Sony AF 16mm F2.8 FishEye A-mount lens review by Pirate

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; 61MP61 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
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°.

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 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania