APS-C zooms test photos

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JohnNEX Senior Member • Posts: 2,292
APS-C zooms test photos

If you think test photos and sharpness comparisons are worthless then stop reading now.  There is nothing here for you.

Below are test comparison crops of four APS-C zoom lenses:

16-55 f/2.8 G

18-105 f/4 G

16-70 f/4 Zeiss

16-50 f/3.5-5.6 PZ (the kit zoom)

I don't have a 18-135.  Sorry.  For later comparisons I will show the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8.

This comparison is at 16mm (18mm for the 18-105).  Later I will post up comparisons at longer focal lengths, but this was enough work already.

There are six comparison crops, three each for two different scenes.  The first scene was a garden on a very still day, taken around 20 metres away.  The second scene was 500m to 1 km away.

First full scene.  Handheld:

Crops in the centre (450x450 pixels):

Crops in the top right corner:

Crops in the bottom left corner:

Second full scene - tripod, timer, OSS off:

Centre crops (300x300 pixels):

Top left corner:

Bottom left corner:

At the wide end, the 16-55 is by far the best performer.

The 18-105 struggles wide open but goes ok stopped down.

The 16-70 is weaker at the top left (where it never gets sharp) than the bottom right.

The 16-50 kit lens is quite decent in the centre, even wide open.  In the corners, its mushy wide open but very competitive stopped down.

For landscapes, where stopped down performance across the frame is the main criteria, I would rank the 16-50 a little ahead of the 18-105, with the 16-70 in last.

For general wide shooting, including low light, only the 16-55 can deliver well.  It is so strong I sold my Sigma 16mm f/1.4.  In a distant second place, the 16-70 is actually not bad in the centre wide open but one of the corners is not good - if I could find a copy where the corners are a bit more even then this would be a nice general purpose wide-angle performer.

The 18-105 really needs to be stopped down all across the frame - it is not a general purpose wide angle lens.

When I get around to it I will do a 35mm comparison.  Could be a while.

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Sharpness scores and other stats for many FE lenses here: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4442319
Fairly amateur photography here:

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