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

Started Nov 7, 2013 | Questions thread
GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,702
Re: Reviewers rarely consider cost/benefit when reviewing lenses

Al F wrote:

The problem with lens reviews is that the reviewers are comparing inexpensive lenses to much finer lenses that they have used. I bought the 16mm pancake for as part of a two-lens kit with my NEX-5N; the kit cost $100 more than the camera with just the kit zoom lens. For that kind of money, the 16mm pancake works just fine. Sure, there are some issues, as noted by all the other posters above, but as many of those posters noted, you can obtain some fine images with it. I'd like to see any other fixed wide-angle lens that cost about $100 out-perform it.

I don't use the 16mm much anymore, now that I bought the 16-50 PZ zoom lens with my new NEX-6.

Yes, this is a problem.  It's hardly worth the bother to use the 16mm when you've got the 16-50, but I still think the 16mm is better, plus the UWA is fun (making it 12mm), so it's still useful.  But for convenience, the 16-50 is going to win out much of the time.

While 16mm on the 16-50 has its problems, it's still sharp in the center, and at 24mm, I think it's quite good.  Both kit zoom lenses tend to be pretty good in the middle of the range.

The 20mm pancake is supposed to be better than the 16mm, but with either lens, it's just going to be hard to justify, given that the kit zoom is pretty good.  But, in theory, you should be able to get better results with the primes, especially the 24CZ.  Most of the time, I don't know that it'll be enough to make a big difference, but if you're going to pursue the best speed, the best bokeh, the highest resolution, etc., I think the primes will still come through on top, but it's probably going to be minor differences for most use.

Again, reviewers have not been kind to that lens, but again, this camera/lens kit cost $150 more than the body alone. And again, I'd like to see another similar focal-length range zoom lens that cost about $150 out-perform it (not to mention that it has OSS and power zoom to boot).

Everyone expected the 16-50 to be worse than the 18-55, but I don't see it.  All three of these lenses have their flaws, of course, and have a different character than the others.

Rather than beat up on an inexpensive lens, I'd rather see reviewers tell us how other similar inexpensive lenses compare. I think that you will find the Sony NEX 16mm and 16-50 PZ lenses will perform as well or better in such tests.

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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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