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Old Sep 29, 2008, 11:27 PM   #1
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Time to upgrade the kit lens that came with my KM-5D. (18-70 f/3.5-5.6) which is a little soft at times.

But I generally LIKE the range of the kit lens. And the physical size.

So I am looking at theSony CZ 16-80f/3.5-4.5

http://www.adorama.com/ISO168035Z.html

and then I found the Sony 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 D

http://www.adorama.com/ISO16105Z.html

Hmmmmm.

Physically the lenses are just about the same, with the Sony 16-105about 1 ounce heavier than the CZ and both lenses nearly double the weight of the kit lens.

The CZ is a wee bit faster. The Good Sony has a longer length.

For my photos these lenses are almost ideal.

I practically live between the 24 mm and 50 mm (36-75mm in 35mm speak) for about 75% of my photography. MAYBE, just MAYBE 2-3% of my shots are wider than 24mm (36mm), but when I shoot that wide I don't have much option of not shooting that wide...I just did some building photos... 20mm (30mm) was the must width because I could not step back any further without standing in the middle of a 5 lane road.... so the cheaper Sony 24-105 would not be a viable option.

Currently I make use of cropping the photos to gain length. It works. Maybe 20% of my photos are cropped. So I could use a bit more length. Surprisingly the few extra mm of the CZ might just enough for maybe 25-30% of those photos which I currently crop.

So, back to the Sony 16-105 versus the CZ 16-80. In the all critical 24-50 mm shooting range which lensis the best.... or is there just not enough difference?

Next critical range would be 50-80. I figure at 80mm the CZ is maxing out the performance of the glass and the Sony would be better. But is there enough difference to be of issue, especially from about 50 to 70mm?

Above 80mm the quality of the Sony is almost not an issue as it would be better than cropping the photos that I currently perform.

Below 24 mm is not an huge issue, as long as distortion is not great down to around 20 mm or so I figure either lens will work. I almost never shoot at the widest setting of the kit lens so the level of distortion between 16 and 18mm should never be an issue.



Bottom line, to me it appears the Sony 16-105 is a great buy, and the fact the Sony 16-105 is$120 cheaper than the CZ 16-80 only serves to make it a better buy.

Am I missing something?
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Old Sep 30, 2008, 7:32 AM   #2
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Take a look at SLRGear.com's test reports for the lenses:

Sony 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAL-16105

Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 DT Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* SAL-1680Z

... and here's the same test report for the kit lens, for compararison:

Sony 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAL-1870

From these reports, I'd say that the 16-80 is better than the 16-105 in almost every respect.

Another very good lens you might consider is the:

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF

It doesn't quite have the range as the others, but may suit you well. It's as sharp or sharper than the others, andit's faster as well. And, btw, it's cheaper. I've had this lens for over a year and love it.
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Old Sep 30, 2008, 5:41 PM   #3
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Fantastic article here:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2008/0...lpha-kit-lens/

Makes my decision even harder.
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Old Sep 30, 2008, 8:54 PM   #4
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DrChris wrote:
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Fantastic article here:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2008/0...lpha-kit-lens/

Makes my decision even harder.
Yep, sure does.
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Old Sep 30, 2008, 10:44 PM   #5
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TCav

You are a big fan of the 18-250. (Seen your comments about the 18-250 on other threads/forums). The 18-250 is essentially the same size and weight as the other lenses being considered and about the same price as the 16-105.

Even though I have little need for anything past 100-120mm (150-180)and essentially zero need for250mm (375), the extra length might be beneficial for a small % of my shots versus cropping...... AND the lens does not lack on the wide side.... matching what I currently have and the range that I currently use.

Reading the links you provided it is obvious the CZ lens is great. BUT at a typical f4 or f8 shot at 50 mm size there seemed to be little reason to prefer one lens over another.

The more I think about the 18-250, the more the lens seems to make sense.... I am going to shoot with one lens and I might find a reason to shoot at 250 (375mm). If I drop down in size to the 16-105 or the CZ 16-80 I might have regrets later when I discover a need for a slightly longer lens.

StevieD


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Old Oct 1, 2008, 7:47 AM   #6
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StevieDgpt wrote:
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TCav

You are a big fan of the 18-250. (Seen your comments about the 18-250 on other threads/forums). ...
Nooooooooooooooooooo.

I think you misunderstand the point I was trying to make.

I think superzoom lenses are a bad idea. Multiple lenses with less ambitious zoom ranges provide better image quality and cost less. The only thing superzoom lenses have going for them is convenience.

But if someone absolutely must have a single lens to do everything, the Tamron (Sony) 18-250 is the best of its kind.

I've had the KM 18-200 (a rebranded Tamron, identical to the Sony.) It was soft throughout its range, had significant optical distortionat the wide end (Architecture? No!), and significant CA at the long end. The 18-250 is a marginalimprovement over the 18-200. That is the extent of my endorsement.

I am, however, a big fan of the Tamron 17-50.
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 2:51 AM   #7
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TCav wrote:
Quote:
Another very good lens you might consider is the:

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF

It doesn't quite have the range as the others, but may suit you well. It's as sharp or sharper than the others, andit's faster as well. And, btw, it's cheaper. I've had this lens for over a year and love it.


You got me convinced. Thank you.

I remember Tamron quite well frommy college film days we all used Tamron and Tokina for lenses because we had discovered T or T was the factory for a lot of"name brand"lenses (as they still aretoday).

Just reviewing my photo logs, the Tamron 17-50 (25.5-75mm) will cover about 75 to 80% of my shots. Good coverage, but not totally perfect.

It isabove the 50 (75mm) length I have a problem.

My kit lens reaches to 105mm in 35mm speak and it is just not quitelong enough for mycurrent needs(and the lens is soft so it really does need an upgrade).

So topractical Iwill needsomething to cover75 to 120mm in 35mm speak without dropping off too far in quality. Longer than 120 would be acceptable, but I have little need for anything beyond135 to maybe 150 mm in 35 mmspeak.

Of course if there wasa good deal of overlap around the 50-75mm mark that would be ok so as to prevent a lot of lens swapping.

Found the Tamron SP AF 28-75 f/2.8.In 35mm speak that would be 42-112. Big overlapwith the 17-50 (25.5-75mm) which would be useful, BUT the range at 112 justdoesn't get out quite far enough.

There are several "low cost" Tamron 28-200 sized lenses andSigma has 28-105 or 28-135 but no publication has reallyreviewed these lenses and individual forum and buyer comments seem weak,less than trilled, or the usual "my first lens ever and it is the best lens" type comments. Sony has a 24-105, but again nobody has really reviewed the lens.

Have a favorite? A suggestion? Basically I am looking for a second lens (regardless of the listed focal length) that is good quality from40 up to 90 (60 up to 135 in 35mm speak) and could be longer to add to the Tamron 17-50. Good quality at 35 (50mm) would be better than 40mm to allow for more overlap and less lens swapping.
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 9:45 AM   #8
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Another option is the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.0. It covers the range of the kit lens, but it's faster and better in almost every way.

If you can't find what you're looking for among what's been mentoned here, then you need to forget about getting a single lens. How about these:

Standard Zoom:
  • Tamron 17-50/2.8 ($420)[/*]
  • Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 ($400)[/*]
  • Sony CZ 16-80/3.5-4.5 ($700)
[/*]
Telephoto Zoom:
  • Sigma 50-150/2.8 ($750)[/*]
  • Tamron (Sony) 55-200/4.0-5.6 ($165, $230)
[/*]
Wide Zoom:
  • Sigma 10-20/4.0-5.6 ($570)[/*]
  • Tamron (Sony) 11-18/4.5-5.6 ($570, $650)[/*]
  • Sigma 12-24/4.5-5.6 ($780)[/*]
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 10:03 AM   #9
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TCav wrote:
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...
  • Sigma 50-150/2.8 ($750)[/*]
AFAIK, Sigma doesn't offer the 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM in Sony/Minolta mount. It looks like it only comes in Nikon, Canon or Sigma mount (at least for now).


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Old Oct 2, 2008, 10:17 AM   #10
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My bad. It looks like Sigma will be offering it for Sony/Minolta mount. I must have missed this:

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/len...mp;navigator=6
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