SELP1650 – Sonys worst kitzoom… …and why I love it

Well, it seams like everyone hates the little thing. Because of it’s powerzoom, because of it’s terrible distortion, because it’s so slow, because of it’s soft corners. And how shall I put it: Yup, it’s true. All of it. But alas – I love it!

The Powerzoom:
There’s no other way to put it: I hate the pz. I love a good mechanical zoom. But how are you going to get a zoom AND focus ring on the collapsed lens?!? You can’t, that’s how…
So I can live with it and for filmers it might even be a plus (I only do stills).

The Distortion
… is electronically corrected so there’s that. Of course: That costs resolution. But if you play with the distortion correction you get even a little more than 16mm (it’s 16mm corrected).

The corners
Yep, they’re bad. In the uncorrected image they are completely black, corrected there’s still vignetting. Corner-to-Corner sharpness improves by stopping down, but even at f11 the sharpness is not really there. But if yo move up to 18mm (where the other, bigger and more expensive kitzooms tend to start) the situation notably improves.
And the centre sharpness is quite good.

Slow
Yeah, it’s slow. What do you expect? It’s no prime, you know!

So up until now – not a raving review. The SELP1650 has lots of disadvantages, not only is it outclassed by it’s competition but also by it’s predecessor, the 18-55.
But still: I love it. Why? Because if I put that thingy on my A6400 (or my wife’s Nex-5t) it transforms my mirrorless into a point-and-shoot that’s got 24mm eq lens, OSS and superfast AF. And all that for a 80 EUR premium!

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