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Bryan

New Lens for Sony a6500

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My standard 16-50 Sony kit lens recently died - RIP.   I'd had it fixed but it clearly had had enough and suffered a relapse from which it never recovered. In truth we never really got on.

 

In a fit of stupidity I bought a Zeiss badged 16-70 f4 to replace it. I'd read all of the reviews and knew what to expect, superfast accurate focus, razor sharp in the centre, neutral colours, and distinctly unsharp in the nether regions. The reviews don't lie, that's what you get. Further, you, lose a bit of the image when you apply the lens correction in LR, probably just as well as the missing edge is likely to be garbage.

 

I'm probably going to keep it, for real world shooting the bit in the middle is normally what you want and even a reasonable dose of unsharpness at the edges doesn't often matter. 

 

I'll do some pretty amateurish tests before making a final decision, and publish the results when I get the time.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Bryan said:

My standard 16-50 Sony kit lens recently died - RIP.   I'd had it fixed but it clearly had had enough and suffered a relapse from which it never recovered. In truth we never really got on.

 

In a fit of stupidity I bought a Zeiss badged 16-70 f4 to replace it. I'd read all of the reviews and knew what to expect, superfast accurate focus, razor sharp in the centre, neutral colours, and distinctly unsharp in the nether regions. The reviews don't lie, that's what you get. Further, you, lose a bit of the image when you apply the lens correction in LR, probably just as well as the missing edge is likely to be garbage.

 

I'm probably going to keep it, for real world shooting the bit in the middle is normally what you want and even a reasonable dose of unsharpness at the edges doesn't often matter. 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you sure? You seem to do quite a bit of architectural photography so using a lens that is not reasonably sharp across the frame is not ideal. I guess it depends on where the sharpness really falls off (where do the nether regions begin?). If it is just the edges then ok but if the sharpness curve is more like a steep hill than a cliff, then I would think again if I were you.

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Yes it's not straightforward Michael. I normally do most of my shooting with ex film camera fixed focal length glass - mainly primes -  but, as I get on, that kit becomes heavier to carry.

 

This lens is about as good as it gets as far as walk around zooms go for the crop factor Sonys. Compromise may be needed.

 

It was great to use with my grandchildren over Xmas, instant focus, face recognition etc. Not so hot for Durham cathedral.

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Sounds like a very handy zoom range. I find that there are usually ways to work around lens shortcomings. Hope you enjoy it.

 

P.S. Santa didn't bring me any new toys this Xmas, so I'm jealous. :D

Edited by John Mitchell
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Cheers John!

 

 I did consider the older standard zoom lens that you have as my repairman said that it was a good deal more robust than the 16-50. Would probably have been a more sensible move given the $$$ involved, but as they say, there are no pockets in shrouds.....

 

I'll do some tests with a tripod to see if I can live with the beast.

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6 hours ago, Bryan said:

Cheers John!

 

 I did consider the older standard zoom lens that you have as my repairman said that it was a good deal more robust than the 16-50. Would probably have been a more sensible move given the $$$ involved, but as they say, there are no pockets in shrouds.....

 

I'll do some tests with a tripod to see if I can live with the beast.

 

Of course you can always leave lots of space around buildings etc. and then crop. I find that 24MP allows nicely for that.

 

I'm sure your new lens is better than the 18-55, although the latter has decent nether regions in the mid focal lengths, as does the 16-50 when it's in a good mood.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I am also in the market for a new Sony lens and have been looking at the 10/18 f4 oss a tad pricey but it has some very good reviews.

Probably a tad to wide for what you are looking for though.  

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23 hours ago, Bryan said:

My standard 16-50 Sony kit lens recently died - RIP.   I'd had it fixed but it clearly had had enough and suffered a relapse from which it never recovered. In truth we never really got on.

 

In a fit of stupidity I bought a Zeiss badged 16-70 f4 to replace it. I'd read all of the reviews and knew what to expect, superfast accurate focus, razor sharp in the centre, neutral colours, and distinctly unsharp in the nether regions. The reviews don't lie, that's what you get. Further, you, lose a bit of the image when you apply the lens correction in LR, probably just as well as the missing edge is likely to be garbage.

 

I'm probably going to keep it, for real world shooting the bit in the middle is normally what you want and even a reasonable dose of unsharpness at the edges doesn't often matter. 

 

I'll do some pretty amateurish tests before making a final decision, and publish the results when I get the time.

 

 

 

I have the 16-70 f4 too. For architectural/landscape shots I stick to f8.

 

Allan

 

 

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Thanks for your contributions Liam and Allan.

 

I've now done some semi formal tests on the 16-70 and I'm not liking what I am seeing. For some purposes this lens body combination is ideal, but for me it's not working, the edges are too soft and the softness extends too far in.  A pity, because the autofocus is brilliant and the definition across much of the frame very good indeed. Maybe I am seeking the Holy Grail!

 

I've written up the results of my tests in my blog

 

 

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Like the new blog Bryan.  Sorry you are not getting what you wanted from the lens. It is a while since I used my 16-70 so I think, with your findings, I had better do a double check with my copy soon.

 

Wishing you all the best for the New Year.

 

Allan

 

 

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Sorry to hear that the new lens doesn't measure up. Zooms seldom have sharp corners. No?

 

I'm not familiar with the a6500, but did you have the stabilization turned off when using the 16-70 on a tripod?

 

P.S. This chap seems to agree with you -- i.e. it's a lot to pay for what you're getting.

Edited by John Mitchell
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1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

Sorry to hear that the new lens doesn't measure up. Zooms seldom have sharp corners. No?

 

I'm not familiar with the a6500, but did you have the stabilization turned off when using the 16-70 on a tripod?

 

P.S. This chap seems to agree with you -- i.e. it's a lot to pay for what you're getting.

 

Good point about the stabilization John, I should have turned it off!  However all of the photos are crisp in the centre, so shake does not appear to have been an issue. Actually it's difficult to tell the lenses apart just looking at mid frame.

 

Yes zoom lenses are intrinsically more difficult to get right than primes, but the degree of fall off in sharpness that I am seeing here is greater than I remember seeing from my Canon 24-105 on full frame. Further I use an old Pentax 75-150 f4 with the little Sony and that is sharp across the frame, although of course that is with a smaller zoom ratio and with longer focal lengths - so easier to get right. Finally, while I never really got on with the little Sony 16-50 its edge performance wasn't too bad, possibly better than the Sigma 19mm.

 

I think that there might have been a compromise too many with the 16-70. Had it been made a bit bigger allowing larger diameter glass, would that have helped? I've seen people complain that f4 is too limiting, but I don't agree, that was a sensible decision.

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2 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Like the new blog Bryan.  Sorry you are not getting what you wanted from the lens. It is a while since I used my 16-70 so I think, with your findings, I had better do a double check with my copy soon.

 

Wishing you all the best for the New Year.

 

Allan

 

 

 

All the best to you too Allan! 

 

Almost 8 pm on New Year's eve and I'm considering going to bed with a mug of Horlicks........

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3 minutes ago, Bryan said:

 

All the best to you too Allan! 

 

Almost 8 pm on New Year's eve and I'm considering going to bed with a mug of Horlicks........

I have a lasagne in the microwave and have nicked a can of my son's dark fruit Strongbow.  After I have eaten I will enjoy the last of my Christmas Scotch and head for bed at the normal time of half nine to tennish.  Then tomorrow I have a footy match and look forward to everything getting back to normal - I am eager for 2019 (my life is in a way better place than a year ago) but I don't need a party to start it.

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1 hour ago, Bryan said:

 

Good point about the stabilization John, I should have turned it off!  However all of the photos are crisp in the centre, so shake does not appear to have been an issue. Actually it's difficult to tell the lenses apart just looking at mid frame.

 

Yes zoom lenses are intrinsically more difficult to get right than primes, but the degree of fall off in sharpness that I am seeing here is greater than I remember seeing from my Canon 24-105 on full frame. Further I use an old Pentax 75-150 f4 with the little Sony and that is sharp across the frame, although of course that is with a smaller zoom ratio and with longer focal lengths - so easier to get right. Finally, while I never really got on with the little Sony 16-50 its edge performance wasn't too bad, possibly better than the Sigma 19mm.

 

I think that there might have been a compromise too many with the 16-70. Had it been made a bit bigger allowing larger diameter glass, would that have helped? I've seen people complain that f4 is too limiting, but I don't agree, that was a sensible decision.

 

Guess they just don't make 'em like they used to. 

 

An inexpensive 18-55 might make an OK replacement for the 16-50. There seems to be a lot of them out there. Bought mine used in 2012 and it's still going strong. De-centering can be an issue, of course. My copy isn't bad in that department. Enjoy the Horlicks.

Edited by John Mitchell

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My RX100 VI is my workhorse for stock now. The 10/18 sits on my a6000 and I have the very good "kit" 28-70 that Wim suggested for a bit more reach. Thanks, Wim! :D

 

Edo

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4 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

My RX100 VI is my workhorse for stock now. The 10/18 sits on my a6000 and I have the very good "kit" 28-70 that Wim suggested for a bit more reach. Thanks, Wim! :D

 

Edo

 

That's a possibility that I hadn't considered thanks Edo, and you can pick one up relatively cheaply used.

 

Probably worth investigating as a full frame lens on the crop frame  body it should do well???

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Try mpb, Bryan. 

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1 hour ago, Bryan said:

 

That's a possibility that I hadn't considered thanks Edo, and you can pick one up relatively cheaply used.

 

Probably worth investigating as a full frame lens on the crop frame  body it should do well???

 

After testing my E16-70 f4 Zeiss badged lens again I have come to the same conclusion as you Bryan and will have to replace it.

 

On seeing edo's post about the 28-70 kit lens I decided to investigate same. They are going for £349 new at WEX or £169 used. Also £199 used at LCE and Ffordes. And £173 used at Jessops. Don't bother with mpb as they had none when I looked.

 

Going to check prices on ebay next for 28-70 lens and selling price of 16-70 lens.

 

Allan

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

After testing my E16-70 f4 Zeiss badged lens again I have come to the same conclusion as you Bryan and will have to replace it.

 

On seeing edo's post about the 28-70 kit lens I decided to investigate same. They are going for £349 new at WEX or £169 used. Also £199 used at LCE and Ffordes. And £173 used at Jessops. Don't bother with mpb as they had none when I looked.

 

Going to check prices on ebay next for 28-70 lens and selling price of 16-70 lens.

 

Allan

 

 

 

The view on that 28|70 is 42|105. 

 

MPB gets stuff in all the time, Allan. But that lens is harder than some to find. One wonders why Zeiss doesn't have its act together. 

 

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Just checked MPD, they have a bucketload of these lenses for around £150 apiece - thanks Edo!

 

I need to return the 16-70 first and see the cash back into my account before taking further action.

 

Allan, I have to say that I found the 16-70 was a delight to use with its fast, quiet and accurate autofocus, but, as Michael pointed out above I do a lot of architectural stuff as well as landscapes, so definition near the edges is relatively important to me. I think that it would satisfy many photographers who go after different subject matter. 

 

I would ideally like to road test a 28-70 before committing, it gets lukewarm reviews in some quarters, although most seem to feel that it punches above its price tag level. This makes interesting reading.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Allan Bell said:

 

After testing my E16-70 f4 Zeiss badged lens again I have come to the same conclusion as you Bryan and will have to replace it.

 

On seeing edo's post about the 28-70 kit lens I decided to investigate same. They are going for £349 new at WEX or £169 used. Also £199 used at LCE and Ffordes. And £173 used at Jessops. Don't bother with mpb as they had none when I looked.

 

Going to check prices on ebay next for 28-70 lens and selling price of 16-70 lens.

 

Allan

 

Some shops offer them in new in bubble wrap for $200/Eur200 equivalent. Used ones should go lower than that. The corners are not very nice, but that's of no concern on APS. In some cases the corners can be soft in other cases over-sharpened which is worse. Could well be the in-camera correction that kicks in now I think of it.

For an APS lens it's on the biggish side, but it's really lightweight. Plus it has stabilization.

 

wim

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Posted (edited)

There's always the newish Sony E 18-135mm, which has been discussed in earlier threads. It's nice and compact and has a somewhat more reasonable price tag than the 16-70. I think that I would find 28-70 frustrating on an APS camera -- i.e. 28mm not wide enough for general use. 

 

BTW, Bryan, how does image stabilization work with OSS lenses like the 16-70? Do you have to turn the 6500's in-camera stabilization off? Perhaps it's worth doing your tripod tests again with both systems off.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I'll mention it again . . . the 28-70 will have a view of 42-105 on the Sony a6500. That's not what I would want as my main street zoom. For me it's great because it compliments the Sony 10-18. Will you have something wider, Bryan?

 

Edo

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1 minute ago, Ed Rooney said:

I'll mention it again . . . the 28-70 will have a view of 42-105 on the Sony a6500. That's not what I would want as my main street zoom. For me it's great because it compliments the Sony 10-18. Will you have something wider, Bryan?

 

Edo

 

I use a 12 mm Rokinon and a Sigma 19mm Edo, so the 28-70 would be appropriate. It also fits with the 75-150 f4 that I carry. It would mean I could dispense with a 28, 35 and 50, so, if it is as good as I hope it might be, it would save lens changes and portage. The 16-70 would have been even better, but, sadly, not to be.

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