16-50 sharpness test

Started Apr 22, 2014 | Discussions thread
RonFrank Senior Member • Posts: 2,130
Re: 16-50 sharpness test

Keep in mind that the kit lens is close to the Zeiss lens in sharpness.  A while back a user posted comparisons of his yard shot at several focal lengths at varies apertures.  The conclusion I made was that unless you need 50mm f4 or more that the difference was rather non existent.   This was surprising considering we are comparing a $150-300 kit lens to a $1000 Zeiss lens. The cheap kit actually performs well even if the corners are not perfect at 16mm.

You can call the kit lens great or the Zeiss lens below average but the reality is that the Zeiss is a good performer as is the Sony kit lens.  Neither can compare to a prime, but zooms generally do not.  However when you stop the lens down a bit it performs well and even at its weakest it is not a poor performing lens.  If you wanted to do critical landscape work neither lens may be adequate, I guess it depends on what you are trying to achieve. With PP a lot can be corrected.

The irony is that tests often use the uncorrected results to evaluate the 16-50mm lens.  This is the equivalent of driving on tires that are not balanced.

If you want to spend the cash on the Zeiss you get a blue sticker, and a constant f4 aperture that extends to 105mm.  Nothing wrong with that.  The kit lens is much more compact and there are times when having a compact camera is the priority.

I generally find the user tests to be somewhat worthless.  If you suspect your lens is decentered, or out-of-wack send it to Sony.

 RonFrank's gear list:RonFrank's gear list
Nikon D1X Nikon D200 Nikon D300S Sony a6000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR +7 more
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