REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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Sony16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens
 
3.3

(based on 40 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

63%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (18)
  • Easily interchangeable (10)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (8)
  • Consistent output (6)
  • Durable (6)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (6)
  • Blurry focus (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (7)
  • Everyday (4)
  • Travel (4)
  • Video (4)
  • Home (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (12), Enthusiast (5), Semi-pro photographer (5), Pro photographer (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (26)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Better the negative reviews suggest

I bought mine at B&H in a kit with a NEX-6 in February 2013. I've shot this lens all over the world on my NEX-6 - as have other skilled...Read complete review

I bought mine at B&H in a kit with a NEX-6 in February 2013. I've shot this lens all over the world on my NEX-6 - as have other skilled photographers - and the simple fact is, you won't find a superior, comparably priced 16-50mm zoom for your NEX, A3000 or A6000 than this lens.To appreciate this lens, you need to understand that - to keep the price so low - it's a software-corrected lens. What that means is, the distortion, corner unsharpness and vignetting inherent in an affordable design are eliminated or sharply attenuated ONLY if you use the jpegs created in the camera, or run your RAW images through Lightroom, using the lens correction profile "baked into" all versions of Lightroom since version 4. If you just convert the raw files to jpegs with Photoshop/Adobe Camera Raw, you will not get great results. That doesn't make this inexpensive lens different from other software-corrected lenses in its price class. You can look at the examples I upload here, or better yet, go to Flickr and search for images taken with this lens - just put "Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS" in the Flickr search window, and see all the great, sharp images taken with this lens. These Flickr photos will convince you that those who condemn this lens are wrong.The photography world has many who look down their noses at kit lenses. I almost did too, because of the many negative comments on Internet forums. But I bought it with my NEX-6 because it was so inexpensive when purchased with my NEX-6 – and once I got it, I realized the truth in the old adage, "A poor carpenter blames his tools." Is this a great, Zeiss-competitive lens? Of course not! Are there inexpensive prime lenses that beat this lens at many focal lengths - absolutely! But the reality is, much of what we shoot never gets as far as a print, much less a 24x36 inch or larger that might - MIGHT - begin to show issues at great magnification. This is a "walk-around" lens, great for walking though a city and snapping images. If you travel as a family, couple or in a group, you will anger others as you slow them down while you switch prime lenses – you need a zoom. The Sony 16-70mm alternative costs almost $– and the $ or more difference between buying that lens and this in a kit could pay for several days in a Prague AirBnB!Many who've listened to the nay-sayers eventually come back and buy the lens at $ or more over what they'd have paid if they bought it with a body. I suggest you not make a mistake and buy it with your new Sony camera.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Love everything about it except the most important thing

This lens came with my Sony A6000. It has everything I want it to have, except the most important thing - image quality. The lens is extremely compact, light, has power zoom,...Read complete review

This lens came with my Sony A6000. It has everything I want it to have, except the most important thing - image quality. The lens is extremely compact, light, has power zoom, OS, is wide enough to squeeze your friends for a picture in a tiny apartment, the focus is lightning fast...etc.

But when it comes to image quality, it's only OK. At F/3.5, it's a bit fuzzy, although the chromatic aberration is not that bad. At F/8.0, sharpness increases modestly. Beyond F/11, images start to look like a smear. Distortion in the corners is a bit funky even after the camera's automatic correction. Also, when using manual focus, the lens has an absurd amount of focus range beyond infinity.

Don't get me wrong, you can get fantastic images from this lens, and as a result of being so compact, I actually take to a lot of places and use it a lot. But, for the sake of comparison, I use an old Canon FD 50mm F1.4 lens with an adapter, and even at F/1.4, it's monumentally sharper than the Sony 16-50. In other words, the Sony 16-50 really clouds the potential of the sensor. Unfortunately, there is no other choice that offers the same compact size and convenience of this lens with better image quality.

All in all, it's not bad... but almost every other lens out there offers great potential.

Reviewed by 40 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Terrific, unique little lens.

By Sam

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

This lens is regularly trashed on forums by pixel-peepers and those who don't understand that it needs to be corrected in PP or in-camera. It was designed that way.

It is comparable in resolution to the $1000 16-70 in it's focal range, and yet is incredibly light and compac, will actually fit in a pocket with a6xxx camera. . A unique lens - there is nothing quite like it, and when bundled with a 6xxx camera, an incredible bargain.

 
5.0

A Good Starter Lens

By Hailey

from Stockton, California

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

In contrast to all of the negativity, this lens is compact, a great walk-around lens, and gets the job done.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Not ideal for Video

By Franklin

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

It drives me insane when this lens will not autofocus correctly. It happens far too often which makes it pretty terrible if you're using it as a video lens.

(0 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

i like this

By warren

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

i like this lens, i would like to see this lens wider,  for a kit lens its good, but i will build a small lens kit, this portrait was taken on A6300 , great camera,  nice work sony,

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A Good Start

By Raine

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

I've had a solid run with this lens for some time now. Being one of the two lenses that came stock with my Sony a6000, the 16-50mm focal length range makes the lens a great multipurpose choice for any photographer.

The zoom is whisper quiet, as the focus ring. I personally haven't had any issues with vignetting, though some softness can be discerned on around the edges of the frame.

 
3.0

Good for a kit lens, Will need post processing

By Josh

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

For the price its actually pretty good. Expect to make lens corrections in Lightroom or other software.
Personally I'm not crazy about the 'power zoom' feature, it works really well, i just prefer manual zoom.

 
4.0

A bit early to evaluate

By Globe Trotter

from Vancouver Washington

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

I have played around with the camera and lens some but the A6500 has a big learning curve and I am close to the bottom of the ladder. theThe lens is not listed as 100% compatible with the camera according to Sony. It was made for earlier models but I wanted a inexpensive-light-small wide to portrait zoom to use prior to going on to the GM primes and zooms. It worked fine with the A6500 out of the box but so far has not impressed with depth of field and sharpness--although I am in the early stages of marrying the lens and camera and playing ISO and shutter speeds. I expect it will eventually do what I want but the combo is not a point and shoot outfit. Stay tuned, I may add an update

 
5.0

Lense seems better than the original kit lense.

By kopyman

from Lake Charles, LA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

Great Lens for me as I used to gather News photos.
Sony a6000 Great Camera also.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Nice kit lens, gets job done

By Daniel

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

Since getting my a6000 I've gotten several lenses that are stellar. This 16-50mm kit lens is not that bad at all. f8 is the sweet spot throughout the range and if you keep this in mind you'll get some nice corners. Check out my attacked shots for examples.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Came with my Sony A6300

By Chris

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

Works as described

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good for the price

By Ronald

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

I was baffled by the bad review that people gave to this lens.  I believe most people just do not know how to focus correctly with this lens. Therefore, their pictures are not sharp. I tried this lens and focus carefully, it is good for the price. Of course, you cannot expect this lens to be as sharp as $2K lens. It is not even $200.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

It "is" as many have reviewed before me...

By Studio51Media

from Metropolitan DC area

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

I'm not sure its even worth the low price… not even remotely sharp at the edges. I bought it after I bought the a6300 (instead of as part of a "kit") I needed a lens that take advantage of all the "Auto" features since I normally shoot video with manual prime Cine lenses. I'd say it's not impressive and a poor match to an amazing camera body. It "works"...

(1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Not sharp at all.

By Luke

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

The lens is nice and compact which makes it perfect for traveling but it is just an all around bad lens when it comes to sharpness.  Distortion is bad too.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

compact lens to carry

By Sean

from NJ

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Poor in Low Light

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery

Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

Carrying outside without real project is a must to a sincere photographer. It is a must to me.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No
 
4.0

Super compact and useful lens

By Sven

from Steamboat Springs, CO

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Sports/Action
    • Video

    Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

    I use this on my Sony A6300 mainly for video and it seems to work quite well. I'm not a pixel peeper so I won't quote specs but my results have been really quite sharp and usable. Since its so small, it makes for a great compact setup with the A6300. Auto focus is super fast!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (26 of 27 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Love everything about it except the most important thing

    By Kelisi

    from Boston, MA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Not Sharp

    Best Uses

    • Family
    • Street
    • Travel

    Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

    This lens came with my Sony A6000. It has everything I want it to have, except the most important thing - image quality. The lens is extremely compact, light, has power zoom, OS, is wide enough to squeeze your friends for a picture in a tiny apartment, the focus is lightning fast...etc.

    But when it comes to image quality, it's only OK. At F/3.5, it's a bit fuzzy, although the chromatic aberration is not that bad. At F/8.0, sharpness increases modestly. Beyond F/11, images start to look like a smear. Distortion in the corners is a bit funky even after the camera's automatic correction. Also, when using manual focus, the lens has an absurd amount of focus range beyond infinity.

    Don't get me wrong, you can get fantastic images from this lens, and as a result of being so compact, I actually take to a lot of places and use it a lot. But, for the sake of comparison, I use an old Canon FD 50mm F1.4 lens with an adapter, and even at F/1.4, it's monumentally sharper than the Sony 16-50. In other words, the Sony 16-50 really clouds the potential of the sensor. Unfortunately, there is no other choice that offers the same compact size and convenience of this lens with better image quality.

    All in all, it's not bad... but almost every other lens out there offers great potential.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Small and usable, if well short of perfect

    By Forrest

    from Boston, MA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Needs Post-sharpening

    Best Uses

      Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

      Got this with my brand new A6300. Very compact and lightweight (I'm used to a Nikon D800), and I like that I can turn the lens ring and get a very responsive zoom. Seems to take advantage of the extremely fast 6300 autofocus. It isn't as sharp as I would like, or as contrasty, but with software, I can crank up both, resulting in decent images. Sooner or later, I will try the 35mm or the 28mm Sony lenses (or perhaps one of the Sigma 30s) to see if they really are better. I've attached some photos that have been sharpened (and a couple have been cropped, as well)

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Not the sharpest tool, but good all-around

      By TaylorM

      from Virginia, USA

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Lightweight
      • Oss Optical Stabilization

      Cons

      • Poor in Low Light
      • Soft wide open
      • Zoom Noise In Video

      Best Uses

      • Wide Shots In Good Light

      Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

      I purchased an A6000 with this lens. It's a kit lens and you shouldn't expect any more from it. Wide open it tends to be a bit soft, stopped down it has decent sharpness and contrast. The OSS works well and is nice for both photos and videos. Though, when shooting video if you use the power zoom you can hear it on the video, unless you're recording something that's really loud. My 50mm Sony and 19mm Sigma prime lenses are certainly sharper and faster, but with good light this lens offers versatility and compactness. I doubt I would pay $+ for this lens but if you get a good deal on it (like purchasing it with the A6000), or don't already own a number of professional lenses this lens will get the job done.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (1 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      nice for beginners

      By issac

      from israel

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable

      Cons

      • feels cheap
      • Poor in Low Light

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Video

      Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

      I bought it with my A6000

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (2 of 20 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great

      By Motis

      from Salt lake city

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Lightweight
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Macro Photography
        • Weddings/Events
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Alpha E-mount Retractable Zoom Lens:

        Wow, great lens.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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