Sony 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 16   
reviewer#44334 date: Jul-17-2019
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:a-mount glass
price paid:NZ$300 incl Nex5T
positive:small, sharp, very portable, compliments my a-mount lenses, 16mm width.
negative:nothing really
comment:This wee lens came with a Nex 5T which was why I bought them both. The combination is very easy to transport around and as a general every day combo it is ideal. Using it whilst hiking I didn't notice its weight or baulk and it fitted into a shirt pocket perfectly.It is also very unobtrustive at events combined with the 5T .
I use an a580/a77ii and Tamron 150_600 for my wild life gear and I find with this wee outfit they all compliment each other in every way. The lens itself, is acceptably sharp from the camera and through PS Elements really makes it shine.
I was very scepticle about e_mount but now I'm rather taken with it and just happily change between the 2 systems.
Very recommended
reviewer#44089 date: Jun-17-2018
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony E 18-135 OSS
Sony PZ 18-105 f4 G
price paid:70 USD
positive:Small
Good for Video
Good for underwater case
negative:Not as sharp
comment:This is an inexpensive, small power zoom, especially good for put inside inexpensive underwater case ( less than USD 130, max 120 ft depth) for taking photo and video in the pool or underwater.
reviewer#37845 date: Apr-26-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC
price paid:
missing
positive:Quite good standard lens, small and compact.
negative:At the edges a bit soft and distortion at wide angle.
comment:I use this lens with the Sony Nex 3N and I quite positive for this compact lens. If you are on a hike and it is easy to take with you lens.
reviewer#36811 date: Apr-2-2017
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:sony 18-55 oss
price paid:included in kit
positive:light
small when off
negative:vignetting
comment:I bought it with my A6000 and have one with my daughter nex3N
nice to use as it is small and vignetting is easily corrected

I keep it when I use my A6000 for everyday use
reviewer#32719 date: Dec-2-2016
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 2
flare control: 4
overall: 3.3
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 16-50 F2.8 SSM
Vario-Sonnar 16-80 F3.5-4.5 DT
Sony DT 16-105 F3.5-5.6
Tamron SP 17-50 F2.8
Sony E 18-55 F3.5-5.6 OSS
Sony DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM I & II
Sony DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6
Sony DT 18-135 F3.5-5.6 SAM
Sony DT 18-200 F3.5-6.3
Tamron 18-250 F3.5-6.3
price paid:348 USD (A5000 Kit)
positive:Small, especially retracted
Quiet focusing
Internal focus w/ minimal breathing
OSS
Very good IQ in the middle of the range
Flat focus plane
negative:Heavy distortion
Heavy vignetting
Noisy zoom motor
Slow
Varifocal
Low contrast at the long end
comment:A silver version included in an A5000 kit. The retail price is $350, $50 more than the 18-55 OSS, but it is often on sale separately for $300 new or about $100 used. "Made in THAILAND"

The image quality is similar to the A-mount 18-55 kit lenses--a bit better at the wide end and a little worse at the long end. The lens barrel is shortest at 25 mm. The barrel distortion at 24 mm is similar to the distortion of the A-mount 18-55 at 18 mm and the 16-105 at 16 mm.

The focus plane is quite flat--much flatter than the A-mount Carl Zeiss 16-80 or 16-105 or the E 18-55 OSS.

The zoom motor is rather noisy. It sounds and feels like it belongs on an inexpensive camera. The power zoom on my ancient PowerShot S1 IS operates much smoother.

The powered manual focus is actually pretty good--more precise than the mechanically clutched A mount lenses. The main control ring is accurate and effective if a bit laggy. A second ring might be nice in place of the zoom lever.

It is a disappointing way to spend $150 on what is probably an essential lens. It certainly doesn't help the argument for a small APS-C ILC over a smaller sensor sensor compact camera, but the optical quality is good enough for a small kit lens.
reviewer#24486 date: Feb-6-2016
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4
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:Minolta 17-35 f2.8-4 D
price paid:£100.00
positive:Small and light, and great value, performs better than many reviews would lead you to believe. Cheap also, plenty available 'split from kit'
negative:Weaker at the long end.
comment:This lens gets a lot of bad press, I find it very good between 16-40mm, not so good at 50mm. The colour is really nice and plenty of detail in shots. I shoot in RAW and find the distortion correction in Lightroom gives great looking images. This lens is steal, especially bought as a kit lens, as the body only price is only a few pounds less, so you can always sell it on eBay for a profit. Lightroom irons out distortion with RAW files
reviewer#16301 date: Jul-11-2015
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 2
distortion: 1
flare control: 3
overall: 2.6
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony SEL1670F4Z
price paid:Kit lens w/NEX-6
positive:It's small.
In-camera corrections on JPEG make for acceptable images.
OSS works well.
Small outer element, so filters are cheap.
negative:Rattles.
The overall build just feels cheap, especially compared with some of the better E-mount lenses.
AF slow.
No hood, and the only hood option is a screw-on atrocity.
Power zoom is touchy and difficult to quickly set at the right focal length.
comment:Acceptable as a kit lens, but photographers with any aspiration to quality will soon discover its limitations and move on.
reviewer#12161 date: Mar-5-2015
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 2
flare control: 2
overall: 2.9
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to: Sony 18-55 kit lens
price paid: USD
positive:Small
Quiet
can use filters for CLE lenses, not sure if this is a plus
negative:Image quality
slow to accordion when camera is switched on
NOT as sharp as the 18-55
no hood
comment: This lens has some good qualities. It's compactness and power zoom gadgetry are interesting features. It's lack of hood and odd filter size are not appealing to me. Nor is the trade off of image quality for its features that are interesting. It requires specific cameras in order for it to display jpegs properly which is also not desirable, but that is just for me.
reviewer#12067 date: Dec-25-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:Other E mount and lots of A mount lenses.
price paid:$100
positive:Size - It makes a wonderful pocket camera on NEX5N. Good build. OSS works.
Sharp, little distortion/vignetting - tested on JPGs it's great. LENS DEFECTS CORRECTED IN CAMERA! Use it as it was designed to be used, where it is very good. It is a mistake to down rate it for defects that only appear when it is misused.
negative:A little slow extending. Motor focus takes getting used to. Both very minor. F3.5-5.6 is not fast, but you already knew that.
comment:This lens has been a very pleasant surprise. It makes the NEX, and similarly sized cameras, a spectacular small and unobtrusive package.

Shooting fine JPGs gave very good color, sharpness and very little distortion or vignetting, even at 16mm and "wide open".

I care about outcomes, images. It doesn't matter that those are "fixed" in camera. That is what good software does. We learned that lesson years ago with the Hubble telescope. Here, the result is an inexpensive, very compact lens. When used as intended on a camera that supports it, the combination produces excellent images. Most E mount cameras will have correction routines for this lens if firmware has been updated.

In the US southwest I felt a little silly pulling out this little camera and smaller lens alongside people hauling big honking DSLR kits. I got big landscape shots that hold up well with exceptional detail in 11x17 prints.

Update: Tried it on a FF camera with APS-C size capture off. No vignetting at 50mm, approaching circular at 16mm, some better at f16 than f3.5. I'd guess it's a roughly 30mm circle, over frame vertical and under horizontal by about the same amount. Very nice images with JPG fine, 16mm is pretty wide on FF. Wouldn't routinely use it like that, but it's there. Surprisingly nice image at 50mm, in camera correction for this lens is clearly in the A7ii software. Turns that camera back into a compact.

Revision to emphasize that this lens is designed to be used on, and to work wonderfully with, cameras that support it.
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.
reviewer#11689 date: Feb-12-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 2
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
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:Sony A900 with Minolta 17-35 f/3.5 G, 28-70 f/2.8 G

price paid:came as kit with NEX
positive:- small
- light
- cheap
negative:- distortion, especially at wide end
- not very large aperture
- zooming only with motor, tad slow
- small flares with sunlight into the lens
comment:This lens came as a kit with the NEX-3N. I wanted this lens as it is the smallest zoom and i want it to fit in my pocket.
Starting up takes about 1-2 seconds as it unfolds. The folding when not in use is a big advantage. The zooming is done by an electric motor which makes it a tad slowish, but for street photography it works.
The NEX-3N has good high ISO iq, but i wish the lens had a larger aperture. Maybe i'll go for an 20/2.8 later.
Biggest disadvantage is the distortion, which is large. I feel i have to develop all but snaps with ACR (now 8.5). There's is a dedicated profile and the difference is very noticable. Without this RAW developer WA shots look unattractive to me. Note i realise the JPEGS are corrected in camera, but there is still distortion left then.
This is the price for the size but a fair compromise.
reviewer#11636 date: Jan-26-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 used to own this lens
compared to:SEL 18-55 / 3.5-5.6 OSS
price paid:150 €
positive:Acceptable IQ, OSS, very compact to carry.
negative:Distortion
comment:This lense is nice mostly because of "pocketability" compared to other NEX kit 18-55 / 3.5-5.6 OSS lens. It makes NEX very small for situations, when one is interested to carry unnoticeably camera with only lens, or the probability of making more quality pics is low.

I compared this lens namely only with 18-55 /3.5-5.6 OSS. Lens is sharp, colors are great, OSS works well. PZ switch is nice even for shooting stills. One ring for Zoom/MF is intuitive - use of it becomes familiar after some minutes. In DMF mode this ring is zooming, with half pressing of rel button it is adjusting focus. In MF mode the switch must be used for zooming and ring for manual focussing.

Lens can be used only with camera having distortion correction. If in-camera distortion correction is off, distortion is huge at the wide end up to about 20(30)mm and disappears at about 24(36)mm.

Lens should be kept very carefully, because of front glass is not protected with hood and mounted lens can be complitely destroyed in pocket or bag because of accidental switching on.

Overally - if some more basic/special lenses already in use, this lens is great addition for unnoticeable carrying and has, because of this, more sens compared to 18-55 / 3.5-5.6 OSS.

I have replaced nex7 kit lens 18-55 with 16-50. Sold with NEX7.
reviewer#11561 date: Dec-27-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4
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:Standard 1855 e mount kit lens
price paid:210 GBP
positive:Very compact
Quiet power zoom with fast and slow adjustment
Acceptable IQ
negative:Pronounced distortion at 16mm
Relatively slow aperture
comment:This lens gets a bad press because it's IQ is far from class leading but this lens is all about size - it's a lightweight pancake zoom for travelling light. It's acceptably sharp for most purposes. Sony really pushed the design to its limits to make this 16mm at the wide end and it shows through in the pretty massive distortion. Whilst I seldom choose to use it over a prime, I almost always carry it with me as a flexible backup lens option.
reviewer#11524 date: Dec-6-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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:18-55
price paid:250USD (new)
positive:- Light weight
- Useful range
negative:- F3.5~5.6
comment:A light and casual set up with my F3. My copy is very sharp across the range and the distortion is bad at the wide side.
Compared with 18-55 kit lens, this power zoom lens is sharper.
reviewer#11423 date: Nov-2-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 1
flare control: 4
overall: 3.4
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:nex 18-55
price paid:£150
positive:Small
negative:Needs software correction.
comment:Fantastic little lens when used with DXO correction. Finally makes sense of the tiny nex bodies.
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
Light
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.
reviews found: 16   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 16
  • sharpness: 4.00
  • color: 4.38
  • build: 3.94
  • distortion: 2.94
  • flare control: 3.88
  • overall: 3.82

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