Just how crappy is the 16-50 kit lens? Test vs 17mm prime & 11-16 Tokina

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
captura Forum Pro • Posts: 24,816
Re: Revised/corrected post: Just how crappy is the 16-50 kit lens? Test vs 17mm prime & 11-16 Tokina

Mel Snyder wrote:

Mel Snyder wrote:

One of the great sports of the technogeeks here is dumping on the 16-50 kit lens. And many neophytes take those dumps to heart.

My impression without comparative tests was to judge from my own experience that it wasn't as bad as the detractors claim. So I decided to test it.

The real advantage of the kit lens, if there is one, is that at 16mm, it is wider than just about any zoom under $600, with a not-too-shabby f3.5 maximum aperture.

And so, my test comparator lenses were the 11-16mm f2.8 Tokina, and the 17mm f3.5 Tokina AT-X Pro. I know all three do really well in real-world photography - I've carried both over the years on trips to the Middle East and Europe, shooting on Nikon D70, Nikon D300, and Nikon D7000.

I have a pretty good test scene right outside my front door. So what follows are images from that test scene. All were shot raw, imported into Photoshop Elements 11 with no adjustment, and saved as jpegs with the same specs:

16-50mm kit lens @ f3.5

Uploading error detected in original post (realized it when I saw the EXIF data) - image for kit lens is now correct - and DEFINITELY GREAT!

No it's not great! Just look at the curvature of the roadway, compared to all the other images displayed, that were straight. Including the original of this one.

Anyway, this lens displays soft edges and corners, with vignetting at the corners. From what I've seen, the 1650 matches the 18-55 over 20mm, but not below that. Not bad for a kit lens, if kept over 20mm. Certainly a more useful lens than the 16/2.8.

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Sony Alpha a7 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
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