Sony AF 16mm F2.8 FishEye A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 13   
reviewer#10731 date: Nov-27-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 17-35 f/3.5 G
price paid:€ 557 (720 USD,used)
positive:Gives special effect
Very short MFD
Autofocus
Aperture f/2.8
negative:Small manual focus ring
Lens cap bit clumsy
Useless filters
Front element vulnerable
Not a lens for everyday
comment:Wanted this lens for some time, had used it a couple of times. The big bonus is the crazy distortion it can give on full frame. As i like to expand my creativity, this lens was a must have. One has to be very close to an object to get more distortion, this takes some practising and care as the lens can get very close to an object and is almost unprotected.
Why the Sony and not a second hand Minolta? Well, i love Minolta, but these are usually old and may have dust, more clicks so oil could have moved. Besides i read here the Sony has another, brown coating. The aperture of f/2.8 may seem pointless, but it gives you the opportunity to shoot in low light. With strong lights into the lens it produces large flares if at big apertures. This became evident when photographing a moving object in the darkness. In heavy sunlight at smaller apertures, i haven't had any problems with flares - hence the 4.
Needless to say you need a fullframe sensor to get the 180 degrees fov.
After having used this lens for some weeks now, i must add the protective front element cover is very clumsy. The problem is not taking it off, but getting the lens out of the bag means one has to clamp the cover and pull the lens out of the bag. As the cover isn't attached very secure, the danger of the lens falling from your hands while grabbing it is big imo. Be warned.
reviewer#10452 date: Aug-14-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Samyang 8mm F/3.5 MC
Sigma AF 15mm F/2.8 EX DG Diagonal
price paid:£375.00 (used)
positive:Build Quality
Colour Rendition
Sharpness
Weight
IQ
4x Internal Filters
Quiet AF
Smooth Bokeh
negative:Price (if paying top money)
A carbon copy of the original Minolta version (could've had a better selection of filters)
comment:As a direct comparison to both the Samyang 8mm and Sigma 15mm, this is at least on par with the Sigma, though it generally costs a lot more unless you opt for the earlier Minolta version of which this is essentially a carbon copy, though it appears to me that the glass may have extra coatings to combat flare plus other subtle differences.

On a technical note, I would've expected Sony to have changed the original Minolta filters to something more useful such as a Linear PL, Skylight (1B), GND 4 Soft Grad and a Skylight (for example).

Otherwise, it's an excellent lens of the type and produces clean sharp images with no noticeable vignetting on my A850 which is excellent news. In short, this is a terrific tool for those that want a bendy lens, though the Minolta and Sigma AF 15mm F/2.8 EX DG Diagonal also do the same job but for less money, so unless you're a brand snob, either of the alternates will suffice. The Samyang 8mm is designed for APS-C and is MF, but having AF makes using this lens type so much more enjoyable and practical especially if shooting large BIF (aircraft for example) which makes the job much easier.

As this is designed for full frame, APS-C owners could still get decent results, though with not such a 'fishy' effect as on full frame bodies as you'll only get 110° coverage as opposed to 180°.
reviewer#10290 date: Jun-11-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:16-50 2.8 (A77 kit)
I find 16 fisheye better then that lens at 16mm Focal lenght.because the angle is wider, and distortion is pleasing to the eye.
price paid:RM2,000 2nd hand
positive:Great wide angle lens on APSC to capture subject and scene, Sharpness is superb close up, great for portraits. I've even done Pre weddings with this as the main lens for wide shots! that says alot. Contarary to common fisheye believe, this lens Distortion is pleasing and well within control (APSC)
Built is fairly good, used it under the rain,
negative:when focus to infinity focus ring does not go beyong infinity for focus fine tuning (A77 manual focus peek) so it could be sharper if it could be fine tuned beyond infinity by a bit. Film filters could have been updated with polarizers or ND filteres ! instead of colour tints...
comment:Worth evey penny, however lens requires knowledge of its character on distortion and limitation. Best lens to capture big scenes or excezerated reality. Best on FF.
Its a Novelty lens which some times gets used, and produces the kind of images that never look ordinary. Not sure the diffrence between the minotla ver vs SONY but I went with the SONY for better asthetics (fisheye wording) and newer coatings. not sure which is better the vinal cover (sony) or plastic cover (minolta). If u tried this Fisheye lens and liked it, I'm sure u'll have no regrets making good use of it.
reviewer#10282 date: Jun-9-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:nil
price paid:
missing
positive:Very well build, good contrast and very sharp
negative:Expensive
comment:I have this one and seldom used it until my full frame a850 came.
reviewer#10186 date: May-8-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta Fisheye 16 2.8
price paid:400USD(new)
positive:Super Sharpness
Great Colors
Well Built/Metal
Built in Filters
negative:Nothing to Far
comment:Very sharpness and Fun Lens, lov it!
reviewer#7468 date: May-24-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:620 Euro (new)
positive:Build Quality/metal
Sharpness
negative:
missing
comment:Fun lens to use, wide of full frame camera.
reviewer#7101 date: Mar-15-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:720 USD
positive:Excellent lens!
negative:
missing
comment:Lens for creativity! )
Bangkok, Thailand 2010:
http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/3912/igo62.0/0_3c6a0_8528e82f_orig
http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/3911/igo62.0/0_3c855_30193fc0_orig
http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/3910/igo62.0/0_3c809_bd63d02c_orig
http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/3814/igo62.0/0_3c7e0_d0dc7aa_orig
reviewer#6358 date: Nov-10-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Canon 15mm 2.8 Fisheye, Sony 16-105 kit lens
price paid:800 USD New
positive:Lots of fun. I first used it on my A700 and although not as effective as on the A900, the distortion is still usable. However, much better suited to FF. I was surprised how usable interiors and close tight cityscapes were rendered.
negative:None really, it delivers all I expected from it. If you make this a fun addition to your kit and don't depend on it for too much, you'll have fun with it.
comment:I have a soft spot for fisheye distortions, especially when rendered so well. Glad I have it in my bag.
reviewer#4709 date: Jan-19-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:695 USD (new)
positive:Build Quality
Sharpness
Distortion
negative:Lens hood
expensive
comment:A fun lens to use. On the A700 the distortion level doesn't feel like a fisheye lens. On the A900, it is a very fun lens to use. The build quality is good and the internal filters can be useful. The leather lens hood is annoying and tend to fall off while removing\putting the lens in your bag.
reviewer#4420 date: Nov-22-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:minolta 24mm 2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:distortion, bokeh, sharpness
negative:none really.
comment:I had a chance to use this lens jsut last night. i was covering an event and another photographer let me borrow it.
Whoa! i was blown away. i couldnt believe the sharpness wide open. the colour rendition was very good as well.
of course the super bendy effect was a lot of fun to incorporate. it actually made shooting events fun again. where i usually go for tight group shots or simple portraits of people at an event the fisheye allowed me to shoot large groups of people without them knowing who i was photographing. it made for some very candid shots.
when i get the cash together i am definatly going to pick up this little gem. or the minolta equivilant.
reviewer#4291 date: Oct-26-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Great fun lens to use
negative:
missing
comment:Used with an A700
http://www.darren-francis.com/p1003635162/e2f532c21

Used with an A900
http://www.darren-francis.com/p438007693/e3b47dc68
reviewer#3288 date: Feb-19-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 15mm f/2.8 fish eye
price paid:740 €
positive:Build
Sharpness
negative:
missing
comment:This lens feels very sturdy,metal build but well designed.
It has 3 filters inside but I did not find the reason to use them at all.The focus is spot on even at close-ups shots and it's sharp wide open.I like it better than sigma 15mm.
reviewer#2138 date: Apr-11-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 16mm f2.8 FishEye!
+ Min 20/2.8, 24/2.8 + KM 17-35D + Tok 17/3.5 ATX
price paid:
missing
positive:- improved manual focus ring
- still a metal build
negative:- lens cap is still a little fiddly, but a good design once it wears in I'm sure
- pull/twist in filters are pretty useless on digital, probably add to the cost
comment:Extremely well made, build is better than the previous Minolta model (even though that was already excellent). This is about to become one very highly used lens. It is as perfectly designed and built as any non-G lens could be. i cannot recommend it enough.

Auto Focus does appear slightly faster, need more time with it to easy for sure.

Manual focus is certainly improved with the Sony model.

I know, its minor. But I like the markings, the fact it has fisheye written on the hood!

Its still 7 blade and non-circular, but really, you don't get a lot of our of focus with this lens! And it did not get the ADI (D) update, but it really doesn't need it, its not a lens you'll use with flash very much?

Repeat what i said in the negative box. The 4 filters are still there. But having used them on the Minolta and tried using the Orange as a b&w filter - it makes no difference at all to dSLR images. So all I can think is that it adds to the cost of the lens. But - probably cheaper for Sony to leave it as is and just make a new shell than design out the already built parts?

Coatings!? Now, Sony have not advertised new coatings on any of the lenses they re-introduced. And I think they would have taken the opportunity to do it. But ... and this is a surprize to me, the reflections of say a light bulb in the rear element IS a different color on the Sony. Browner. This could be just a.n.other coating make-up, or if could be a special coating for digital, I have no idea. Time may tell, but the images from the Minolta did have a purple fring problem.

I'll update this review as I get a better handle on the lens.

(I've copied my sharp/color/distort/flare rating over from my Min 16/2.8 review, I'll update the scores and this review in a few days)
(I proudly book the first review of this super lens)

Update after a long day of shooting ... the scores carry... tough to mark it down on distortion, its what the lens is all about! But it is super super sharp. 2nd only to the 200/2.8 sharpness leader
reviews found: 13   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 13
  • sharpness: 4.65
  • color: 4.77
  • build: 4.85
  • distortion: 4.54
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 4.56

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