Sony 16mm F2.8 E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#33733 date: Dec-16-2016
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Rokinon 16 F2
Sigma 20 F1.8 EX DG
Sony E 20 F2.8
Minolta AF 20 F2.8 & RS
Sigma 24 F1.8 EX DG HSM
Sony Distagon 24 F2 ZA SSM
Tamron 24 F2.8 OSD
Samyang AF 24 F2.8
Minolta AF 24 F2.8
Sigma AF 24 F2.8 II
price paid:130 USD (used)
positive:Tiny & light
Center sharpness
Very low distortion
49mm filter size
Optional ALC-SH112 petal hood
Accesory lenses
Lateral CA
Peripheral softness/noise/shading
No phase-detect AF
comment:A very clean copy with both original lens caps and optional Sony hood purchased on eBay. I also bought the matching VCLECF1 0.62x (10 mm) Fisheye Converter for $44 and then I found the Sony VCL-ECU1 0.75x (12 mm) Ultra Wide Converter for $28. So, around $200 for 3 ultra wide focal lengths. I purchased a second copy of the lens for $149 which was much worse than the first. I purchased a third open-box copy that was more even in the corners but not as sharp wide-open. "MADE IN THAILAND"

Looking at other reviewers ratings I am not sure if I am rather lucky with this copy or unlucky. It is very sharp wide-open in the center, but there is obviously some extra horizontal smearing on the right side that doesn't clear up until the lens is focused out an extra 0.25m or so. The other two copies are not sharp wide-open. As far as distortion and focus plane flatness it is the polar opposite of the 16-50PZ kit lens at 16 mm.

This lens is wider in the center of the frame than the short end of the 16-50PZ with none of the extreme barrel distortion of that lens. It is much wider after lens distortion corrections are applied. There is some moderate pincushion distortion mostly confined to the corners. It has less distortion than any other 16 mm lens I've tried so far. It has less distortion than the 20mm F2.8 pancake.

Sharpness outside the center half of the frame is weak--weaker than any of the SLR zooms at 16 mm. There is fairly strong lateral CA toward the edges of the frame also worse than the SLR zooms. There is a great deal of corner shading that seems to be partially compensated in the raw files.

The used, open-box, and refurbished E mount lens market is full of poor copies of lenses.

The Samyang AF 24mm F2.8 is twice the length of this lens but offers more than twice the light on full-frame and better sharpness across the larger frame.

Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Variation Testing with comparison to the 16-50PZ, DT 16-50 SSM, and DT 16-105.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 7
  • sharpness: 3.93
  • color: 4.29
  • build: 4.14
  • distortion: 3.43
  • flare control: 4.14
  • overall: 3.99 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania