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

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,749
Comparisons are tricky

ottonis wrote:

Keit ll wrote:

I'm not sure why the OP when posting to show how good the kit lens is didn't bother to use distortion correction as the image shown was definitely faulty ?


Very simple reason: he wanted to show the "raw" lens performance as it is - totally untouched. That's exactly how it needs to be done when comparing different lenses.

I disagree.  I think the lenses (and resulting photos) should be compared how you use them.  If you intend on always using distortion correction on, then that makes sense to me to compare that way.

To compare without distortion correction only makes sense to me if you are curious what is going on behind the scenes, but since you don't intend on using it that way, it would hardly make for a fair comparison.

As someone else mentioned, there are other things that are unrealistic in the comparison.  Using f3.5 is good for knowing the f3.5 performance, but even if the 16-50 was poor at this aperture, this is kind of a poor use of that setting.  The shutter speed was 1/4000?  At a more realistic f8, it would be even more interesting to see what lenses were different.  Many lenses do not do well at the widest aperture, but are great stopped down.

The OP did a terrific job at presenting pics from different lenses, although I only partially agree with his interpretation of the results.

I'm not sure how to interpret the results.  I found parts of the Tokina image to be sharper, but then the background/infinity seemed sharper on the 16-50, so maybe there was a focusing difference?

As some other Posters already said: if you want an affordable and small, highly pocketable zoom lens, you will have to accept the inherent compromises of that design.

I only wish Sony would sooner rather than later come up with a truly outstanding normal zoom lens (even at the cost of larger size and higher prize)  because I really wish to have an "always on" lens wthout the need to change lenses all the time.

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I agree you should accept compromises given the design, but it seems like the compromises are not that large.

As for a high-end alternative, have you been keeping track of the lens roadmap?

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Gary W.

 GaryW's gear list:GaryW's gear list
Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V3 Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Sony Alpha NEX-5 +8 more
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