December 29 2011 - Photo Jottings

December 29 2011


Sony DT 16-50mm F/2.8 SSM review done!

Check out the review of Sony’s newest alpha mount lens.  Like all recently released Sony ‘A’ mount lenses, the DT 16-50mm F/2.8 SSM turned in a very good performance.  What stands out on this lens is the very sharp, (and somewhat expansive) central area; if fact, you won’t be able to tell whether you’re at F/2.8 or F/8 unless you scroll over to the image sides when magnified.  There is a contrast boost at F/4, but that’s only noticeable if you compare image crops side-by-side, like I do in the review.  The mid-sections are quite sharp at F/4, with the corners staying a little soft at all focal lengths.

The Sony DT 16-50mm F/2.8 SSM is a lens that would be perfect for low-light, hand-held street shooting, or portrait photography; the lens is optically maximized at F/4 in my opinion—really.  I’m still on the fence about which lens I like better, this one or the CZ 16-80mm.  For those of you wondering about how it compares to the CZ 16-80mm, I worked up a comp; it’s located at the very bottom of the review page.  People wanting instant gratification read below.

Comparison with CZ 16-80mm results in a nut-shell: the Sony DT 16-50mm has a slightly better build quality, SSM focusing; it’s about one stop faster; and less expensive by about $150; it also weights a little more, and is slightly larger.  Optical performance is very similar between the lenses at all focal lengths.  People that normally only shoot in daylight would probably enjoy the CZ 16-80mm more.

How does the 16-50mm F/2.8 SSM compare to the full frame Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F/2.8 SSM?  I don’t have that lens on hand, but based on memory, and by looking at old comps, I’d say the CZ 24-70mm is just a little better all the way around, except in ghosting control.  Would I rather have the A900 and CZ 24-70mm?  Are you kidding?  I’ll take the A580 and 16-50mm every time, the full frame combo is too darn cumbersome; try wearing a 4lb (1.8kg) necklace for a day!

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