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

reviewer#10731 date: Nov-27-2012
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 own this lens
compared to:Minolta 17-35 f/3.5 G
price paid:€ 557 (720 USD,used)
positive:Gives special effect
Very short MFD
Aperture f/2.8
negative:Small manual focus ring
Lens cap bit clumsy
Useless filters
Front element vulnerable
Not a lens for everyday
comment:Wanted this lens for some time, had used it a couple of times. The big bonus is the crazy distortion it can give on full frame. As i like to expand my creativity, this lens was a must have. One has to be very close to an object to get more distortion, this takes some practising and care as the lens can get very close to an object and is almost unprotected.
Why the Sony and not a second hand Minolta? Well, i love Minolta, but these are usually old and may have dust, more clicks so oil could have moved. Besides i read here the Sony has another, brown coating. The aperture of f/2.8 may seem pointless, but it gives you the opportunity to shoot in low light. With strong lights into the lens it produces large flares if at big apertures. This became evident when photographing a moving object in the darkness. In heavy sunlight at smaller apertures, i haven't had any problems with flares - hence the 4.
Needless to say you need a fullframe sensor to get the 180 degrees fov.
After having used this lens for some weeks now, i must add the protective front element cover is very clumsy. The problem is not taking it off, but getting the lens out of the bag means one has to clamp the cover and pull the lens out of the bag. As the cover isn't attached very secure, the danger of the lens falling from your hands while grabbing it is big imo. Be warned.

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