Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM A-mount lens review by jkp1

reviewer#11932 date: Aug-3-2014
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 1
flare control: 4
overall: 3.1
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 own this lens
compared to:17-35 minolta
16-35 Zeiss
and others
price paid:
positive:Weight and size is good, so is sharpness.
AF is good and noiseless
negative:Colors are ok, but not like good old minolta-ones.
Build quality is lacking. The use of focus and zoom ring goes too stiff, make subtle adjustments somehow hard, as the rings sticks/release. The lens was made also for video use, but the stiff and sticky rings makes it troublesome to use either manual AF and zoom during video recording.
The fact that somebody invented in-body lens corrections made the reason for this lens to be awkward in the distortion across all focal length. Distortion is well handled if - and only if - you happen to have a camera with in-body correction, but/and only if you are a jpeg-shooter. RAW-shooters are left in the shadow. And do you know what ? Sometimes the in-camera correction makes a mess. Somebody is of the opinion, that the distortion is easily handled in post processing, but no. Not many softwares make the correct correction, and it takes power out of your expensive computer and give us less freedom to choose software for pp.
About noise...the aperture is noisy, easily shadows the sound of the shutter itself. Just compare noise at f2.8 and fx. f16 !
Sharpness with small apertures is devastating.
comment:I really hope Sony would make a lens like this, but without this complex form of distortion. Good old barrel or pincushion is hand-able, but not this complex wavy distortion.
I gave the lens low score for the build quality due to distortion, the sticky adjustment rings and the noisy aperture, and the lack of sharpness in smaller range of aperture is making the whole build quality wacky.
And a question: For what use is a lock-lever on a lens, if it can only lock it in wide ? If the lens have creep it could be useful, but for only locking wide ? Usable if it was possible to lock in any position.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 101
  • sharpness: 4.74
  • color: 4.68
  • build: 4.83
  • distortion: 4.13
  • flare control: 4.44
  • overall: 4.56 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania