why has the 16mm f2.8 got such a bad rep?

Started Jul 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP dholl Veteran Member • Posts: 3,185
Re: why has the 16mm f2.8 got such a bad rep?

shaolin95 wrote:

Nice pics!

After my recent trip to Europe I wished I had taken the 16mm with the UWA for sure.

aye...it's a very handy combination.

Cailean Gallimore wrote:

I would say that it's not bad. Not bad. Not good, but OK.

define 'good'.

ec1k wrote:

Some people make the most of what they have, others like to complain. Nice pics!

thanks...well, i've been guilty of obsessing over minutia in this forum too...tho' i think i'm finally growing out of it.

KingCharles wrote:

Most of the complaints come from the fact that it loses the fine details. Especially in the corners. Which makes it tough for landscape users.

For example in your shot of the glass building with trees the leaves lack sharpness, and the plants in the planter along the bottom do as well.

As for portraits, most people won't want to shoot a close portrait with a 16mm lens due to distortion. So it isn't great for portraits, and it isn't great for landscapes/architecture.

I agree with you that most people probably shouldn't expect much from it for the price and size of the lens.

You can still get good shots with it, you just need to know it's limitations.

I can agree with all that, pretty much. The corners are slightly softer and fine-detail isn't present anywhere when at 100%-view...but these are qualities I expect of high-end wide primes, not a cheap pancake. And not forgetting the pics are straight JPG's with 0-sharpening. I'd expect more resolution if developing the RAW's. But granted, the 16mm isn't as sharp as most 50mm primes...but then again, it's not a 50mm prime.

Serious landscapists will not use an entry-level pancake for their work. But hobbying streetshooters with a disposition for wide-angle should enjoy this lens.

DWMurf wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

I wish it had a rep bad enough to sell for under $100 so I can add one to my collection.

Nice shots.

I can't find one for less than $248 new on Amazon and less than $180 used on ebay.

zackiedawg wrote:

I guess when Sony has the refurb lens blowouts, it's quite a deal! I picked up my 16mm last year from the local Sony Store - they had the refurbs on sale for $150.

I got mine about a year ago for around €100 new from an Ebay UK business seller. For that price, considering what AF NEX lenses cost and the lack of choice (understandable for a relatively new and specialist system), I'm quite happy.

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

Yep. It is a good lens for what it is supposed to be and the uwa adapter goes very well with it.

Sonyshine wrote:

It seems to be fashionable to bash Sony Nex lenses but I have this lens and the wide angle adapter and enjoy using it!

Nice shots by the way!

Cheers. The Adapter goes for around €100 in Europe...maybe worth a punt.

DWMurf wrote:

The lens looks fine in your very nice photos.

I just posted some reviews of this lens and the converters available for it in another thread here.

The lenses seem good and make a very nice compact wide angle system. The only negative comment that got my attention was about complex distortion being difficult to correct. Isn't that correction now taken care of in the NEX cameras?


Thanks for contributing the very useful reviews!

My NEX 5N auto-corrects fringing and distortion.

viking79 wrote:

If the NEX were 6 MP we would think the lens was excellent. Alas, we have 16 and 24 MP NEX cameras and the lens is really mediocre. It does the job it does just fine, but it could be much better.

For web viewing and HD video it is excellent (HD is really low resolution relative to stills). Most people should be perfectly happy with the lens as is, but anyone pixel peeping will be disappointed (not saying people should or should not pixel peep).

DWMurf wrote:

Have you tried pixel peeping the iimages the OP posted here?

Quite. Although glass will always exponentially show 'more' resolution when more pixels are being offered by the sensor, there are 'optimum'-resolution limits (photozone and dpr cover this when doing lens reviews). The difference between 'more' and 'optimum' is that more is not necessarily better, but optimum is always better than 'more'. Hence, why a still from the 4mp Canon 1D Mark 1 will always look sharper than a 4mp-still downsized from a 16mp NEX sensor, and why an upsized 32mp Canon 1D Mark 1 image will look inferior to an optimum-resolution 16mp NEX image.

The pancake's optimum resolution is likely more than 6 million NEX pixels. It's not optimum at 100%, but between 60-70% viewing it looks tack-sharp...that would make its optimum resolution about 10-11mp on a 16mp sensor...which is absolutely fine for most people, if not discerning pixel-peepers.

I agree about the HD-video theory...I would use cheapo zooms to film full-HD video and they looked very sharp. For stills not so much...

shonsch wrote:

I just bought the 16mm on Saturday and think I'm going to have fun with it.

nice! post pics

Letsgokoulos wrote:

I think calling this lens mediocre is a little strong. Even with a 16 Mp sensor, most of my pictures above f5.6 are definitely more than acceptable :

your castle photo shows much clarity...JPG or developed RAW?

Keit ll wrote:

All of the comments ignore the history of the launch of the NEX at which many Photographers & Journalists took some bad photos using the 16mm.

Sony , receiving complaints , explained that some early faulty prototypes had been handed out & said they had been withdrawn . The lens's reputation was considerably tarnished by this episode & has never fully recovered.

Handled carefully it can produce good results but it's weakness is soft edges which can affect it's use as a landscape lens , sometimes judicious cropping can improve images & stopping down aperture considerably improves its performance.

aaaah...the /endthread post thanks for clearing up...always interesting to see another example of how mud can stick.

zackiedawg wrote:

I have been quite happy with the little lens, and though not a pixel-peeper, it stands up fine for anything I've needed it for, and can print large, sharpens throughout the frame when stopped down, usable wide-open in a pinch, and particularly well paired with the ECU1.

agreed.  and i enjoyed your first cat pic...cool pose!

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