Sony 16mm f/2.8 ‘Pancake’ lens review with samples

This is one of the oldest lenses for Sony’s mirrorless E-Mount cameras, a small pancake device. It can give coverage for sensors as big as APS-C (you could put it on a full-frame Sony mirrorless camera, but you’ll have to shoot in crop mode). Let’s see how it performs on a modern, 24mp camera.

All pictures taken by me on a Sony a6300 camera.

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Zachary Felix says:

Could you do a review on the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG OS HSM ART?

shaolin95 says:

Dude this lens came out 10 freaking years ago!!! How can you use this to claim the quality control issues of Sony. Come on now .I expected better from you.

Houston Thompson says:

For portrait photography and hopeful build up to weddings as well. I’m coming from a canon t4i with only 2 lenses. Spending $1800-$2200 canon 80d with primes or Sony A6500 with primes? Or whatever else you think would be right. I would like your opinion. Thank you for your time.

CopyMan says:

Could you re review the 70 200 2.8 without is? Ive been thinking about getting it, so id appreciate an updated review:)

Jeremy says:

Sony, PLEASE make a 22mm F/2 pancake like Canon’s! And Chris, please review the Sony Zeiss 24mm f/1.8! No one ever reviews it, I guess because it’s so expensive? I actually own the lens already, and want to see if the results that you get will match the results I seem to be getting with mine. I suspect that the quality may be inconsistent!

مراجعة Dz review says:

Minolta 50mm 1.4 vs super takumar 50mm 1.4 witch Lens i pick??

Al Baker Photography says:

Well done, Chris, great review, splendid pictures, beautiful analysis, that’s rhe way a review should be made. Congrats to You! Cheers on You!

Chú Đạt Photo says:

Can you test yongnou 100 f2 vs canon 100 f2?

keithspillett says:

I own one of these, and the quality – or lack of it – is pretty much as you found, though the top left corner leaves the most to be desired on mine….

Achilleas Labrou says:

That was my first Sony e-mount lens. It is much better than my former cheap compact cameras but the worst of all my later e-mount lenses. Maybe for that reason Sony has introduced a pancake at 20mm f/2.8 with nearly the same size which is much sharper and much more expensive and can accept the same converters as the 16mm f/2.8 does.

Christopher Perez says:

I have the Sony 16mm f/2.8 SEL and own a Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN E, too.

The Sigma is sharper wide open and has a much flatter field than the Sony. The Sigma is, indeed, a wonderful lens for similar (if not less) money to the Sony.

BUT, what people don’t typically realize is that the 16mm Sony suffers from field curvature. Sure, it’s soft even in the center wide open. Starting at F/4, mine sharpens up in the center _and_ if I re-focus at the edges, the performance isn’t nearly as bad as things appears.

thomas lamb says:

its rubbish

Rage Studios says:

I would be really cool if sony release a 16mm f2.8 mark II and address all of the shortcomings in this lens

Hurjui Ionut says:

Cool reviews! I quite enjoyed your videos, you have a very nice voice. In the future, can you review the sony ef 85mm f/1.8?

Learning guitar says:

Shittiest lens I have ever had 😀

biggoofybastard says:

Why does the top left corner of the test image look so washed out?

The Mareo says:

Hello Christopher, thanks for your high quality reviews, have you considered reviewing the Sony SEL18200 lens?

Chris Severis says:

Chris have you moved from Canon to Sony mirrorless

flameout12345 says:

Need Sony G Master lens review!

auxmike says:

So happy to see you getting into Sony! I have the a6000

JohnAudioTech says:

Wonderful format of this channel showing several examples of lens performance. Top notch photography as well. I would consider broadening your reviews to Nikon as it could expand the interest in your channel.

Masci Hakimyar says:

is this compatible on a a5000?

Diego Rivera says:

Please do the Sigma 19mm f2.8 for E-mount 😛

Joachim M says:

I have the same experience on my a6000 with this lens. It’s a pity for Sony. They produce Super sensors and cams, but are still not capable to provide a decent compact starter lens. I use a samyang for wide angle on this or a eos m3 with its good compact lens.

Seiki Matsu says:

Request: 7artisans 35mm f1.2 for Sony E-mount 😀

Joshua Mack says:

To me it is a good little lens. 2.8 in a prime, ANd then not even supersharp does sound Bad, but its tiny and cheap

Mr. JAM says:

I heard Sigma’s 16mm F1.4 is great. But its quite heavy and bulky. Anyway please review that lens if you can get 🙂

Dario Alessio says:

If you want pancake on E-mount go for the 20mm 2.8, much better image quality and all around purpose focal lenght. Otherwise the kit lens 16-50 produces the same image quality of the 16, and you trade not even a stop for being able zoom up to 50. Just my 2 cents after trying them all

Keemo Ricablanca says:

Hello! Will you be doing a review on Samyang’s new AF 14mm F2.8 EF mount? Curious to know – I saw one of your sample pictures on Samyang’s website 🙂

Ozzy Paul says:

I had one on my NEX7 and replaced it with the Sigma 19mm ‘Art’ lens MUCH better lens I feel.

Mohammad Khan says:

Well done..

View and Review says:

nice lens

Hananias Q says:

Christopher, your points are valid, but I feel this lens is misunderstood. It’s not priced to compete with wide prime lens. So the image quality won’t either. It’s an inexpensive wide lens with a decent f2.8 aperture. That can be had for as little as $120 “used”.
I love this lens. I’ve been using it in my recent review videos. But sticking the ultra wide adapter increases the wideness without decreasing image quality. You can even focus closer than with out the converter.
I made a couple of videos reviewing this lens “With” & “With out” the converter. Feel free to check it out.

Sergio Serra says:

Boy it is much less sharp than Canon’s pankakes

Samuel Huppert says:

Chris you should grab the 800mm mirror lens and put it on the a7rii so that it gets IS. Guys like so chris can see.

Ro Rebbel says:

Hi Christopher,
The image you use to test the sharpness of your lenses, is that the available somewhere, or is it your own?
And at what distance is it from your lens when you shoot it?
Thank you ✌️

André Lousada says:

Do you know why this is one of my favorite lens? Because its a good alternative to the 10-18 if you use the wide converter! 🙂 For vlogging that is… 🙂

Youtube Surfer says:

Is there a chance that you can test the selp18105g too?

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