Is the Sony 16mm/F2.8 really that bad?

Started Nov 7, 2013 | Questions thread
MrT-Man Senior Member • Posts: 1,477
Re: what are a camera and lens for?

boardsy wrote:

tjuster1 wrote:

But what completely doesn't wash is showing images that are somehow supposed to demonstrate that the lens isn't "that bad". This kind of logic is endemic in here ("NEX-3N still has it: look here!"). A great picture does not mean that the camera or lens used to take it is any good.

Not following your "logic" here - if a camera and lens can take great photos, we should dismiss them as bad, despite this? So what are a camera and lens for, exactly, if not taking great photos?

The OP was confused by just this - bad test results, yet good photos that imply otherwise - what is he to believe? According to you the test results outweigh the material facts of good photos before your eyes?

I've read that this hammer tested poorly, therefore I deem it to be a bad hammer - please don't show me how it hammers nails successfully, which supposedly demonstrates that it's not "that bad"; I reject this evidence in favour of a test which says it can't do it well.

And yes, I know, and included caveats, about the flaws - field curvature and corner light fall-off which can produce soft corners at wider apertures - a flaw/limitation easily worked around by stopping down (why were you shooting a flat surface at f2.8?!), by not shooting brick walls etc. And I forgot to mention purple fringing - pp and/or in-camera JPG correction takes care of that easily.

If you want a better 16mm, spend multiple times more money and you might get slightly better IQ (or you might have other problems - distortion, weight, size, manual focus, central sharpness etc) - for the price, focal length, adaptability, size, weight, and - yes! - performance, I still maintain its a great lens.

Sorry, I disagree. I've taken some good pics with the SEL16 but I still call it a poor lens despite that because my hit rate is low (and because I had to try out three of them to get a copy that wasn't de-centered). When I manage to get a good photo I feel that it's in spite of the lens, not because of the lens. People have taken great pics with polaroid cameras and with their smartphone cameras--it doesn't mean they're great cameras.

The part I won't argue about at all is "for the price". Whether the image quality per dollar is worth it, or not worth it, is entirely a subjective assessment. The fact that this isn't a great lens is less subjective, as that can be demonstrated by all the tests that have been performed by various reviewers.

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