Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
LBJ2
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Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
9 months ago

I could have used jpeg in camera corrections but I rather liked the fisheye look :-).  ( Nik HDR filter applied).  Thanks for looking

uhligfd
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to LBJ2, 9 months ago

LBJ2 wrote:

I could have used jpeg in camera corrections but I rather liked the fisheye look :-). ( Nik HDR filter applied). Thanks for looking

Can you also post the jpeg corrected image, please. I think here would not have been a noticeable difference. Especially in landscapers; brickwalls are another matter. Show us how different the corrected image looks, please!

It is this landscape itself that invokes a fisheye bending … Not the lens itself.

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LBJ2
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jpeg version with in camera lens corrections applied
In reply to LBJ2, 9 months ago

LBJ2 wrote:

I could have used jpeg in camera corrections but I rather liked the fisheye look :-). ( Nik HDR filter applied). Thanks for looking

Here's the jpeg with in-camera lens corrections applied:

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LBJ2
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to uhligfd, 9 months ago

uhligfd wrote:

LBJ2 wrote:

I could have used jpeg in camera corrections but I rather liked the fisheye look :-). ( Nik HDR filter applied). Thanks for looking

Can you also post the jpeg corrected image, please. I think here would not have been a noticeable difference. Especially in landscapers; brickwalls are another matter. Show us how different the corrected image looks, please!

It is this landscape itself that invokes a fisheye bending … Not the lens itself.

Hello:  I posted the corrected jpeg as well.  However I initially posted the raw w/ Nik HDR filter applied because I preferred the effect over the corrected jpeg 

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viking79
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to uhligfd, 9 months ago

uhligfd wrote:

LBJ2 wrote:

I could have used jpeg in camera corrections but I rather liked the fisheye look :-). ( Nik HDR filter applied). Thanks for looking

It is this landscape itself that invokes a fisheye bending … Not the lens itself.

The lens uncorrected has plenty of barrel distortion (fisheye if you will).  Those two red lines should be parallel.

Nothing wrong with it, but it will exaggerate curves and such.  I had to use the unusual wide points for resolution since the others had too much distortion

Image from my blog...

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LBJ2
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to viking79, 9 months ago

viking79 wrote:

uhligfd wrote:

LBJ2 wrote:

I could have used jpeg in camera corrections but I rather liked the fisheye look :-). ( Nik HDR filter applied). Thanks for looking

It is this landscape itself that invokes a fisheye bending … Not the lens itself.

The lens uncorrected has plenty of barrel distortion (fisheye if you will). Those two red lines should be parallel.

Nothing wrong with it, but it will exaggerate curves and such. I had to use the unusual wide points for resolution since the others had too much distortion

Image from my blog...

Thank you. Another excellent reference viking79. I can clearly see the distortion with this lens in post processing--with the extreme at 16mm. When I want to do a lot of PP for this lens I normally use PTLens to correct my raw shots for this particular lens. But I think in-camera jpeg lens corrections does a pretty good too.

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uhligfd
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to uhligfd, 9 months ago

I am sorry, I did not realize such barreling lenses exist and could be sold; I am just behind the times here.

Wow, that is built in distortion of a major level.

What next NEX? What is the usable focal length at 16mm as the correction slices off lots of image estate?

Sorry about this lens ….. My lenses' image correction most often results in a little snipped off the edges, almost no noticeable straightening of lines  and a bit more light coming through. So in about half of the images I prefer to use no correction.

But this 16-50 PZ? Phew.

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joe6pack
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Re: jpeg version with in camera lens corrections applied
In reply to LBJ2, 9 months ago

Thanks. I think both image looks great to me (the JPEG would look better with the color edit, but I believe is more true to life). But I believe the uncorrected image does better in terms retaining the orientation. In this case, the trees all pointing straight up. Another advantage of using the uncorrected image is you actually get a 14-15mm focal out of the 16mm.

BTW, did you apply CA and vignetting correction? What software did you used? It bothers me that Sony's IDC does not allow me to turn off distortion correction.

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viking79
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to uhligfd, 9 months ago

uhligfd wrote:

I am sorry, I did not realize such barreling lenses exist and could be sold; I am just behind the times here.

It is becoming the standard.  Although this particular lens is not a great example of software corrected lenses.  I think Sony's mistake here is they made it to apparent.  If you shoot RAW you have to remember to correct it yourself.  Fuji, Samsung, Olympus, etc all have the corrections applied before you ever see the image.  Lightroom will correct it properly before you see the preview.  You can still use a 3rd party RAW editor to see the uncorrected versions.

Sony's decision is nice if you want control over distortion correction, but makes it readily apparent.  Even lenses like ZEISS 24-70mm show extreme levels of pincushion which are being corrected, etc.

Wow, that is built in distortion of a major level.

What next NEX? What is the usable focal length at 16mm as the correction slices off lots of image estate?

I don't think it is worse than other corrections, even optically corrected lenses suffer from apparent loss of focal length from this, like the Fuji 14mm f/2.8 which is optically correct in terms of CA and distortion, has the field of view comparable to something closer to 16mm.

In the case of this Sony, it is more like 15mm uncorrected, 17mm corrected.  Focal lengths are not so straight forward to measure, they can differ depending on where in the frame you are, etc.

Sorry about this lens ….. My lenses' image correction most often results in a little snipped off the edges, almost no noticeable straightening of lines and a bit more light coming through. So in about half of the images I prefer to use no correction.

But this 16-50 PZ? Phew.

I think some people make the assumption that software based corrections are bad, but remember it is easy to do distortion and lateral CA correction in software and they have minimal negligible impacts over what similar corrections would have in optics and get smaller and light and sharper optics (lose some of the sharpness with distortion corrections).  I am no optics engineer with lens design software to see which in fact is "Better" but there are tradeoffs to be made with both.  Software corrections are something that is possible today which was not possible with film.

Eric

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LBJ2
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Re: jpeg version with in camera lens corrections applied
In reply to joe6pack, 9 months ago

joe6pack wrote:

Thanks. I think both image looks great to me (the JPEG would look better with the color edit, but I believe is more true to life). But I believe the uncorrected image does better in terms retaining the orientation. In this case, the trees all pointing straight up. Another advantage of using the uncorrected image is you actually get a 14-15mm focal out of the 16mm.

BTW, did you apply CA and vignetting correction? What software did you used? It bothers me that Sony's IDC does not allow me to turn off distortion correction.

Hello: Thanks! I like both shots too--just preferred the dramatic effect of the uncorrected raw shot with Nik HDR applied. Normally I use the PTLens ( very inexpensive ) to correct for CA and Vignetting for this lens' Raw shots. For the jpeg posted I used in-camera lens corrections and no other editing but to your point could have easily popped the color and/or sharpened up.

My desktop PP software includes Mac Aperture with PTLens plug-in and Google Nik Collection.

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DocetLector
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to viking79, 9 months ago

I have never heard Fuji`s 14 mm lens is close to 16 mm, can you post the source of this statement? I will probably buy this lens, so I would like to know!

Thanks

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GaryW
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to uhligfd, 9 months ago

uhligfd wrote:

I am sorry, I did not realize such barreling lenses exist and could be sold; I am just behind the times here.

I guess so!  A couple of years ago, we were lectured by the M43 crowd how that this was a great feature, allowing them to have a compact zoom.  I guess Sony listened and made a similar design.  Only now, it's considered bad.

Move those goalposts....

Wow, that is built in distortion of a major level.

What next NEX? What is the usable focal length at 16mm as the correction slices off lots of image estate?

It's 14mm or 15mm uncorrected, so the corrected view is around 16mm.

Sorry about this lens …..

No need to be sorry.  If you want a REALLY compact zoom, then you have to live with this feature.  As another option, you can consider it a 20-50mm lens, if you want.  

My lenses' image correction most often results in a little snipped off the edges, almost no noticeable straightening of lines and a bit more light coming through. So in about half of the images I prefer to use no correction.

Some lenses don't need much correction, but even the 18-55 had significant barrel distortion at 18mm.  On the other hand, this actually worked well, IMO, if you were shooting people.  If you correct the barrel distortion, you'll stretch faces that are near the sides.  So, for some real-world photos, it might be good to put some of that distortion back in.  

But this 16-50 PZ? Phew.

It's pretty sharp at 16mm once you get past the corrections.  It's an odd lens, but nicely compact, with good contrast and color.  Want a better lens?  Buy a more expensive one!  Simple.  

-- hide signature --

Gary W.

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tri x
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to LBJ2, 9 months ago

Don't know or want to know about all the tetchy stuff about lens correction, all I can say is you've got a brilliant image so well done mate.

Cheers John

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CameraCarl
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to LBJ2, 9 months ago

I can't understand the hang up some folks have with software corrections for distortion in lenses which were, after all,  designed in the first place to need software correction. It is sort of like saying that the Stealth Bomber or Typhoon fighter are poor designs because they would be unflyable without heavy doses of computer assisted software. I'll gladly live with a compact, lightweight, wide range zoom that needs software corrections instead of having one that weighs a ton and costs a small fortune.

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captura
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to GaryW, 9 months ago

GaryW wrote:

uhligfd wrote:

I am sorry, I did not realize such barreling lenses exist and could be sold; I am just behind the times here.

I guess so! A couple of years ago, we were lectured by the M43 crowd how that this was a great feature, allowing them to have a compact zoom. I guess Sony listened and made a similar design. Only now, it's considered bad.

Move those goalposts....

Wow, that is built in distortion of a major level.

What next NEX? What is the usable focal length at 16mm as the correction slices off lots of image estate?

It's 14mm or 15mm uncorrected, so the corrected view is around 16mm.

Sorry about this lens …..

No need to be sorry. If you want a REALLY compact zoom, then you have to live with this feature. As another option, you can consider it a 20-50mm lens, if you want.

My lenses' image correction most often results in a little snipped off the edges, almost no noticeable straightening of lines and a bit more light coming through. So in about half of the images I prefer to use no correction.

Some lenses don't need much correction, but even the 18-55 had significant barrel distortion at 18mm. On the other hand, this actually worked well, IMO, if you were shooting people. If you correct the barrel distortion, you'll stretch faces that are near the sides. So, for some real-world photos, it might be good to put some of that distortion back in.

But this 16-50 PZ? Phew.

It's pretty sharp at 16mm once you get past the corrections. It's an odd lens, but nicely compact, with good contrast and color. Want a better lens? Buy a more expensive one! Simple.

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Gary W.

Reminder we had the 16/2.8 from the beginning and it is another distorter. But with correction on in the menu from NEX-5N +, it is much better.

Strangely to me, the 16's UWA seems to have the additional ability to reduce barrel distortion. It is excellent.

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GaryW
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to captura, 9 months ago

captura wrote:

GaryW wrote:

uhligfd wrote:....

But this 16-50 PZ? Phew.

It's pretty sharp at 16mm once you get past the corrections. It's an odd lens, but nicely compact, with good contrast and color. Want a better lens? Buy a more expensive one! Simple.

-- hide signature --

Gary W.

Reminder we had the 16/2.8 from the beginning and it is another distorter. But with correction on in the menu from NEX-5N +, it is much better.

I think you've said this before, but distortion is very minor from the 16/2.8.

According to Photozone, the distortion is only .6%.  Slrgear results are similar.

http://www.photozone.de/sony_nex/728-sony16f28nex7?start=1

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1346

It has a touch of "mustache" distortion, which might be harder to correct, but it's so minor it just doesn't need correction most of the time.

Strangely to me, the 16's UWA seems to have the additional ability to reduce barrel distortion. It is excellent.

It's almost a no-cost (to quality) option.  The 16/UWA combo is really special, and something many just don't seem to "get."

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Gary W.

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captura
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Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion
In reply to GaryW, 9 months ago

GaryW wrote:

captura wrote:

GaryW wrote:

uhligfd wrote:....

But this 16-50 PZ? Phew.

It's pretty sharp at 16mm once you get past the corrections. It's an odd lens, but nicely compact, with good contrast and color. Want a better lens? Buy a more expensive one! Simple.

-- hide signature --

Gary W.

Reminder we had the 16/2.8 from the beginning and it is another distorter. But with correction on in the menu from NEX-5N +, it is much better.

I think you've said this before, but distortion is very minor from the 16/2.8.

According to Photozone, the distortion is only .6%. Slrgear results are similar.

http://www.photozone.de/sony_nex/728-sony16f28nex7?start=1

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1346

It has a touch of "mustache" distortion, which might be harder to correct, but it's so minor it just doesn't need correction most of the time.

When I first got it about a year ago, I tried some tile wall tests on the 5R with Distortion correction off, then on. The was a big difference....correction straightened the very curved lines. Even worse was that lens on my NEX-3.

Strangely to me, the 16's UWA seems to have the additional ability to reduce barrel distortion. It is excellent.

It's almost a no-cost (to quality) option. The 16/UWA combo is really special, and something many just don't seem to "get."

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Gary W.

I seldom use it with the 16. I use it a lot on the 14/2.5 Lumix pancake lens mounted on my E-PM1, where it is truly exceptional. Lines are straight although the effective DOF is 11 mm.

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LBJ2
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Re: jpeg version with in camera lens corrections applied
In reply to LBJ2, 1 month ago

LBJ2 wrote:

LBJ2 wrote:

I could have used jpeg in camera corrections but I rather liked the fisheye look :-). ( Nik HDR filter applied). Thanks for looking

Here's the jpeg with in-camera lens corrections applied:

Thought I would bring this post back to life since everyone is talking about the SEL 16-50 again. I happen to be a fan of this lens and enjoy it for what it is, but am very aware of its special "characteristics"  See Raw vs In-Camera Jpeg corrections for a real world example.

Above Viking79 posted a good image from his blog illustrating the measured technical  details of this lens.

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