3
\$\begingroup\$

I used to have a mirrorless Sony Alpha A6000 camera.

The problem I had with it was that, no matter how hard I tried to keep the center of my photos sharp, my photos always looked blurry in the peripherals.

To illustrate, here's an example -- zoom in & compare the left and right of the photo with the center:

enter image description here

I eventually sold the camera and got a Canon T5i, and I have not experienced this problem with it -- my photos turn out sharp everywhere with the T5i:

enter image description here

(Unfortunately, I didn't take photos of the same scenes with both, but trust me that I experienced this problem with practically every single one of my A6000 photos, and none of the T5i ones.)

Is this a known problem with the body or the stock lens? Or is it a problem with entry-level mirrorless cameras in general? Why does it seem hard to find any kind of information about this problem online?
The whole thing has been extremely surprising to me, because whenever I have searched online, the Sony A6000 has seemed to be universally regarded as a better camera than the Canon T5i, and I would never have expected its photos to turn out so comparatively awful. What's going on?

\$\endgroup\$
8
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Why would you assume this is related to the camera and not the lens? \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Jul 21, 2016 at 9:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @osullic: I guess for the same reason that the recommendations I find online don't say anything about the lens? Because I don't know better... \$\endgroup\$
    – user541686
    Jul 21, 2016 at 10:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You should probably read this question for the value of Snapsort for.... well, anything. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Jul 21, 2016 at 10:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhilipKendall: Thanks, good to know, but it's not like SnapSort is the only source saying A6000 is better without any mentions of any lens. Like I said, it seems a pretty universal recommendation -- do you disagree with it yourself? \$\endgroup\$
    – user541686
    Jul 21, 2016 at 10:22
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, it's generally true that many mirrorless cameras use less-corrected lenses and rely on software. That's not inherently a mirrorless thing, but a tendency, both due to the fact that mirrorless systems are newer and because there's a pressure for small, light, cheap mirrorless lenses \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jul 21, 2016 at 19:38

2 Answers 2

5
\$\begingroup\$

It is known problem with this lens.

Check out this review for measurements and samples for the stock lens.

Here is a more expensive one which does not exhibit this defect (made for Minolta A mount but adapted to NEX for testing): https://www.photozone.de/sony-alpha-aps-c-lens-tests/730-sony1650f28?start=1 . It seems that some design properties are causing this defect which are more often to happen with MILC.

I could also find an SLR objective that has this defect but I need to spend some time digging.

\$\endgroup\$
9
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hm, but I don't see the problem in the samples, and I'm not sure which measurements you're referring to either. For example, if you look at this sample photo, sharpness seems pretty uniform across the image... nothing like the one I showed. \$\endgroup\$
    – user541686
    Jul 21, 2016 at 9:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 Oh, actually, I think I see what you're saying now! The MTF plots are a little hard to read for me, but when I look at the "Field map" under "Sharpness" in DXOMark, the difference is quote obvious: A6000 lens vs. T5i lens... however I'd love a more detailed answer if possible. Thanks so much for pointing me in this direction though! \$\endgroup\$
    – user541686
    Jul 21, 2016 at 9:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @mehrdad: that one is done at F8 and does not obviously expose this problem (traces still visible in top left corner). Look at samples done at F3,5 or so. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21, 2016 at 10:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Both your links are Error 404, unfortunately. \$\endgroup\$
    – gerrit
    Mar 1, 2020 at 20:53
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Field curvature. It's a lens problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Dec 28, 2021 at 18:34
2
\$\begingroup\$

If the "stock lens" is the SELP1650: It is known to sacrifice some edge performance for compactness when used at the extreme wide angle setting. Also, sometimes you read reports of there being badly decentered copies.

What is seen in the example image could be a) decentering (given the right side appears significantly worse), b) field curvature causing the plant in the foreground to be more out of focus than expected, c) subject movement (strong double lines in the same plant that look more like a movement artifact than bad foreground bokeh.)

Similar effects, for very different reasons, can appear on mirrorless cameras with some adapted lenses, especially wide angle lenses and zoom lenses. Here, the problems are usually either due to corner rays hitting the sensor (and thick glass filters in front of it, taking a longer path through glass than anticipated) at a very odd angle, or due to adapters that are inaccurate re: flange distance in conjunction with floating element lenses (which zooms and modern wide angles often are!).

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.