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Lens reviews update: DxOMark data for Sony NEX primes

By Andy Westlake on Jul 5, 2013 at 11:04 GMT

DxOMark has been busy testing lenses for the Sony NEX system, and has just published an article detailing which lenses score best on the NEX-7. As part of our ongoing collaboration, we've added the test data for most of Sony's own E-mount primes to our lens widget, which you can use to assess their performance and compare them against each other. We'll be adding Sony's zoom lenses and third-party primes very soon, but for now you can explore the test data for the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA, E 20mm F2.8, E 30mm F3.5 Macro, E 35mm F1.8 OSS and E 50mm F1.8 OSS. Click the links below to find out more.

The Sony E 16mm F2.8 isn't on this list, but we looked at it back in 2010 as part of our review of the Sony NEX-3 and NEX-5. Click here to read our assessment of the Sony E 16mm F2.8, including data in our original lens widget.

Our unique lens data widget allows you to assess and compare lenses' sharpness, chromatic aberration, vignetting and distortion at a range of settings. It also displays the measured focal length and T-stop. Click here to read about how to use our lens data widget.

Lens test data

Sony E 20mm F2.8 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA
Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake

Full lens test results on DxOMark

Our lens test data is produced in collaboration with DxOMark. Click the links below to read DxOMark's full review of lenses for the Sony NEX-7, explore the full lens test data on the DxOMark website. 

179
I own it
67
I want it
39
I had it
Discuss in the forums
59
I own it
8
I want it
6
I had it
Discuss in the forums
78
I own it
11
I want it
12
I had it
Discuss in the forums
211
I own it
43
I want it
20
I had it
Discuss in the forums
330
I own it
50
I want it
32
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 54
Opinionator
By Opinionator (5 months ago)

Is DxO aware that the results from opening the 50 1.8 OSS and the 35 1.8 OSS in a new tab has different results than opening the same page but using the drop down list box. In both cases using the list box results in much better results with far more blue on the graph, much less vignetting and distortion. Likely DxO has problems with its testing and it is unreliable when such results are in use for comparing lenses.

First right click the jpg for the 35 and open in a new tab. Now this comparison will result in the same jpg as pictured above. Second open a jpg other than the one to be tested which would include in this case both the 35 and the 50. Then use the list box and see the difference in results.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
zapatista
By zapatista (9 months ago)

The 50mm is best at f1.8?!? DxOMark needs to stick with sensors.

1 upvote
vadims
By vadims (9 months ago)

DPReview, all five BIG Amazon ads above these comments start with two absolutely identical (to the last bit) links. As if your pages were not cluttered enough without that... <sigh...>

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (9 months ago)

A few people have ad free sites. The cost is only $300 a year. I would recommend lloyd chambers. To save you some time, if you're looking for good quality ad free content...quit now or you will be searching long and hard.

0 upvotes
PenGun
By PenGun (9 months ago)

There are ads? On the internet? I did not know, I think it may be this script I wrote in 2009, I dunno. ;)

0 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (9 months ago)

> if you're looking for good quality ad free content...

Did I mention "ad free"?

The five ads I mentioned have a *bug*. Re-read my post and look at the ads. QA issue. Something somebody at DPR (Amazon) has to fix. Web sites happen to have bugs, you know. Understand now?

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (9 months ago)

With all the posters who never owned Nex constantly claiming that Nex lenses are very "bad", as it turns out, they aren't really that "bad".

5 upvotes
King Penguin
By King Penguin (9 months ago)

Oh good 'not that bad'........actually, I'll think I'll stick to my d600 and Nikkor glass.........

.......and before you mention dirty sensor, I've not found it an issue......

2 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (9 months ago)

All systems have there foibles; some people are just more tolerant of QC issues.

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (9 months ago)

oh irony, seems like Nikon is currently having most of QC issues on an entire photography market.

1 upvote
Hugo600si
By Hugo600si (9 months ago)

50 is an easier lens design, 24's have always been more expensive. And part of the price of the 24 is for the brand on the lens, don't enjoy it any less due to that, at the time it was the only decent lens available.
Have to get me a 50 now though, it has been raved about since launch, but now its a must have (denies stating earlier that the DXO mark results can be a complete mess with the 35/1.4G junk scoring high...)

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

> 24's have always been more expensive.

we cannot talk about cost without specifying the mount/format, that 24mm is very easy to design and make for all mirrorless mounts.

optical design is mostly affected by three factors,
angle of view, 37mm equiv. for E24/1.8,
aperture, f/2.8 equiv. for E24/1.8, and
back focus, 28mm equiv. for Sony NEX/E-mount.

E24/1.8 may worth 150 US or so compared with traditional 35/2 lenses. it costs less for 37mm > 28mm back focus, more for being a new product, and more for bearing a dirt stain called Zeiss.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mandophoto
By mandophoto (9 months ago)

Well, OK, this is just a guess and don't take it the wrong way, but we can assume you don't like Zeiss, right?

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

please tell me anyone for any reason should like Zeiss.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (9 months ago)

quality? tradition? image rendering?

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

I recognize their tradition since 1973. they lost all the tradition, capabilities, experiences, know-how before that (well those are of little value today anyways, so they may not have lost much).

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (9 months ago)

And $300 Sony 50/1.8 OSS beats $1100 Zeiss 24/1.8.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

no problem Zeiss usually means lower quality.
it always means significantly less value for money.

2 upvotes
tecnoworld
By tecnoworld (9 months ago)

Also samsung nx lenses have been tested by dxo. No news for them? :-)

5 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (9 months ago)

All in good time...

1 upvote
tjobbe
By tjobbe (9 months ago)

news will have the usual delays ;-)

0 upvotes
Boerseuntjie
By Boerseuntjie (9 months ago)

And were is HowaboutRaw now raving over the NX 85mm F1.4 it's about just as good as the Sony NEX 50mm F1.8...LOL
Better than Leica Canon and Nikon, what a joke

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

a little bit embarassing

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

dedicated mirrorless lenses should deliver high performance as 35mm format lenses, higher for wide-angles.
20/2.8 - 31/4.3 equiv., vs 35/2 stopped down, < 1/4 price,
24/1.8 - 37/2.8 equiv., vs 35/2 stopped down, ~ 1/2 price,
30/3.5 - 46/5.4 equiv., vs 50/2.8 stopped down, > 1/4 price,
35/1.8 - 54/2.8 equiv., vs 50/1.8 stopped down, < 1/2 price,
50/1.8 - 77/2.8 equiv., vs 85/1.8 stopped down, < 1/2 price,
16/2.8 - 25/4.3 equiv., vs 24/2.8 stopped down, << 1/2 price,

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
eightnine
By eightnine (9 months ago)

hi. i'm new to photography. could you explain your comment means in layman terms. I was thinking about getting the NEX system because it's light weight and the cost is low on the used market. thanks

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

> 24/1.8 - 37/2.8 equiv., vs 35/2 stopped down, ~ 1/2 price,

this is E24mm f/1.8,
it's same as, gives us everything we can expect from,
a 37mm f/2.8 lens on a 35mm full-frame camera,

35mm f/2 is a very popular lens for FF.
stopping it down to f/2.8 gives us a lens that works
almost the same as E24/1.8 at open.

since this is 1 stop smaller aperture (half area),
the cost should be 1 stop lower (about, not accurate),
35/2 lenses are sold for about 300 US.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (9 months ago)

When calculating equivalence on 135 format (fullframe), lens speed doesn't change. So, the 24/1.8 is 36/1.8 on FF, which means it has an angle/field of view (AoV or FoV) equivalent to a 36mm FF lens because of the 1.5 crop factor, but the light gathering ability is still F/1.8.

You only multiply the f-number by the crop factor to calculate equivalent depth of field (DoF) on FF, which would be like the FF 36mm lens stopped down to F/2.7. This is either better or worst depending on your preference and situation.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

> the 24/1.8 is 36/1.8 on FF

can we find anything in the output photograph to prove it? or
can we find anything in the output photograph that is different from a 37/2.8 on FF?

1 upvote
tietheknot
By tietheknot (9 months ago)

flipmac is talking about light transmission. An f1.8 lens in ff will transmit the same amount of light in APS-C etc etc. This is the reason why people describe a lens with a smaller f-number a faster lens, since it lets in more light hence you can use a faster shutter speed to get the same exposure.

Rather you are speaking of depth of field equivalents: flipmac talks of this in his second paragraph

2 upvotes
Onur Otlu
By Onur Otlu (9 months ago)

yabokkie, yes we can; no camera shake blur as you could take the photo at 1/40 sec thanks to f/1,8.

0 upvotes
Onur Otlu
By Onur Otlu (9 months ago)

Also, by your logic the Sigma 30 1,4 for EF-s mount should be $ 70. As it's a 48 2,2, it's clearly worse than the Canon 50 1,8.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

> you are speaking of depth of field equivalents

where did I say that? I say every photographic result produced by the lens that one can find in the output image. you name it and see it same as 37/2.8.

everything the same with no exception because we have only one aperture, the size of which = 24/1.8 = 37/2.8 = 13.3mm.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
cocopro
By cocopro (9 months ago)

50mm/f1.8 = very good bang for the buck, primes for E & MFT with similar performance sell for 2x-3x price.
Zeiss = rich man's toys.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (9 months ago)

45/1.8 is $350 now, about the same thing (portrait lens).

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

45/1.8 is a rare lens that the 4/3" gang doesn't tag with unreasonable price. one can buy a G5X or GX1X zoom kit with 45/1.8 and say bye-bye.

0 upvotes
Smartypants
By Smartypants (9 months ago)

As camera sensors grow above 24 - 36 MP the quality of the optics are more important. I think all manufactures are having problem shrinking optics and keeping corner to corner sharpness. When I buy into a camera system its the lenses that are the most important element.
I would love to replace my Sony a850's and my Nikon D800E systems with something smaller but for me Sony's NEX system just isn't there yet with the optical range, speed and sharpness for me.

2 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (9 months ago)

The primes are all (bar the CZ 24) the wrong focal length to my mind.

Why persist with 50mm focal as a portrait lens? Back in the day of film there was plenty of debate if 85mm was a bit too short for a portrait lens never mind 75mm.

Sony had the luxury of starting from scratch with the E system so no need to press gang old 50mm standard lenses into service as a portrait lens. Yet they still seem to pander to outmoded focal lengths. The 50mm should be a 60mm, the 20 mm ought to be 17mm and so on.

Why not be more radical and offer a standard lens focal length related to the diagonal of the sensor? A true standard.

Look at Oly. 45mm portrait lens with f.o.v of 90mm on FF. That is how you do it!

And no I aint an Oly user but an A-mount user.

9 upvotes
TimT999
By TimT999 (9 months ago)

I'm disappointed by the lens reviews. For many of us, the excitement of the mirror less approach is to have near-DSLR quality in a smaller form factor. Yet these lens reviews don't include DSLR comparisons to give us that context.

Obviously the Nex lineup can't come close to a full frame -- and no one would expect that. But if I'm going to consider one of these mirror less systems, I want to know if it can come close to (or better!) the crop systems that Canon and Nikon is coming out with now.

After all, these Sony lenses are priced comparably -- I can currently get the Canon 24-105mm L for under $800 from lots of vendors. So why not include a Canon/Nikon crop body/lens system in the mirrorless system reviews done by DxO and DPReview so we know how these newer technologies stack up?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (9 months ago)

You can compare the Sony NEX lens data side-by-side with a wide range of other lenses in our data widget - just click the 'Compare' link at the bottom right, then select another lens. For example, here's how the Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS compares to the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM on APS-C:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/lens-widget-fullscreen?compare=true&lensId=sonye351p8&cameraId=sonynex7&fl=35&av=1.8&view=mtf-ca&lensId2=sigma351p4&cameraId2=nikon_d7000&fl2=35&av2=1.4

3 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (9 months ago)

Why aren't the micro 4/3 lenses in the comparison list? Seems like it's the main competitor to the E system.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (9 months ago)

We're building up the lens list over time, and will add Micro Four Thirds in due course. But they're less straightforward than the others as DxOMark likes to report 'raw' data before the designed-in distortion correction is applied, whereas we'll be showing data after correction as we consider that to be more relevent to the end user. This means rather more work on our (i.e. my) part to get that data into the widget.

1 upvote
PenGun
By PenGun (9 months ago)

How about some Fuji X lenses? I know it's going to make a lot of these look bad in comparison, but you can't spin this marketing effort forever.

1 upvote
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

Fuji X lenses are also much more complicated (mainly down to the raw format used by xtrans IIRC). Believe me we want them in there too!

1 upvote
Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee
By Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee (9 months ago)

I've a NEX-7 as a light system. I find the 50 superb. The 16 is good enough, the 18-55 is excellent at working apertures, the 55-210 is not bad, but not good either. People should take these very exacting tests with a grain of salt. The requisite question is can you see these differences in prints? If not then they're just counting angels on the head of a pin.

1 upvote
TimT999
By TimT999 (9 months ago)

Andy, I appreciate your replying to my comment about not including more context of NEX or 4/3 reviews against DSLRs. And I have certainly used (and appreciate) your side-by-side compare tool.

My point is that your reviews do provide context between mirrorless systems -- how a Panasonic stacks up to a Sony Nex. But I feel we should have that same level of context to the DSLR system in the article text. As it is, someone has to dig into the compare tools to do that groundwork.

If mirrorless is is ready for the big leagues, you need to say it. And if it's still not up to snuff you need to tell us.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (9 months ago)

If you have a problem with the reviews on DxOMark's site, you need to address it to them, not me.

Meanwhile, there's no doubt that the best lenses for mirrorless are truly excellent. If you're not happy with lenses like the Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R, you probably won't be happy with anything much.

0 upvotes
PenGun
By PenGun (9 months ago)

The RAW conversion on the xtrans sensor is well in hand. I have 5 RAW converters for it in two operating systems.

Fuji's Silkypix is the standard but even Capture One is good now.

This not a problem anymore.

0 upvotes
supeyugin1
By supeyugin1 (9 months ago)

Sony 50/1.8 is good, the rest (Zeiss) is good, but too expensive.
Look at Samsung instead.

0 upvotes
PenGun
By PenGun (9 months ago)

I have both the Fuji XF 60mm and XF 14mm lenses and both are superb. The camera is kinda magic folks.

I come from a 4x5 and Schneider Apos and I am very happy with the tiny files. ;)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (9 months ago)

Hm... seems like none of them can compare with best of A-mount lenses. Basically: nothing changed during last 2-3 years. Sad.

3 upvotes
cocopro
By cocopro (9 months ago)

DOX lens rating is related to body format, nikon 85mm f/1.4G is rated 40 on D600 and 25 on D7000. If you limit body format to APS-C then the best score of any tested lens is only 26, close to the score of 24 for E mount.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (9 months ago)

obviously all these Sony lenses are of super low value.

a 85/1.4G loses half value instantaly mounted on APS-C, for less than half of the designed image area (frame or image circle) but at the center where the qualities are higher than average. so 40 to 25 looks quite natural and reasonable (but as we all understand this is not lens' fault).

effectively cocopro says that Sony lenses have only half of the value and he is correct.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (9 months ago)

o_O say... what?
1. There are dedicated APS-C A-mount lenses.
2. There are FF A-mount bodies.
3. Trolls go that way -->

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
1 upvote
radissimo
By radissimo (9 months ago)

Seems like 10-18, 24, 35 and surprisingly 50 are the gems! 12 Toit is a bit of dissapointment

1 upvote
Total comments: 54