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Talk me out of 16-50.. or don't

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Amamba, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    So, I'm preparing for the upcoming trip to Prague and I've been all over the map with my lens choices.

    Lately, I feel less and less inclined to carry a large camera setup. I don't mind having extra lenses in a small bag if needed, but I really, really don't want to carry anything large hanging on my neck for several hours at a time.

    Also, I just took my kids to a technology museum last weekend, and in many situation the 18-105 was just too tight (it's FOV makes it more like 19-110). On more than a couple occasions I wished I'd have my 16mm with me.

    Anyway, I was thinking of buying a 20mm (15mm with UWA adapter that I already have) but it seems kind of pricey... Sigma 19 is great but wrong FL for me... 1855 is good but not wide enough... and so I keep coming back to thinking about 1650.

    From all the reviews that I read, 1650 seems to be as sharp or sharper than 1855 in the center, and slightly less sharp in the corners. My black 1855 is very sharp in the center, and my old silver one was equally sharp when it focused... which didn't happen all the time.

    The FL range is great, the size is great. The prices lately are low - there's a brand new silver one on Amazon for just over $100.

    So, how bad is this lens wide open at 16mm ? Or stopped down to f4-5.6 ? Is there going to be a noticeable difference vs 16/2.8 ? What about 20mm vs 20/2.8 ? Should I try it or will I be disappointed ?
     
  2. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    Ha! Same boat. Need something wide. 16-50, 10-18, Rokinon 12, Touit 12. Not sure which!

    But if you want the more general lens (over just UWA), I've seen a lot of good things out of the 16-50, as long as you are not planning on doing large poster printing.
     
  3. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    My best large poster photo was taken with a crappy lens.

    I am not going to pixel peep on it.

    I just don't want a completely crappy lens.
     
  4. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    It's not even in the same time zone with completely crappy. When I had my NEX-6 it was my most used lens by far, and many of my favorite photos were taken with it. For travel, it's about as close to a no-brainer as you can get.

    Yes, if you're going to go hunting with a loupe for a trace of smearing in the corners at 16mm, then it's not the lens for you. But I suspect that much of the outrage it engendered when it hit the market was because it was one of the first lenses to require digital correction. These days it's just one of many.
     
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  5. Nightdiver13

    Nightdiver13 TalkEmount Rookie

    19
    Dec 17, 2015
    Norcal wilderness
    Neil
    Agreed! I love this little lens. It's not the most stellar performer, and if you're the type to compare it to a $2000 24-70 on DXO, then you'll doubtless be disappointed with it. But if you're okay with some distortion, some less than great corners, and annoying electronic zoom (personal peeve), then it's really hard to beat as a take-anywhere zoom. Some of my favorite photos were taken with this lens, and I'm sure that it's because the size allowed me to have my camera with me at the time.

    If you're going out to take photos with a discerning eye, get a different lens. But if you're after a lens that you forget is even on the camera, then this one is great. Btw, I also have the 20, which is perfect as a near-pocketable solution, but for traveling would prefer to use the zoom.

    Another option that I think makes a wonderful travel lens is the 10-18 paired with something like a standard prime (30,35,etc).
     
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  6. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    First let me say you can get good pictures from just about any lens. So if this lens has a focal length others do not, or its size will entice you you use the camera more, then you have a reason to get it. Price, size and convenience are the only reasons I keep it around. I have had 3 copies and they were pretty much the same. I got one with my 5T, got another with my a6000. I got rid of that one to help purchase my A7 and bought it again for size and convenience when out with the family and I want something pocketable. That said, it is not a good lens optically.

    Obviously, it is just my opinion, but I am positive you will not find any site that measures optical quality tell you otherwise. Now, I am not a pixel peeper, I don't take pictures of brick walls, grass, or anything else to see if a lens is good. I just look at the pictures I would normally take and form an opinion. In this case, I don't think the lens is any good by modern standards. You mention the 16/2.8. That is not good either; worse Sony lens ever. That said, they are both inexpensive, tiny and offer a wide angle perspective. Buy them for any of those reasons and live with their shortcomings.

    My suggestion is figure out what your goals are for buying this lens. If it is for price, size, and convenience, then go for it. Any image you get from it could've been better with other lenses, but that doesn't mean it will be a bad image.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Well, I am arranging a trade for one of my manual focus lenses that I don't use that much.

    If that lens is at least the same quality as 16, it's OK for what I want to use it for.

    I'd just go with 1855 but I need that extra couple mm and portability.
     
  8. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    I am with David here. I always had this lens with me for travels. Perhaps not the sharpest tool in my camera bag, but extremely compact, useful FL range, and unobtrusive (and inexpensive) --my copy is better stopped down to f/6.3-8. Compared to the 18-55, I would trade for the extra 2mm on the wide over the extra 5mm on the long end every day of the week. Speaking of corrections --sometimes I have left the corrections off (and done manual corrections), for a couple extra mm of coverage if I needed a really wide angle shot. :ninja: :rolleyes: You should have seen the public outrage over all that corner smearing an vignetting. :whistling:
     
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  9. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    For its size, it offers a lot.

    Is it the best lens, no. But as long as you understand its limitations, you should be fine.



    Sent from my SM-N920P using TalkEmount mobile app
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    It's the best lens for the job. Hard to think of a more convenient and flexible combo. I had to pack real light and tight, only had the kit and SEL55210. For almost 3 months, the two covered all my needs. It ain't Zeiss of course.
    But like that old song, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    I personally think the biggest issue with the 16-50 is how it feels. Not a pleasant lens to use.

    Particularly if you are used to manual focus, manual zoom lenses. The powerzoom feels cheap, slow and nasty.
     
  12. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    649
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Cheap Yes but slow? Maybe for some but i find it fast enough for most. Its just a pain when the camera is set to DMF :( :D i use the zoom/focus ring for zoom and mostly AF :)
     
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  13. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Ok maybe slow is the wrong word, I don't think anybody is missing a shot waiting for the lens to zoom in. But there is a lag, and I couldn't get used to it. So I sold my 16-50.
     
  14. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    649
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Yeah it is a different feel than a mechanical zoom
     
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  15. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    OK, I think I've negotiated a swap.. will see how it works out.

    I don't mind a slight delay zooming. I'm more concerned with IQ and any lags starting up.
     
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  16. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Well, I just got it.
    The delay in zooming is a non-issue.
    The IQ... can't say anything about it yet. A non-scientific test in a very poorly lit kitchen seems to suggest that 18-55 is either sharper or has a better OSS. But this lens is so tiny... it's shorter than Sigma 30 and just a tad longer than 16/2.8 !

    Anyway, I now have the entire "kit cr@p collection" - 18-55, 16-50, 16 and 55-210. So far the other lenses had proven to be way better than their reputation.. time to put this one through some tests.
     
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  17. nighttrain

    nighttrain TalkEmount Regular

    40
    Dec 9, 2014
    With my copy of the 16-50, if I shoot in good light and don't go wider than 22 I get decent results w/o much distortion.
     
  18. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I haven't yet had a chance to use this lens on anything worth posting here, but aside from the very convenient size when collapsed, I think it's slightly worse than 18-55 in pretty much every other respect. The corners at 16mm seem especially appaling, corrected or not. But then I haven't really used it much.

    I think I will keep it for a while just to play with it but given that it's really not a "pocket" lens any more than 1855 is ( I can fit the camera with either of them attached in my larger jacket pockets and neither in my jeans) I may end up getting rid of it.
     
  19. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    649
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Having my own kind of the holy trinity now, the samyang 12 f2, Sony 24f1,8 and sigma 60f2,8 my sample of the 16-50 don't see much use. Despite of that I'll keep it and will put it on camera for some occasional family happy snapping. It's a fairly good lens and have it's forces, at least in my setup.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  20. Noor

    Noor TalkEmount Regular

    116
    Jan 25, 2016
    Noor Arnaout
    It does have a sweet spot around 22-30mm f5.6-f/8. Yes, it does not do justice for the a6000's sensor ,but its very compact and cheap which makes it worth having. I am using it as my hiking lens..
     
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