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

reviewer#11982 date: Sep-15-2014
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss Sony 16-80 F3.5-4.5 (A-mount)
Minolta AF/100 F2 (A-mount)
price paid:€ 619 (incl NEX6)
positive:Small size and weight; optical errors largely compensated by camera firmware; seamless additional digital zoom 16-100 effectively, or with loss of resolution 16-200.
negative:Max aperture restricted to F 5.6 for longer focal lengths. Every time the camera is powered on, the lens is back in its 16 mm position, also when you don't shoot for a while, without switching the power. This both drains unnecessary power and reduces your readiness for the next picture. Sharpness on short range (below 1 m) and large aperture (F3.5-F5.6) disappointing compared to infinity (this is the opposite of a macro lens)
comment:The main benefit of this lens is its compactness. I bought this lens in 2014 as kit lens with my NEX6. For most situations where compactness of camera+lens are not that important, I prefer my alpha350 with Zeiss 16-80 lens. The relatively modest max aperture is more than compensated by the excellent high ISO rating of the NEX6. This lens performs well in outdoor situations, but is less favorable indoor where you tend to use large apertures, in particular at close range (below 1m /3 ft distance) sharpness (in particular corner sharpness) is not adequate for 16 MP. [If you stop down to f/8 sharpness at close range is not an issue].
When shooting RAW significant distortion, but in JPEG automatically corrected by the camera.

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