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Sony VCLECU1 opinions? Image samples?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by JJJPhoto, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 8, 2011
    Does anyone here use the Sony VCLECU1 wide angle converter for the 16mm lens?

    I'm not overwhelmingly impressed by the 16mm lens, but I'm curious if the wide angle converter totally ruins the image quality of the 16mm lens or if it's actually a decent way to get extreme wide angle images with the NEX.


    Does anyone have some sample images?
  2. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
  3. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 8, 2011
    Thanks for providing that link. I still don't know how I want to proceed with the VCL-ECU1. On one hand I'd like the option of shooting wider angle than 16mm (24mm equivalent), but on the other hand my 9-18mm zoom for my m4/3 cameras is pretty good and gives me a 18-36mm equivalent range for wide angle.

    I guess I'm just trying to figure out my options if I decide to go 100 percent with the NEX system after my NEX-7 arrives.
  4. neodraig

    neodraig TalkEmount Rookie

    Sep 6, 2011
    I don't have the VCL-ECU1 but I'm thinking of buying one.
    At first I was leaning towards the Voigtlander Heliar 12mm but it has corner shifting issues on the NEX and I don't want to spend my time fixing the pictures.
    On the other hand I've already got the SEL16 and the VCL-ECU1 is quite cheap (compared to a proper wide angle lens) and the result are not so bad, I've even read that it would improve the picture quality of the 16mm, here is review I found quite interesting: Amazon.com: TRA "TRA"'s review of Sony VCLECU1 High Definition Wide Angle Co...

    So I think I'll buy the ultrawide converter for my 16mm lens though it would have been great to have a lens such as the 9-18mm on the NEX system.
  5. jimbo_wa

    jimbo_wa New to TalkEmount

    Sep 5, 2011
    Love mine and would be without it

    (straight from the camera and converted to B&W (no processing/sharpening)

    NEX-5    ---    16mm    f/13.0    1/320s    ISO 200
  6. jimbo_wa

    jimbo_wa New to TalkEmount

    Sep 5, 2011
    This may be better to show sharpness (again no processing apart from convert to greyscale):

    NEX-5    ---    16mm    f/11.0    1/320s    ISO 200
  7. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 8, 2011

    Well, after seeing those B&W conversions I am sold on this adapter I bought it ... and a second 16mm lens so I can leave the hood on my current 16mm lens (which helps with lens flare on that lens).
  8. jimbo_wa

    jimbo_wa New to TalkEmount

    Sep 5, 2011
    Enjoy - just glad mine was a present! :D 
  9. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 8, 2011
    Sure ... rub it in that you got yours for free. ;) 

    On a serious note, I have to give Sony some credit for a reasonably priced ultra wide angle lens (if you consider the VCLECU1 and 16mm together as a single lens). The converter is around $90 and the 16mm lens sells for as little as $175 new if you go on ebay. I'll have an 18mm equivalent lens with a f/2.8 aperture for $265.

    I can't think of another 18mm equivalent f/2.8 prime lens with AF that is available for such a low price.

    The closest competition is the Olympus 9-18 mm f/4.0-5.6 lens for the 4/3 mount which give you an 18-38mm equivalent zoom ... but that costs at LEAST $520. The m4/3 model of that lens costs at least $600. Even then, we're talking about f/4 vs f/2.8!
  10. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 8, 2011
    Okay, I've had a few days to mess around with the VCL-ECU1. I took these shots last Friday with my 16mm pancake and the VCL-ECU1 wide angle adapter (making the 24mm equivalent lens into an 18mm equivalent lens). I shot in JPEG with my NEX-3 and didn't alter the sharpness, color or contrast in Photoshop.

    First thing I'll say is that when you shoot wide open (or near wide open) this combination produces images with visibly mushy corners. You can also argue that these images have unattractive distortion (hard to avoid in an 18mm equivalent lens that costs less than $300 ... $180 for the 16mm lens and $90 for the VCL-ECU1) and there is some ugly color fringing, but show me another 18mm equivalent ultra wide angle lens with an f/2.8 aperture and AF that you can buy new for $300.

    If you stop down the lens to f/5.6 or more then the image quality is better. In fact, I would say at f/4-5.6 the image quality is arguably similar to my Olympus 9-18mm F/4.0-5.6 when wide open. Here are a few samples:

    NEX-3    ---    16mm    f/4.5    1/60s    ISO 200

    NEX-3    ---    16mm    f/5.0    1/80s    ISO 200

    NEX-3    ---    16mm    f/2.8    1/30s    ISO 320

    NEX-3    ---    16mm    f/3.2    1/30s    ISO 200
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