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

Started Nov 7, 2013 | Questions thread
GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,658
Re: Is the Sony 16mm/F2.8 really that bad?

areichow wrote:

There you go again, reverting to the "takes great images" argument. To paraphrase Shakespeare, "we are here to bury Sony, not to praise it."

The problem is that the "it can take great images" argument is that all gear, even low end gear of dubious quality, can produce "great images" in the right hands. That's great, but it doesn't answer a question like the OP's. We all have our individual expectations for the gear we buy, otherwise why bother discussing gear at all or using anything other than our phones or a cheap point and shoot?

Sometimes I do feel like maybe we're wasting our time with all of these fancy cameras when most of time time, the iPhone would work fine.  But realistically, I can get better photos out of the Nex in many situations, so it's easy for me to justify that, at more cost.  I could upgrade the lenses or camera at even higher costs.  Is it worth it?  If money is no object, maybe I'd just by an RX1 and be done with it.  But I'm really happy with what I'm getting now, so, I think I'm good.  You reach a point of diminishing returns where you  have to spend ever increasing amounts of money to get fewer and fewer gains.

In some of these discussions, we've come across examples such as taking nighttime tele photos freezing action at a rodeo.  OK, that seems like an extreme example, but if you need pro-quality photos in those conditions, I suppose you can justify the top of the line, large equipment to get there.  I'm not really swayed by that requirement.

So, yes, it depends on the individual need or expectation, but maybe some people have unrealistic expectations of what they need.

At the same time, it's good to show examples of the kind of photos we get out of this lens, especially at full resolution. It allows the asker to get a sense of what they could get and decide for themselves if it performs to their standards. If the OP could ask for images that match the way they wanted to use it, that'd be even better.

I have this printed at 16x24.  16mm, perhaps at f4, with some post-processing.

Often times, the "soft corners" just don't matter -- the area is not in focus anyway, or it's sky or pavement, etc. If corners matter, use f7.1 or f8.  It's a quirk of the lens.

I've no doubt that a talented driver would win in a race where I drove a high performance race car and she drove my 4 cylinder CR-V. That doesn't mean that my CR-V is a "great race car." It's a car that matches my particular set of expectations and compromises, so I'm happy with it.

Given your earlier statement, it sounds like you're saying that the pro photographer/race car driver could take a P&S and run rings around you using an A7 or whatever.  That could be, but doesn't directly indicate what you are trying to get out of the camera.

One time when I took my old V3 on a trip on which I didn't want to take my DSLR, I definitely noticed some shortcomings.  Some of my low-light photos were blurry -- too slow a shutter, no IS.  (And while a pro might use a tripod, I'm not walking around with a tripod on most trips.)   On bright days, the clouds were sometimes blown out -- limitation of DR.  I don't have these problems as much with the Nex.  With a FF camera I could take photos in even more marginal light, but I'm not sure that that's necessary.   What matters to me is that I'm getting better photos, and it's up to me to decide if that's good enough.  It doesn't need to be perfect.

The other thing worth considering is the final print, unless you only admire photos viewing at 100% on your monitor.

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Gary W.

 GaryW's gear list:GaryW's gear list
Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V3 Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Sony Alpha NEX-5 +8 more
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