how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
Rickj23 Regular Member • Posts: 456
Re: how does the 16-50 PZ lens compare to the 18-55 kit lens on the NEX 5N specifically?

blue_skies wrote:

Rickj23 wrote:

blue_skies wrote:

Rickj23 wrote:

In some aspects, you are right ... in others, you might have not had a same chance to try both lenses side by side. The pictures I took in dimly lighten coffee shop [20+ pics. with each lens] were generally taken with 1/10-1/30 sec and 3200 ASA .. Aperture preference and centre spot focus. Both cameras were sitting on mini tripods and shots were taken using IR shutter release.

I have 6 Nikon cameras, so I have purchased the NEX 7 with standard SEL1855 initially to use with my old Nikkor manual lenses. A few months back, I have sold my NEX 7 and instead purchased the NEX 5R with SEL1855 and subsequently [very cheaply at £225.00], I have purchased two NEX 5N twin lens kit cameras, from the Comet hypermarket that was going under.  So, now I have aside of 13 Nikkor lenses ... as well 3 off SEL1855 and two SEL16/f2.8 lenses.

In UK, most camera sellers allow the equipment buyer to return the purchased goods within 10 days for a full refund and exchange the goods within the 28 days period.

I was so disappointed with the SEL1650PZ ... that 24 hrs ownership was sufficient to help me to make my mind up.  And yes, all my Sony E lenses and NEX cameras have the latest Feb 2013 updated firmware ... and yes, my NEX 5R has "all" Play Memories Apps downloaded and installed .... and I'm using the Galaxy Note II and / 3 of my Xooms as the remote monitors / shutters when appropriate.

Coming back to SEL1650PZ ... I did use it in which ever way ... and did find it less useful [and in many ways too fiddly to use] than SEL1855.  I do realise that Sony E lenses are made to price and just as Nikon has recently moved some of their manufacturing facilities from Thailand to Laos, Sony is no doubt looking for a way to reduce the costs as well.  After all, the SEL1855 lens supplied with the NEX 7 was made in Japan ... and the general feel of the lens and the image quality through the range was considerably different from the lenses [made in Thailand], that were supplied with NEX 5N/5R.

Someone has mentioned on this forum, that SEL1650PZ was designed for NEX 6 and not the NEX 3N as I have mentioned earlier, as the SEL1650PZ came out 3 months earlier prior to release of NEX 3N.  Somehow missing the point, that I was trying to make.  Sony is shifting lot of manufacturing to Philippines and Vietnam  .... and the new low cost line-up of NEX 3 and NEX 5 cameras that will hit the market before Christmas 2013 will be much smaller than the current NEX 5R in order to compete with Panasonic and Olympus 4/3 sensor cameras. I bet when the NEX 7 replacement comes out in May / June this year, it will come out with a completely different standard lens and ... this lens will become a standard lens for the NEX 6 camera replacement as well. The NEX 6 has some serious flaws e.g. non touch screen, restricted articulation of touch screen due to the location of EVF etc. I really could nor see the reason for fixed EVF in NEX 6, when for a little more money, the EVF could have been articulated, hen much more useful for macro photography. As well, the NEX 6 flash light with GN6 [in contrast with GN12 on flash supplied with NEX 5R/N], was rather pointless.  Hence, as with NEX 6, I feel that SEL1650PZ is a similar halfway house effort. Sony have brought out this lens, for the sake of bringing out something new, not necessarily "something better".

I am not sure what ISO 3200 and 1/10th sec prove in a dimly lit coffeeshop. Poor result and subject blur?

Lens manufacturing has little to do with the design. Perhaps QA, but even that should not matter, based on design and test principles.

The two lenses are quite different in size, and therefore the optical behavior is (noticeably) different.

The 1855 needs little SW correction and the 1650 needs a lot.

At the extremes, <18mm and >50mm, both lenses start to become weak, but the 1650 is weaker, especially in the far corners. Again, this depends on scene and subject distance, but side-by-side you can spot the differences.

Center sharpness is comparable, imo. I would even give a nod to the 1650 for being a tad more contrasty, but I don't have enough comparison shots to make a call. As I said earlier, I would consider these two kit lenses near equivalent in mid range and mid aperture.

Fwiw, using SW corrections for a compact optical zoom lens is nothing new - this has been done for many years to the even smaller P&S cameras.

And no, the Nex-7N will not get another kit lens. Perhaps the 'G' lens can be bundled with a Nex-body, but I don't think Sony will release both with an initial discount. Only when sales are lagging.

And the GN number of the 5R/5N is 7, and not 12.

And the rest of your message is lost on me - what are you trying to say? Sony has released smaller bodies (3 series) and larger, full featured, bodies (6, 7 series), and the Sony lens roadmap has been pretty much followed thus far, after an early revision was made. In addition to the kit and tele zoom, there have been both compact and high performance prime, and now we are expecting a high performance prime, and possible a fast 85mm prime.

Yes, the Nex line has exceeded expectation, and is a priority of sorts, even economy and Sony are struggling. I don't think Sony will abandon Nex users for a while to come. There is no 'hap-hazard' approach here by Sony.

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**** The 1855 needs little SW correction and the 1650 needs a lot.

At the extremes, <18mm and >50mm, both lenses start to become weak, but the 1650 is weaker, especially in the far corners. Again, this depends on scene and subject distance, but side-by-side you can spot the differences.

Somehow I missed the point of your argument here !

You are harping on a kit zoom lens that is just a kit zoom lens. It is a tradeoff versus the larger kit zoom lens, but both are zoom lenses and both are compromised by cost and features, alike all the kit zoom lenses by manufacturers - the pricing of such a kit lens is a constraint.

Higher end zoom lenses exist for most brands, but at 3x the price, because of the increased cost.

As far as taking shots with the both lenses in the dim lighten coffee shop, I have made quite a few comparative macro shots of well lighten garden plants and a few outdoor portraits.

To my mind the SEL1650PZ has clearly been designed with NEX 3N in mind ... it works with 3N in the same way as all compact Sony [and Canon] cameras work with build in zooms .... i.e. the SEL1650PZ is operated by the lever in front of the shutter button.  This lens has never meant to be used with NEX 5R, 6 or 7.  After all, what is the point of making a compact PZ lens for camera body that is the size of NEX 6?

My Nex-6 has a zoom-control button, and the CIZ switches on automatically, as is the display bar. None of this is true for the 5N or the 7. You think this is an afterthought and that the electronic zoom lenses were only meant for the 3 series?

The Sony Corporation is struggling on all sides .... the camera side is probably one of their more profitable enterprises by comparison with computers,  3D TVs and smart phones.

But seeing the NEX 3N with SEL1650PZ ... and the NEX 3N specification downgraded in every possible way [low res LCD, much lower ASA range, lower continuous frame speed, lower HD frame speed etc.] makes me think that Sony has lost is with the current NEX 3N release.

I am sorry if Sony has wronged you. The 3N is meant to be a price leader, and marketing is very careful to have the 3, 5, 6 and 7 series have distinguishable features - it is what they do.

With regard to a Japanese made SEL1855 [black] that is still currently available ... and the SEL1855 silver anodised Thai made lens that is shipped with NEX 5R .... it is not the same lens in the different colour as you suggest.  Although that both lenses have the same number of elements and the same grouping .... they feel and perform differently.

I am sure that cost-cutting measures have come into play, normal for products over their lifetime. Optically, I expect no differences however. And, fwiw, the silver version from Thailand existed before the black version.

A bit like comparing BMW made in US with BMW made in Bavaria. The US made BMW will spend 3x as much time in the workshop as would the German made BMW .... yet the advertising campaign will tell you that they are both made to same exacting standards.  I have been there ... and have the tee shirt to prove it.

But you are feeding into a myth - like when people paid extra to dealers for Honda's with a J (Japan) in their VIN number when they started US production.

Can you substantiate your opinions - post some of the 20 or so comparable pictures with your conclusions. And preferable your non-ISO 3200 garden pics as well?

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Myth about US made BMW cars exists as myth only in USA, in  UK, it is called a reality ....  By mistake [not checking with BMW UK, prior to purchase?] I have bought 3.0L BMW Z4 with a complete spec ... and within it's 3 years usage, the vehicle spent at least 4 months in BMW workshops, had new wiring loom, new Carver, new soft top, drive shaft, starter motor, gasket etc. It was mostly driven on motor way and over the period of 3 years done only 36k miles.  Every time I hit the workshop, I've heard the comments like ... not another one ! A friend of mine had similar problems with US made X5 ...

So where it is made does matter.  Perhaps not to you ... but it does to me.

With regards to garden shots with SEL1650PZ lens?  They were done in day light and with 200 ASA. But that is another story.  As you are trying to convince everyone how great the new kit lens is, should it not be up to you to upload some of your shots with this lens?  Personally, I don't really care about any of the plastic barrelled mickey mouse lenses that I generally bundled with cheaper range of cameras.   I have bought the NEX 5N/5R cameras to use with my old manual Nikkor lenses, that I have bought way back in seventies and eighties to use with Nikon F2S and later with F3 and F4.  The possibility to use the old Nikkor lenses got me to buy the NEX cameras, it was not the love of Sony products.  The compact cameras that I have used prior to NEX purchase, were all Canon made, hence G7, G9 and G12.  I have initially purchased NEX 7, didn't like the menu, didn't like the general setup e.g. size, weight etc. so when NEX 5R came out, I have sold one and bought another.  I liked the NEX 5R so much, that when opportunity came by to buy the NEX 5N twin lens kit at GB £225.00 [US $330 or there around] in the local electrical goods superstore, I bought two NEX 5N twin lens kits.  As far as I am concerned, I will use the kit lenses only for holiday snaps ... and probably keep only the one SEL1855 and sell the other two and sell both SEL16/f2.8 pancake lenses as well. My approach [or philosophy] when it comes to photography is that at least 60% of picture quality is down to equipment, the 20% is probably down to opportunity / luck and 20% down to persons ability.  I have seen great pictures made by beginners using  Hasselblad  or SL66, I haven't seen that many great pictures made by accomplished photographers equipped with APS film cameras.  I realise that with digital imaging, you can do lot in CS5 or CS6 Photoshop, but that I consider cheating.

Back to SEL1650PZ ?  If you like it so much ? Great, buy it ... in UK that lens is £100.00 [$150.00 US] more expensive than SEL1855 e.g. nearly a double the price of the older lens.  Do I think the PZ lens is worth it ? I don't.  Do I think the PZ lens is better than the older 18-55 lens? Definitely not on stills.  Looking at the "sympathetic" combination of the PZ lens with the NEX 3N .... it makes me think that this kit lens was designed to be used with camera like NEX 3N !  It was definitely "not designed" to be used with NEX 5R or \NEX 6 camera.  But that is my "personal opinion".

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