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

reviewer#2138 date: Apr-11-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 16mm f2.8 FishEye!
+ Min 20/2.8, 24/2.8 + KM 17-35D + Tok 17/3.5 ATX
price paid:
positive:- improved manual focus ring
- still a metal build
negative:- lens cap is still a little fiddly, but a good design once it wears in I'm sure
- pull/twist in filters are pretty useless on digital, probably add to the cost
comment:Extremely well made, build is better than the previous Minolta model (even though that was already excellent). This is about to become one very highly used lens. It is as perfectly designed and built as any non-G lens could be. i cannot recommend it enough.

Auto Focus does appear slightly faster, need more time with it to easy for sure.

Manual focus is certainly improved with the Sony model.

I know, its minor. But I like the markings, the fact it has fisheye written on the hood!

Its still 7 blade and non-circular, but really, you don't get a lot of our of focus with this lens! And it did not get the ADI (D) update, but it really doesn't need it, its not a lens you'll use with flash very much?

Repeat what i said in the negative box. The 4 filters are still there. But having used them on the Minolta and tried using the Orange as a b&w filter - it makes no difference at all to dSLR images. So all I can think is that it adds to the cost of the lens. But - probably cheaper for Sony to leave it as is and just make a new shell than design out the already built parts?

Coatings!? Now, Sony have not advertised new coatings on any of the lenses they re-introduced. And I think they would have taken the opportunity to do it. But ... and this is a surprize to me, the reflections of say a light bulb in the rear element IS a different color on the Sony. Browner. This could be just a.n.other coating make-up, or if could be a special coating for digital, I have no idea. Time may tell, but the images from the Minolta did have a purple fring problem.

I'll update this review as I get a better handle on the lens.

(I've copied my sharp/color/distort/flare rating over from my Min 16/2.8 review, I'll update the scores and this review in a few days)
(I proudly book the first review of this super lens)

Update after a long day of shooting ... the scores carry... tough to mark it down on distortion, its what the lens is all about! But it is super super sharp. 2nd only to the 200/2.8 sharpness leader

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