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

Started Nov 7, 2013 | Questions thread
Dan W Veteran Member • Posts: 3,403
Re: This truly is the best answer!

tjuster1 wrote:

Mel,

Pictures are great--fabulous!--but the logic is terrible. As has been mentioned before, saying and demonstrating a lens is capable of taking good images (certainly when presented at screen resolution for pasting into a forum post) is, for most people, not the same thing as saying or proving it's "good" or even "not that bad". I'm not arguing the merits of the 16mm since I've never tried it. What I am arguing is the logic that says if a good picture can be made from a lens, then the lens is good. You use this logic all the time.

I've taken lots of what I consider to be great pictures with inferior lenses. Here's an example (another system, lens unmentioned):

Children and pigeons, Cochabamba, Bolivia

I love this picture (maybe you do, maybe you don't . . . I don't care). But the point is that the lens I used is quite honestly pretty crappy and I've since sold it and replaced it with something better. Could I get good pictures with it? Of course! As you've eloquently argued, the equipment plays a bit role in the production of a great image. But under many conditions this lens just wasn't very good by my standards--wide open it was soft, especially at the edges, and it tended to flare a lot. Purple fringing was sometimes so bad I couldn't correct it in LR. Compared to other lenses in this system or even other systems it just isn't very good, even though it is certainly capable of creating great images.

Perhaps we should be arguing about things other than equipment, since the equipment we use is more than good enough for most of our talents. But what's the fun in that?

I don't think you have it quite right. It's not that users here have said that it's possible to get a decent photo with the 16mm; they've taken hundreds, probably thousands of good photos with it. It's a small, very light lens without major flaws. It's not the sharpest lens out there (but it's reasonably sharp), it has to be stopped down to get the best results etc. But it's "not that bad," even "good" to "very good" imo considering its size and weight. Perfect for a bike ride, a hike or many other situations as demonstrated by Mel and others.

The OP was asking if this is a lens that he should consider buying and I think that most actual users of the lens would say that it is.

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