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Thread: The E 16mm goodness

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    Talking The E 16mm goodness

    I was hoping to salvage something out of the pathetic E 16/2.8. I opened it up.
    The mount, though metal, is aluminum (all other E lenses appear to have a stainless steel mount).

    Incredibly, they have used plastic shims to hold the rest of the plastic!

    I had seen scotch tape holding together of cheap Nikon zooms but they still use brass shims to adjust and center the optics bit.

    This something new.

    I am unsure if the optics are real glass or plastic but everything appears to be molded together and disassembly without destruction is impossible.

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Vivek: Yeah, "the times they are a-changing".

    Look at your beautiful dutch city bike (weighing in at +- 40 lbs.), all metal and sturdy on one side and at a nowadays race bike on the other hand (+- 12 lbs.), with a carbon (plastic) frame and carbon (plastic) wheelset and carbon (plastic) saddle with carbon (plastic) rails etc. etc., just as sturdy so you can go downhill from Mont Ventoux at a speed of > 60 miles or ride over flamish pavé. Or look at the beautiful MB "Silberpfeil" from the 1930s on one side (some lost their lives for it) and nowadays formula 1 racing cars on the other hand - carbon/plastic all over, but you can crash it to a concrete dam and will survive.

    Some call it a shame, others call it progress.

    No offense meant! And I like my old stuff from Nikon, Canon and Zeiss/Ikon as well.
    Best regards - Hermann

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Well, Hermann, I predict that the 16mm will be discontinued. Either it will be replaced by a Mk II or nothing (even better!). Worst lens I have ever come across in any format.

    Even if they had made it out of paper instead of plastic, if it only work to a decent degree, it would be OK. There is no progress in any front.

    BTW, it ain't crash proof. It isn't even finger nail proof!

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    Member JimBuchanan's Avatar
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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    BTW, it ain't crash proof. It isn't even finger nail proof!
    Yes, I remember this story.

    Quote Originally Posted by HansenTsang View Post
    .....for my NEX 5N. I just destroyed my second Sony 16mm f2.8 today. I fly them on my radio control helicopter to take aerial photos. Unfortunately the 16mm f2.8 pancake is now on back order. I also want to find something a bit better in image quality.

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    LOL, not too many lenses are crash proof the way I crash them. At least now I am having fun with Jim's CV 15mm.

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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Vivek, let me respectfully disagree with your opinion on the 16/2.8

    I don't have one, so no "pride of ownership" bias (I think). I did borrow one for a whole weekend from a friend last year and took ~200 photo's with it. My conclusion from your story (not just your post above but also your other testimony on this forum) is that either you had a very bad copy, or my friend has an exceptional good copy. Maybe even both.

    I agree at larger apertures the corners are a bit mushy and in high contrast show CA against the sky. However at f8 it's mostly gone and even at larger apertures it's only the extreme usually less important extreme corners. Center sharpness is no problem at any aperture and the copy I used didn't show any left/right differences some people reported.

    Then to build quality, I don't mind plastic shims, as long as they keep the lenses in place. I don't care if the lenses would be polycarbonate vs. glass, I'm looking through polycarbonate anyway the whole day . In the end all I care about is that's it is a cheap, light and fun little lens that for below 200 € delivers quite some goods. I'm sure it can't compete with a CZ or G lens, but it doesn't have to because those cannot compete on price, size and weight for what I would use it for.

    Will I get one? Maybe and not sure yet. Why not? Mostly because my kit 18-55 at 18 mm isn't bad either, certainly if you stop down a little which you need to do with the 16/2.8 as well. So if I find one for a good price I might not be able to resist it, but I'm not actively looking for one.

    I'm not going to post center and corner crops to try and prove any point since those are meaningless, but just want to say that based on differences between copies and what people are expecting from such a low priced lens there is another side to the story.

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Pegelli, It does not matter what you saw with a borrowed copy. I know what I have. The crappiest lens ever. I paid for the damned thing as well.

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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    I'm sorry for your loss, however I do think it does matter. I trust you had the crappiest lens you ever got but that doesn't mean they're all as bad as the one you had.
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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    You say that as the one who does not own it and the one who would not buy it? Wow!

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Really, really don't think, that there is the need to crusade against a lens, even more if we talk about the Sony E 16 mm/2.8.

    I use it along with well recommended lenses like the Nikkors 14-24 mm/2.8G, the 24-70 mm/2.8G, the 24 mm/1.4G and a few older 24 mm manual focus lenses. For my kind of photography all those lenses are tools to get a picture, that's created a priori by virtue of imagination (with a certain content, composition and maybe intent). The results are sometimes embarrassing, sometimes mediocre and sometimes even satisfying. But in either case it's me, who is responsible for the result, not the tool. At best the lens helps a bit to realize what I imagine. And all the lenses I own at that focal length deliver in a certain way. With the Sony E 16 mm/2.8 e.g. I can get pictures (and yes, satisfying pictures) I never would even try to capture with my 14-24 mm or with my 24 mm/1.4, simply because they're too bulky and conspicious (cf. street photography). OTH if I want to take pictures of urban landscapes a T/S lens and/or medium/large format cameras make the job a bit easier ...

    So it's again horses for courses, and first and foremost life is much more pleasant, if you learn to live with compromises. Anyhow, to crusade is out of proportion to the matter of fact. In this case and in either case.
    Best regards - Hermann

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Hermann, First off, the word "crusade" is not in my dictionary.

    Even taking what you mean by that, that characterization is wrong. Was this any good on the NEX-5 ~2 years ago? No. How good is it on the NEX-7? Terrible.

    If you enjoy your sample, bought and paid for ( ) all the more power to you!

    I know what I can use for what and when. This is Sony Alpha E under discussion. The E 16mm is a lemon. That is what I know.

    I do not appreciate your characterization of me however cleverly you try to word it.

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I was hoping to salvage something out of the pathetic E 16/2.8. I opened it up. (...)
    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Hermann, First off, the word "crusade" is not in my dictionary.

    Even taking what you mean by that, that characterization is wrong.

    I do not appreciate your characterization of me however cleverly you try to word it.
    Vivek: It's not at all my intention to characterize you, simply because I don't know you. I merely know some of your pictures, you share here (and some of them I do like). But I really don't get the purpose to open a thread with the quoted statement.

    So, may I suggest that we agree, there are always different needs, requirements and different opinions, even about a lens.
    Best regards - Hermann

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    I agree that the Sony 16 is underrated, although I'd imagine that sample variation is quite high with such a relatively cheaply built lens. I've managed reasonable sized prints with it that look good, although I've sense traded it for the CV 15/4.5, which is more even across the frame on my 5N.

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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    You say that as the one who does not own it and the one who would not buy it? Wow!
    Vivek, I'm dissapointed. you belittle my experience by using the lens two full days on a photo trip and take my comment about not buying it out of context. If that's the way you want to win an argument that's fine by me but I don't think you'll convince a lot of other people of your position (and certainly not me).

    I'm not saying you didn't have a bad copy, I just said there are good copies out there which give excellent value for money.

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Pegelli, Look, I not arguing against your experience or a whole range of gear you may using. The E 16mm is a lemon. FWIW, It isn't polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is strong and would withstand nail marks. If you find something value for money, buy it, use it and enjoy!

    Hermann, Yes, I did open the lens up for the stated purpose*. I might at some point make use of the mount and the baffle.

    You are such a sweet man.

    *the actual intention is a bit more involved. It is futile to describe that since I found out that it will not be possible due to the flimsy plastics involved.
    Last edited by Vivek; 16th March 2012 at 05:20.

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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Pegelli, Look, I not arguing



    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    The E 16mm is a lemon.
    Nope, I think the only claim you can make is that your E16 was a lemon (I understand was is the correct word for your copy )

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    As I said, buy it, use it and enjoy!
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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    I have two copies of the lens. Both copies behave the same and are very reasonable. As already stated, it depends on what you expect. I have also used one with the 0.75 converter and even that is not bad. It is only the extreme corners that can be soft. Actually a very nice characteristic of the lens is that it is a truly rectilinear lens; it is perfect for stitching panorama’s, also with the 0.75 converter (and the extreme corners are not used, due to the overlap). I now have the Sigma 8-16, which is also great for stitching. And a better lens in general (my copy). The Sigma being better is not something I would hold against the 16mm, just looking at the size difference. Must admit that I did not try the 16mm on the NEX-7, mostly on the 5n.

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Waardij, I enjoyed the the shot you posted through your Sigma. I am seriously thinking about that lens. Also, would be trying the yet to be released the Sigma 19/2.8 (and the 30/2.8) when they become available- all on the NEX-7.

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    I am interested in those sigma primes as well. Another Sigma lens that does really well on the NEX-7 is the 17-50 f2.8. This lens has os, which is very welcome. It has some focus shift at the wide end and some field curvature. When these imperfections are taken into account when focusing, it is very good. Had to send two back to get one good copy though. Part of the problem might be that the resolution of the 7 is so high, that you see every optical imperfection.
    The stabilization is really great.

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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    As I said, buy it, use it and enjoy!
    Buy, not sure, but I explained above why I'm not actively searching.

    Enjoy, for sure:

    Charge....


    Let's pray they all come back in one piece, not all will leave the battlefield unscathed


    So we can share a victory drink



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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    I have had a couple copies of the 16 and also used the UWA converter. I look at it the same as the ZA 24/1.8. Good for close to medium focus scenes but for landscape, not good due to the corners mushing out. Granted, haven't tried the 16 on the 7 but did on the 5N. Conversely, didn't have the 24 when I had a 5N.

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    FWIW: A (from my point of view) well-balanced/unbiased background information about the construction/design of the lens (in comparison with the Olympus 17mm f/2.8 micro 4/3 mount):

    Exploded Mirrorless Lenses Reveal Beautiful, Compact Design

    Author is Roger Cicala, Director of Research and Quality Assurance for Lensrentals and founder of the company.
    Best regards - Hermann

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    Re: The E 16mm goodness

    Hermann, That is useful. I have both the lenses.

    I had already disassembled the Sony E 16mm.

    After a long hard thought, this is the best explanation I could come up with. The E 16 travelled with me to India 2 summers ago. Was in ~35 deg celcius for just about 2 or 3 days. That did the damage to the plastic.

    A few summers earlier, the Olympus 17/2.8 was in Barcelona at about ~40 deg Celcius.

    Both the lenses have pretty much the same design and material construction as some of the phone camera lenses. Zeiss are proud about their lens used in the upcoming Nokia pureview phone. Similar 5 elements 5 groups construction and all plastic. Plastic (lens elements) and temperature variations are not compatible.

    I have now two lenses to play/tinker with to see if I can make them useful for my needs.

    The Sigma 30/2.8 (announced price 189 Euros here) is an all glass lens. Sound more promising to me.

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