The SAL-16F28 is a superb fisheye lens with a look all its own. This unique lens provides a fascinating perspective on landscapes, cities, crowds and special events. With a 180° angle of view and extraordinary corner-to-corner sharpness, this lens achieves crisp, clear detail from about 8 inches to infinity. Mounted on the Sony α DSLR-A100 camera, it provides a 110° angle of view with 24mm focal length (35mm equivalent).
A Unique View of the World
With exaggerated perspective and intriguing visual distortion, this fisheye lens brings images closer to the focal plane for a view beyond the ability of human eye.
4 Rotating Filters
Built-in filters can be selected by simply rotating a dial on the lens — including Normal, 056 for accented contrast in B and W photos, B12 to correct color by eliminating red tones, A12 to correct color by eliminating blue tones.
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Initially, I didn’t think I would like this lens, but after a full month of experimentation, I’ve decided I really like it, and may use it instead of my Sigma 12-24mm lens because of the massive coverage, which is my “thing.” I like the extraordinary perspective you get with this lens, and not so much the distortive effects, but that’s just me. Because the strongest effects occur at the image periphery with a full frame camera, for which this lens was designed, those same effects are almost lost on an APS-C camera because of the cropped image.
As stated in the beginning of the review, if you’re a technical geek type that likes to annoy people with a disdain for non-perfect lenses, and “improper” shooting methods, do not buy or use this lens. This fish-eye is meant for fun, there is no right or wrong way to use it, although you may be disappointed if you simply use it to try and “get it all in” or whatever.
This is a pretty easy lens to use, and due to the “fun factor” you don’t have to worry about sharpness, distortion, and all the other stuff that has little to do with making a good picture, just make sure you focus on the intended subject, or manually focus, which I always do when using an ultra-wide lens. If you’re outdoors, stop it down hard and you won’t have to worry much about focusing. The only negative thing worth mentioning is the poor color fringing control, but that’s not a deal killer. You can get rid of the axial type by stopping down, and the lateral type along the sides can be removed in some image editing software.
I tend to want to use this lens jammed up close to something, and stopped down to F/22, that’s probably 90% of my shots, other people may like the massive distortion caused by the lens. In any case, the Sony 16mm F/2.8 fish-eye is a fun lens to use, and I encourage people to just go out and start shooting, and see what kind of crazy looking images you can generate by the end of the day.
Sony could help the sales of this lens if they re-designed it without the film filters to make it less expensive, while doing a better job at marketing the lens, I don’t think most people are aware of what the lens will do. Cost conscience people may want to look at Sigma (or other after-market supplier) for this lens, especially if you need one for exclusive use on an APS-C camera.