The Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake is an inexpensive fixed wide-angle prime lens for Sony's APS-C format NEX interchangeable lens cameras. With an equivalent focal length of 24mm, it offers an attractive combination of decent optical quality and very small size and weight, and usefully complements the 18-55mm kit zoom. Optical quality is fine for the most part when stopped down, but distinctly iffy towards the corners at larger apertures.
Sony 16mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens (NEX E-Mount)
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“ Clearly there's a price to pay for such a small, inexpensive wideangle, but the performance at the most commonly-used apertures (F5.6-11) should satisfy all but the most demanding of users.”
- 16mm focal length
- 24mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras
- F2.8 maximum aperture; F22 minimum
- 49mm filters
- 0.24m/9.45" minimum focus
- Sony E mount for NEX interchangeable lens cameras
|Lens type||Prime lens|
|Max Format size||APS-C / DX|
|Focal length||16 mm|
|Lens mount||Sony E (NEX)|
|Number of diaphragm blades||7|
|Special elements / coatings||1 Aspherical element|
|Minimum focus||0.24 m (9.45″)|
|Full time manual||Yes|
|Weight||74 g (0.16 lb)|
|Diameter||62 mm (2.44″)|
|Length||23 mm (0.89″)|
|Materials||steel mount, aluminium alloy barrel|
|Filter thread||49 mm|
|Filter notes||does not rotate on focusing|
|Notes||Sony E mount|
Fantastic wide-angle for the price!
I have been using the 16mm f/2.8 E-mount Sony lens for about two years now and for the latter year coupled with the great wide-angle adapter VCL-ECU1 that essentially converts the 16mm to 12mm. There are many detractors concerning this lens, however, few seem to account for the cost vs. performance. Basically, for less than 150$ one gets a 24mm equiv. (35mm format) wide-angle lens that is small, light weight and pocketable. Certainly, wide open at f/2.8, the optical performance shows ...
I really loved shooting with this because of how wide angle it is. a bit of distortion round the edges but great for when you are in the corner table of a restaurant and you are squeezed in the corner you can still shoot everything in the picture. i like the aperture. 2.8 so it has great low light performance. Problems: i would like it to be smaller so that it could fit in my pocket easier. i don't like looking like a tourist so i hide it in my pocket.
very positive about this lens
Have been using it for 2 years. Interior shots are great. Good quality and very cheap. I got it foor 110 us$ on ebay.
Hoping to get some advice on whether my lens is bad (or just my abilities are)
I have owned the 16mm f/2.8 (SEL16F28) lens since I bought my NEX-5N about 18 months ago. I am a complete novice at interchangeable lens cameras and photography. Having said that, I have basically never used the lens, because I could never get photos to look decent. Whenever there is any kind of light, the image around the light looks "fuzzy," or far from sharp. Recently, I saw some examples of photos taken with this lens on this forum and I was blown away by how good they looked, so I decided to give it another go. Here is an example. I still see the halo or glow around the areas that are well lit. Has my lens been a lemon all along? Or I am just not taking into consideration the impact of the lighting on my shots? Any ideas or thoughts would be tremendously appreciated.
The 16mm lens is a solid performer for the price - it's a bargain and many of us find it can be nice and sharp and certainly worth the money. But that doesn't mean it's one of the greatest lenses made - and one thing many or even most wide angle lenses can be susceptible to is flare and light bleed when overexposed or shooting into a source of light. The 16mm is certainly a lens that can suffer a little in harsh situations like this...so it becomes up to the photographer to try to counter it as much as possible. If you don't have a high experience with controlling your exposure, then you may just need to learn when you are shooting in such situations to try exposing more for the light and use DRO or HDR if possible to help bring the shadows back to reason. By underexposing a bit to reign in the bright area and meter off it, you can reduce that heavy soft glow that results around it and lessen or avoid the effect. Even when you know what you're doing, sometimes the conditions are ... Continue Reading
I think your lens is OK, too. The scene you showed us would be a challenge to any lens. I looked at the bike helmet at left, and I saw no halo on the highlights there. Show us some images of more typical scenes, from 16mm to 50mm, with a few points in between. Shoot them at ISO 100, in the P mode, so you can keep the exposure constant as you move from wide open to two stops down. Try to hold the camera absolutely steady, maybe brace against a wall or tree, but no tripod. No flowers or stuff like that - a street scene with trees, leaves to the edge of the frame, wires, etc. Newcomers often have problems because they don't place enough consistent demands on themselves. They wait for family reunions or vacations. They don't give themselves enough challenges to see and shoot to know what their camera - and they - can do. Having worked for newspapers and now for medical clients, I am almost compulsively view every session with my camera as an assignment. Imagine an editor has asked you ... Continue Reading
This is pretty normal behavior for any lens in a very high contrast scene with a light source forward of the lens. It's just glare. Note that using a filter can make that worse or more likely, but I've no idea if you are doing that. It can happen without a filter. Continue Reading
Terrible blur on 16mm f2.8 on sony nex 5n
I recently bought a second hand pancake online, and was concerned by the level of blur and distortion. I updated the firmware and that helped to reduce the distortion in the corners however it still refuses to focus on anything further that 30cm from the lens. Is this normal? I've seen other results using the 16 mm an its crystal clear. Could it be a bad lens or am I doing something wrong? I've been shooting in both manual and auto and cant seem to make it any better. Thanks.
I think you have a faulty lens -- my copy is much sharper than that. I'm guessing autofocus isn't working? Continue Reading
The on auto the lens makes some noise but doesnt focus properly Continue Reading
jwatt wrote: The on auto the lens makes some noise but doesnt focus properly Just to confirm the problem with autofocus, have you tried manual focus? If you can get sharp pictures with manual focus, but not autofocus, you'll know where the problem is. Continue Reading
Is the Sony 16mm/F2.8 really that bad?
I was on the point to buy a NEX with the 16/2.8 lens when in a review of the Sony 16mm/F2.8 the verdict was "The Sony E 16mm f/2.8 may be a controversial lens on lower resolution NEX cameras. However, it seems rather pointless to use it on the NEX 7 - 24 megapixel are way beyond the capabilities of this tiny lens. The center quality is certainly fine but the outer image region is extremely soft at max. aperture and just barely acceptable around f/8. The native vignetting characteristic of the lens is dismal and you should always activate the auto-correction in the camera to reduce the effect. The same applies to lateral CAs which are way too high for a prime lens. The idea of using front-mounted converters is surely attractive but it just doesn't make must sense on this basis. The VCL-ECU1 (0.75x converter) manages to keep the "performance" of the base lens (roughly) but the quality remains unusable except for very casual photography. The nice build quality and the very attractive ...
That's the photozone.de review? Just ignore it. There have been occasional reports of decentered E16 lenses, but most of us seem to have a good copy. I have two copies that are fine. Use it at f/4 or f/5.6 and above, and the corners are quite reasonable. At f/2.8 the corners can go very soft, depending on scene, framing, and foreground (closeness). With the UWA adapter, it does improve a little, with the ECF adapter it gets a little worse. The E20 is definitely a lot better in the corners than the E16, and adapts the same UWA and ECF adapters. Below two examples of sharp and soft corners on the same lens: Sharp edges with UWA adapter on E16 at f/4 Soft corners with ECF adapter on E16 at f/2.8 E16 +UWA OOF result E16 + UWA corrected result E16 corrected result Anyways, you should get the idea.... Continue Reading
I guess it's not surprising, but the really bad thing here is the logic being thrown around. "That bad" implies a relation to some kind of standard. If the standard is other NEX lenses, then the 16mmn doesn't fare very well. I write this based on test results--to my knowledge, no lens has actually tested worse than this one. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me. Compared to lenses from other systems, it's still pretty bad. Spend some time reading the lens reviews in slrgear.com and you'll see what I mean. Notice that saying that the lens is worse than other lenses doesn't say anything about its absolute quality. It's just worse. One could argue that all lenses these days are pretty good, so even the worse-performing among them will still be quite capable. And the most important question is (or should be): "is this lens good enough for my purposes?". The answer for most people is probably "yes". But what completely doesn't wash is showing images that are somehow supposed to ... Continue Reading
Or how you want your photos to be enjoyed. Some works of art are about the physical attributes of the pictures - the stunning color, sharpness, contrast, fine details, tonal range, etc. Don't use this 16mm pancake for that! It just can't deliver the optical quality demanded by this type of work. Others are about telling a story, an experience. And yes, do use this lens for that! Its ultra wide attitude can capture both the subject and the environment in good details, reproducing the story or experience that can perfectly be enjoyable. Continue Reading