16mm pancake?

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Discussions
deryn
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16mm pancake?
Apr 23, 2013

Hi all, can someone direct me to a review of the 16mm pancake lens that is positive? Most of what I have read is not favourable towards the lens. I would like a lens wider than the kit lens and thought this would be good for my F3.

Any positive experiences guys?

Deryn

rsx19
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to deryn, Apr 23, 2013

personally mine is extremely soft and only starts getting ok at 5.6.

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deryn
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to rsx19, Apr 23, 2013

Hi, isn't the lens fixed at 2.8?

Deryn

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Nexguy
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to deryn, Apr 23, 2013

The lens is not a fixed F2.8.  I think quality control was a major issue with this lens.  My copy is just fine. Others were not so lucky.  It makes a 5N look like an inconspicuous point and shoot camera.

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photohanked
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to Nexguy, Apr 23, 2013

Mine is also sharp.

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blue_skies
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to Nexguy, Apr 23, 2013

Nexguy wrote:

The lens is not a fixed F2.8.  I think quality control was a major issue with this lens.  My copy is just fine. Others were not so lucky.  It makes a 5N look like an inconspicuous point and shoot camera.

I have two copies of the E16, both are fine. Two friends also both have the E16, theirs are also fine.

There have been bad copies out there, how many, as a percentage, is unknown, but given the high number sold, I doubt that this percentage can be high.

At f/2.8, the corners go soft - see the two shots (one at f/5.6 and one at f/2.8). For 'purist' this is a big deal, and has given the lens a horrible reputation.

In practice, avoid f/2.8. At f/4 the lens is acceptable, at f/5.6 it is pretty usable.

Nex-7 with E16 at f/5.6

Nex-7 with E16 at f/2.8 - also notice the sky color changing

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Cheers,
Henry

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Dennis
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to deryn, Apr 23, 2013

deryn wrote:

Hi all, can someone direct me to a review of the 16mm pancake lens that is positive? Most of what I have read is not favourable towards the lens. I would like a lens wider than the kit lens and thought this would be good for my F3.

The only gripe I ever had with the lens is that I wished (and STILL wish) Sony did a pancake that's more "normal" in FL - so I don't object to what the lens is so much as what it isn't

That out of the way, I like it well enough.  I have limited use for a 16mm prime, but it's proven handy now & again.  I must have a good copy.  It's very sharp in the center wide open.  I don't really care about corners when I shoot wide open (it's rare that I'm shooting a flat subject, and despite the wide angle, you can easily have corners outside of the DOF at f/2.8).  I'll stop down to f/5.6 for anything where I want DOF and then worst case, the very extreme corners are a bit soft at 100% and not to the point where I think I'd notice in any print I'd make.

- Dennis

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deryn
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to blue_skies, Apr 23, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

Nexguy wrote:

The lens is not a fixed F2.8.  I think quality control was a major issue with this lens.  My copy is just fine. Others were not so lucky.  It makes a 5N look like an inconspicuous point and shoot camera.

I have two copies of the E16, both are fine. Two friends also both have the E16, theirs are also fine.

There have been bad copies out there, how many, as a percentage, is unknown, but given the high number sold, I doubt that this percentage can be high.

At f/2.8, the corners go soft - see the two shots (one at f/5.6 and one at f/2.8). For 'purist' this is a big deal, and has given the lens a horrible reputation.

In practice, avoid f/2.8. At f/4 the lens is acceptable, at f/5.6 it is pretty usable.

Nex-7 with E16 at f/5.6

Nex-7 with E16 at f/2.8 - also notice the sky color changing

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Cheers,
Henry

Wow, avoid 2.8, acceptable at 4, pretty usable at 5.6 !

A couple of 'sharp' claims.

Kind of fits in with what I've been reading. Which is a pity.

Deryn

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WishJr
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to deryn, Apr 23, 2013

While the 16mm may not be an incredible piece of glass, it is capable of taking incredible images. On most photos the extreme edges are not critical to the success of the image. I use mine most of the time with the wide angle converter, as I like that look. The fisheye has provided some strong images  and one award winner and no one is looking 1/1 at the corners.

Don't get me wrong, I like critically sharp lenses and am always searching for them. I use both Sigmas because they perform. I have a ton of manual lenses some of which are excellent on my Nex cameras.  Still the 16 provides good value enabling me to get images I would not otherwise have.

And a reality that is not much mentioned. Most ultrawides are not great especially wide open, read the reviews.  Also it is that much tougher to make one work on the short register of the Nex series.

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blue_skies
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to deryn, Apr 23, 2013

deryn wrote:

Wow, avoid 2.8, acceptable at 4, pretty usable at 5.6 !

A couple of 'sharp' claims.

Kind of fits in with what I've been reading. Which is a pity.

Deryn

How does this differ from the E1018?

  • This lens has: no f/2.8, is acceptable at f/4, and usable at f/5.6 ---

I have taken lots of pleasing pictures with the E16, and seldom have to use it at f/2.8 (I have other lenses then) - often with the UWA adapter.

I now use the E20 more regularly, which I find to be a more pleasing FOV - and this lens can be used at f/2.8 just fine.

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Cheers,
Henry

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EWR72
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to blue_skies, Apr 23, 2013

Here´s an example of it on the Nex-F3 with the fisheye converter. I have other images on my Flickr page with the F3 and the C3.

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EWR72
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to EWR72, Apr 23, 2013

A couple more without any converter lenses .......

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JayDreamer
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to deryn, Apr 23, 2013

If I am right (Pros correct me please) only focal lens can be fixed (as in prime lenses) but the aperture value is an indication of what is the maximum you can get. Still it can be controlled by the camera from the maximum to minimum range.

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Joachim Wulfers
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to deryn, Apr 23, 2013

deryn wrote:

Hi all, can someone direct me to a review of the 16mm pancake lens that is positive? Most of what I have read is not favourable towards the lens. I would like a lens wider than the kit lens and thought this would be good for my F3.

Any positive experiences guys?

Deryn

There are enough excellent examples in this thread.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50679132

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Joachim

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deryn
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to Joachim Wulfers, Apr 23, 2013

Yes, I've just checked out this thread and there are some brilliant pics.

Deryn

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saintz
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to deryn, Apr 23, 2013

The lens is better (in the corners) on the 16 mp sensors than the 14 mp sensors due to the better micro-lenses for wide angle and wide aperture lenses. It's also better on the 5N and other models with lens correction profiles, as it gets rid of some of the distortion (or you can do this in post processing). It's apparently even better with the converters attached.

Bottom line, the lens is perfectly useable, so long as the photographer knows how to use it. The portability, speed, and cost make it a great lens for the right uses. The pictures many have posted show this, despite what charts and reviews might show (although some shots show how you shouldn't use the lens, as well).

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akophoto
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to saintz, Apr 23, 2013

I have the 16mm and use it with the UWA and Fisheye converters.

Just back from NY and captured some fantastic shots with it.

I find my copy pretty sharp across the frame at f/8 on my 5n.

I also have the Sigma 19mm and 30mm combo.  The 19mm compares closely to the E16mm.

The 30mm is much sharper in the corners.

Here are a few with the 16mm/ fisheye combo

Apple Fifth Ave

Times Square

Subway

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Chris_Downunder
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to deryn, Apr 23, 2013

I'm pretty happy with mine. Even at f2.8 it's results aren't too bad:

All the best,

Chris

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GaryW
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to Dennis, Apr 24, 2013

Dennis wrote:

deryn wrote:

Hi all, can someone direct me to a review of the 16mm pancake lens that is positive? Most of what I have read is not favourable towards the lens. I would like a lens wider than the kit lens and thought this would be good for my F3.

I think it's great if you're on a budget.  It's not perfect, but unless you're really obsessive about lenses, you may like it just fine.  It is very soft in the extreme corners, and this reduces eventually disappearing at f7.1 on my copy.

The only gripe I ever had with the lens is that I wished (and STILL wish) Sony did a pancake that's more "normal" in FL - so I don't object to what the lens is so much as what it isn't

I hear there's a 20mm pancake -- that's closer to "normal".  

That out of the way, I like it well enough.  I have limited use for a 16mm prime, but it's proven handy now & again.  I must have a good copy.  It's very sharp in the center wide open.  I don't really care about corners when I shoot wide open (it's rare that I'm shooting a flat subject, and despite the wide angle, you can easily have corners outside of the DOF at f/2.8).  I'll stop down to f/5.6 for anything where I want DOF and then worst case, the very extreme corners are a bit soft at 100% and not to the point where I think I'd notice in any print I'd make.

Much of the time, the soft corners just look like it is out of focus anyway.  Or it's sky and doesn't matter.  Or it has nothing to do with anything in particular and it doesn't matter.  In short, it usually just doesn't matter.  But, if you must have corner-to-corner sharpness, then avoid the lens.  Once I knew about this limitation, I was pleasantly surprised.  I wanted a compact lens, and it has turned out to be a lot of fun, with such a wide angle.

- Dennis

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Gary W.

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deryn
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Re: 16mm pancake?
In reply to GaryW, Apr 24, 2013

Hi all, I guess I'm realising that it is people that take great pics and not lenses. Yes lenses help to produce a pic in a particular way. But ultimately the person behind the lens takes the pic.

The 16mm has its limitations and if these are worked with then it is obvious some great pics can be produced. Someone not aware of its limitations might be really disappointed with the results though.

Woud I buy the lens? I probably wouldn't be able to get the best from it and so I don't think I would consider it. That would leave me with expensive alternatives I guess.

Deryn

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