Rated 3 out of 5 by 12
Rated 4 out of 5
by bayfield Excellent travel lens
Bought this with a 5r body to replace a canon dslr camera mostly because its easy to carry and a slimmer profile. The photographs i have taken with the sony camera are exceptional...I'm an amateur photographer but demand superior results...and a forgiving camera that can decide what settings are appropriate. I have shot over 3000 pics with this lens and am extremely satisfied with what I see and its the easiest camera/lens combo I've ever travelled with. One disappointment was when the camera was accidentally knocked off a low shelf and it dropped perhaps 18" onto a carpeted floor. The lens is now unusable, and yes, it did fall, but this happens, has happened with other cameras and they were banged up...but still worked. That said, as soon as I can get a replacement I will definitely buy it again, no question.
January 21, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5
by Apocryphon Unfair reputation?
This was one of two lenses I got when I initially purchased my a6000.
I'm pretty nocturnal and, to be honest, I pretty rapidly got sick of and replaced it, even though I kept it. The slow aperture just left a lot to be desired and I didn't really find its low light performance to be overly exceptional. I was pretty disappointed.
Barring the release of a cost-effective a6000s, many of us will be choosing such cameras for our all-purpose carry around, and that means struggling with light a bit. Slow apertures leave a bit to be desired.
I've been playing with it again a good deal recently. I still harbor a pretty similar opinion of its low light performance. Though, as long as you don't mind not achieving a proper exposure (which, at night, is sometimes more accurate than what the light meter thinks is "properly exposed", anyway, but that is really beside the point - you can't increase the exposure quite as readily without relying on slow shutter speeds and high ISOs, the point being)... so it is definitely far from ideal as an action shooter at night.
Long shutter speed stills on a tripod? Not as bad. You can get some great images out of it, in terms of that.
Lately, where I've found it really excels after giving it another chance, is (duh, obviously) in good light at apertures between f/5.6-11. Ideally I've been trying for shots at f/8 or f/11.
Under these conditions, I'm glad I reintroduced myself to this lens. I'm actually really impressed with the center detail and clarity I get out of it for what it is. Though, that said, I'm not mercilessly pixel peeping all the corners at 300% crop when I use it.
If you're taking the kids out to the beach on a sunny day and need a portable lens? It is pretty good, and casual shooters looking for a portable lens shouldn't have a problem with it. Out with the friends at night in a poorly lit bar? Not so much.
Throw up a solid color paper backdrop, get some good lights, stay between f/5.6 and f/11 and you could probably even do portraits and full body shots for a client were you to wish it.
June 12, 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by BLTMAN Don't bother if you have an original NEX5
I preordered it a couple of months ago and it just arrived from Sony.ca this week. The images produced by the lens (except when zoomed in all the way) have some of the worst distortion and barreling I have seen. All of the newer NEX cameras have had firmware updates adding in body distortion correction to JPEG images so this is really only a problem for those of us that adopted early and don’t want to spend $700 on a new camera. While there are sel1650 profiles to correct RAW images in lightroom, that is not really a solution to the problem (especially if you want to snap jpegs).
It takes digging through several layers of the support website (and not on the sales part of the website) to find out that the SEL1650 may result in “Shading in the corners or distortion may be visible at the lens' widest position” on the original NEX. What an understatement. This Information was nowhere to be found when I ordered the lens. Absolutely shocking that Sony could not build this lens to support a camera (the original NEX5) that is less than 3 years old. Sony supported the original NEX5 for 18 months of firmware updates and then simply stopped. They left out the feature that is now available in all of the newer cameras that make this lens passable (in camera distortion correction for JPEG images). They should at least offer a very good trade-in program for those that own the earliest NEX models want to be able to use the newest lenses - but they don't.
February 15, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5
by JMKinAZ Not Bad, Not Good
Overall, I like this lens. Images are sharp. The lens is compact. A good starter lens in a kit. And the price was right when I bought it Dec 2014.
But there is way too much barreling at the widest angle and some vignetting on the corners. I will replace this lens fairly soon.
May 3, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 by Tob64 DIED
Great lens. Fast focus and useful in many different situations.
But at 15 months the lens is suddenly a paperweight. When attached to the NEX-6 body the camera says "Cannot recognize lens Attache properly". My Sony 55-210 lens works perfect. So I contacted Sony support. I had registered the camera and lens when purchased. But Sony could not tell me if it was under warranty? Why did I bother to register it? BTW I have the receipt.
So I contacted the Repair center that Sony uses. I explained in detail what the issue is. I received a canned response. The minimum charge to work on a Sony NEX-6 is $269. I sent another email emphasizing it was the lens NOT the body. I received the same unhelpful response. Nice customer service.... :)
Sony...You should stand behind your products. A lens shouldn't die at 15 months.
June 14, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by Meangrain "Good" lens for everyday shooter
I bought a NEX-6 that came with this lens. I LOVE the NEX-6, but only like this lens. I never use it unless I want a camera and have no room for a camera bag. It is convenient at best... and frustrating at worst. Distortion correction is ALWAYS ON with this lens... that alone should tell you something. I like it for photography and hate it for video. I get strange lookin pincushion distortion that ruins my panning shots when in video mode. It operates reasonably distortion-free once you zoom to 22mm or further. Having the wide end of this lens to use is nice when you can't take a step back, but anything beyond 22mm should be ok if you have any straight lines to keep straight. Like most E-Mount lenses, you are paying for compactness and convenience, if you want high-quality optics for your NEX, get the LA-EA1 for photo or the LA-EA2 for video.
March 12, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by elyoung Not good
I bought the A6000 kit with this lens, and ended up returning it because the image quality was pretty bad.
It has the worst distortion of any lens I've ever seen by a lot. Pretty much always soft images. This lens is not up to the standard Sony portrays.
Upon realizing the camera was great and the lens was bad I purchased the A6000 body and the zeiss 1670Z. Now I'm happy!
January 18, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by jinx Amateur says it works like a charm
This lens came bundled with my nex3 model camera. I have only ever had point-and-shoots prior to this. Since I enjoy taking close-ups, I thought I'd immediately have to splurge on a macro lens to be happy, but this is proving to be a useful lens. Fiddling with the settings, I have managed to take great photos outside and decent ones inside.
I do find that when I'm trying to caputre things at a distance, I have to switch to telephoto lens, but almost always switch back to this one. Maybe my limited experience makes me a dumb novice, but I think it's great for the price as an all-purpose lens.
August 2, 2013