16mm f/2.8 vs 20mm f/2.8 -- opinions?

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 12,116
Re: 16mm f/2.8 vs 20mm f/2.8 -- opinions?

ChrBrewster wrote:

Having trouble finding comments or reviews about these two lenses, SEL16F28 and SEL20F28. And I just realized there are two lenses that are 20mm f/2.8: the pancake version and one of a more normal size.

My only prime so far is the 50mm, which gives noticeably better detail than I get with my zooms, which are the kit lens and the 55-210. I thought a "moderate" wide-angle would complement my moderate telephoto. So I'd appreciate any critique of the 16m and the two 20mm lenses.

You'll hear a lot of whining about both the 16mm and the 20mm Sony E-mount lenses.

However, the whining is a lot about edge deterioration, at wide-open apertures (2.8 for these lenses). In my experience, the subject is never at the edge, and if it matters, stop down.

Still, it lets people point to better (read more expensive) alternatives - and there are plenty.

Tamron, Sigma, Rokinon all have offerings that can be looked at (e.g., I use the Rok 20/1.8 MF lens - they have a 24/1.8 AF version also).

But Sony also offers the fisheye and rectilinear adapters for the 16mm and 20mm lenses.

Honestly, for its size, both lenses are actually rather usable. Perfect? Nope, you'd have to get used to it. But I have had fun with both lenses and both adapters.

The 20mm is noticeable sharper at the edges in most circumstances than the 16mm, but the FOV is also much narrower. If you use the rectilinear adapter, then it works best with the 20mm. But with the 16mm it gives you a 12mm FOV, nothing to sneeze at (for its price). And they are pancake lenses (all alternatives are not).

Also consider the 10-18 E-zoom lens. It is f/4, i.e., a stop slower, but it gives you a very nice wide-angle FOV to work with.

Consider purchasing them used?

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