Image quality: SEL1018 vs SEL16F28 + VCL ECU1

Started Jun 16, 2013 | Questions thread
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,470
Re: Image quality: SEL1018 vs SEL16F28 + VCL ECU1

Mike Sivcevic wrote:

Aaaaarghhhh, typed 12 paragraphs, clicked "Post" and - puff, the whole thing disappeared!

Anyway, one of these days, a big decision needs to be made and I might need some help.

I won't retype the whole saga again, so just in short words ... I'm getting wide angle lens for my NEX-6, tossing up between SEL1018 and SEL16F28 with ECU1 adapter.

I know all the advantages of 1018 and all disadvantages of the 16mm combo and would love to have 1018, but wondering if there is a point at this price difference. The 1018 is around $1,000, the 16mm + ECU1 around $300 here in Australia.

The question is - is the image quality difference that big that it would be visible when viewing picture in full size on 1920x1200 screen or when printing A4 or even A3 prints?

I know that, when pixel peeping at 100% zoom, there is quite a difference in corners, but what's the "real world" difference.

<note to self: copy this whole thing into a bloody clipboard before it kaks itself again when pressing Post>

Hi Mike,

I have been looking at the E1018, and am currently considering the Touit 12mm.

Unlike many that complain, I am satisfied with the combo: I have two sets of the E16 with the VCL-ECU1 WA adapter, and both behave rather similar. There is smearing of the corners at f/2.8 (both in 16mm and 12mm view) which can be exaggerated by the image framing. But if you stop this lens down to f/4, the blurring is greatly reduced. Go past f/5.6 and the combo is quite usable.

If you have a scene in which you want to protect the corners, then focus manually, making sure that the DOF covers the corners (the blurring will go away to a larger extent), or shoot two frames (center and edge focus) and overlay them in post.

For $300 it is a very gratifying combo. (If you use it the right way).

The E1018 retains its sharpness (but only has f/4), but I see no real advantage in this lens, other than the zoom-range (which replaces crop in post). If the E1018 was a $500 lens, it'd be a great buy, but I don't think that this lens is up to the SEL18200 or the E24Z price/performance ratio - hence I opted against it. (It is however up to par with the ultra-wide zooms, and requires no special handling, unlike the E16).

I am still on the fence on the Touit 12mm (T12). This lens does show the typical Zeiss sharpness wide open (f/2.8) and this is definitely a step above both the E16+WA and the E1018. It is a pricey lens, but as price/performance go, it scores definitely higher, imho.

Reason I am on the fence is that the E16+WA works for me. I have no need to add another lens at the moment. Translating this for you means that, for me, the E16+WA would be a better path to take than the T12 or the E1018.

Or, to look at it this way: the E16+WA + E35 + E85 equals the E1018 + E50 or a single T12.

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