, possible (a tad) faster, and a lot more expensive (3x?) lens. This shows that there is room for improvement, but it does not make the kit lens bad.

I have several 1855 lenses and one 1650, and I'd say that they are about equal. Early users gave the nod to the 1855 for several reasons, and I tend to agree, but the difference is minor, not major.

The black 1855 is identical to the silver 1855. The 1650 can be had in both black and silver.

There has been quality control issues with the 1855 per some posters here in this forum. So do check your lens for proper performance. I have three kit lenses, four actually if you add in the 1650, that perform near identical.

You do raise a very valid point - if you do not want or need the compactness, the 1855 is a much more durable and sturdy lens, and is likely to hold up longer (bigger components, more sturdiness  than the 1650 (flimsy extension, electronic zoom). I am not saying that the 1650 is a delicate lens (it seems alright), but the 1855 is by far a more 'traditional' design (but not 'beercan' design).

And also, aside from electronic zoom, the 1855 is easier to operate. Especially if you use DMF, and zoom-magnification assist. The 1650 can confuse at times.

Now, on a Nex-6, Nex-5R and presumably a Nex-7N, the 1650's electronic zoom can be driven from the shutter button (sub button), which makes it a bit easier, and you can add in the CIZ for range doubling. This does make the lens a bit easier to manipulate.

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Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?
In reply to blue_skies, Apr 13, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

Rickj23 wrote:

salla30 wrote:

Well, you could always search the forum or Google, it's only been discussed one gazillion times ; the 5N is no different from any other Nex with a 1650 , with the exception of internal lens correction, or lack of it , in a few models .

The variables to look out for is competence variations .

thanks. perhaps you can point me to some forum link discussion threads (I did search of course but the search criteria varies wildly depending on nomenclature)?

The SEL1855 is a better lens for still photography by far.  The SEL1650 PZ has too much distortion at 16-20 mm and it is not very sharp fully extended.  It is not that compact either, the moment you switch the camera on.  The PZ lens was developed specially for the new range of the cameras that were to follow the NEX 3N it was never meant to be used with the upper range of the NEX cameras.  As Sony fell on the hard times .. they have decided to standardise instead of using 3 different standard lenses (NEX 7 uses black  SEL1855 that is made in Japan).  Optically, the PZ lens is really only usable within the 20 to 40 mm range and only with f11 or higher apertures.  I had that lens 24  hours and tried it on macro and portraiture / candids in the low light, no flash in my locall coffee shop ... side by side with SEL1855 on two NEX 5N cameras (I have one 5R and two 5N cameras).  Next day I went back to John Lewis in London and got my money back.  The lens is slow on start up, slow to operate, has the non standard 40.5 mm filter thread etc.

Maybe so, but I doubt that Sony is in the business of designing and manufacturing 'bad' lenses.

The Sony 'kit' lenses have a specific price/performance formula, but I see no difference from the E mount to the A mount, and for that matter, the Konica/Minolta products.

There are 'price leaders' and there are 'specialty lenses'. But even the price leaders must adhere to rigorous quality standards and the market is very non-forgiving for poor design.

The other manufacturers, and segments (such as m43), have pushed the bar higher, and Sony is a pretty good contender - see the reviews of the 1855 against similar lenses by Canikon.

The 1650PZ kit lens is not 'worse' than the 1855, not after corrections, and not in the 'sweet range'. Both lenses perform mid range and mid aperture.

The slow startup issue was remedied with a firmware update - did you get V1.02 installed? This also fixes the preview distortion and adds in-camera JPG correction. It sounds that you got caught in seeing the non-corrected behavior of both lenses - which points you to the 1855 by far.

Shooting in the coffee shop with a kit zoom lens means that you are probably using f/4 to f/5. That is fine, but you are getting ISO 800 or higher and 1/60th or lower. These will not be your sharpest shots anyways.

Try some outdoor scenery and daytime shots before you form an opinion. Most 'bad' images from the kit lenses are shot indoors under poor lighting (on subject), with longish shutter times. That does not make the lens bad, it is because of poor circumstances. Use a tripod, or a flash, or a prime lens, or turn on some lights, to get a better picture.

Similar to the A line, Sony is planning to release 'higher-end' zoom lenses, most notably the "G" lens. This will be a sharper, possible (a tad) faster, and a lot more expensive (3x?) lens. This shows that there is room for improvement, but it does not make the kit lens bad.

I have several 1855 lenses and one 1650, and I'd say that they are about equal. Early users gave the nod to the 1855 for several reasons, and I tend to agree, but the difference is minor, not major.

The black 1855 is identical to the silver 1855. The 1650 can be had in both black and silver.

There has been quality control issues with the 1855 per some posters here in this forum. So do check your lens for proper performance. I have three kit lenses, four actually if you add in the 1650, that perform near identical.

You do raise a very valid point - if you do not want or need the compactness, the 1855 is a much more durable and sturdy lens, and is likely to hold up longer (bigger components, more sturdiness  than the 1650 (flimsy extension, electronic zoom). I am not saying that the 1650 is a delicate lens (it seems alright), but the 1855 is by far a more 'traditional' design (but not 'beercan' design).

And also, aside from electronic zoom, the 1855 is easier to operate. Especially if you use DMF, and zoom-magnification assist. The 1650 can confuse at times.

Now, on a Nex-6, Nex-5R and presumably a Nex-7N, the 1650's electronic zoom can be driven from the shutter button (sub button), which makes it a bit easier, and you can add in the CIZ for range doubling. This does make the lens a bit easier to manipulate.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

In some aspects, you are right ... in others, you might have not had a same chance to try both lenses side by side. The pictures I took in dimly lighten coffee shop [20+ pics. with each lens] were generally taken with 1/10-1/30 sec and 3200 ASA .. Aperture preference and centre spot focus. Both cameras were sitting on mini tripods and shots were taken using IR shutter release.

I have 6 Nikon cameras, so I have purchased the NEX 7 with standard SEL1855 initially to use with my old Nikkor manual lenses. A few months back, I have sold my NEX 7 and instead purchased the NEX 5R with SEL1855 and subsequently [very cheaply at £225.00], I have purchased two NEX 5N twin lens kit cameras, from the Comet hypermarket that was going under.  So, now I have aside of 13 Nikkor lenses ... as well 3 off SEL1855 and two SEL16/f2.8 lenses.

In UK, most camera sellers allow the equipment buyer to return the purchased goods within 10 days for a full refund and exchange the goods within the 28 days period.

I was so disappointed with the SEL1650PZ ... that 24 hrs ownership was sufficient to help me to make my mind up.  And yes, all my Sony E lenses and NEX cameras have the latest Feb 2013 updated firmware ... and yes, my NEX 5R has "all" Play Memories Apps downloaded and installed .... and I'm using the Galaxy Note II and / 3 of my Xooms as the remote monitors / shutters when appropriate.

Coming back to SEL1650PZ ... I did use it in which ever way ... and did find it less useful [and in many ways too fiddly to use] than SEL1855.  I do realise that Sony E lenses are made to price and just as Nikon has recently moved some of their manufacturing facilities from Thailand to Laos, Sony is no doubt looking for a way to reduce the costs as well.  After all, the SEL1855 lens supplied with the NEX 7 was made in Japan ... and the general feel of the lens and the image quality through the range was considerably different from the lenses [made in Thailand], that were supplied with NEX 5N/5R.

Someone has mentioned on this forum, that SEL1650PZ was designed for NEX 6 and not the NEX 3N as I have mentioned earlier, as the SEL1650PZ came out 3 months earlier prior to release of NEX 3N.  Somehow missing the point, that I was trying to make.  Sony is shifting lot of manufacturing to Philippines and Vietnam  .... and the new low cost line-up of NEX 3 and NEX 5 cameras that will hit the market before Christmas 2013 will be much smaller than the current NEX 5R in order to compete with Panasonic and Olympus 4/3 sensor cameras. I bet when the NEX 7 replacement comes out in May / June this year, it will come out with a completely different standard lens and ... this lens will become a standard lens for the NEX 6 camera replacement as well. The NEX 6 has some serious flaws e.g. non touch screen, restricted articulation of touch screen due to the location of EVF etc. I really could nor see the reason for fixed EVF in NEX 6, when for a little more money, the EVF could have been articulated, hen much more useful for macro photography. As well, the NEX 6 flash light with GN6 [in contrast with GN12 on flash supplied with NEX 5R/N], was rather pointless.  Hence, as with NEX 6, I feel that SEL1650PZ is a similar halfway house effort. Sony have brought out this lens, for the sake of bringing out something new, not necessarily "something better".

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