Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS PZ (SEL-1650) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony NEX

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published July 2013

Introduction

The Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS PZ is a pancake zoom lens for the Sony NEX system (E-mount). It is an extremely small lens especially considering its highly interesting focal length range. That said, this is only part of the story. The lens is only small in "transport mode". As soon as you turn on the camera, the lens extends into it's working position and size-wise it is actually pretty much comparable to a conventional lens then. There is at least one further specialty which relates to the handling of the lens - as the name implies, it is a PZ or Power-Zoom lens. There are actually two zoom options here - by using the dedicated zoom slider and, in AF mode, by turning the focus ring. The E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS PZ is usually sold as part of a camera kit for little extra costs as well as separately for around 300EUR/US$. On paper this sounds very reasonable for a lens offering a field-of-view equivalent to "24-75mm" on full format cameras.

The Sony lens has an outer shell made of metal but while the execution is decent we weren't all that impressed this time. The plastic zoom slider doesn't really scream quality although to be fair - it does the job by providing smooth zooming. As mentioned you can also use the focus ring for (motorized-) zooming in AF mode. Again, technically this works just fine but it feels somewhat rough and grainy. A lens hood is not supplied nor available.

The AF operates pretty fast and silently - at least in good light conditions (which is more related to the camera rather than the lens). Manual focusing works "by-wire". While we usually have no problems with this approach, it felt somewhat too "detached" here. However, honestly speaking few users will rarely take advantage of this anyway. As the lens name implies, Sony managed to incorporate an optical image stabilizer which is good enough for about 2-3 f-stops. We had a few image outliers during our field sessions - whether this relates to just us, the AF or the OSS remains somewhat unclear.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length24-75 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/5.3-f/8.4 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction9 elements in 8 groups (4x aspherical & 1xED elements)
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.25 m (max. magnification: 1:4.65)
Dimensions65 x 30 mm
Weight116 g
Filter size40.5 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNo
Other featuresOSS




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