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SEL16F28 Lens Test


Review the quality of the Sony SEL16F28 lens at various aperture settings.  Many claim this 16mm lens is of poor quality, but is it really?

Testing should ideally be directly comparing against similar lenses.  Aside from that, real-world usage

Example #1


This is the Ironbridge, taken on a dreary, rainy Winter day in England. F6.3, 1/40. Processed from RAW using DxO, which took care of most of the CA and PF.  CA and PF was significant, but is controlled in software.  Distortion is  considered to be well-controlled with this lens (although, DxO has adjustments for this as well).


Below is a 100% crop from the center.  If it wasn't for the CA software processing, the red/blue CA would be more obvious.  Some of the colors on fine lines might be due to a weak AA-filter rather than CA.

Below is a 100% crop from the lower-right corner.  Notice that in the extreme corner, there is some softness.  Aside from being far from the point of focus, the corners are problematic, at least until about f8.  However, in practical terms, it may not matter, depending upon the subject.  Also, when printing to typical large print sizes, a significant portion of the edges will be cropped.




The 16mm lens is not without it's quirks, but overall, sharpness is great.  CA and PF are a concern, and it would be recommended to use software when it becomes objectionable.  The lens is perfectly usable at wider apertures as long as soft corners can be tolerated.

Without direct comparisons of other lenses, it's hard to reach negative conclusions.  At such a low price-point, the 16mm turns the Nex into a truly compact camera, capable of excellent wide-angle photos.


Last updated: January 15, 2012.