Top critical review
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Depends On Your Priorties. IQ, portability and/or budget?
on 5 June 2014
Had this lens some time back with my NEX 5R, it is a very cost effective way of getting small and flexible in one go. Not knowing any better I felt that it was awesome to have an SLR standard camera with the portability of a compact, and that still stands in many respects. However, if image quality is important to you, and you do take photography reasonably seriously, then this lens probably isn't for you.
I've recently become more involved in photography, and upped my game with my first prime lens ever, the 35mm F1.8 by Sony (highly recommend btw). Now it's a little unfair to compare a prime to a zoom, but the quality of my photos went significantly up. It was the first time I realised what a difference a good lens could make. I went to NYC earlier this month, fantastic place, and the prime wasn't wide enough so reverted to the 16-50. Disappointed was the word. I'd gotten used to the sharpness and contrast the prime gave me and my New York photos were soft and undefined, I forgotten how much of a difference there was between the two. Lightroom improved the photos, but it will always bug me when I see them.
I just took the plunge and bought the highly expensive 16-70 Sony Carl Ziess to replace the 16-50 as a result of the NYC experience, and when you compare the two it is like a Aston Martin Vs a Dacia. The Ziess is a lot bigger of course but it's photos are far superior to the 16-50, as you would hope for the price. I can relax knowing I'm making the best use of my cameras sensor and I doubt I will ever use the 16-50 again, the compromise isn't worth it, for me at least.
So, if having the smallest most portable CSC is very important, or you’re on a tight budget, then this is as good as it gets currently, but do not expect to be getting close to the best from your camera.