Sony E 16mm f/2.8 (SEL-16F28) - Review / Re-Test
Lens Reviews - Sony NEX
Article Index
Introduction
Analysis

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2012

Introduction

The Sony E 16mm f/2.8 is a so-called "pancake" lens for the Sony NEX system. The field-of-view is equivalent to a classic ~24mm full format lens so it's on the borderline between a wide- and ultra-wide-angle prime lens.

The build quality of the Sony lens is excellent but the lens construction is so simple that there can't really be many shaky parts anyway. The metal lens body is tightly combined with a tiny metal focus ring. The front element does not rotate and the physical length remains constant regardless of the focus setting.

The AF performance is pretty good for a contrast detection system (albeit highly dependent on the base camera). AF operations are basically noiseless. Manual focusing works "by wire" so the focus ring is not directly coupled to the focus gears but to the AF motor. DMF ("Direct Manual Focusing" in Single Shot AF mode) is supported.

The lens alone is also part of a mini-system based on optional converters. It is possible to (front-)mount a fisheye converter (VCL-ECF1) as well as well as a 0.75x ultra wide-angle converter (VCL-ECU1). This is a quite bold "statement" because converter combinations require a really good base lens in order to produce a decent quality level. The VCL-ECU1 setup (16mm x 0.75x = 12mm) can be seen below.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length24 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction5 elements in 5 groups, 1x aspherical element
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.24 m (1:12.8)
Dimensions62 x 22.5 mm
Weight67 g
Filter size49 mm
Hood-
Other featuresoptional ultra-wide and fisheye converters




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