Just how crappy is the 16-50 kit lens? Test vs 17mm prime & 11-16 Tokina

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions
captura Forum Pro • Posts: 23,344
Re: Just how crappy is the 16-50 kit lens? Test vs 17mm prime & 11-16 Tokina
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GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,498
Re: You might be asking the wrong question

captura wrote:

temama wrote:

cptrios wrote:

captura wrote:

However, the OP's original question was, "Just how crappy is the 16-50 kit lens?"

At about than about 20mm and wider, the 16-50 is worse than the 18-55. So the correct answer is;  Very Crappy.

I didn't want to say it quite so harshly, but it's true. At the wide end it looks to be potentially worse than the 16/2.8 (at least in the OP's samples).

I dunno, the 16/2.8 is pretty soft in the corners at f2.8.  But even at f3.5, this isn't a typical aperture for a shot in in the sunny outdoors.

It seems that we have very different opinions on this lens. On the other hand - who cares? No one is forced to buy it

I really like wide end of  this zoom  - that it is there when needed.

After-all we're talking about all-around zoom lens! And its tiny size is just perfect match for little NEX cameras.

I think that something like 20-50mm would be very boring range compared to the 16-50mm.

Yeah, there's a significant difference between 16 and 20mm.

- No one is forced to buy it ?

Most people who want a NEX-6 or a NEX-3N are forced to accept it as part of the package.

I just searched for Nex-6 on Amazon, and up pops a body-only option -- no lens, 16-50 or otherwise.

Other forums scorn Sony NEX because of their disastrous policy wrt lenses. Many buyers avoid buying NEX's for the same reasons...mostly there not being enough decent quality E-mount lenses.

Well, sounds like they weren't forced to buy Sony, and bought a different brand.  That's fine if the other brand is more to their liking, but if they're just scared away due to fear-mongering about Sony lenses, then that's sad.  If other brands' lenses are that much better and that is what is important, then by all means, buy another brand.

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Gary W.

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temama Contributing Member • Posts: 617
No need for new "18-55" lens!

captura wrote:

The soon-coming 20-2.8 is rumored to be a much higher quality pancake lens. And the lens roadmap calls for a high-quality new 18-55 zoom lens this year. Plus the G-lens (have my doubts.)

What NEX system needs is compact size 28-105mm FF equivalent HQ zoom. Something like 17-70/3.5-4.5...Or maybe 16-80...

temama Contributing Member • Posts: 617
Re: E16-50 is better lens.

captura wrote:

temama wrote:

captura wrote:

However, the OP's original question was, "Just how crappy is the 16-50 kit lens?"

At about than about 20mm and wider, the 16-50 is worse than the 18-55. So the correct answer is;  Very Crappy.

BS.

My E16-50 is optically better lens than my E18-55kit. At all focal lengths. Though, E18-55 isn't bad as cheap kit lens.

Which model NEX do you have? If you have a 5R or 6, did you update the lens firmware, enable PDAF and turn on lens correction for your 18-55?  If you didn't then you have no basis for comparison. ie: your comparison would be invalid. Following this procedure, my 18-55 was transformed into a very much better lens.

My girlfriend uses my E18-55 kit with older NEX-5 model. So no need for new firmware. But any firmware can't improve microcontrast and sharpness of lens. And 18-55 is worse here than E16-50. E16-50 really has snappy microcontrast and makes sharper images.

bill hansen Veteran Member • Posts: 8,816
Re: Just how crappy is the 16-50 kit lens? Test vs 17mm prime & 11-16 Tokina

See the excellent series of test shots by "Blue Skies" here   http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51194331   comparing the 16-50 to several other lenses. Henry doesn't try to make a scientific lab-style test, but this real world series of photographs convinced me that in the right hands, the 16-50 (some copies of it, at least) can be a very good lens.

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Bill Hansen
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bill hansen Veteran Member • Posts: 8,816
here's a careful comparative test

See the excellent series of test shots by "Blue Skies" here   http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51194331   comparing the 16-50 to several other lenses. Henry doesn't try to make a scientific lab-style test, but this real world series of photographs convinced me that in the right hands, the 16-50 (some copies of it, at least) can be a very good lens.

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Bill Hansen
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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 23,344
Re: You might be asking the wrong question

Gary, let's say someone is considering a fantastic camera; the NEX-6. Then with due dilligence they research the standard bundled lens, and t's the 16-50. The reports on that are very mixed. Well an average buyer may not bother doing the online mix-and match thing. They are more likely just get the E-PL5 or whatever else was on the store shelf, because the kit lens has more favorable reviews than the 1650.

Steve

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 23,344
Re: 5R + 16-50 PZ user here...

I just bought a like-new Pana G1 with the 14-45 kit lens. Although the technology is older, the quality of the camera and especially the lens is superb. Very fast and accurate AF, Great foldable screen and EVF. It's a lot about Quality Control.

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 23,344
Re: Just how crappy is the 16-50 kit lens? Test vs 17mm prime & 11-16 Tokina

GaryW wrote:

captura wrote:

wll wrote:

Personally I think the 16-50mm is a great little lens. I love the size, the fact that it is 16mm vs 18mm.

I shoot mostly in highest quality JPEG and have not had any problems yet.

wll

Perhaps you were lucky, finding a good one.

User GodSpeaks posted in another thread that the 16-50 was sharper than the Sigma 19, with her samples.  More luck?

Fortunately, the older kit lens 18-55mm is still available from Sony. And the 20mm f2.8 pancake is also showing in the catalogue, for just $10 more than the 1650. I've not seen a review of this new lens.

http://store.sony.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=20153&langId=200&catalogId=100803&identifier=S_NEX_Lenses

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Gary W.

I don't believe it.

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GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,498
Re: You might be asking the wrong question

captura wrote:

Gary, let's say someone is considering a fantastic camera; the NEX-6. Then with due dilligence they research the standard bundled lens, and t's the 16-50. The reports on that are very mixed. Well an average buyer may not bother doing the online mix-and match thing. They are more likely just get the E-PL5 or whatever else was on the store shelf, because the kit lens has more favorable reviews than the 1650.

Well, the 16-50 is the new kit lens.  What would you have Sony do, go back to the 18-55?

I think the average user says, "Oh, I've known Canon for years.  I'm getting that one!"  

Seriously, though, I'm more interested in what the 16-50 is or isn't more than whether "reports" are "mixed" and how that may affect sales.

In the early days of the Nex, there were a number of complaints about the lens being too large.  I've lived with the 18-55, but I also see the appeal in a smaller lens, so if we can get a smaller lens with seemingly little penalty (and perhaps improvement!), then I think that's pretty exciting.

Steve

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Gary W.

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GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,498
Re: 5R + 16-50 PZ user here...

captura wrote:

I just bought a like-new Pana G1 with the 14-45 kit lens. Although the technology is older, the quality of the camera and especially the lens is superb. Very fast and accurate AF, Great foldable screen and EVF. It's a lot about Quality Control.

I've always had good luck with my Panasonic products.  It's not often that I want a Panasonic product, but at least they have seemed to be long-lasting, that I can recall.

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Gary W.

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 23,344
Re: 5R + 16-50 PZ user here...

GaryW wrote:

captura wrote:

I just bought a like-new Pana G1 with the 14-45 kit lens. Although the technology is older, the quality of the camera and especially the lens is superb. Very fast and accurate AF, Great foldable screen and EVF. It's a lot about Quality Control.

I've always had good luck with my Panasonic products.  It's not often that I want a Panasonic product, but at least they have seemed to be long-lasting, that I can recall.

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Gary W.

I always had battery-drain problems with my LX-3.

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 23,344
Re: You might be asking the wrong question

GaryW wrote:

captura wrote:

Gary, let's say someone is considering a fantastic camera; the NEX-6. Then with due dilligence they research the standard bundled lens, and t's the 16-50. The reports on that are very mixed. Well an average buyer may not bother doing the online mix-and match thing. They are more likely just get the E-PL5 or whatever else was on the store shelf, because the kit lens has more favorable reviews than the 1650.

Well, the 16-50 is the new kit lens.  What would you have Sony do, go back to the 18-55?

I bought a 5R and the standard kit lens is the 18-55. Same thing with the NEx-7. By all accounts the 18-55 is equal to if not better the 16-50. Although you have chosen for your own reasons to get the 1650, some buyers will avoid the NEX-6 and NEX-3N models because of the kit lens. In the early days of NEX a lot of sales were lost because there were not enough lenses, and one was particularly deficient in quality, the 16SEL2.8. Now Sony is repeating some of it's history.

I've also lived with the 18-55 and now I saw it transformed into a good lens just by moving it to one of the new cameras. But you can't do that with the 1650...it is deficient at the wide end no matter what you do.

I think the average user says, "Oh, I've known Canon for years.  I'm getting that one!"  

Seriously, though, I'm more interested in what the 16-50 is or isn't more than whether "reports" are "mixed" and how that may affect sales.

In the early days of the Nex, there were a number of complaints about the lens being too large.  I've lived with the 18-55, but I also see the appeal in a smaller lens, so if we can get a smaller lens with seemingly little penalty (and perhaps improvement!), then I think that's pretty exciting.

I wouldn't mind a 1650 myself for it's convenience, but I have other lenses if I want to shoot wide or shoot quality. The average mall shopper will buy a NEX plus crappy lens like the 1650 and regret it later, or may buy another brand altogether...that is my point.

Steve

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Gary W.

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BRUCEK56 Contributing Member • Posts: 858
Re: You might be asking the wrong question
1

................"By all accounts the 18-55 is equal to if not better the 16-50."

YOUR quote.

Obviously this means your 18-55 lens is just as "crappy" as the 16-50.

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BRUCEK56

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Ari Aikomus
Ari Aikomus Veteran Member • Posts: 8,854
invalid point

:-Dcaptura wrote:

I wouldn't mind a 1650 myself for it's convenience, but I have other lenses if I want to shoot wide or shoot quality. The average mall shopper will buy a NEX plus crappy lens like the 1650 and regret it later, or may buy another brand altogether...that is my point.

I can't agree more.

I suspect that some people here do not even own E16-50, but talking about as if they had used it a lot. I think, that it is almost a masterpiece of such a small 16-50mm APS-C zoom! No other manufacturer has been able to do similar lens yet.

Don't talk about E18-55. It's just very common clumsy basic zoom. You can't compare it to a fine piece of glass like E16-50. It is something special.The perfect companion to small NEX cameras. E18-55 is not such a lens, has never been In fact, E18-55 is too comical sight with NEX. A DSLR size zoom with mirrorless camera...And just average optical performance! Huh...Even tiny E16-50 can do better pictures. And I KNOW that - from experience.

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 23,344
Re: invalid point

"a fine piece of glass like E16-50"?

Is that a joke? It's built very cheaply, with huge sample variance, and that has been well-documented. There is not one single piece of expensive glass in the assembly. New buyers are taking a risk buying one of these. Caveat Emptor!

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GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,498
Re: You might be asking the wrong question

captura wrote:

GaryW wrote:

captura wrote:

Gary, let's say someone is considering a fantastic camera; the NEX-6. Then with due dilligence they research the standard bundled lens, and t's the 16-50. The reports on that are very mixed. Well an average buyer may not bother doing the online mix-and match thing. They are more likely just get the E-PL5 or whatever else was on the store shelf, because the kit lens has more favorable reviews than the 1650.

Well, the 16-50 is the new kit lens.  What would you have Sony do, go back to the 18-55?

I bought a 5R and the standard kit lens is the 18-55. Same thing with the NEx-7. By all accounts the 18-55 is equal to if not better the 16-50. Although you have chosen for your own reasons to get the 1650,

I have not. I'm interested in it, tho, as I may one day buy another Nex, and what if this is the kit lens?  Maybe I would like the compact size.

some buyers will avoid the NEX-6 and NEX-3N models because of the kit lens.

Maybe the Nex-6, but the 16-50 seems ideal for the entry-level Nex-3n.  And someone like me could get the body-only option for the 6.

In the early days of NEX a lot of sales were lost because there were not enough lenses, and one was particularly deficient in quality, the 16SEL2.8. Now Sony is repeating some of it's history.

You forget, I kind of like the 16.  

I've also lived with the 18-55 and now I saw it transformed into a good lens just by moving it to one of the new cameras. But you can't do that with the 1650...it is deficient at the wide end no matter what you do.

The 18-55 isn't exactly great at the wide end either, unless you stop down.

I think the average user says, "Oh, I've known Canon for years.  I'm getting that one!"  

Seriously, though, I'm more interested in what the 16-50 is or isn't more than whether "reports" are "mixed" and how that may affect sales.

In the early days of the Nex, there were a number of complaints about the lens being too large.  I've lived with the 18-55, but I also see the appeal in a smaller lens, so if we can get a smaller lens with seemingly little penalty (and perhaps improvement!), then I think that's pretty exciting.

I wouldn't mind a 1650 myself for it's convenience, but I have other lenses if I want to shoot wide or shoot quality. The average mall shopper will buy a NEX plus crappy lens like the 1650 and regret it later, or may buy another brand altogether...that is my point.

The average mall shopper will see how much improved it is over the normal P&S and love it.

The more advanced enthusiast, I don't know.... But I suspect the average buyer will be fine with it.

Steve

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Gary W.

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Gary W.

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Jere Keskiaho
Jere Keskiaho Contributing Member • Posts: 816
Re: Lens speed?

emailsucks98 wrote:

I’ve had my Nex-6 for 2 weeks, with the 16-50 PZ, and I am struggling to get sharp pictures. I don’t believe it’s the lens though, I’ll take responsibility!

The Nex-6 was an upgrade from my previous camera, a Canon S-90. I’m finding it takes more work to get a sharp picture out of the Sony. I think it is to the lens, only in the sense that the S90 had a brighter/faster lens (F2) compared to the Sony PZ lens (F3.5). The settings that worked great on the S90 are producing soft/blurry/out-of-focus images on the Nex-6. For instance, I am a mountain biker and shoot a lot of  pictures of people riding in the woods (shady lighting, motion in the 10-15mph range).  1/80 or faster in S mode would get me usably clear images on the S90; I’m having to shoot above 1/200 to get comparable clarity on the Nex-6 (assuming auto ISO and aperture). I am experimenting a lot with the various focus and metering modes to see what helps.

For MTB in the woods if you want stopped motion, 1/500 from front and 1/1000 from side is recommended. By shooting with 1/80 of 1/125 and proper panning techique from side you will get just about right amount of motion and sharpness. To get more speed blur, shoot at 1/40, but panning must be right.

This is with panning and 1/80

http://www.jkphoto.fi/pblog/?id=1&id2=274

This is 1/400

http://www.jkphoto.fi/pblog/?id=1&id2=276

This was prefocused

http://www.jkphoto.fi/pblog/?id=1&id2=97

You now have bigger sensor and narrower depth of field so focusing errors show more than before with S90. I don't have experience of AF speed of NEX6 (I shoot with Canon 1DM3), but focusing in dark forest to moving object is hard for any camera without fast lens. I still often tend to in some cases prefocus on certain point and then just shoot when subject hit's that spot. That works best when shooting from side, but if shutterlag is low, that works even when shooting from front.

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Ralph46
Ralph46 Senior Member • Posts: 1,183
Re: invalid point

captura wrote:

"a fine piece of glass like E16-50"?

Is that a joke? It's built very cheaply, with huge sample variance, and that has been well-documented. There is not one single piece of expensive glass in the assembly. New buyers are taking a risk buying one of these. Caveat Emptor!

The last time I had the pleasure of replying to one of your posts one or 2 weeks ago you admitted that you had never had a 16-50 or had used it. Has that changed.

There are indeed lot of posts bashing the 16-50mm PZ to pieces and about 90% are from YOU!! Why don't you at last get one, then you can smash it personally.

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Ari Aikomus
Ari Aikomus Veteran Member • Posts: 8,854
Yes. E16-50 is a fine piece of glass.
1

captura wrote:

"a fine piece of glass like E16-50"?

Is that a joke? It's built very cheaply, with huge sample variance, and that has been well-documented. There is not one single piece of expensive glass in the assembly. New buyers are taking a risk buying one of these. Caveat Emptor!

You don't know what you're talking about.

E16-50 is indeed kind of masterpiece:

- wide angle 16-50 APS-C zoom with a relatively good IQ through the range

- lightweight, 116g (!)

- OSS

- Power zoom

- excellent flare control even without hood

- nice close focus possibility

- 8-9 - Lens Groups/Elements (HQ glass elements allows high-definition rendering to large APS-C sensor)

...And all this wonderful stuff in this small, highly functional package:

Yes. E16-50 is a fine piece of glass. This kind of lens has never been seen before (for APS-C sensor).

Every lens is a compromise - also E16-50PZ. But it is almost the perfect compromise for small&compact NEX cameras! You need to understand the realities of the optics, before you can judge any lens. It is impossible to make such a small wide angle zoom lens without - for example - barrel distortion. Fortunately, Sony has made it easy for us with in-camera corrections! And if you shoot RAW files, then you can use lens profiles - very easy.

If you want a big and robust lens, then you just need to get one. However, E16-50PZ has  a great practical value in use with NEX. That's great, that it is possible to get it with NEX kit.

Well done, Sony.

Ari

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