why has the 16mm f2.8 got such a bad rep?

Started Jul 29, 2013 | Discussions
Caris
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Re: why has the 16mm f2.8 got such a bad rep?
In reply to tomtom50, Jul 30, 2013

tomtom50 wrote:

Caris wrote:

Dohmnuill wrote:

tomtom50 wrote:

Contrast dives to zero in the corners. It isn't just sample variation.

It's even less just outside the corners..

Who gives a tinker's cuss about the extreme corners. Practical results from the field count and when it's difficult to immediately differentiate the 16mm shot from something ten or twenty times the cost it's not doing too badly.

I use Leica and C Voigtlander lenses with the N-7, and the 16mm (plus various Nikkors and an Industar 50). If it was ordinary or worse, I'd ditch it straight away. But it's not.

Well, some of us do care about the corners, especially when they are unequally soft/blurred! This is from practical experience, not some test charts. Try to take a landscape photo of a grass/wheat field for instance on a tripod stopped down to f8-11 and see the results. This is where the extreme corners DO matter. In a busy city street photo it may not be that important or obvious.

Should optical designers skip making the corners sharp because for lots of pictures they don't matter?

It would be easier.

Exactly. Why not just cut out the center and be happy?

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Dan W
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I like it
In reply to dholl, Jul 30, 2013

It's not a perfect lens (what is?), but I've had fun with mine. Here's a recent "macro":

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GaryW
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Re: why has the 16mm f2.8 got such a bad rep?
In reply to tomtom50, Jul 30, 2013

Caris wrote:

Dohmnuill wrote:

tomtom50 wrote:

Contrast dives to zero in the corners. It isn't just sample variation.

It's even less just outside the corners..

Who gives a tinker's cuss about the extreme corners. Practical results from the field count and when it's difficult to immediately differentiate the 16mm shot from something ten or twenty times the cost it's not doing too badly.

I use Leica and C Voigtlander lenses with the N-7, and the 16mm (plus various Nikkors and an Industar 50). If it was ordinary or worse, I'd ditch it straight away. But it's not.

Well, some of us do care about the corners, especially when they are unequally soft/blurred! This is from practical experience, not some test charts. Try to take a landscape photo of a grass/wheat field for instance on a tripod stopped down to f8-11 and see the results. This is where the extreme corners DO matter. In a busy city street photo it may not be that important or obvious.

Should optical designers skip making the corners sharp because for lots of pictures they don't matter?

It would be easier.

If they can make it smaller and cheaper, that may be a fair trade off.
--
Gary W.

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wcdennis
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Re: why has the 16mm f2.8 got such a bad rep?
In reply to Caris, Jul 31, 2013

Apparently there will soon be some competition for the 16mm 2.8:

Samyang 16mm f/2.0

It is a bit faster than the Sony, but is larger and heaver and is manual focus. Optically, it may be better--there is one positive review:

Pre order price is $480.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: why has the 16mm f2.8 got such a bad rep?
In reply to tomtom50, Jul 31, 2013

tomtom50 wrote:

Caris wrote:

Dohmnuill wrote:

tomtom50 wrote:

Contrast dives to zero in the corners. It isn't just sample variation.

It's even less just outside the corners..

Who gives a tinker's cuss about the extreme corners. Practical results from the field count and when it's difficult to immediately differentiate the 16mm shot from something ten or twenty times the cost it's not doing too badly.

I use Leica and C Voigtlander lenses with the N-7, and the 16mm (plus various Nikkors and an Industar 50). If it was ordinary or worse, I'd ditch it straight away. But it's not.

Well, some of us do care about the corners, especially when they are unequally soft/blurred! This is from practical experience, not some test charts. Try to take a landscape photo of a grass/wheat field for instance on a tripod stopped down to f8-11 and see the results. This is where the extreme corners DO matter. In a busy city street photo it may not be that important or obvious.

Should optical designers skip making the corners sharp because for lots of pictures they don't matter?

It would be easier.

A lot of what many find very good to impressive lenses are courtesy of software corrections, and especially if the lens distorts a lot (which also affects extreme corners since most, if not all, of that is chopped off).

There is a LOT (and growing) reliance on in-camera corrections lately. Check out the MFTs including $800 Olympus 12mm f/2 which is one of the very few lenses designed for the FOV but chances are the effective FOV is relatively narrower.

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Dohmnuill
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Re: why has the 16mm f2.8 got such a bad rep?
In reply to Caris, Jul 31, 2013

Caris wrote:

Dohmnuill wrote:

tomtom50 wrote:

Contrast dives to zero in the corners. It isn't just sample variation.

It's even less just outside the corners..

Who gives a tinker's cuss about the extreme corners. Practical results from the field count and when it's difficult to immediately differentiate the 16mm shot from something ten or twenty times the cost it's not doing too badly.

I use Leica and C Voigtlander lenses with the N-7, and the 16mm (plus various Nikkors and an Industar 50). If it was ordinary or worse, I'd ditch it straight away. But it's not.

Well, some of us do care about the corners, especially when they are unequally soft/blurred! This is from practical experience, not some test charts. Try to take a landscape photo of a grass/wheat field for instance on a tripod stopped down to f8-11 and see the results. This is where the extreme corners DO matter. In a busy city street photo it may not be that important or obvious.

By the time I've (often) straightened the shot, which involves a little cropping, and then slightly darkened near the borders, the eye is drawn more to the centre. It would be less usual to search the corners for details (particularly in w/a landscapes and with the sky/clouds in the top two corners).

How often do corners count?  I guess I shoot with the corners less in mind with the 16mm, and with the slightly longer Leica and Ultron (CV) glass used if corners are  important (yay, I then get to join the caring "some of us" !)).

At about $150 or less, the small and light 16mm is no burden to own, no burden to use, and most importantly the results can be excellent.

And easily converted to a 12mm with the made-in-Japan VCL-ECU1.

The 'blind' test soon sorts the knockers from the users. I'll try to post some (with absolute minimal cropping) soon to "My Gallery" but without the ID of the lenses. In the meantime, check out Fred M's forum.

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Dohmnuill
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Re: why has the 16mm f2.8 got such a bad rep?
In reply to Caris, Jul 31, 2013

Incidentally, Caris, some great shots in your gallery. The kit 18-55mm is no slouch, either.

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evoprox
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Re: The lens would be considered excellent if we still had 6 MP APS-C...
In reply to viking79, Jul 31, 2013

viking79 wrote:

If the NEX were 6 MP we would think the lens was excellent. Alas, we have 16 and 24 MP NEX cameras and the lens is really mediocre. It does the job it does just fine, but it could be much better.

Not much to add. It might be OK as a "fun lens", casual shots, small prints/web images but I wouldn't use it for any serious work, especially not in front of a 24MP sensor. I've tried three different copies on a 7 and wouldn't accept one for free. YMMV.

For web viewing and HD video it is excellent (HD is really low resolution relative to stills). Most people should be perfectly happy with the lens as is, but anyone pixel peeping will be disappointed (not saying people should or should not pixel peep).

See above.

Eric

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