Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

Started Oct 12, 2013 | Discussions
dpmaxwell Regular Member • Posts: 467
Pulled the trigger - 1670Z
2

Ok for all of those who have accused me of having an “agenda” or insist that I am demanding “prime lens quality” whatever else regarding this lens… I don’t really care. For anyone else, here comes a probably really boring rant - feel free to simply ignore it and move along to something more interesting.

I actually preordered this lens w/in 5 minutes of it being available for preorder, but cancelled when I started seeing images people were posting prior to it being shipped. The images just weren't that convincing overall - better than the kits, but come on - this is a $1000 lens. I have since had this lens in my “cart” from 2 or 3 different vendors over the past few weeks, but have always pulled back before buying. I have gone ahead and bought it. No turning back. What the heck, you only live once. Except for Hindus, of course.

I am still not convinced of it’s ultimate value, and I have serious concerns about the QC in the manufacturing of this lens. Serious concerns, for a $1000 lens. It is slightly bigger than I would prefer; I think size-wise, it is really pressing the limits of what I think is the “NEX aesthetic” of small, compact and good to great image quality, at least for a normal “walkaround” type of lens. But it isn't ridiculously large and if it has really high IQ it would be a more than acceptable trade-off. Personally I think it should be priced closer to $700 - $800, but I will reserve final judgment on that until such time that I have my copy in hand.

The images I have seen thus far - IMO - great colors, great contrast, no doubt about it. Center sharpness is actually incredible in many of the images I am seeing, so-so in others. Out of focus areas are generally very pleasing. Up in the air (to me) is the edge sharpness and QC. Better than the kits in almost every way, but in some instances, not “slap you in the face” better.

Speaking of the kits - I still think the 1650PZ and the 1855 each are able to approach the 1670Z in many respects. From what I am seeing, in my opinion they have at least 80% of the IQ of the 1670Z. They are - again, IMO - noticeably softer throughout the image though, and of course lack the wider zoom range. Their build quality is nothing to write home about, but they are certainly adequate for a consumer lens. For many many many NEX users, the kits are the clear value choice. They - especially the 1650PZ - fit well in the “compact, good IQ” aesthetic, IMO. They do, however, lag behind the the Fuji XF lenses and I think that is a huge shame because I really like the NEX cameras.

Then there is the wild card that is the 18105G which is coming out in December. Cheaper, larger zoom range, and much larger overall. My prediction is that it will be similar to the kits in IQ, but with a greater range (obviously); it appears to be really geared toward videographers, and the size is really off-putting for the NEX system, IMO. No worse than the 18200s but, those were never my cup of tea either. Even the 55-210, a decent lens and fills a need, is too large for my taste. But the price is right and the focal range is very reasonable. If the 18105G turns out to have significantly superior IQ than the kits, then it may be the preferred option for most people vs. the 1670Z.

A tangential, and hopefully unfounded, concern I have is that this may be the last really decent APS-C lens that we get for awhile for the E mount (along with the as-yet-unknown entity that is the 18105G) because I think that Sony is really focusing on the FF cameras for the time being. I am not sure we are going to see much more to choose from regarding “relatively affordable” native E mount lenses for awhile. That said, if my copy 1670Z turns out to be capable of what I think (hope?) it is, then it will really complete my stable of lenses, along with the 35F18, the 20F28, and the 1018.

Anyway there are some of my random thoughts about this. If you read all that, thanks for listening.

-- hide signature --

*Disclaimer: the above post is just my opinion. No offense was intended. Please don't freak out - I'm just some random dude on the internet.*

 dpmaxwell's gear list:dpmaxwell's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Sony RX100 III Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V Sony RX10 III
rayman 2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,228
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

I havent seen scientific evidence that the QC of some lenses are bad ... in many cases I think it

also could be the lens mount of the camera to be off....

my copy is stellar ! Its one of the better lenses that I have.... !

Its good enough that I stop scratching my head and start using the nex system much more....

Peter

PatrickNSF
PatrickNSF Regular Member • Posts: 406
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

I'll be curious to hear your impressions of the lens, as we seem to share similar views on size/weight issues with some of the other offerings. I've had mine for a couple weeks, but planning to put it to more use this weekend. I'm traveling with just this, the 24mm and my RX100. Should be fun. typically when away for the weekend I'd bring the 16-50 and the 18-200LE, but the LE would generally stay in the suitcase.

 PatrickNSF's gear list:PatrickNSF's gear list
Canon G7 X II Olympus E-M1 Sony a77 II Olympus OM-D E-M10 II
Jesper Frickmann Contributing Member • Posts: 640
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

No doubt it is an excellent lens. And no doubt that it is quite expensive, even considering the high quality.

I think that a lot of people on this forum have to come to terms with the fact that the NEX system is not a bargain priced system. It delivers consumer dSLR quality images and good video in a small attractive package. And you pay a little extra for that. Why did I pay $1200 for my NEX6 with a SEL35F18 lens when I could have bought e.g. a Rebel T3i with kit zoom for about $500? Because I liked the NEX much better and I believe IQ is much better!

Congrats with your new lens. Go shoot some fantastic pictures!

 Jesper Frickmann's gear list:Jesper Frickmann's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS
120 to 35 Senior Member • Posts: 1,271
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

I do not own this lens but might eventually get it based on the full resolution samples I have seen. I agree the lens size is the upper limit of what you can carry on the camera. I also believe the focal length range imposes design constraints and results in compromises that simply cannot be overcome by lens designers for the given size and weight. This is probably the best lens that can be made in this focal range for the size.

Regarding the price, you can use some examples outside the NEX range. Compare the sizes and prices of 85mm prime lens at f1.8, f1.4. Nikon models sell for $500 and $1200-1600 respectively with almost equivalent IQ and only 2/3 f stop difference.

I would have liked a focus ring with a scale and a hard stop like some Fuji lenses. But this is lacking in all current E mount lenses.

Clayton1985 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,296
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

120 to 35 wrote:

I do not own this lens but might eventually get it based on the full resolution samples I have seen. I agree the lens size is the upper limit of what you can carry on the camera.

For me personally, I agree that the size is at the upper limit for what I want but I would be more concerned if the lens was any smaller. It is basically the same as the Fuji 18-55, the Sony 24, etc. I'm not aware of any other lens for m4/3s or better with this kind of IQ, range, constant aperture and build quality that can get close to the 16-70's size.

I also believe the focal length range imposes design constraints and results in compromises that simply cannot be overcome by lens designers for the given size and weight. This is probably the best lens that can be made in this focal range for the size.

Absolutely. It is certainly reasonable to decide that this lens is bigger than you want to carry around but I can't imagine any assessment of the lens size for what you get being anything but positive.

Regarding the price, you can use some examples outside the NEX range. Compare the sizes and prices of 85mm prime lens at f1.8, f1.4. Nikon models sell for $500 and $1200-1600 respectively with almost equivalent IQ and only 2/3 f stop difference.

Agree and ultimately the only way to answer the price/value question is to look back in 6 months or a year and see how the lens sells and how it is rated.  A very good lens IQ wise will still take a hit in ratings if the price is out of line.  I'll be very surprised if it isn't a huge success for Sony in both sales and customer ratings.

GeRoche Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z
1

Clayton1985 wrote:

Agree and ultimately the only way to answer the price/value question is to look back in 6 months or a year and see how the lens sells and how it is rated. A very good lens IQ wise will still take a hit in ratings if the price is out of line. I'll be very surprised if it isn't a huge success for Sony in both sales and customer ratings.

And I will be very surprised if it is a huge success. It's too expensive and too soft in the corners plus it has QC decentering issues ( and you don't need 'scientific reports' to prove it ) which is unforgivable at this price.

Euell Veteran Member • Posts: 3,007
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

GeRoche wrote:

Clayton1985 wrote:

Agree and ultimately the only way to answer the price/value question is to look back in 6 months or a year and see how the lens sells and how it is rated. A very good lens IQ wise will still take a hit in ratings if the price is out of line. I'll be very surprised if it isn't a huge success for Sony in both sales and customer ratings.

And I will be very surprised if it is a huge success. It's too expensive and too soft in the corners plus it has QC decentering issues ( and you don't need 'scientific reports' to prove it ) which is unforgivable at this price.

Lack of choice in the Nex system has already propelled sales of the 16-70. Simply put, the available alternatives are crap. I own them both unfortunately.

 Euell's gear list:Euell's gear list
Sony RX100 Canon EOS 7D Sony a6000 Sony a6500 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +13 more
Clayton1985 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,296
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

GeRoche wrote:

Clayton1985 wrote:

Agree and ultimately the only way to answer the price/value question is to look back in 6 months or a year and see how the lens sells and how it is rated. A very good lens IQ wise will still take a hit in ratings if the price is out of line. I'll be very surprised if it isn't a huge success for Sony in both sales and customer ratings.

And I will be very surprised if it is a huge success. It's too expensive and too soft in the corners plus it has QC decentering issues ( and you don't need 'scientific reports' to prove it ) which is unforgivable at this price.

"Too soft in the corners" compared to what other lens or lenses and what information are you using to make this comment?

As far as the success of course we all have opinions and no one knows yet....  but we will find out soon enough.

OP dpmaxwell Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

Euell wrote:

Lack of choice in the Nex system has already propelled sales of the 16-70. Simply put, the available alternatives are crap. I own them both unfortunately.

I personally wouldn't call them "crap", but they do lag behind their competitors somewhat.  The 1650PZ is IMO an underappreciated engineering feat; albeit not top-shelf image quality, it really gives decent results for its size.

 dpmaxwell's gear list:dpmaxwell's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Sony RX100 III Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V Sony RX10 III
Euell Veteran Member • Posts: 3,007
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

dpmaxwell wrote:

Euell wrote:

Lack of choice in the Nex system has already propelled sales of the 16-70. Simply put, the available alternatives are crap. I own them both unfortunately.

I personally wouldn't call them "crap", but they do lag behind their competitors somewhat. The 1650PZ is IMO an underappreciated engineering feat; albeit not top-shelf image quality, it really gives decent results for its size.

You are absolutely correct. However, the lenses, and particularly the zoom lenses, have been the weak link in the NEX chain.  The NEX system itself has great possibilities, but a camera system is only as good as its glass. Other than the 16-70, the NEX zoom glass has been aimed at the lower end of the interchangeable lens market.

 Euell's gear list:Euell's gear list
Sony RX100 Canon EOS 7D Sony a6000 Sony a6500 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +13 more
Euell Veteran Member • Posts: 3,007
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z
1

Jesper Frickmann wrote:

No doubt it is an excellent lens. And no doubt that it is quite expensive, even considering the high quality.

I think that a lot of people on this forum have to come to terms with the fact that the NEX system is not a bargain priced system. It delivers consumer dSLR quality images and good video in a small attractive package. And you pay a little extra for that. Why did I pay $1200 for my NEX6 with a SEL35F18 lens when I could have bought e.g. a Rebel T3i with kit zoom for about $500? Because I liked the NEX much better and I believe IQ is much better!

Congrats with your new lens. Go shoot some fantastic pictures!

The complaints about price seem to me to be unwarranted.  The fixed focal length 24mm 1.8 is priced higher than the 16-70, which is a considerably more complex design than the 24mm.  The 10-18mm f4 zoom is priced nearly as high as the 16-70, and it also is a less complex design consisting of 10 lens elements in 8 groups.  The fixed focus 32mm Zeiss Touit is priced nearly as high and its design incorporates no OSS. Where's the beef, folks?

 Euell's gear list:Euell's gear list
Sony RX100 Canon EOS 7D Sony a6000 Sony a6500 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +13 more
alterstill
alterstill Regular Member • Posts: 331
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

Euell wrote:

Jesper Frickmann wrote:

No doubt it is an excellent lens. And no doubt that it is quite expensive, even considering the high quality.

I think that a lot of people on this forum have to come to terms with the fact that the NEX system is not a bargain priced system. It delivers consumer dSLR quality images and good video in a small attractive package. And you pay a little extra for that. Why did I pay $1200 for my NEX6 with a SEL35F18 lens when I could have bought e.g. a Rebel T3i with kit zoom for about $500? Because I liked the NEX much better and I believe IQ is much better!

Congrats with your new lens. Go shoot some fantastic pictures!

The complaints about price seem to me to be unwarranted. The fixed focal length 24mm 1.8 is priced higher than the 16-70, which is a considerably more complex design than the 24mm. The 10-18mm f4 zoom is priced nearly as high as the 16-70, and it also is a less complex design consisting of 10 lens elements in 8 groups. The fixed focus 32mm Zeiss Touit is priced nearly as high and its design incorporates no OSS. Where's the beef, folks?

In this business cost of design and manufacturing is only small part of the puzzle i.e look at $10k Leica lens (I know it is an extreme example).

 alterstill's gear list:alterstill's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm XF1 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +16 more
Euell Veteran Member • Posts: 3,007
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

alterstill wrote:

Euell wrote:

Jesper Frickmann wrote:

No doubt it is an excellent lens. And no doubt that it is quite expensive, even considering the high quality.

I think that a lot of people on this forum have to come to terms with the fact that the NEX system is not a bargain priced system. It delivers consumer dSLR quality images and good video in a small attractive package. And you pay a little extra for that. Why did I pay $1200 for my NEX6 with a SEL35F18 lens when I could have bought e.g. a Rebel T3i with kit zoom for about $500? Because I liked the NEX much better and I believe IQ is much better!

Congrats with your new lens. Go shoot some fantastic pictures!

The complaints about price seem to me to be unwarranted. The fixed focal length 24mm 1.8 is priced higher than the 16-70, which is a considerably more complex design than the 24mm. The 10-18mm f4 zoom is priced nearly as high as the 16-70, and it also is a less complex design consisting of 10 lens elements in 8 groups. The fixed focus 32mm Zeiss Touit is priced nearly as high and its design incorporates no OSS. Where's the beef, folks?

In this business cost of design and manufacturing is only small part of the puzzle i.e look at $10k Leica lens (I know it is an extreme example).

If one compares the comparable Canon zooms, the prices are very close. So, if market forces, rather than costs, determine, then that would explain the price. I am sure, however, that complexity of design as well as quality of materials affect price. Leica is irrelevant, as it basically has no competition, in terms of snob appeal anyway and their lenses are of the highest quality, which requires a great deal more labor in manufacture.

 Euell's gear list:Euell's gear list
Sony RX100 Canon EOS 7D Sony a6000 Sony a6500 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +13 more
GeRoche Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z
1

Clayton1985 wrote:

GeRoche wrote:

Clayton1985 wrote:

Agree and ultimately the only way to answer the price/value question is to look back in 6 months or a year and see how the lens sells and how it is rated. A very good lens IQ wise will still take a hit in ratings if the price is out of line. I'll be very surprised if it isn't a huge success for Sony in both sales and customer ratings.

And I will be very surprised if it is a huge success. It's too expensive and too soft in the corners plus it has QC decentering issues ( and you don't need 'scientific reports' to prove it ) which is unforgivable at this price.

"Too soft in the corners" compared to what other lens or lenses and what information are you using to make this comment?

As far as the success of course we all have opinions and no one knows yet.... but we will find out soon enough.

Compared to both kit zooms for a start, I would expect much better results from a $1000 lens. I've looked at all the available samples on Flickr ( as well as several review sites and posts on this forum with samples ) and there is nothing that I've seen that would make me spend $1000 on this lens. The 20mm extra reach would be very useful to me and I had high hopes for this lens but it is not significantly different from either kit in terms of the output quality.

alterstill
alterstill Regular Member • Posts: 331
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

Euell wrote:

alterstill wrote:

Euell wrote:

Jesper Frickmann wrote:

No doubt it is an excellent lens. And no doubt that it is quite expensive, even considering the high quality.

I think that a lot of people on this forum have to come to terms with the fact that the NEX system is not a bargain priced system. It delivers consumer dSLR quality images and good video in a small attractive package. And you pay a little extra for that. Why did I pay $1200 for my NEX6 with a SEL35F18 lens when I could have bought e.g. a Rebel T3i with kit zoom for about $500? Because I liked the NEX much better and I believe IQ is much better!

Congrats with your new lens. Go shoot some fantastic pictures!

The complaints about price seem to me to be unwarranted. The fixed focal length 24mm 1.8 is priced higher than the 16-70, which is a considerably more complex design than the 24mm. The 10-18mm f4 zoom is priced nearly as high as the 16-70, and it also is a less complex design consisting of 10 lens elements in 8 groups. The fixed focus 32mm Zeiss Touit is priced nearly as high and its design incorporates no OSS. Where's the beef, folks?

In this business cost of design and manufacturing is only small part of the puzzle i.e look at $10k Leica lens (I know it is an extreme example).

If one compares the comparable Canon zooms, the prices are very close. So, if market forces, rather than costs, determine, then that would explain the price. I am sure, however, that complexity of design as well as quality of materials affect price. Leica is irrelevant, as it basically has no competition, in terms of snob appeal anyway and their lenses are of the highest quality, which requires a great deal more labor in manufacture.

In general word "competition" is the key. I know Leica example was over the top.

Perhaps Sony RX100 is a better one. Once it turned out to be a successful project, Sony kept the price high and never really dropped it (at least in the UK), they also swiftly came up with new improved version. Around the same time Fuji came up with their little XF1. Original price was not far off RX100. It only took few reviews to deem the lens fiddly and sensor raw performance poor and camera is being sold for less than half of its original price, mostly as refurbished. I had both cameras in my hands and in real world there is very little to chose from between the two (although raw files quality from Fuji turned out to be true and is a dealbreaker for me). When itcomes to handling I actually prefer the Fuji.

 alterstill's gear list:alterstill's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm XF1 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +16 more
PVCdroid
PVCdroid Senior Member • Posts: 4,353
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

dpmaxwell wrote:

The images I have seen thus far - IMO - great colors, great contrast, no doubt about it. Center sharpness is actually incredible in many of the images I am seeing, so-so in others. Out of focus areas are generally very pleasing. Up in the air (to me) is the edge sharpness and QC. Better than the kits in almost every way, but in some instances, not “slap you in the face” better.

When you get it I think you will be very pleasantly surprised. I didn't want to pay this much for it either but there is some magic to it to the point I'm keeping a lot more shots. The sharpness blends very well through the image to the point you won't have any corner concerns. I'm using it on my NEX-7. I mostly shoot with aperture wide open throughout the zoom range. Some preliminary reviews have suggested 5.6 -8 to get the most out of it but it is good at all settings. I'll be curious what you think of it. Where did you order from and what is the expected ship date if you don't mind me asking.

 PVCdroid's gear list:PVCdroid's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha a7R II
rogatsby
rogatsby Regular Member • Posts: 471
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

I've looked at quite a few images from the 1670PZ online, and they look fine. But would I pay $1000 for this lens? Probably not. That is because I can't find a really better solution than my current lens setup for my 5N, which is basically the Sigma 19, SEL35, SEL50, and very occasionally the 55-210.

I also have the 16-50pz, and I am not really seeing that much of an improvement with the 1670. The 1650PZ gets a lot of criticism, but used correctly, it seems to be a fine lens, and it has the advantage of being ultra small and light.

Personally, I am sticking more and more to prime lenses. the SEL35 and SEL50 have been superb for me. I use these lenses 90% of the time now, and when I need a wider lens for landscapes, I just use the Sigma 19, which costs basically 20% of what the 1670 costs, and is much sharper in my opinion.

I have been waiting for a nice all-around zoom lens like many people, but I have now learned to shoot mostly with prime lenses, and I love it.

 rogatsby's gear list:rogatsby's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony a6000 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN +3 more
Clayton1985 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,296
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

GeRoche wrote:

Clayton1985 wrote:

GeRoche wrote:

Clayton1985 wrote:

Agree and ultimately the only way to answer the price/value question is to look back in 6 months or a year and see how the lens sells and how it is rated. A very good lens IQ wise will still take a hit in ratings if the price is out of line. I'll be very surprised if it isn't a huge success for Sony in both sales and customer ratings.

And I will be very surprised if it is a huge success. It's too expensive and too soft in the corners plus it has QC decentering issues ( and you don't need 'scientific reports' to prove it ) which is unforgivable at this price.

"Too soft in the corners" compared to what other lens or lenses and what information are you using to make this comment?

As far as the success of course we all have opinions and no one knows yet.... but we will find out soon enough.

Compared to both kit zooms for a start, I would expect much better results from a $1000 lens. I've looked at all the available samples on Flickr ( as well as several review sites and posts on this forum with samples ) and there is nothing that I've seen that would make me spend $1000 on this lens. The 20mm extra reach would be very useful to me and I had high hopes for this lens but it is not significantly different from either kit in terms of the output quality.

The lens is clearly and significantly better than the kit lenses and not just in IQ - build quality, constant f4, range, and probably AF.  I'm not questioning your decision as to whether the lens is worth the price to you but rather how you set the expectations that led to your disappointment.  You say you expect much better results from a $1000 lens but did you expect much better results from a 16-70 f4 $1000 lens because that is the question that should be asked.

It seems to me that people are making up their own standards for this type of lens instead of using a baseline for comparison with similar lenses that cover this range.  Another reply in this thread has someone saying that in their opinion the 19mm Sigma is sharper.... no kidding.   It's ok to decide not to spend $1000 because you don't find enough value in the lens based on your needs....  but that is totally different than saying the lens isn't worth $1000 or that you would expect much better results.   Can you or anyone name a constant f4 lens for APS-C or full frame that covers this range and that provides the much better results that you are expecting?

OP dpmaxwell Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Pulled the trigger - 1670Z

PVCdroid wrote:

When you get it I think you will be very pleasantly surprised. I didn't want to pay this much for it either but there is some magic to it to the point I'm keeping a lot more shots. The sharpness blends very well through the image to the point you won't have any corner concerns. I'm using it on my NEX-7. I mostly shoot with aperture wide open throughout the zoom range. Some preliminary reviews have suggested 5.6 -8 to get the most out of it but it is good at all settings. I'll be curious what you think of it. Where did you order from and what is the expected ship date if you don't mind me asking.

Well I will definitely update this thread with my impressions once I have it can play around with it for awhile.

Ordered from Amazon, the estimated ship date is sometime early to mid November.  Hopefully I will have it for my Thanksgiving travels.

 dpmaxwell's gear list:dpmaxwell's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Sony RX100 III Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V Sony RX10 III
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads