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Bryan

New Lens for Sony a6500

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On 26/08/2019 at 20:24, Bryan said:

I've dug out another antique lens, a Pentax 28-80 zoom and tried it on my Sony a6500. It's better suited to the Sony than the Tamron referred to above as its lighter and focuses happily throughout the zoom range.  First results here.

 

Further testing has revealed a big problem with my copy of this lens. Near infinity focus is fine across the frame, but at closer distances the images are not sharp in the centre. A weird one this as I generally focus on the centre spot, so I can only put this down to a lens defect. Blog updated with an example. The front focusing section is a bit slack and there are some marks on the front element, so maybe time and misuse have taken their toll. I probably bought this lens with a camera that I wanted in film days, it owes me nothing, but I am now becoming dangerously intrigued and might try to buy another copy!

Edited by Bryan

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On 27/08/2019 at 01:14, John Mitchell said:

 

Can't afford the 24mm, unfortunately, but I've heard that it's a very good lens. I still have my  trusty 18-55. However, I now use the very compact 16-50 on my a6000 most of the time. I've discovered that using manual focus to tweak the autofocus (DMF) with this lens greatly improves sharpness across the frame. The 16-50 has a lot of field curvature, especially at 16mm, so you often have to move the main focus point away from the centre of the frame, against the advice of AF. I find the 16-50 to be a cool little lens now that I've made friends with it more or less.

 

I found that, incredibly,  the dinky 16-50 offered better edge performance than either the Sony 28-80 FF or the Zeiss 16-70, although the centre of the frame was not as good. I also found, that, like you, John, the results were a bit better if you manually focused. Had my copy not died I would probably still be using it for those occasions where bulk and weight were a consideration. As it is I'm not prepared to pay the asking price for a replacement, given my experience of trying to have my copy repaired.

Edited by Bryan

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deleted ..

Edited by BidC

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7 hours ago, Bryan said:

 

I found that, incredibly,  the dinky 16-50 offered better edge performance than either the Sony 28-80 FF or the Zeiss 16-70, although the centre of the frame was not as good. I also found, that, like you, John, the results were a bit better if you manually focused. Had my copy not died I would probably still be using it for those occasions where bulk and weight were a consideration. As it is I'm not prepared to pay the asking price for a replacement, given my experience of trying to have my copy repaired.

 

It's dinky alright. However, the system needed a compact alternative, and I think Sony did a pretty good job all things considered. I imagine that ultra-small zooms are very challenging to design. Used dinky 16-50's go for about $200 CAN here. I've actually thought of buying a spare. As discussed, a really good, affordable alternative in the same zoom range would be welcomed. Don't think it's gonna happen, though.

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45 minutes ago, Johnnie5 said:

Sony has a new 16-55 2.8 priced at $1400 have to run right out and buy one.  https://www.dpreview.com/news/0416368993/sony-releases-two-new-aps-c-e-mount-lenses-16-55mm-f2-8-and-70-350mm-f4-5-6-3

 

... and with NO image stabilization to boot. Think I'll mortgage the farm and buy two of them. Only $1860 CAN + taxes each. Good old Sony. 😎

Edited by John Mitchell

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9 hours ago, Johnnie5 said:

Sony has a new 16-55 2.8 priced at $1400 have to run right out and buy one.  https://www.dpreview.com/news/0416368993/sony-releases-two-new-aps-c-e-mount-lenses-16-55mm-f2-8-and-70-350mm-f4-5-6-3

 

I guess that we should take comfort from the fact that they are continuing to develop lenses for the crop sensor cameras!

 

For me the 16-70 f4 would be the perfect solution, but it needs to be a whole lot better than the current model. I very rarely have need of a f2.8 aperture, but I do prefer that my lenses provide sharpness across the frame. Still continuing my search for a reliable and sharp walk around zoom for the a6500, and suspect that the solution will be an old film camera lens, costing considerably less than these latest offerings!

 

 

Edited by Bryan

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13 hours ago, Bryan said:

 

I guess that we should take comfort from the fact that they are continuing to develop lenses for the crop sensor cameras!

 

For me the 16-70 f4 would be the perfect solution, but it needs to be a whole lot better than the current model. I very rarely have need of a f2.8 aperture, but I do prefer that my lenses provide sharpness across the frame. Still continuing my search for a reliable and sharp walk around zoom for the a6500, and suspect that the solution will be an old film camera lens, costing considerably less than these latest offerings!

 

 

 

Good luck with the ongoing quest. Do keep us posted. I find that at f/5.6 to f/8, the current 16-50 usually delivers good sharpness across the frame with a little help from manual focus. At 16mm, it's a bit fuzzy around the edges, but that's typical of zooms at the shortest focal length, and it doesn't bother me. DxO lab test suggest that "Dinky" holds up fairly well to a number of more expensive zooms, which is quite an accomplishment given its tiny dimensions.

 

But then neither my eyesight nor my budget is what it used to be... 🤓

Edited by John Mitchell

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I like to use my secondhand Sony 16 - 35mm full frame lens on the A6000. Giving 24 - 52mm equiv. Nice for street photography.

 

But it would be too expensive even S/H, and is bulkier and heavier than the lenses you are looking at.

 

I used to have the Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS on the A6000 but the lens did not enthral me at all, particularly at the wider end but the telephoto end was not too sharp either, so got rid of it.

 

Allan

 

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9 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

I like to use my secondhand Sony 16 - 35mm full frame lens on the A6000. Giving 24 - 52mm equiv. Nice for street photography.

 

But it would be too expensive even S/H, and is bulkier and heavier than the lenses you are looking at.

 

I used to have the Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS on the A6000 but the lens did not enthral me at all, particularly at the wider end but the telephoto end was not too sharp either, so got rid of it.

 

Allan

 

 

Yes, in my view,  that Zeiss lens represents a wasted opportunity for Sony. Had they got it right and combined with an  a6000 or a6500 they would have had a world beater.   Not too late to make amends Mr Sony, bring out a half decent mkII !  I don't expect miracles, a bit of CA and distortion I can live with, but it's got to be reasonably sharp right across the frame. If Canon can do it on FF with the 24-105 f4, then why can't Sony manage on the smaller format?

 

Loving the a6500, superb piece of kit and very well suited to shooting with manual focus lenses. The focus assist is much better than on the NEX6 and of course the in body stabilisation is very useful with older (even ancient) lenses. 😉

Edited by Bryan

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You guys are really fussy. I took this with the little 16-50 @f8, 19mm, and it looks plenty sharp across the frame to me. I used MF and focused to the right of centre to compensate for field curvature. I can get similar results at 16mm with a little experimenting.

 

synthetic-turf-sports-field-at-kitsilano

Edited by John Mitchell
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double post

Edited by John Mitchell

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10 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

You guys are really fussy. I took this with the little 16-50 @f8, 19mm, and it looks plenty sharp across the frame to me. I used MF and focused to the right of centre to compensate for field curvature. I can get similar results at 16mm with a little experimenting.

 

 

That does look pretty good at the size we are seeing it at John. I was reasonably happy with my 16 50,  but it just didn't sparkle. When I have  compared the shots that I take with aged film camera lenses, they consistently produce JPGs with more detail, which is reflected in the filesize. Have you tried comparing your 16-50 with any  old  50 mm "standard lens"?  I published some comparisons on my sadly long lost old blog many moons ago. 

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1 hour ago, Bryan said:

That does look pretty good at the size we are seeing it at John. I was reasonably happy with my 16 50,  but it just didn't sparkle. When I have  compared the shots that I take with aged film camera lenses, they consistently produce JPGs with more detail, which is reflected in the filesize. Have you tried comparing your 16-50 with any  old  50 mm "standard lens"?  I published some comparisons on my sadly long lost old blog many moons ago. 

 

That image I posted looks fine to me at 100% as well. No downsizing necessary. My legacy MF Minolta 50mm is definitely sharper (bigger file size too) and no worries about distortion, but it's not a convenient focal length for me. The only Sony e-lens that I have that "sparkles" is the 35mm f/1.8. I wouldn't expect that kind of performance from a kit zoom. It's a trade off. Plus as you can tell, I'm not a perfectionist. If Sony ever comes up with a better "poor man's zoom" in the 16-50 or 70 range, I'll be all ears, though. 🤩

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11 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

You guys are really fussy. I took this with the little 16-50 @f8, 19mm, and it looks plenty sharp across the frame to me. I used MF and focused to the right of centre to compensate for field curvature. I can get similar results at 16mm with a little experimenting.

 

 

 

That looks really sharp John.  I haven't had much success with that kit lens, although I've only had the camera and lens for a few months.  I've ended up with too much distortion except for the centre.  I must be doing something wrong.       I've just ordered a Sigma 30 mm 1.4 as I've heard good things about it.

Edited by MariaJ

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25 minutes ago, MariaJ said:

 

That looks really sharp John.  I haven't had much success with that kit lens, although I've only had the camera and lens for a few months.  I've ended up with too much distortion except for the centre.  I must be doing something wrong.       I've just ordered a Sigma 30 mm 1.4 as I've heard good things about it.

 

Could be the lens you got dropped off the end of the production line on a Friday just before home time. That is when the bad examples of any production line usually occur.

 

Allan

 

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10 hours ago, MariaJ said:

 

That looks really sharp John.  I haven't had much success with that kit lens, although I've only had the camera and lens for a few months.  I've ended up with too much distortion except for the centre.  I must be doing something wrong.       I've just ordered a Sigma 30 mm 1.4 as I've heard good things about it.


Try using DMF (direct manual focus) to tweak the AF. You'll get sharper results. I find that that my RAW processing software does a very good job of correcting distortion. What program are you using?

 

I found this article very helpful, especially the info on dealing with field curvature. Most of my recent pics were captured with this lens.

 

P.S. The 16-50 that came with my a6000 was badly decentred (right side of the frame turned to mush), so I took it back to Kerrisdale Cameras and they gave me a new one. The replacement is much better.

Edited by John Mitchell
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5 hours ago, John Mitchell said:


Try using DMF (direct manual focus) to tweak the AF. You'll get sharper results. I find that that my RAW processing software does a very good job of correcting distortion. What program are you using?

 

I found this article very helpful, especially the info on dealing with field curvature. Most of my recent pics were captured with this lens.

 

P.S. The 16-50 that came with my a6000 was badly decentred (right side of the frame turned to mush), so I took it back to Kerrisdale Cameras and they gave me a new one. The replacement is much better.

 

Thanks for the info John, and Allan too.  I haven't been using the camera enough to properly test it to see if the lens is off. That's a handy article and I think I need to get to know the camera better to see if it's a user or a lens problem.    Maybe I'll take it to the PNE here for some fun practice.

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I've tried yet another zoom lens on my Sony a6500, an old Pentax 28-70 f4 FA. It looked very promising initially with great central sharpness and crisp vibrant colours, but, sadly, soft at the edges at 28mm, which is probably where it would find most use. Further details on my blog.

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I just bought a used Sigma 17-50 Nikon mount for a friend, the difference between the Sigma and the kit lens is stunning, color rendition and sharpness are so much better.  While hunting around I noticed the Sony version that has no image stabilization was selling for around $160-$200 dollars, dirt cheap.  I am tempted to buy one for my A6000 and not worry about the image stabilization.  The problem I found with the Sony 16-50 is the distortion at 16mm and when you correct for it you end up with 17-18mm equivalent.  This photo is from the Nikon/Sigma combo.

 

peaches-the-calico-cat-is-a-community-cat-that-is-cared-for-by-many-families-her-clipped-ear-indicates-that-she-has-been-spayed-she-loves-dogs-2B1DA35.jpg

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14 hours ago, Johnnie5 said:

I just bought a used Sigma 17-50 Nikon mount for a friend, the difference between the Sigma and the kit lens is stunning, color rendition and sharpness are so much better.  While hunting around I noticed the Sony version that has no image stabilization was selling for around $160-$200 dollars, dirt cheap.  I am tempted to buy one for my A6000 and not worry about the image stabilization.  

 

 

 

Thanks for that! 

 

This one has not previously appeared upon my radar and it is available in Sony crop camera fit! The a6500 has in body stabilisation so the lack of this feature is not a problem for me. I have a Sigma 19mm which has deteriorated through use and is now produces images that are noticeably soft on one side. Designed as a throw away lens, I doubt if it could be economically repaired and I was contemplating a replacement. This 17-50 Sigma could be answer to  my problems, but I've had so many disappointments in the past that I hardly dare hope that such a reasonably priced lens could provide a solution! Perhaps I should also add that I also possess a very old  Canon fit Sigma 10-20 that very definitely has issues, so not the best advert for the brand, while my Canon fit Sigma 100-300 f4 has been trouble free and is wonderfully sharp.

 

Worth a try methinks.....

 

Edit - just had a worrying thought, is this lens designed for a crop frame Sony DSLR and not compatible with the a6500, need to check!!

 

Further Edit - It's A mount, so not compatible with the a6500, curses !!

Edited by Bryan

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On 01/09/2019 at 18:59, John Mitchell said:

 

I found this article very helpful, especially the info on dealing with field curvature. Most of my recent pics were captured with this lens.

 

 

I didn't spot this when you first posted it back in September.  Some months ago I packed my NEX6/16-50mm into its box ready to put on eBay because I was so disappointed with the variable quality of the pics. Only yesterday I spotted it sitting on the shelf and decided that today I would get round to eBaying it. This article has prompted me to give it a temporary reprieve to see if I can actually get something better from it. The whole reason for getting it in the first place was because it will slip into a pocket for those many occasions when I don't want to annoy my shoulder by lugging the 5D2 around, but I just got so frustrated that at least 50% of my shots weren't quite good enough to risk a QC failure.

 

Alan

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On 01/09/2019 at 18:59, John Mitchell said:


Try using DMF (direct manual focus) to tweak the AF. You'll get sharper results. I find that that my RAW processing software does a very good job of correcting distortion. What program are you using?

 

I found this article very helpful, especially the info on dealing with field curvature. Most of my recent pics were captured with this lens.

 

P.S. The 16-50 that came with my a6000 was badly decentred (right side of the frame turned to mush), so I took it back to Kerrisdale Cameras and they gave me a new one. The replacement is much better.

 

The Sony 10-18 (15-27view) sits on my a6000 most of the time. I have a budget 28-70 and the 50f1.8 Sony prime too. Although I've come to using my Sony RX100/6 90+% of the time, I really enjoy taking the a6000 out for a run. Unfortunately, it's not rainproof and neither am I. 

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A couple of years ago, I got a Sony a6300 and 18-105mm f4. I have the 16-70 that I used for several years, but I found that I keep using the 18-105. My small bag contains that combo, and an a6000 with the 10-18.

 

You "really fussy" ones probably wouldn't like the 18-105--edge sharpness, frequent need to apply CA correction, motorized zoom, etc--but I like the extra reach and the build (internal focus and zoom) and the $600 price. It's taken most of my shots for the last couple of years, no QC issues. The only thing I don't like is that the motorized zoom always reverts to wide when it's turned off, and it's a hair slower to start.

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I am confused about the A mount  E mount thing.  I did find this video that explains all the adapters.  Its complicated.  I couldn't find info on which videos will play outside the USA.  The cost of the adapter sort of wipes out the bargain nature of the Sigma 17-50 unless you have bunch of A mount lenses laying around.

 

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