1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

1855 vs the 1650

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by alaios, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Hi there,
    in case I buy the a6000 it might come with the 1650. I was wondering though which of the two lenses (since I already have the 1855) performs better. I am gonna sell one of the two anyway.
    What is your take?

    Regards
    Alex
     
  2. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    I posted this awhile back.

    https://www.talkemount.com/showthread.php?t=6566

    It is just scraping data from reviews backed by measurable data. Anything else you find will be subjective, which is usually how we all choose lenses anyway.

    The strength of one lens may work for you vs the strengths of the other. In other words people who take landscape shots may care more about the sharp edges than those that take portraits or street. People who shoot JPG may care more about OOC color rendering vs raw + PP shooters.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    They tend to be fairly comperable.

    The real appeal of the 16-50mm is the size.
     
  4. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    I have both kit lenses. I picked up a black 18-55 later for comparison. In everyday shooting, I didn't see a noticeable difference between the two to say one is technically better than the other. Both produced great photos under varying conditions and type of photography. The nice thing about the 1650 is the small size, and the 16mm wide. That little bit more can yield some nice landscape shots. More dramatic skies than the 1855. I took it along for a 2300 mile bike tour, where weight and size mattered. It is powered, so battery life will be less than shooting with the 1855. The portraits from the 1855 look a little more contrasty to my eyes.
    But if forced to give up one, then I keep the 1650, because it's like a Swiss-Army knife. Take it with me, and can get the job done.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. OldNoob

    OldNoob TalkEmount Veteran

    223
    Oct 30, 2014
    yep , the plus to the sel1650 is its stowaway size. Also ive noticed surprisingly that it's autofocus tracks moving objects very well, even faster than my sel50f18
     
  6. shnitz

    shnitz TalkEmount Regular

    26
    Jun 15, 2014
    I have a NEX-6, as well as a friend of mine who has a NEX-6 with the 16-50mm. The size is an appeal, but when I wanted a midrange zoom so that my fiance will pick up my camera instead of putting up with my 32mm, I found a Craigslist seller practically giving his 18-55mm away, which seemed a better prospect than the more enticing-sounding 18-105mm OSS or the Zeiss 16-70mm (one way too large for my usage, and the other too expensive for my kit since I already have 12mm, 20mm, 32mm, and 60mm covered by primes). I really like the 18-55mm as a "throwaway" lens. I think it works better than the 16-50mm does when we've compared the 16-50mm against it, but that size penalty is a bitch. Still, given that the camera is not pocketable in pants with either, I'd stay with the 18-55mm.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I had two 18-55 but only played in store with 16-50.

    I'd say that as far as IQ goes, a well functioning copy of 18-55 is great for a kit lens. The copy I had focusing problems with was manufactured in the early 2012 and it seems that in the later production (and all of the black lenses which are newer) the problems went away. The 2nd (black, 2013 manufactured) copy of 18-55 I have is very good.

    The pros of 18-55 are center sharpness (which I find outstanding, in good light where high ISO doesn't kill it), decent colors, and well functioning zoom. It is surprisingly sharp wide open in the medium range, and very sharp at any FL when stopped down to f8 or so. Corner sharpness is OK but hardly outstanding, gets better with higher f-values. The cons are size (not pocketable, but definitely not huge), some tendency to flare, some PF, un-interesting bokeh.

    And here's why I am hesitant to pick 16-50 - I was thinking about this for a while, as both the small size and the wider wide end seem appealing.

    1) No hood. As I said, 18-55 can flare with sun directly in frame. I think the hood helps. I can only imagine 16-50 being much more prone to flaring.

    2) Tiny zoom ring. 18-55 has about as "real" of a zoom feel as any other E-mount. 16-50 felt awkward in this respect.

    3) I don't consider 18-55 to be super sharp in the corners, 16-50 is supposedly worse.

    4) I got an impression, after reading many reviews, that 16-50 has even more of sample quality variation issues than 18-55 - either that or people just love complaining.

    Around here, 18-55 can be found on CL for a song. I think I paid $70. 16-50 sells for about 2x as much. If I find one locally for less than $100, I may get it just to see how it works out, as a little companion to 18-105
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. OldNoob

    OldNoob TalkEmount Veteran

    223
    Oct 30, 2014
  9. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    I find these comparisons worthless to anyone who doesn't want to just point and shoot. (OldNoob, I have seen your work and it's impressive. I know you don't just point-and-shoot so the following is a rant not directed to you)

    I have both the 1670 and the 1650 they are not the same. Anything can look sharp to the eye. Even a phone camera and their $10 lenses can look sharp in daylight. I like computer measurables under conducted in a controlled environment if sharpness is discussed. Am I the only one acknowledges the atmosphere outside is constantly changing and impacting images taken outside; even seconds apart. Don't believe me, just shoot 10 shots outside using the same equipment and see how each image looks a little different when pixel peeping. More importantly, lenses are not all about sharpness. Especially since that is easy to achieve using today's tech coupled with high res sensors. That's why the $200 Sigmas are literally among the sharpest e-mount lenses at any cost. That said, the Sigmas lack character, speed and stabilization. I had them and liked them, but the lenses where not doing anything special beyond recording accurately. Conversely, their Sony counterparts may not be as sharp, but most will say the Sonys are the better choice if money isn't in play.

    Back to these let me go outside and shoot something at equal aperture and focal length test. Buying a constant aperture zoom lens and then stopping it down to match a variable zoom is pointless. Stopping down a fast prime to match a slow prime is pointless. Excluding a lenses ability to make optical corrections is pointless. Excluding build quality, lens physical size, features (PZ, pancake, manual zoom, focus ring, etc), zoom multiplier/range, color rendering, and bokeh rendering, micro contrast, etc...

    Everyone of the aforementioned qualities mean something to someone and each cost the manufacturer something when designing. That cost can be in monetary value, optical, physical, or features. It is a compromise. Each person has to decide which compromise is good for them.

    I just hate when one aspect of a lens is used to make a point. Just ranting on a pet peeve.
     
  10. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    There are measurable qualities like charts, there is pixel peeping, and then there's that "how does it look on my monitor or iPad screen". Unless you print storefront sized posters, whatever looks great on your monitor will look great on a poster sized photo when viewed from 3-5 feet away. It took me a while to stop measurebating and figure out that "good enough" is usually more than good enough. I don't print often.

    I like 18105, especially when used for portraits on the longer end. I like 30/2.8. However, I would without hesitation just grab 1855 as long as I don't think I need anything longer and the lighting is going to be OK. About the only lens it's not able to replace within it's focal range is 50/1.8 and only because of bokeh.

    If 1650 is as good as 1855, it's probably good enough for most users.
     
  11. OldNoob

    OldNoob TalkEmount Veteran

    223
    Oct 30, 2014
    Iv'e been known to pixel peep wallpaper ;)

    One of the things tat bug me about the 1650 , and this is not image related, but , it's the tinny tiny lens cap and it's being so very close to the lens. That glass is just out there waiting for abuse
     
  12. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    They may have medicine for that ;)

    I doubt that it's that easy to destroy the glass to the point it shows in photos.

    My only reason for not buying 1650 is that I haven't found one at an attractive price yet, and with it not being my primary lens I don't want to spend $150 and find out it's that bad. Although most likely it isn't. Once I find one for $120 or so from a trusty source I'd try it. I came to value convenience over IQ as long as convenience provides decent IQ.

    I went to vacation earlier this year with just 1855 as kind of a test and it worked out fine.
     
  13. Kirkp

    Kirkp TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 2, 2014
    I haven't tried the 1855, but I'm very pleased with the 1650. It's a great compromise between size, IQ, speed, and features (AF and OSS). It's my grab & go lens. I'll only take it off if I need a lower f/ number or a longer focal length. I have several legacy lenses and an SEL55210 for those situations.
     
  14. southy

    southy TalkEmount Veteran

    370
    Feb 5, 2014
    Australia
    I have both these lens and I prefer the 18-55, not that the 16-50 is a bad lens. When comparing my versions of theses lenses the 18-55 just edges out the 16-50 for IQ, but you will need to pixel peep to see it. The two things that annoy me about the 16-50 is I don't particularly like the power zoom, no hood and the amount of distortion. I know the distortion can be fix in camera or PP but I can see the stretching of the edges caused by the corrections. I only keep the 16-50 because with my nex5R it makes a very compact setup. I use the 18-55 with the nex6 and find it a nice balanced setup. The 18-55 version I have is the black version that came off an A3000.

    If I only had one camera and already owned the 18-55, unless I really needed the extra width I probably wouldn't buy the 16-50.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. southy

    southy TalkEmount Veteran

    370
    Feb 5, 2014
    Australia
    Another thing I noted between the two is the 18-55 stays slightly faster through the zoom range. When zooming in wide open the 16-50 stops down the aperture much sooner hitting f5.6 at around 36mm where the 18-55 doesn't hit f5.6 till around 52 or 53mm. Again not a huge difference but should be noted.
     
  16. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    1855 is far better than most people give it credit for (including myself, initially).

    I think there are two main reasons:

    1) The early silver versions have had some duds. Mine wouldn't focus reliably at all. It gave the lens' reputation a massive black eye early on.

    2) It is not a low light lens and for many people ISO noise and lack of sharpness look the same.

    But it is a very versatile lens for E-mount.
     
  17. OldNoob

    OldNoob TalkEmount Veteran

    223
    Oct 30, 2014
    I understand that there are two releases of the 18-55. Is that correct? i recall reading somewhere that the latter release was supposedly better.
     
  18. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    AFAIK there was no specific "releases" with distinct marking, but the black Thailand made versions appeared later than the initial silver ones, and the internet "wisdom" (or folly) is that by the time the black ones appeared on the market, Sony's Thai manufacturing facilities got their QC act together. Which was interpreted by some as "the black lenses are better than silver ones". I would think that any lens made after 2012 should be safe, regardless of color.

    When comparing my original silver 1855 made in early 2012 to the black one made in 2013, when they both focused properly, the IQ was indistinguishable. But the silver copy would sometimes not focus accurately, even when using MF the results would be soft, yet every now and then it would produce a very sharp photo under same exposure conditions. So the optics were fine, it was the focusing mechanism (and obviously there's no real manual focus in these lenses, it's still by-wire so MF proves nothing).

    There was also a Japan made 1855 which I believe was sold with Nex-7, however these are rare. Same design, supposedly better calibrated. But I wouldn't hesitate buying any 1855, black or silver, made in the last year and a half.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. stephen431

    stephen431 TalkEmount Regular

    112
    May 2, 2014
    They're about the same IQ wise. I have both and kept both.

    The 1855 is more comfortable to shoot with on the a6000. It's easier to quickly nail focal length, and manual focus is easier. However, it absolutely needs a lens hood outdoors, it usually has more CA to adjust and it sucks up dust into the body like a vacuum cleaner.

    The 1655 is easier in other respects. It's very small & light. It doesn't have a lens hood, but it seems to control lens flare very well. The autofocus seems to be a bit quicker, but i have no proof if it is or not, just a feel. The small size and weight is really the reason whenever I choose it over the 1855.

    I tend to prefer the shots I get from the 1855. It's subjective and it's minor. I don't know why.
     
  20. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    If you are using it with the a6000 or other PDAF then it was tuned to be fast with those bodies. All the tests and marketing for "FAST HYBRID" AF is using the 1650. The 18-55 predates PDAF. It has firmware update, but I doubt that an update will make it as good as a lens designed to work with the system.