Sony 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS E-mount lens review by mikey2000

reviewer#11421 date: Nov-1-2013
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.7
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Kit 18-55
Sigma E30/2.8
price paid:150GBP new (approx!)
positive:very Compact
Silent operation
Motor zoom is great for video
Slowish operation
negative:Heavy vignette at wide angle
Strong distortion in RAW (see comments though)
manual focus is tricky.
No hood.
a bit plasticky.
comment:I bought this to replace the kit 18-55 that came with my Nex 5n. The kit lens is too big to make the camera genuinely portable but this 16-50 is so small (when powered off) that it makes this into a camera that I can take everywhere.

I mentioned 'no hood' as a negative as I rely a bit on lens hoods to protect the front of a lens. I bought a filter (tiny thread size!) that keeps this one safe though. It doesn't seem to add much extra flare (unlike my Sigma E-30/2.8 which goes so flarey with a filter on that I can't bear it).

The main drawbacks are the few-seconds wait for the lens to extend at power up and the manual focus operation. I can live with the power-up delay but manual focus is very hard. It seems to go beyond infinity at the far end and as with all other e-mount lenses I've tried, there is no 'feel' for when you reach one end or the other of the focus range.

The other obvious problem is the vignetting and distortion at wide angles. I believe the camera can auto-correct the jpgs but as a raw shooter, I use the adobe lens profile in LR5 which does a good job.

I bought this new but as part of a split kit. Hence, the low price. I'm very pleased overall, mainly due to the portability. I now have a pocketable APS-C camera/lens combo.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 17
  • sharpness: 4.00
  • color: 4.41
  • build: 4.00
  • distortion: 3.00
  • flare control: 3.88
  • overall: 3.86 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania