16mm pancake?

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 27,902
Re: 16mm pancake?

deryn wrote:

Hi all, I guess I'm realising that it is people that take great pics and not lenses. Yes lenses help to produce a pic in a particular way. But ultimately the person behind the lens takes the pic.

The 16mm has its limitations and if these are worked with then it is obvious some great pics can be produced. Someone not aware of its limitations might be really disappointed with the results though.

Woud I buy the lens? I probably wouldn't be able to get the best from it and so I don't think I would consider it. That would leave me with expensive alternatives I guess.


I think your analysis is reasonable - and correct for the most part.  Good photographers take good photographs, and bad photographers take bad ones.  A lens CAN make a difference, but it's often more of an improvement of an already good thing - a better lens can help, but the photographer still makes the difference.

There was definitely some product control issues with the 16mm lens - some folks here, even good photographers, ended up with some poor samples of this lens.  Others got some very nice copies right out of the box.  If you get a good one, it should meet most people's requirements. It's a matter of weighing the lens' performance vs cost.  While going to a more expensive lens may get slightly better results, the question is whether the IQ improvement was worth the additional cost.  Let's say you get a performance of 70 out of 100 with the 16mm lens, at a cost of $150-200.  And let's say you could move to an $850 lens and get an improved performance of 80 out of 100.  The question becomes: was the 10% improvement worth 425% more cost?  Only you can judge that one - everyone may be different, and your financial security could play a part in deciding.

Personally, I find the 16mm lens to be a bargain - very good performance, not EXCELLENT, but good - at a ridiculously low price and awesome portability.  Plus added flexibility when you consider the two adapters that can be added to it to increase its range to 12mm or fisheye.  I can afford better, and may indeed buy a better wide lens at some point, but I cannot fault the 16mm for what it is - a very low cost super-tiny portable lens that performs reliably and above its price.

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