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next PZ Lens Test Report: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 - Printable Version

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next PZ Lens Test Report: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 - Klaus - 08-24-2010

Well, nice try but not so great ...

[url="http://www.opticallimits.com/sony-alpha-aps-c-lens-tests/542-sony16f28nex"]http://www.opticallimits.com/sony-alpha-aps-c-lens-tests/542-sony16f28nex[/url]


next PZ Lens Test Report: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 - joachim - 08-24-2010

[quote name='Klaus' timestamp='1282678157' post='2118']

Well, nice try but not so great ...

[url="http://www.opticallimits.com/sony-alpha-aps-c-lens-tests/542-sony16f28nex"]http://www.photozone...42-sony16f28nex[/url]

[/quote]





Your samples somehow remind me on the images one could see 10 to 15 years ago from many premium compacts. Top performance in centre and some mild corner problems, in particular in the vignetting department. With part of the corner problem being that the lens was typically to wide <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':o' />



It gives the images a certain character. I am often wondering, whether modern lenses lack are to perfect and just lack character in return.


next PZ Lens Test Report: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 - Yakim - 08-24-2010

I like the concept but I'd rather if it had better IQ, even if it cost more.


next PZ Lens Test Report: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 - Guest - 08-24-2010

[quote name='joachim' timestamp='1282684019' post='2124']

Your samples somehow remind me on the images one could see 10 to 15 years ago from many premium compacts. Top performance in centre and some mild corner problems, in particular in the vignetting department. With part of the corner problem being that the lens was typically to wide <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':o' />



It gives the images a certain character. I am often wondering, whether modern lenses lack are to perfect and just lack character in return.

[/quote]



I don't. I don't expect painters to ponder whether their brushes are too good, singers to demand noisier microphones, or musicians to worry whether their instruments make too beautiful a tone, either.



-Lars


next PZ Lens Test Report: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 - dave9t5 - 08-25-2010

[quote name='Klaus' timestamp='1282678157' post='2118']

Well, nice try but not so great ...

[url="http://www.opticallimits.com/sony-alpha-aps-c-lens-tests/542-sony16f28nex"]http://www.opticallimits.com/sony-alpha-aps-c-lens-tests/542-sony16f28nex[/url]

[/quote]



Hi Klaus, highly anticipated review for some of us who have been waiting years and years for a compact large(-ish) sensor wide angle prime (eff.20~28mm) combo. (i.e. coming from a 35mm Pentax ME Super + M20/4). The absolute results are not that great, but what about the relative result?



Let's look at the competitors:



Compact and Wide:

For example:

Ricoh GX/GR series

Panasonic DMC-LX series

Canon G/S series

Pros: small and relatively economic

Cons: small sensor (IQ and DOF control)



Compact, Wide and 4/3 Sensor

Option 1 - large, slow and expensive zooms which negate the 4/3 / μ4/3 experience

Option 2 - small, very slow and manual Voigtlaender 12mm lens



Compact, Wide and APS-C Sensor

Option 1 - Pentax DA15/4 Ltd - good lens/sensor IQ, compact, good build but somewhat limited brightness.

Option 2 - Super wideangle zooms (8-16, 10-20, 12-24, etc) - Large/heavy/dim.

Option 3 - Compact kit zooms (18-55 lenses) - Economic, lightweight, moderately fast (f/[email protected]).

Option 4 - Faster standard zooms (16/17/18-50/2.8 or 17-70/4 lenses) - Large/heavy/can be pricey.



135 Sensor Wideangles (ignoring the size of the bodies):

For example:

Voigtlaender 20/3.5 - compact, but some IQ problems

Canon 24/2.8 or Nikon 24/2.8 - good DOF control, relatively compact, IQ TBD



(Any others?)



So, to me the 2 closest competitors to the NEX 16/2.8 are the Pentax 15/4 and VL 20/4 on full frame. Since the price of the NEX 16/2.8 is 1/3~1/2 the prices of those 2 competitors and trumps them size...it seems actually great!



Frankly, I would like to see the Canon and Nikon 24/2.8 lenses tested on full frame. This type of lens / image size is the traditional wideangle benchmark for price/performance on film. Without these benchmarks, it's hard to understand the results of the unique wideangle primes that have recently been tested, such as NEX 16/2.8, Pentax 15/4, VL 20/3.5 (FF) and Zeiss 25/2.8. There has been a pattern of "not so great" conclusions on these lenses. My guess is there is a good chance that the traditional 24/2.8 lenses (on FF) won't fare better, which will change the subjective results of the lenses mentioned in the previous sentence.



Regards, Dave


next PZ Lens Test Report: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 - youpii - 08-25-2010

[quote name='Klaus' timestamp='1282678157' post='2118']

Well, nice try but not so great ...

[url="http://www.opticallimits.com/sony-alpha-aps-c-lens-tests/542-sony16f28nex"]http://www.opticallimits.com/sony-alpha-aps-c-lens-tests/542-sony16f28nex[/url]

[/quote]



Sony should team up with Pentax for APC-C pancake lenses...


next PZ Lens Test Report: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 - Brightcolours - 08-25-2010

[quote name='dave9t5' timestamp='1282698615' post='2130']



135 Sensor Wideangles (ignoring the size of the bodies):

For example:

Voigtlaender 20/3.5 - compact, but some IQ problems



So, to me the 2 closest competitors to the NEX 16/2.8 are the Pentax 15/4 and VL 20/4 on full frame. Since the price of the NEX 16/2.8 is 1/3~1/2 the prices of those 2 competitors and trumps them size...it seems actually great!

[/quote]

The Voigtlander 20mm f3.5 SL II works great on APS-C cameras from Pentax, Nikon and Canon.


next PZ Lens Test Report: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 - wim - 08-25-2010

[quote name='dave9t5' timestamp='1282698615' post='2130']

Hi Klaus, highly anticipated review for some of us who have been waiting years and years for a compact large(-ish) sensor wide angle prime (eff.20~28mm) combo. (i.e. coming from a 35mm Pentax ME Super + M20/4). The absolute results are not that great, but what about the relative result?



Let's look at the competitors:



Compact and Wide:

For example:

Ricoh GX/GR series

Panasonic DMC-LX series

Canon G/S series

Pros: small and relatively economic

Cons: small sensor (IQ and DOF control)



Compact, Wide and 4/3 Sensor

Option 1 - large, slow and expensive zooms which negate the 4/3 / μ4/3 experience

Option 2 - small, very slow and manual Voigtlaender 12mm lens



Compact, Wide and APS-C Sensor

Option 1 - Pentax DA15/4 Ltd - good lens/sensor IQ, compact, good build but somewhat limited brightness.

Option 2 - Super wideangle zooms (8-16, 10-20, 12-24, etc) - Large/heavy/dim.

Option 3 - Compact kit zooms (18-55 lenses) - Economic, lightweight, moderately fast (f/[email protected]).

Option 4 - Faster standard zooms (16/17/18-50/2.8 or 17-70/4 lenses) - Large/heavy/can be pricey.



135 Sensor Wideangles (ignoring the size of the bodies):

For example:

Voigtlaender 20/3.5 - compact, but some IQ problems

Canon 24/2.8 or Nikon 24/2.8 - good DOF control, relatively compact, IQ TBD



(Any others?)



So, to me the 2 closest competitors to the NEX 16/2.8 are the Pentax 15/4 and VL 20/4 on full frame. Since the price of the NEX 16/2.8 is 1/3~1/2 the prices of those 2 competitors and trumps them size...it seems actually great!



Frankly, I would like to see the Canon and Nikon 24/2.8 lenses tested on full frame. This type of lens / image size is the traditional wideangle benchmark for price/performance on film. Without these benchmarks, it's hard to understand the results of the unique wideangle primes that have recently been tested, such as NEX 16/2.8, Pentax 15/4, VL 20/3.5 (FF) and Zeiss 25/2.8. There has been a pattern of "not so great" conclusions on these lenses. My guess is there is a good chance that the traditional 24/2.8 lenses (on FF) won't fare better, which will change the subjective results of the lenses mentioned in the previous sentence.



Regards, Dave

[/quote]

The not so great results are actually related to the seemingly better results of sensors with lower MPs. I have argued here on Photozone and on other forums as well, BTW, that with larger MP sensors (from about 12-14 MP on APS-C, and about 17 MP on FF) we start getting MTF results very similar to what we used to get back in the analog days. The usual optical laws start applying again, as artificially limited resolution by the AA-filter applies much less, i.e, the 1/total_resolution = 1/1/lens_resolution (for a specific aperture) + 1/medium_resolution (for a specific sensor or film) formula starts working again the way it used to <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':o' />.



Essentially this also means we get "normal" curves again, i.e, the centre resolution is quite clearly curved, with a maximum around 2 or 3 stops from the maximum aperture, sometimes 4 stops, and edge and corner resolution staying behind, more or less in a similar curve, often playing catch-up towards the optimum aperture but often not completely reaching the same levels. Only the best, often most expensive lenses, in short to longer tele FLs, may still show a relatively flat MTF, until diffraction hits. Very likely, we will also find that the best lenses perform best at around F/4, where these, as in the past, are diffraction limited, rather than resolution limited (400-450 lp/mm, optically).



Regarding older designs: I do think that for the best lenses, with newer designs, we will find that they perform clearly better in many cases than their 30+ year old counterparts, due to newer design technologies being introduced. You mention the SMC - Pentax-M 20 F/4: I used to own a SMC Pentax 20 F/4, it's predecessor, and that wasn't too great in the corners, for sure. However, when printing no larger than about 20 cm X 30 cm, it was quite acceptable, and there were very few semi-affordable lenses in the early to mid-seventies which had an AoV like these lenses anyway <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />. If I look now at the newly designed TS-E 17, I am really amazed, over and over again, at the incredible IQ this lens provides from corner to corner, but even, f.e., the 17-40L is better wide open than that old SMC Pentax 20 F/4 <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />. The Pentax was about 3/4 months of wages back then, the TS-E is about two months of wages for a similar position these days, and the 17-40L a little over half a month <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />.



I am afraid that the smaller designs, actually due to design constraints implied by the smaller sizes, could well all be a little less in IQ, and potentially not very cost effective to manufacture by the larger companies, especially when we are talking about primes, or become very expensive at high quality with less features than the OEM lenses. I reckon this is a niche market, and we do see niche players (to some degree) embracing this market, like Voigtländer, and Zeiss wrt to the dslr lens range.



The older lenses you mention, like the 24 F/2.8s of the OEMs, I am sure wil fare no better either. Those are older designs, and manufucatured a little more cheaply, so I'd expect them to perform more or less as they did in the past on film, namely, good, but generally not as good as their primary, professional counter parts (teh F/1.4 versions). The question is whether that is good enough or not. For many it will be. For the "thrill seekers" amongst us the F/2.8s probably are curiosities, and we would probably want better performance in one way or the other, or maybe even all (aperture, resolution, optical characteristics).



Personally, I would love to have another small camera again (I really loved my Pentax ME, ME Super, and MXs), and small lenses including the relatively light weight that comes with that, but I also know I wouldn't want to miss the IQ of modern lenses and modern cameras, AF, electronic aperture control, wide apertures, variable iso in a single package, great low light capabilities, or Live View anymore. So if we could get all of that in a low weight (and affordable) package, I would likely be one of the first ones to get one of those. It would have to be a significant change in weight and size however, and everything else staying the same <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />.



Anyway, just my 2c <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />.



Kind regards, Wim


next PZ Lens Test Report: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 - Klaus - 08-25-2010

[quote name='wim' timestamp='1282735243' post='2146']

The not so great results are actually related to the seemingly better results of sensors with lower MPs. I have argued here on Photozone and on other forums as well, BTW, that with larger MP sensors (from about 12-14 MP on APS-C, and about 17 MP on FF) we start getting MTF results very similar to what we used to get back in the analog days. The usual optical laws start applying again, as artificially limited resolution by the AA-filter applies much less, i.e, the 1/total_resolution = 1/1/lens_resolution (for a specific aperture) + 1/medium_resolution (for a specific sensor or film) formula starts working again the way it used to <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':o' />.



Essentially this also means we get "normal" curves again, i.e, the centre resolution is quite clearly curved, with a maximum around 2 or 3 stops from the maximum aperture, sometimes 4 stops, and edge and corner resolution staying behind, more or less in a similar curve, often playing catch-up towards the optimum aperture but often not completely reaching the same levels. Only the best, often most expensive lenses, in short to longer tele FLs, may still show a relatively flat MTF, until diffraction hits. Very likely, we will also find that the best lenses perform best at around F/4, where these, as in the past, are diffraction limited, rather than resolution limited (400-450 lp/mm, optically).



Regarding older designs: I do think that for the best lenses, with newer designs, we will find that they perform clearly better in many cases than their 30+ year old counterparts, due to newer design technologies being introduced. You mention the SMC - Pentax-M 20 F/4: I used to own a SMC Pentax 20 F/4, it's predecessor, and that wasn't too great in the corners, for sure. However, when printing no larger than about 20 cm X 30 cm, it was quite acceptable, and there were very few semi-affordable lenses in the early to mid-seventies which had an AoV like these lenses anyway <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />. If I look now at the newly designed TS-E 17, I am really amazed, over and over again, at the incredible IQ this lens provides from corner to corner, but even, f.e., the 17-40L is better wide open than that old SMC Pentax 20 F/4 <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />. The Pentax was about 3/4 months of wages back then, the TS-E is about two months of wages for a similar position these days, and the 17-40L a little over half a month <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />.



I am afraid that the smaller designs, actually due to design constraints implied by the smaller sizes, could well all be a little less in IQ, and potentially not very cost effective to manufacture by the larger companies, especially when we are talking about primes, or become very expensive at high quality with less features than the OEM lenses. I reckon this is a niche market, and we do see niche players (to some degree) embracing this market, like Voigtländer, and Zeiss wrt to the dslr lens range.



The older lenses you mention, like the 24 F/2.8s of the OEMs, I am sure wil fare no better either. Those are older designs, and manufucatured a little more cheaply, so I'd expect them to perform more or less as they did in the past on film, namely, good, but generally not as good as their primary, professional counter parts (teh F/1.4 versions). The question is whether that is good enough or not. For many it will be. For the "thrill seekers" amongst us the F/2.8s probably are curiosities, and we would probably want better performance in one way or the other, or maybe even all (aperture, resolution, optical characteristics).



Personally, I would love to have another small camera again (I really loved my Pentax ME, ME Super, and MXs), and small lenses including the relatively light weight that comes with that, but I also know I wouldn't want to miss the IQ of modern lenses and modern cameras, AF, electronic aperture control, wide apertures, variable iso in a single package, great low light capabilities, or Live View anymore. So if we could get all of that in a low weight (and affordable) package, I would likely be one of the first ones to get one of those. It would have to be a significant change in weight and size however, and everything else staying the same <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />.



Anyway, just my 2c <img src='http://forum.photozone.de/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />.



Kind regards, Wim

[/quote]



I still have hope ... we'll see during the next 5-6 tests on the NEX ... during the next few weeks ...


next PZ Lens Test Report: Sony E 16mm f/2.8 - Guest - 08-25-2010

Bit surprise the NEX is selling at all as both the lenses and camera have received rather lack luster reviews relative to 4:3 camp. Do you think we will see any upswing surprises ?