Making the best of SEL 16-50 Wide Angle Distortion

Started Feb 16, 2014 | Discussions thread
GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,751
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.

I guess so!  A couple of years ago, we were lectured by the M43 crowd how that this was a great feature, allowing them to have a compact zoom.  I guess Sony listened and made a similar design.  Only now, it's considered bad.

Move those goalposts....

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?

It's 14mm or 15mm uncorrected, so the corrected view is around 16mm.

Sorry about this lens …..

No need to be sorry.  If you want a REALLY compact zoom, then you have to live with this feature.  As another option, you can consider it a 20-50mm lens, if you want.  

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.

Some lenses don't need much correction, but even the 18-55 had significant barrel distortion at 18mm.  On the other hand, this actually worked well, IMO, if you were shooting people.  If you correct the barrel distortion, you'll stretch faces that are near the sides.  So, for some real-world photos, it might be good to put some of that distortion back in.  

But this 16-50 PZ? Phew.

It's pretty sharp at 16mm once you get past the corrections.  It's an odd lens, but nicely compact, with good contrast and color.  Want a better lens?  Buy a more expensive one!  Simple.  

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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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