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Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS
NEX E-Mount APS-C Power Zoom

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations

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Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS

Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS (APS-C coverage only, power zoom, 40.5mm filters, 4.1 oz./116g, 1'/0.3m close focus, about $298 by itself or about $150 if bought as a kit with a camera). enlarge. I got mine at Adorama; I'd also get it at Amazon or at B&H.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Sony doesn't seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, store demo, damaged, returned or used product. My approved sources ship from remote automated warehouses where no salespeople or lookie-loos can ever get their greasy fingers on your new lens before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

 

March 2016    Sony   Zeiss   Minolta   Nikon   Canon   Fuji   LEICA   All Reviews

NEW: Canon 24-70mm/2.8 L II vs Zeiss 24-70/4 vs Sony 16-50 OSS 18 September 2015.

 

Sample Images         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations

Flowers

Flowers, 29 March 2016.  Sony A6300, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 44mm, f/8 at 1/320 at Auto ISO 1000, Perfectly Clear v2.) bigger or © camera-original file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display the full resolution accurately). In this case, not all the flowers are in focus.

 

Light Blue Water Pipes

Light Blue Water Pipes, 29 March 2016.  Sony A6300, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm, f/7.1 at 1/200 at Auto ISO 1000, Perfectly Clear v2.) bigger or © camera-original file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display the full resolution accurately). Only the center of these pipes is in focus.

 

Trees at West Steakhouse

Trees, 22 September 2015. (Sony A6000, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 20mm, f/5 at 1/80 at Auto ISO 100.) bigger.

 

Outside West Steakhouse at night

Trees outside at night, 22 September 2015. (Sony A6000, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm, f/4 at 1/60 at Auto ISO 10,000, Perfectly Clear V2.) bigger or unprocessed camera-original © file.

 

inside the Carlsbad Dove Library

Inside the library, 22 September 2015. (Sony A6000, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm, f/3.5 at 1/13 hand-held at ISO 200, Perfectly Clear V2.) bigger or unprocessed camera-original © file.

 

Carlabad Dove library at night

Walkway at night, 22 September 2015. (Sony A6000, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 20mm, f/3.5 at 1/13 hand-held at Auto ISO 1,600, Perfectly Clear V2.) bigger or unprocessed camera-original © file.

 

Ryan washes Dad's windows in Del Mar

Ryan squeegees Dad's E430 windows, 22 September 2015. (Sony A6000, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 32mm, f/5 at 1/60 at Auto ISO 3,200, Perfectly Clear V2.) bigger or unprocessed camera-original © file.

 

Sunset over the Grand Wailea

Sunset over the Grand Wailea, Maui, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 50mm at f/7.1 at 1/125 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

The Shops at Wailea, Maui

The Shops at Wailea, Maui, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 19mm at f/8 at 1/125 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

Flowers at the Grand Wailea, Maui

Flowers at the Grand Wailea, Maui, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 18mm at f/4 at 1/60 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

Charley's Restaurant and Saloon, Paia, Maui

Charley's Restaurant and Saloon, Paia, Maui, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 19mm at f/5.6 at 1/80 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

Crazy VW van, Maui

Crazy VW van, Ho'okipa Beach Park, Maui, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 19mm at f/8 at 1/320 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or Full size image to explore on your computer; mobile devices rarely are able to display the full resolution properly.

 

Lifeguard Station 6B, Ho'okipa Beach Park, Maui

Lifeguard Station 6B, Ho'okipa Beach Park, Maui, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Flash ON to light up the retroreflective 6B, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm at f/11 at 1/160 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or full size image to explore on your computer; mobile devices rarely are able to display the full resolution files properly.

 

Concrete palapa, Ho'okipa Beach Park, Maui

Coconut and strawberry shave ice, Halfway to Hana, Keanae, Maui, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 31mm at f/7.1 at 1/100 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or full size image to explore on your computer; mobile devices rarely are able to display the full resolution files properly.

 

Sunset over the Grand Wailea, Maui,

Sunset over the Grand Wailea, Maui, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 20mm at f/4 at 1/3 hand-held (rested on railing) at ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

Vivid rainbow and cross, scenic overlook on Maui's west coast

Vivid rainbow and cross, scenic overlook on Maui's west coast looking northeast, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 23mm at f/8 at 1/400 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or full size image to explore on your computer; mobile devices rarely are able to display the full resolution images properly.

 

Longhi's at the Shops at Wailea

Ryan as we enter the Shops at Wailea through Longhi's, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm at f/5 at 1/80 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

Cheeseburger Restaurant at the Shops at Wailea

Cheeseburger Restaurant, Shops at Wailea, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm at f/3.5 at 1/15 at Auto ISO 500, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

Mai Tai Bar at the Cheeseburger Restaurant at the Shops at Wailea

Mai Tai Bar at the Cheeseburger Restaurant, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm at f/8 at 1/3 hand-held at Auto ISO 320, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or much bigger.

 

Mai Tai Bar at the Cheeseburger Restaurant at the Shops at Wailea

The Shops at Wailea, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm at f/8 at 1/160 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or full-size image to explore on your computer (portable devices rarely display the full resolution versions correctly).

 

Dan's Green House, Lahaina

Dan's Green House, Lahaina, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 27mm at f/4.5 at 1/15 at Auto ISO 800, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

The Banyan Tree at night, Lahaina

The Banyan Tree at night, Lahaina, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm at f/3.5 at 1/15 at Auto ISO 2,000, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

The Banyan Tree at night, Lahaina

The Banyan Tree at night, Lahaina, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm at f/3.5 at 1/15 at Auto ISO 3,200, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or much bigger.

 

The Banyan Tree at night, Lahaina

Tiki shopping at night, Lahaina, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm at f/3.5 at 1/15 at Auto ISO 2,000, Perfectly Clear.) bigger, or full size to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely show the full resolution files properly).

 

The Banyan Tree at night, Lahaina

Storm blowing through Lahaina at night, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm at f/3.5 at 1/15 at Auto ISO 1,000, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or much bigger.

 

Ryan at the shorefront

Ryan along the shorefront, Front Street, Lahaina, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm at f/3.5 at 1/15 at Auto ISO 3,200, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

Lahaina shoreline at night with wave

Lahaina shoreline at night with wave, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 19mm at f/4 at 1/2 hand-held on railing at Auto ISO 1,600, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or much bigger.

 

Three colored chairs, Luna Cafe, Lahaina

Three colored chairs, Luna Cafe, Lahaina, April 2016. (Sony A6300, Vivid Creative Style with +3 Saturation, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 20mm at f/8 at 1/4 hand-held at Auto ISO 2,000, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

Introduction         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

I buy only from these approved sources. I can't vouch for ads below.

The Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS is a tiny little zoom more like something you'd find on a point-and-shoot camera. It erects and retracts with a motor, and even zooming is motorized.

Impressive is how zooming is controlled by an electronic ring around the lens, and how the whole system zooms both faster and more precisely than any conventional system. If Sony can get power zooming to work so well, how come no one had gotten electronic manual focus to work as well?

It's ergonomically excellent and optically swell.

It's the tiniest and lightest interchangeable zoom I've seen. It's marvelous for use on Sony's APS-C E-mount NEX cameras.

This tiny little lens is the spirit of mirrorless; it's the reason you bought a mirrorless camera in the first place!

 

Compatibility

This works on all crop-sensor (APS-C) Sony E-mount cameras, which are the NEX and A7 series, among others as of 2015.

It will not work on any Minolta MAXXUM or Sony A-mount SLRs or DSLRs.

It also works on the full-frame A7 series, which automatically crop the sensor so you'll never even know that anything funny is going on until you wonder why this 16-50mm is giving you the same fields-of-view as a 24-70mm full frame lens.

 

Format

This is an APS-C lens.

Full-frame Sonys automatically use only the APS-C section of their sensors, effectively making them APS-C cameras.

 

Good

Very good optical quality, as good as the full-frame ZEISS FE 24-70mm f/4 OSS.

Mostly metal exterior.

Fast autofocus and fast zooming.

Low price, about $150 when thrown in as a kit with a new camera.

Retracts automatically when not in use.

 

Bad

Retracts automatically when not in use (these mechanisms tend to break).

 

Missing

It needs an automatic lens cover along with the retracting mechanism, just like a point and shoot.

 

Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS

Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS. enlarge.

 

Specifications         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations

 

Name       top

Sony calls this the E PZ 16–50 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS.

   E: E-mount for NEX and A7 series cameras.

   PA: Power Zoom.

   OSS: Sony's trademark for its Image Stabilization: "Optical Steady Shot."

 

Optics       top

9 elements in 8 groups.

 

Diaphragm       top

Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS

Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS. enlarge.

7 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/22~36.

 

Filter Thread       top

40.5mm.

Plastic.

 

Close Focus       top

1 foot (0.3 m).

As close as 10 inches (0.25m) with zoom at 16m.

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio       top

1:4.65 (0.215x).

 

Focal Length       top

16~50mm.

It gives angles of view similar to what an 24~70mm lens would give on a 35mm or full-frame camera. See also Crop Factor.

 

Angles of View        top

32º ~ 83º diagonal on APS-C.

 

Hood       top

None included.

 

Case        top

None included.

 

Size       top

2.55" (64.8 mm) diameter x 1.18" (30.0 mm) long.

 

Weight       top

4.110 oz. (116.5g), measured.

Sony specifies 4.09 oz. (116g).

 

Sony Part Numbers        top

SELP1650.

 

Includes       top

Lens.

Caps.

 

Price, USA        top

$298 by itself or about $150 if bought as a kit with a camera, September 2015.

 

Performance         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations

Overall    Autofocus    Bokeh   Distortion

Ergonomics   Falloff    Filters   Ghosts   

Lateral Color Fringes   Macro   Mechanics

Sharpness   Stabilization   Sunstars

 

Overall     performance      top

This tiny Sony 16-50mm is perfect for use with Sony's tiny mirrorless cameras. It's sharp and handles well.

 

Focus     performance      top

AF is fast!

It works great, even outdoors at night in the dark, on the A6000, even without any AF illuminator

outside Carlsbad Dove library showing wall sculpture at night

Outdoors at night, 22 September 2015. (Sony A6000, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 16mm, f/4 at 1/60 at Auto ISO 25,600, Perfectly Clear V2.) bigger or unprocessed camera-original © file.

It only starts to get stuck in light much darker than this.

 

Bokeh     performance      top

Bokeh, the quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to the degree of defocus, is swell — but this lens is so slow that nothing ever gets much out of focus.

Here are sample shots wide open from headshot distance. Click for the original © files:

Sony 16-50mm bokeh

Shot at 16mm at f/3.5 on an A6000. Camera-original © file.

 

Sony 16-50mm bokeh

Shot at 50mm at f/5.6 on an A6000. Camera-original © file.

 

Distortion     performance      top

The Sony 16-50 OSS PZ has no visible distortion as shot on the Sony A6000, which is probably correcting it.

For more critical use, use these values in Photoshop's Lens Distortion tool to correct them. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

at 10' (3m)

Visible Effects

16mm
none (invisible barrel)
+ 1.00
24mm
none
± 0.00
35mm
none (invisible pincushion)
- 0.60
50mm
none (invisible pincushion)
- 0.50

© 2015 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Ergonomics     performance      top

This little lens isn't much bigger than a lens cap when collapsed.

It extends very quickly when you turn on your camera.

It zooms faster than other zooms. The motor really makes it go!

Even better is that as you move the outer zoom ring more slowly, that the rate of zoom slows, making it both fast and easy to set precise framing. Bravo!

Weird is that the outer ring becomes a focus ring in manual focus mode.

The knurled lever on the bottom is always a zoom control, but it's nowhere near as good as using the big ring.

 

Falloff (darkened corners)     performance      top

Falloff is completely invisible as shot on the A6000, which I presume is correcting it.

 

Filters, Use with     performance      top

There's no problem with vignetting even with a couple of filters.

There's no need for thin filters; any regular thick or rotating filters work great.

 

Flare & Ghosts       performance     top

Flare resistance is excellent. I see no ghosts:

Sony 16-50mm flare

At f/16 at 50mm. bigger.

 

Lateral Color Fringes     performance      top

There are none, at least as shot on the A6000 which may be correcting them.

 

Macro     performance      top

Macro is very good. Here's what you'll get:

Sony 16-50mm macro performance

Seiko A829 at close-focus distance at 50mm f/9. bigger.

 

Sony 16-50mm macro performance

Crop from above at 100%. If this is about 6" (15cm) on your screen, printing the complete image at this same high magnification would result in a 40 x 60" (3.5 x 5 feet or 1 x 1.5 meter) print!

This is super-sharp; what looks like grain is the actual finish of the watch, not noise in the camera.

 

Mechanics     performance      top

Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS

Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS. enlarge.

The Sony 16-50mm is mostly metal on the outside and plastic on the inside.

 

Filter Threads

Plastic.

 

Identity Ring

Painted metal.

 

Front Barrel

Plastic (only visible when extended).

 

Focus Ring

Anodized aluminum.

 

Outer Zoom (& Focus) Ring

Anodized aluminum.

 

Zoom Lever

Plastic.

 

Internals

Mostly plastic.

 

Rear Barrel

Metal.

 

Dust seal at mount

No.

 

Markings

Painted.

 

Serial Number

Sticker glued on bottom of barrel.

 

Mount

Chromed metal.

 

Noises When Shaken

A lot of plastic rattling around.

 

Rear Light Baffle

Plastic.

 

Made in

Thailand.

 

Sharpness     performance      top

Image sharpness depends more on you than your lens, and lens sharpness doesn't mean much to good photographers. It's the least skilled hobbyists who waste the most time blaming fuzzy pictures on their lenses, while real shooters know that few photos ever use all the sharpness of which their lenses are capable due to subject motion and the fact that real subjects are rarely perfectly flat.

This Sony 16-50mm is sharp most of the time, but softer on the sides at 16mm.

It's as sharp as the Zeiss 24-70/4 in on full-frame, so I'm actually quite impressed with this little lens!

 

Stabilization     performance      top

I can hand-hold this stabilized lens on an unstabilized A6300 body down to about 1/3 of a second. This is excellent:

Mercedes SL500

Mercedes SL500, 29 March 2016.  Sony A6300, Sony PZ 16-50mm OSS at 42mm, f/5.6 at 1/3 hand-held at ISO 1,600, Perfectly Clear v2.) bigger or © camera-original file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display the full resolution accurately). The image gets softer at ISO 1,600 because the noise reduction deliberately dulls the image to reduce the apparent noise.

 

Sunstars     performance      top

This tiny Sony claims a round apertures, yet thankfully it makes decent sunstars.

You saw a sample at f/16 at Flare, and here it is at f/32:

Sony 16-50mm sunstars

At f/32 at 50mm. bigger.

 

Compared         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations

 

To my surprise, this tiny little lens on an inexpensive Sony A6000 is just as sharp as the exotic Zeiss FE 24-70mm f/4 on the expensive A7R II.

So there!

 

Recommendations         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Recommendations

This is a great little lens for Sony's tiny mirrorless cameras.

It's a much better idea than adapting other lenses; this lens is smaller and lighter and adds image stabilization and autofocus and many other things to what an adapted lens would do.

I suggest this lens over anything else you might feel tempted to adapt. The whole point of mirrorless is smaller size and weight and more convenience, and that's exactly what this lens is: the spirit of mirrorless.

Ideally get this lens at the same time you get your camera as part of a kit and you'll get it for hundreds of dollars less.

It also works great on the full-frame A7R II. While it uses only the central APS-C sensor area, it does so seamlessly. It makes the A7R II into the tiny camera that that you wanted in the first place when you bought your A7.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you get yours via these links to it at Adorama, at Amazon or at B&H. When you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live, it helps me keep adding to this free website — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you take the chance of buying elsewhere. Unlike a bottle of milk or a CD, Sony doesn't seal its boxes at all, so you have no idea if you're getting a used, returned, incomplete or damaged product if you risk buying at retail. Never buy at retail. I use the sources I do because they have the best prices, service, return policies and selection— and they ship from secure remote warehouses where no customers or salesmen can get their sticky hands on your new camera before you do.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken.

 

© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

 

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Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

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24 September 2015