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Sony Alpha NEX 3 / 5 (firmware v2) Gordon Laing, September 2010

Sony Alpha NEX-5 results : Real-life resolution / lens sharpness at 18mm / lens sharpness at 55mm / High ISO Noise / HHT / AMB


Sony SEL1855 18-55mm kit lens sharpness at 55mm (83mm equivalent)

 
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Continuing our real-life performance tests with the SEL1855 kit lens, we fully zoomed it into 55mm, and shot this scene at all aperture settings using the NEX-5 body.

As before, the NEX-5 was set to its lowest sensitivity, but this time to avoid any in-camera corrections, we shot in RAW mode and processed the files using the supplied Image Data Converter SR 3.2 using the default settings. The crops below are taken from the areas marked with the red rectangles and presented here at 100%.


After the excellent results when fully zoomed-out, we were a little disappointed to find quite noticeable softness in the corners when zoomed-in. This is quite apparent in the crops below, although it should be noted this obvious softness is isolated to the extreme corners with the image improving significantly just beyond the cropped area.

What's also apparent below is the improvement when stopping down from f5.6 to f8. This greatly reduces the corner softness, while also delivering a crisper result in the centre of the image; this is particularly apparent in the branches of the trees by the shore of the lake. Stopping down further brings some minor improvements to the corners, but with a gradual softening of the overall image due to diffraction. So unless you're after a shallow depth-of-field effect, we'd recommend stopping down to f8 when using the kit lens at 55mm.

Ultimately while this page illustrates the SEL1855 is far from perfect, it still performs very respectably overall and can be recommended for buys of the NEX system. It's a classy standard option and we look forward to testing more E-mount lenses in the future. You can also see more real-life examples of it in action in our sample images gallery.

Now it's time to return to the NEX-5 body though to check out our Sony Alpha NEX-5 High ISO Noise results.


Sony SEL1855 18-55mm kit lens
Corner sharpness at 55mm
 
Sony SEL1855 18-55mm kit lens
Centre sharpness at 55mm
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
     
f8, 200 ISO
f8, 200 ISO


Sony Alpha NEX-5 results : Real-life resolution / lens sharpness at 18mm / lens sharpness at 55mm / High ISO Noise / HHT / AMB



All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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