Sony NEX-5 16mm f/2.8 mm lens

Sony NEX-5 16mm f/2.8

The 16mm f/2.8mm lens in the Sony NEX system is a rarity for Compact System Cameras. A relatively fast prime wider than a 28mm equivalent. Panasonic or Olympus don't have one for m4/3 and neither do Samsung for the NX system. The NEX cameras are so small that this has been like using a lens with a body attached. When the NEX cameras first came out I was only able to try a body with the kit zoom and it felt really unbalanced to me. This combination is a lot better and actually feels very nice in the hand despite its size. I like 24mm lenses (In 35mm terms) and this gives a useful angle of view. Combined with the APS-C sensor it allows for limited depth of field if used wide open.

Sony NEX-5 16mm f/2.8

It really is small and light enough to put in a bag rather than another lens, and because of Sonys pricing structure is not that expensive.

I've only had a limited time to work with it but have formed a few first impressions.

Sony NEX-5 16mm f/2.8

I like using the camera and lens so far and the whole thing seems very comfortable in use. AF responds reasonably well, though its nowhere near as quick as a Panasonic GH2 for example.

Sony NEX-5 16mm f/2.8

Image quality is OK, nice colours though sharpness is only on a par with the Samsung NX and Olympus lenses and doesn't approach the quality of the Panasonic primes. I haven't had a chance to try it in sunlight yet, so I can't comment on the dynamic range.

Sony NEX-5 16mm f/2.8

Certainly I've seen nothing so far that shows any advantage either from the 14MP or APS-C sensor, but I haven't tried it in low light. The sweep panorama is excellent and I took a few, though nothing worth publishing.

Sony NEX-5 16mm f/2.8

However I bought it for its usefulness and certainly there are no indications that there are any problems in terms of quality, however once again it does illustrate just how good m4/3 is.

Sony NEX-5 16mm f/2.8

Finally, there are lots of complaints about the menu system, and you can now add one from me. Its not intuitive, and for a camera that relies so much on the menus to change the settings it does make this difficult. When its set it works fine, but changing anything results in a lot of button pushing. Why its like this is strange, since the menus of my a850 and the A55 I had briefly are both clear, simple and easy to navigate. Sony obviously think that those point and shoot upgraders can handle more complication, which seems to me the wrong way round. I've been using different cameras for many years and if I have trouble with it I dread to think what relative newcomers make of it.

Sony NEX-5 16mm f/2.8

Sony NEX-5 16mm f/2.8
Sony NEX-5 16mm f/2.8