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Sony SELP1650 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS: Review


Sony SELP1650 16-55mm f3.5-5.6 OSS: Review

As you probably know, I received a Sony NEX-3N kit last week for reviewing, and having already posted a full review a few days ago which focused mainly on the performance of the body, today I shall be going into more detail into the lens that comes bundled with the NEX-3N body: the Sony SELP1650 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 power zoom lens. So if you were left wanting to know more about this lens after reading my NEX-3N review – more on its optical performance, its feel and features and all that – this post is definitely the one you want

Alright, so this 16-50mm lens is an E-mount lens, which means it’ll work with any camera that has an E-mount i.e. any Sony NEX camera. It’s a power zoom lens – not a mechanical one – that uses a zooming motor to adjust focal length, unlike most traditional lenses you find in system cameras, and as far as I know it is the first of its kind on the Sony NEX system. The power zoom bit is one of the most interesting features of the NEX-3N kit, but I’ll leave it there for now and take it up in a short while. However, I should add here that this is one of the main reason’s why the lens is so compact!

Sony SELP1650 16-55mm f3.5-5.6 OSS

Sony SELP1650 16-55mm f3.5-5.6 OSS

Yeah, it’s super compact. And it is this slim – almost pancake-like – because, thanks to the power zoom workings inside, it’s able to retract i.e. collapse into itself when not in use, much like the zoom lens of a compact point-n-shoot camera. This allows it to retract into a size that’s just around 3cm thick when turned off! Add this to the equally compact NEX-3N body and the entire package is as compact as the Fujifilm X20! It’s one of the most compact, if not THE most compact, mirrorless camera systems you’re going to find in the market today

Apart from power zooming and retracting and the really compact size, the other thing you’d probably have noticed in this lens is the 16-50mm range, a very unique focal length range for a kit lens. And to be honest, it’s a very refreshing change from the typical 18-55mm. Sure, you lose 5mm at the telephoto end, but like I said in my NEX-3N review, you’d notice the 2mm you gain at the wide end more than you’d notice the 5mm missing at the telephoto end. If you’re into landscape photography, for instance, or any sort of photography where you need a bit extra on the wide angle, this lens would be far more useful than an 18-55mm


Buy this lens on Amazon

Ok, so those are the very basics of this product. Let’s go into more detail and find out more about this little lens, shall we? Yes, we shall. A lot of this might have been discussed in the NEX-3N review – they ARE sold together as a kit, you know – but if you don’t want to go through that entire review just to read about the lens, this post is better for you. Oh, and if you’re buying this lens, please use my links posted just above here, and help keep my site going! Thanks

Specifications You Would Want To Know

  • Focal Length: 16-50mm (24-75mm equivalent)
  • Angle of View: 83°-32°
  • Maximum Aperture: f3.5-5.6
  • Minimum Aperture: f22-36
  • Construction: 8 elements in 9 groups (4 aspheric elements)
  • Number of Aperture Blades: 7 (circular blades)
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 25cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.215x
  • AF Motor: Stepping Motor
  • Focusing Mechanism: Internal
  • Image Stabilization: Yes, Optical SteadyShot (OSS)
  • Filter Size: 40.5mm (does not rotate)
  • Dimensions: 67mm (diameter) x 30mm (length when retracted)
  • Weight: 116g

Size and Build

Ok, moving on from the specs to the actual feel of the lens, the first impression you get is that this isn’t a cheap kit lens. It feels solid your hand. Of course it doesn’t feel as good/solid/heavy as a lens costing $1000 or more, but I think it feels better than it costs. Besides, you don’t want this super-compact system to have a really heavy lens, do you? No, not at all. You want it to feel light but not to feel cheap, and I think this lens strikes a very nice balance here. It feels light without feeling cheap

The zoom/focus ring is nice and smooth, and while you may feel that it doesn’t offer much resistance, and turns a bit easily, remember that it’s a power zoom ring – more in this in a bit – and this is how it should be. I think it feels just about right. The zoom slider switch under the lens barrel feels good too (more on this in a bit too!) and overall nothing on this lens feels cheap or plasticky. For this price, the quality is superb

And then there’s the size! Ah, the size is really, really nice. Like I said, it retracts into itself when turned off, and collapses to a size that’s just 3cm thick. That’s fantastic.  Where most mirrorless cameras fall short of being really compact is the lens that has to attach in front, and this is where the NEX-3N stands out. Generally, unless it’s a fixed focal length pancake lens, which can be like 2cm thick, the lens that you get with a mirrorless camera, no matter how small the body is, makes the entire package rather bulky. But the really compact NEX-3N is paired with an equally compact and slim lens, which allows the entire system to remain almost point-and-shoot sized. It’s not quite pocketable, but it’s close! Excellent, really

Yeah, I love the size of this lens, and I’m impressed with the build quality. Taking this out of the box, it felt better than I expected a kit lens to feel, and that’s great

Power Zoom

Alright, one of the coolest parts of this lens is its power zoom mechanism. I know this isn’t the first power zoom to make an appearance in the mirrorless market, but I think it’s the best designed and best implemented so far. I promised to explain this a bit more as I was talking about the built quality of the rings and switches and all that, so here we go

To zoom this lens, you have no less than three options – two of them on the lens itself. First up is the typical zoom ring on the lens barrel. As this is a power zoom lens, this doesn’t mechanically control zoom like a traditional zoom ring would, but instead it electronically controls a motor which zooms the lens for you as you turn the ring. The feel of the ring is smooth, the resistance feels right, and the response I get when I turn the ring feels quite natural. I’ve heard some people complain that the zoom action when using this ring is a bit jumpy and not smooth enough for their use, and I guess it could be – if you try to use it like a mechanical zoom lens. It’s not. So don’t try to use it like one. Spend some time with this lens, and get a feel for how it works, and get used to it. Once you do, you will realize it’s perfectly smooth enough to control. I was making 1mm corrections with this lens without any problem just a few minutes after using it

However, if you still don’t like using the zoom ring, you can use the other zoom option on the lens, the slider switch under the barrel. Similar to the way in which other power zoom lenses (from Panasonic etc.) allow zoom control, this switch just needs to be pushed this way to zoom in, and pushed the other way to zoom out. It’s a more gentle and controlled method of zooming, and might be suited for video work, I believe; and it works very well. The switch is easy to use and has a very comfortable action

The zoom ring and slider switch on the lens barrel

The zoom ring and slider switch on the lens barrel

The third zoom option is not found on the lens but instead is found on the NEX-3N body, and is the most interesting of them all: a point-n-shoot style rocker switch around the shutter button of the NEX-3N. This smart little addition allows users to control this power zoom in a very point-n-shoot way, making it very easy for compact camera users to transition to this new sort of system camera, while also giving more experienced users the option of true one-handed shooting. Nice. This feature is only available on the NEX-3N, though, and even the NEX-3N can only do this with powered E-mount zooms, which I think currently includes only this 16-50mm, but I’m sure more will be coming soon. If you use the NEX-3N kit, this is a fantastic option

I’m not sure if any of these options are slow enough for true videography, but seriously, if you want that sort of thing, go get a video camera! For photography, this is perfect. There are plenty of options to zoom this lens, all of which work just fine for stills photography, so I really don’t see a reason for anyone to complain about it

UPDATE: There’s also a Sony 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 powered zoom lens for the NEX E-mount – although, being released along with the NEX-VG900 full-frame video camera, this rather massive lens seems to be designed with the videographer in mind. However, it’s an E-mount lens, so it’ll work on all NEX cameras, and as it’s a powered zoom lens, the NEX-3N’s zoom rocker will be able to control it – but I wouldn’t dare try shooting one-handed with this monster!

Focusing

The focusing mechanism used on this SELP1650 lens is internal. This means nothing moves as you focus. The front element doesn’t rotate, nor does the barrel extend. It’s a feature usually associated with more expensive lens, and it’s something I really appreciated on Canon’s EF-M lens too, and I love that Sony’s done it here as well

The focusing motor is deadly quiet. I just don’t hear anything when focusing. I’ve only used this lens with the NEX-3N and its contrast-detect AF system, and I haven’t used others lenses with this body, so I cant’ truly compare and comment on the speed of this lens’ AF motor, but in general, the NEX-3N kit focused very fast. In good conditions, it was almost instant, and in very dim condition it never took more than a second. That’s fast. With a higher-end NEX camera, I guess the lens would focus even faster, but as yet, I cannot comment on this. Just know that I found it to be very fast with the NEX-3N and I see no reason why it shouldn’t get even faster when paired with phase-detect NEX camera

Manual focusing is super easy. When switching to MF mode, the zoom ring on the lens barrel becomes a focus ring, which works great. It’s smooth, it’s easy to turn, and the response you get from turning the ring is just right i.e. you don’t have to make a full turn to change focus by 50cm, nor does it go from MFD to infinity in half a turn. Add to this the Focus Peaking feature found in all NEX cameras, and manual focusing has never been better on a digital camera!

Macro Capabilities

With a minimum focusing distance of 25cm throughout the zoom range, some pretty decent close-ups can be achieved when shooting at the telephoto end of the lens, where you can get the maximum magnification of 0.215x. This 0.215x doesn’t sound much, and when compared to a true macro lens, it isn’t much, but when put into practice, it does allow for some nice close-ups, making this a rather versatile lens. Have a look at the sample pictures to get an idea of how much magnification you can get with this lens

Sony 16-50mm f3.5-5.6: Image Quality

None of the above matters if the image quality isn’t right up there, does it? And well, if you read my NEX-3N review, you’d know by now that I was very impressed with the image quality of the NEX-3N, which obviously means I was impressed with the SELP1650 too. In a word, the images I took with this setup looked lovely. They all just looked so natural! Colorful, punchy, bright and exciting, but natural. Oh yes – I was very satisfied with the shots I got

This lens is pretty sharp. All the images I took were sharp. So I can safely say this lens is sharp. Right? Yeah. Compared with a similar mirrorless system kit lens, the EF-M 18-55mm, I’d say this Sony is slightly less sharp, but this is not so much a complaint as it is a pointless comparison. This lens is perfectly sharp enough, and I had no issue with it in this department

When shooting wide open, thanks to the large APS-C sensor of NEX bodies, you get some lovely bokeh. The quality of the out-of-focus blur that this lens creates is nice and smooth, and is better than what you’d get from your average kit lens. Compared again with the EF-M, a lens that produced some very nice bokeh too, I’d say it’s as good. The 7-blade circular aperture is one of the reasons, I’m guessing. Very nice indeed

I didn’t notice much lens distortion when shooting JPEGs, but I did notice some at the wide end of the lens in the RAW shots, meaning the JPEGs are corrected in-camera for distortion. However, Lightroom already has a lens correction profile for this lens, so if you shoot RAW, it just takes a click to fix any distortion. I’ve included some samples in both JPEG and RAW in one of the galleries below, so check it out – although I did forgot to do direct RAW vs. JPEG comparisons for distortion

Chromatic aberrations? No, none that I observed. I don’t seem to notice this sort of thing very easily unless it is severe, as I don’t crop to 100% and examine every pixel; so this lens probably does suffer from a bit of color fringing – or maybe it doesn’t at all – but as I didn’t notice it while examining the images in general, I can say for sure that it has nothing of this sort that’s even close to severe

Flare is controlled very well. I’ve shot at direct light sources (where even a hood wouldn’t help) and I saw no real flare as such. The coatings and whatever they put on this lens are definitely working

Vignetting is something I DID notice at the wide end of this lens, especially when shooting at f3.5 or so. Again, it’s nothing severe; but vignetting was noticeable here, more noticeable than on other similar lenses I’ve used. Of course, the Lightroom lens profile fixes this too, so it’s no issue, but I’m just letting you know! I’ve shot a few sample shots of a white wall for you to get an idea

Sharpness Crops

For RAW vs. JPEG side-by-side comparisons, please see my Sony NEX-3N Review

Distortion

In the three RAW examples above, the first shot (on the left) is the RAW file direct from camera, followed by a distortion-corrected version (done using the Lightroom lens profile) to give you a better idea of how much distortion there is in the RAW file

Vignetting

Vignetting in this sort of example is really exaggerated – that’s the point of this sort of test shot – but in normal scenarios, you wouldn’t notice anything this heavy. However, I did observe quite a bit of vignetting in some of my landscape sample shots that I took; so I have to say that while this lens performs very well in general, vignetting is a bit of an issue. Easily fixed in Lightroom, but it’s still a small issue nonetheless

Yeah, this lens is optically very good indeed. The images are sharp, they’re colorful and bright and contrasty, they’re natural, and they suffer from no major distortions, other than that bit of vignetting wide open. At a lens of this price, that’s about all you can ask for

Sony 16-50mm f3.5-5.6: Product Image Gallery

Sony 16-50mm f3.5-5.6: Sample Image Gallery

If you read my review (or even flipped through it) you probably would’ve seen these sample images, but in case you haven’t, have a look and see what the NEX-3N plus 16-50mm lens is capable of. If you want to know the EXIF info, you’re going to have to look at the NEX-3N review’s gallery, I can’t copy it all here again!

Conclusion

I like this lens. I like this entire kit, actually. If not for a few issues that the NEX-3N body had (read the review!) I would love to have added this superb little system to my collection. As it is, though, it’s not exactly right for me, but that’s not to say it’s a fantastic product, even more so when you look at the price; and while it’s a great kit for beginners who are just starting off with photography, it’s also a great buy for professionals looking for a cheap backup and don’t mind the little issues I discussed about the body


Anyway, this post is mainly about the lens, so let me stick to final thoughts on the lens only – and to be honest, there’s hardly anything I don’t like about it. It’s well-built. It’s super compact. The zoom range is unique, and great for wide landscapes and such. It’s really easy to operate and use. It focuses internally – and more importantly, silently. It is sharp. It takes really nice, natural-looking images. No severe distortions. It costs around $350 or less by itself, and is even more economical when bought as part of the NEX-3N kit, for just $500. Really, at this price range, I’m not going to even start talking complaints or negatives. I’m not saying it’s perfect – of course not, a few issues like the vignetting at wide apertures are there – but at this price, it would be unfair to point out negatives that lenses costing 3 times as much are also plagued with. So I’ll leave it at that. It’s a superb value-for-money standard zoom lens, and I’d suggest existing NEX users to check it out – if your NEX 6/7 has got a couple of high-end prime lenses, this would make a great little walkabout lens, while not breaking the bank


Buy this lens on Amazon

And that’s all I have for you on the lens. It’s all good, right? Yeah. It’s a great little lens. If you have any thoughts/comments/questions – or if you’ve used the lens and would like to add your opinion here – use the comment box below! Thanks for reading. Again, please use my links if you’re buying this lens (or the NEX-3N kit) for yourself! Check out the Sony NEX 3N review for more on this system! Until next time

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By Heshan Jayakody
All content in this post is my own
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Discussion

38 Responses to “Sony SELP1650 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS: Review”

  1. Again, superb work! 🙂 I enjoyed your NEX 3N review too, and it was incredibly helpful for me. I decided against it due to a few issues, but it looks like the body plus this lens makes a great little system. Just wasn’t for me. Great sample shots!

    Posted by CJ | May 8, 2013, 15:19
  2. How does the power zoom ring feel? I don’t think I’d use the rocker switch much, except for a few one-handed occasions, nor will I use the slider at all – the ring is what I want from a camera with this grip. How does it feel?

    Posted by Jim | May 8, 2013, 15:51
    • The zoom ring works beautifully. For video, I’m not sure (although I think it’d do pretty well) but for stills, it’s perfectly fine. Spend a bit of time with it, to get the feel for the power zoom, which is way different to your typical manual zoom lens, and you’d find yourself using it without any difficulty. However, it’d be best if you could spend this bit of time (10-15min) at a camera store. Just to be safe – to be sure how YOU feel with it, not me

      Posted by pixelogist | May 8, 2013, 18:24
      • My experience was different. I am interested in the NEX-7, but while in a store the other day, I spent nearly half an hour with an NEX-6 with this lens. I found that ring to be useless for either focusing or zooming. The slider switch works very well for zooming, but unfortunately cannot be used for focusing. I found that trying to manually focus using that ring was nothing but frustration, owing to the jumpy, non-smooth nature. I could not determine whether it was the step motor or the sensor under the ring, but the manual focusing took place in abrupt steps. If my priorities included the ability to focus manually, I would not want this lens. But, I think that few people would miss manual focusing, because it is so easy to set the autofocus frame to the smaller frame and move it around. In the case of the NEX cameras that have the EVF, you can do this using the EVF.

        Posted by tom | May 26, 2013, 21:32
      • Well, I guess this lens isn’t for everybody…but then again, like I said, when you really spend some time with a lens and get a feel for it – and not use it like a manual zoom – you really can get quite comfortable with it. Although, yes…if you’re not feeling it after testing it in a shop for 30min, you’re probably not going to feel like buying it.

        I admit I didn’t test the ring a LOT for manual focus, but I did find it to be quite easy and pretty smooth. Not a lot of people these days would use manual focus that much, but I can’t say that I found it too hard using this lens. Thanks for sharing your opinion though! 🙂

        Posted by pixelogist | May 27, 2013, 07:50
  3. Thanks for sharing all this info – and your experience with the power zoom 🙂 I was gonna ask you about it myself but your above comment answers it for me. I’m definitely thinking about getting it

    Posted by Bob | May 10, 2013, 16:24
    • Always glad to help! 🙂 It’s a good choice if your budget is around $500 – doesn’t get much better than this in the price range

      Posted by pixelogist | May 10, 2013, 21:23
  4. Top review as always. I love the NEX system, and this, if it’s their newest kit lens, is pretty nice indeed. Not sure if I love the power zoom, but you seem to get used to it, right? Everything else seems great

    Posted by Taylor | June 24, 2013, 07:15
  5. Great review on the lens! I really like it too. I haven’t bought one yet but I’ve used it, and I’m thinking of getting one with a NEX 6. Very nice little lens,

    Posted by Chris | June 30, 2013, 07:56
    • Thanks! 🙂 Yes, it’s a good one. Kit lenses are starting to improve these days – no more noisy AF with rotating front elements and wobbly zoom rings!

      Posted by pixelogist | June 30, 2013, 08:06
  6. I just bought an NEX-3N and I feel like the lens is quite noisy when you zoom, is it the same for yours? Thanks!

    Posted by Kenzo | July 10, 2013, 20:32
    • Hmm, sorry to hear that. I only had the camera with me for a week, for the review, so I can’t check now, but from what I remember, the zooming mechanism wasn’t particularly noisy. Sorry I can’t help you more on this. Maybe go to a store n compare with another unit?

      Posted by pixelogist | July 10, 2013, 20:59
      • Thanks for the quick reply! I just found this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5Dq4wEDxmQ (don’t mind the German, I only understand half of it); but about a few seconds in you can hear the zooming, and I’d say mine is the same.

        Still an awesome buy though!

        Posted by Kenzo | July 10, 2013, 21:03
      • Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s a power zoom, there’s going to be noise from the motor. Compared to other system cameras, where the zoom is mechanical, there’s no sound like this. That’s probably why it sounds louder to you than it is 🙂

        Posted by pixelogist | July 10, 2013, 21:12
      • Indeed! Being used to a D3000 with kit- and zoom-lens I got a bit scared.. Great review btw, keep up the good work!

        Posted by Kenzo | July 10, 2013, 21:16
      • Thanks 🙂 Enjoy your NEX – I’m sure you’d find it as good (or better, in some ways) than your Nikon, and a lot of fun to use

        Posted by pixelogist | July 10, 2013, 21:49
  7. I bought a NEX-3N with this lens kit but at 16mm there seems to be no distortion software correction at all. RAW and JPEG look the same and the faces or eventually circles if you prefer get stretched torwards the upper corners. Very ugly at 16mm shooting 🙁 returning the camera already crossed my mind.

    Posted by Sparcle | July 21, 2013, 22:38
    • Hmm, do you use Lightroom? If you’re noticing this kind of distortion, the best fix would be to use the Lightroom lens profile.

      However, I do find it strange that you notice such severe distortions. In my case, I didn’t notice anything too bad. Then again, it depends on what you’re shooting and what you expect from it. If you take shot of a group of people, and you’re standing very close to them, at 16mm I’m sure the people right at the corners would be distorted quite a bit – this would happen even with more expensive lenses.

      Posted by pixelogist | July 22, 2013, 07:09
  8. Did you shoot in Aperture or manual mode or were some shots in Auto and Program mode too? Thanks

    Posted by Mike Wong | September 12, 2013, 04:31
  9. I was thinking about selling this kit lens for the sony 20mm F2.8 lens…i want to shoot landscapes and also shoot macros(in particular food)…this should be better lens right? heard it was optically better. thanks.

    Posted by Mike Wong | September 13, 2013, 03:14
    • Being a prime lens, the 20mm f2.8 will be optically better, yeah – but for your purposes, it’s the completely wrong choice, if you ask me. 20mm is quite wide, and this lens has a minimum focus distance (MFD) of 20cm – meaning you get a maximum magnification of just 0.12x. You’re not going to get anything close to satisfactory with the 20mm for macro/food photography, I feel. And while 20mm is quite wide, it really isn’t considered wide enough for good landscape photography. The kit lens you have, the 16-50mm, is very wide at 16mm, which is great for landscapes…and with an MFD of 25cm, you can zoom into 50mm and get a magnification of 0.215x…which isn’t massive either, but is much better than the 20mm. The close-ups of the flowers etc. I’ve taken in this review is around this magnification – and you will get less than half that with the 20mm

      The truth is, landscape and macros are completely different types of photography, and if you want superb image quality in both these areas, you need two different lenses. Something like the 16mm f2.8 or the 10-18mm f4 for your landscapes, and the 30mm f3.5 (which is a true macro lens, offering 1:1 magnification) for your close-ups. But if you’re not going to be spending a lot of money (both these lenses would end up costing you between $500-1000 for both) the kit lens is the best alternative, giving you decent quality, and is a true multi-purpose lens

      Hope this helps! And don’t be in a hurry to dump your kit lens unless you know exactly why you’re dumping it. It’s quite good for most purposes

      Posted by pixelogist | September 13, 2013, 07:33
      • When you say MFD, did you mean how far my lens should actually be from the object after i have zoomed in to 50mm…actual physical distance of lens from my object(say food or flowers)? Thanks for all your replies

        Posted by Mike Wong | September 14, 2013, 06:52
      • Yes, MFD is the shortest distance between your subject and the front of your lens where your lens can actually focus. If you move the lens closer than this distance, the lens will not be able to achieve correct focus. So always be mindful of your MFD – and if you’re struggling to lock focus in your close-ups, just take a step back and try again 🙂

        For example, the closest and best ‘macro’ type shot you will get with your 16-50mm lens is to zoom in to the 50mm end of your lens, move your lens to the MFD from your subject (25cm, if I remember right) and focus.

        Posted by pixelogist | September 14, 2013, 07:12
      • I guess i will to somewhat guess my MFD of 25cm unless the camera can tell me from lcd config what my current MFD is to my object.

        Posted by Mike Wong | September 14, 2013, 08:17
      • Ah yes, you definitely have to estimate your MFD 🙂 Your camera won’t tell you that. It’s not that hard, really. Measure two points on your forearm or something, and use that as a rough guide while you’re shooting

        Posted by pixelogist | September 14, 2013, 21:08
  10. btw, i got the nex-3n and kit lens for like $329 a couple of weeks ago…awesome deal…i decided to get white color instead of black.

    Posted by Mike Wong | September 13, 2013, 03:22
  11. Your pics in the gallery really look great…they were shot in jpg too…i’m curious…if i shot in raw…what is the best way to post the raw pics to a website since they will be sharper right? any special software to convert the raw and still keep the sharpness? thks again.

    Posted by Mike Wong | September 21, 2013, 21:46
    • Thanks 🙂 Actually, when you shoot RAW, the images will probably be LESS sharp than if you shot JPEG, coz when shooting JPEG, your camera applies sharpening, contrast, saturation, all these settings, in-camera, and processes it for you. Shooting RAW, the image is ‘raw’, meaning by default it looks pretty ordinary, and less sharp: you need to manually add these settings, and do your own sharpening for the image to look good.

      When sharing your images, you’re going to have to convert to JPEG. You can’t really upload RAW files to any image sharing site or such. When converting, use something like Photoshop Lightroom to convert to JPEG – that has a ‘sharpening’ setting that attempts to maintain sharpness even when converting to JPEG. That is what I do

      Posted by pixelogist | September 22, 2013, 06:55
  12. Hello 🙂

    This is an interesting article, thanks!
    I have just a question; as I’m not very satisfied macro-wise, I was wondering if I could get a Close Up Filter for this lens? Will a 40.5mm one fit on the 16-50mm lens?

    Thanks for your answer,

    Marie

    Posted by Marie | February 28, 2014, 04:38
    • Cheers 🙂 Most of these standard zoom lenses (or kit lenses) do not have great macro capabilities. This lens offers 0.215x magnification, which is as good as it gets for this type of lens. If you need more, I’d recommend buying a separate macro lens if you shoot extreme close-ups

      I wouldn’t recommend a close-up filter – these degrade image quality quite severely. But if you really do want one, yes – the filter size of this lens is 40.5mm so get a filter in this size

      But I really suggest you save up for a second lens instead, get something like the Sony E Mount 30mm f3.5 Macro. Or compromise: use this lens, and crop the images to get a more close-up feel 🙂 Good luck

      Posted by pixelogist | February 28, 2014, 06:55
      • Hi 🙂

        Thanks a lot for that. I understand that a macro lens would be better – but I don’t really have the money to buy an extra one, and the Sony 30mm would cost me nearly the same as what I had to pay for the camera, so… Student life 😀

        And about cropping the images, won’t it also alter the quality of the image?

        Thanks so much again 🙂

        Posted by Marie | February 28, 2014, 15:52
      • You’re right, cropping will alter the quality of the image, but when you crop, you’re sure that all you’re losing is resolution. If you use a close-up filter, you might be introducing distortions, loss of sharpness, softer colors, and who knows what else 🙂

        So stick to cropping the image until you can save up for a macro. The 30mm is around $275, which IS around the same price as the NEX-3N, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it if you shoot a lot of macros 🙂

        Posted by pixelogist | March 3, 2014, 07:16

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