Interactive Lens Reviews and Opinion.
Digital Camera Reviews

Reviews Views Date of last review
10 129747 5/23/2015
Recommended By Average Purchase
90% of reviewers $255.57
Reader Review Rating Averages
Readers' rating for
Construction Quality
Readers' rating for
Image Quality
Overall Rating

Keywords: Sony Wide Mid Tele Zoom E-Mount APS-C OSS Stabilzed PZ tested


Registered: November 2012
Posts: 11
Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS SELP1650 review by brugj03
Review Date: 5/23/2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Light weight, fast autofocus, good color
Cons: Cheapish, flare, jpg only due to massive distortion

This is a very good lens..........for photographers.
Pixel peepers need not apply. But still good image quality.
Use this lens anywhere cause it turns your nex into a pocket.
Very light weight pancake construction with motor zoom, i like it.

Well it`s not a prime that`s clear from the first shot, but you will get that shot i you want to, cause this lens does it all.
If you want to cary your nex anywhere this one is a nobrainer.
Higly recommended athough it does flare.

Registered: December 2010
Posts: 22
Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS SELP1650 review by Beachrider
Review Date: 7/31/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $260.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Pancake-ish when closed, better than 18-55 kit (with correction), fast focus with some cameras
Cons: Takes a little time to 'fold out' at startup, corrections are important @ 16mm

This lens is an AMAZING pancake lens on NEX. The size always brings imaging compromise, but the cameras (once getting upgraded firmware) do a great job fixing the JPEGs.
This lens hits another level of performance with A6000's advanced autofocus. It again needs firmware update, for older lenses. The AF response for A6000's hybrid AF is astonishing.
I wonder if the problematic reviews actually had the correct camera/postprocess firmware/settings.

Registered: June 2009
Posts: 3
Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS SELP1650 review by Anaxagoras
Review Date: 6/7/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, pretty good IQ
Cons: IQ not outstanding

In absolute terms this lens is good but not outstanding. I also use a Nikon D7000 and that camera's 18-105 kit lens is quite noticeably better than this.

However, I was one of the early buyers of the NEX7. I was a little disappointed with the camera and hugely disappointed with its 18-55 lens. A year or so later, after a lot of thought, I decided to buy this lens. That was indeed a good decision. This 16-50 is dramatically better in every respect of image quality. Plus, it's smaller and lighter; much more suitable for the NEX7 (bought it as a small, lightweight alternative to my Nikon).

Bottom line: it's a pretty good lens, but an absolute no-brainer if you are going for a Sony NEX camera.

Registered: March 2013
Posts: 6
Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS SELP1650 review by zanxion72
Review Date: 12/24/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 6 

Pros: Compact
Cons: Powered focus and zoom, distortions, flares like an old tessar.

It is a nice pancake lens that came with my Sony Nex-3N. Although small and compact it fails to deliver what expects a user that has used higher end lenses and cameras.
Too soft at the corners, too much distortion, the power focus and zoom fails to accurately get on what you'd like and in strong light and contrasty conditions it flares like an old tessar lens!
It is going to be replaced. I have bought my Nex for use with M42 and M39 lenses anyway.

Registered: August 2013
Posts: 2
Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS SELP1650 review by glenwells
Review Date: 8/14/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $180.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: size, price,
Cons: distortion in RAW

I have become increasingly fond of this lens.
Ok it has distortion and vignetting in RAW but one click adjustments are available in Lightroom and Photoshop.

The lens I have is giving good performance across the zoom range and I am satisfied with the performance across the frame into the corners. I feel it does better than the SLRgear report gadget states.

The lens I have does have the querk of being softest in the exteme corners wide open and at F8 as per the review but it is quite tolerable and f5.6 gives good performance.

Sixe is very good and on my NEX-6 it allows me to have the camera in a small belt pouch when out on my bike or walking which is great for an APSC camera with a zoom lens!

For the price it is definitely worth it and does not deserve the negative press. In the past I have had two NEX kit lenses and it is better in my opinion, RAW aside, and has a really useful 24mm wide end.

However, this is the second one I owned as the first one had quality issues but the one I have now is great. Maybe factory quality issues have contributed to its early cool reception.

Spend 90% of the time on the camera.

Registered: June 2013
Posts: 1
Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS SELP1650 review by byhyew
Review Date: 6/12/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $150.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Good IQ, Compact, Powerzoom, Durable, Dirt-Cheap
Cons: Dependent on software correction

This is THE best lens on my NEX-6, period.
I bought it in China lens-only for my NEX-6. Since Chinese market allows for non-stable prices, the lens's street price dropped from us$350 to 150 in merely 2 months, thanks to the initial reviews that trashed this lens. I bought mine new for 150 and couldn't be happier.

This lens became my most used lens on the NEX-6, replacing my 10-18 OSS and Sigma 19 f2.8 for general shooting and the 50 f1.8 OSS for daytime shooting. 16mm is wide enough for most applications, and the compactness is a joy to use.
The sharpness is on par with the much more expensive 10-18 and focusing speed is yet to be beat among other E-mount lenses. The level mechanism is very handing for video.

The lens is highly dependent on software correction. Though resolution-wise

The lens is DURABLE. I was skeptical about the build quality of such a lens. But it took a tough test pretty well. My camera was splashed by a big icy wave on a glacier lake with this lens on when I was traveling in Argentina. Water immediately went into the lens, but caused no malfunction. After a while, some vapor started to form inside the frontal element, but a night on a heater solved the problem. For a full electronic lens, that was a quite respectable result. And who cares if it really breaks? It's only 150 dollars after all.
Perry Rhodan

Registered: January 2010
Posts: 22
Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS SELP1650 review by Perry Rhodan
Review Date: 5/15/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $299.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Small package. Light. Cheap. The 3rd went back to sony and became very good!
Cons: Had backfocus at 50mm and 5.6 (3 samples)

Incredibly tiny 3 were mediocre IQ. NOT THE walk around lens for now. Still hoping for an F4 version for 600. The 40-50 range was EXTREMELY soft in all 3 samples I tried, due to BF at 5.6 (pdaf/cdaf). The 3rd went back to sony Netherlands and they worked miracles! It is great! Complete new optical pack. Now it is very nice.

Registered: September 2009
Posts: 21
Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS SELP1650 review by Ocean
Review Date: 12/30/2012 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 5 

Pros: nice idea, small, black
Cons: very weak plastics, not really sharp, no hood

My first one made noises while Zooming.
The second got cracked by letting it fall from 4 inches on the table.
Third wasn't sharp enough.
I would love to have a good 16-60 mm - but this isn't!
It has the quality from cheapest compact-cameras.s
The price is much to high, it's just a cheap-starter Zoom.
Even Panasonic can do it much better.

Registered: October 2009
Posts: 3
Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS SELP1650 review by Gatorowl
Review Date: 12/1/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact size, excellent sharpness through 30mm, fast AF
Cons: Severe distortion at wide angles, noticeable vignetting, weak at 50mm

This is my first Nex lens and camera. It was part of the Nex 6 kit. I have experience with both Canon and Nikon DSLRs and this kit lens ranks well with those.

What sets this lens apart is its amazingly compact size. The Sony is truly pocketable (albeit, it needs to be a large pocket) with this lens. I can carry the camera in a sleeve or my fanny pack when I go for a ride.

The lens is a marvel of engineering. It expands when powered on and collapses when powered off. It takes a little time--maybe half a second each way--, but it doesn't bother me. Do remember to power off the camera before switching lenses otherwise the lens will remain in its expanded state. AF is fast and pretty accurate. It locks quickly and suredly to its target. This contrasts with the e-mount 50mm lens, which has a habit of hunting.

If you shoot jpg the IQ is phenomenal due to the automatic lens correction. If you shoot Raw, you will need to deal with the heavy distortion and vignetting wide open. The distortion is almost cartoonish (4-5% or perhaps greater?), and the vignetting is heavy. However, there is now a Lightroom profile that deals with this problems nicely. The lens is actually 13-14mm wide open, so after correction, you do get a true 16mm.

Sharpness and contrast are on par with the best lens I have used through 30mm (e.g., I have used Nikon 14-24mm Sigma 17-50mm, and Canon 10-22mm). However, at 50mm, look elsewhere for critical shots. Sharpness and contrast drop off considerably, and the difference from primes at the FL is substantial. However, it is still serviceable. For most shooting at normal (non-pixel peeping) sizes, differences are acceptable.

For a collapsable kit lens that finally delivers on the Nex promise of compactness, I am extremely happy with this lens. It is stellar over the focal lengths that are most important to my shooting. YMMV.

Registered: November 2012
Posts: 3
Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS SELP1650 review by FrankPhillips
Review Date: 11/12/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Far exceeds sharpness of 18-55 kit lens, half the size of kit lens, smooth two-way zoom ring
Cons: tiny little lens cap is difficult to use (needs cap-keeper)

I was one of the early adopters of the NEX system in 2010, but was extremely disappointed in the terrible image quality of the 18-55mm kit lens. Since then, there has not been a decent normal zoom lens offered for the NEX system until the NEX-6 was announced with this 16-50mm kit lens. This lens, along with the mode dial on the NEX-6, sold me on the combination...I put in a pre-order immediately.
I've used it for about a week now, and I have to say that the image quality of the 16-50mm (at least my copy of it) FAR EXCEEDS the pathetic quality of the stock 18-55mm kit lenses (and I've had 3 of 'em). I mean - it's no contest....the 16-50mm wins hands down. I literally can't find any aberration or softness in this lens. Maybe I got a perfect copy of it (which I did a year ago with the PZ 14-42 on the Panasonic...I regret selling that one), but if my copy is representative of others out there, this will be the one to beat as far as kit lenses go.
I rated it a 10 on all counts because the "competition" is other kit lenses I've used from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and keep that in context. It's not a Canon 24-70/2.8 to be sure, but it's the best kit lens I've ever used.


This document copyright © 2009-2015,, all rights reserved.