Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion

Started Feb 16, 2014 | Discussions thread
viking79 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,147
Re: Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion

uhligfd wrote:

I am sorry, I did not realize such barreling lenses exist and could be sold; I am just behind the times here.

It is becoming the standard.  Although this particular lens is not a great example of software corrected lenses.  I think Sony's mistake here is they made it to apparent.  If you shoot RAW you have to remember to correct it yourself.  Fuji, Samsung, Olympus, etc all have the corrections applied before you ever see the image.  Lightroom will correct it properly before you see the preview.  You can still use a 3rd party RAW editor to see the uncorrected versions.

Sony's decision is nice if you want control over distortion correction, but makes it readily apparent.  Even lenses like ZEISS 24-70mm show extreme levels of pincushion which are being corrected, etc.

Wow, that is built in distortion of a major level.

What next NEX? What is the usable focal length at 16mm as the correction slices off lots of image estate?

I don't think it is worse than other corrections, even optically corrected lenses suffer from apparent loss of focal length from this, like the Fuji 14mm f/2.8 which is optically correct in terms of CA and distortion, has the field of view comparable to something closer to 16mm.

In the case of this Sony, it is more like 15mm uncorrected, 17mm corrected.  Focal lengths are not so straight forward to measure, they can differ depending on where in the frame you are, etc.

Sorry about this lens ….. My lenses' image correction most often results in a little snipped off the edges, almost no noticeable straightening of lines and a bit more light coming through. So in about half of the images I prefer to use no correction.

But this 16-50 PZ? Phew.

I think some people make the assumption that software based corrections are bad, but remember it is easy to do distortion and lateral CA correction in software and they have minimal negligible impacts over what similar corrections would have in optics and get smaller and light and sharper optics (lose some of the sharpness with distortion corrections).  I am no optics engineer with lens design software to see which in fact is "Better" but there are tradeoffs to be made with both.  Software corrections are something that is possible today which was not possible with film.


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