SEL1655G for Video – A review by Jonathan Chong
The pro-grade landscape-to-portrait zoom lens for your APS-C mirrorless system
All images are extracted from the above video.
Recent trends in the video camera industry suggest that more and more videographers and vloggers are opting for a mirrorless camera. If you’re entering the world of mirrorless with the idea of making videos, the first step is choosing the right lens for your camera, the case can be made that lenses, and not the actual camera, accounts for most of what makes a video great as photography and videography are all about optics.
Alpha Professional Photographer – Jonathan Chong from JC Studio Films is ready to help you make stellar videos, by sharing his experience of shooting video with the Sony E 16-55mm F2.8 G along with his Alpha 6600 and also the reasons why he thinks this lens is a must for his videography work.
A great walk-around lens choice covering a wide focal range
This is one of my favourite lenses for travel and professional work. I’ve never experienced the ease to shoot a travel video like how this lens can produce, such as the video I shot in Paris, where I need to keep switching lenses with different focal lengths. The Sony E 16-55mm F2.8 G allows me to capture all the footages required. Focal length is great for pretty much everything from landscape, streets, indoors, to portraits. This is a wonderful experience of having one lens to shoot and be able to focus on creativity and capturing the shot, I can cover wide and tele angle at a tight space, especially at crowded areas. If you’re looking for that one zoom to do it all, this is it.
“I’ve never experienced the ease to shoot a travel video like how this lens can produce.”
Unparalleled convenience and image quality
Moreover, with the constant f/2.8 aperture, it creates the bokeh that I am looking for to achieve the cinematic look. Its f/2.8 aperture also maintains image quality all throughout the lens’ zoom levels while providing an admirable depth of field effect. You get a fixed f/2.8 aperture at all lengths and really sharp images. It’s also one of the sharpest zoom lenses I have ever used on APS-C body, the colours and contrast are all great. The optical design employs 17 elements in 12 groups including two Advanced Aspherical and three ED elements, has a constant f/2.8 focal ratio throughout the 16-55mm range, sports nine aperture blades and a closest focusing distance of 33cm for 0.2x magnification. The minimum focusing distance of this lens allows me to capture close-up images of my subject.
In an age of traveling as light as possible
Size matters when it comes to videography, the smaller the lens tends to be better, especially if you plan on doing a lot of run-and-gun shooting. Small, lightweight and compact, this is a perfect lens for photographer-on-the-go. The weight of the lens is also acceptable on my current motorized gimbal setup, I can shoot full day with ease. Whether you’re shooting commercials, music videos or want to upload casual videos to YouTube and other platforms, its size and features truly make it one of the best now.
“The weight of the lens is also acceptable on my current motorized gimbal setup, I can shoot full day with ease.“
Providing both smooth and consistent focus
This lens is made for APS-C sensors so you will not have cropping of your original frame. You’ll notice very easy manual focusing, although auto focusing is convenient in some shooting situations. For me, I shoot 99% autofocus with my current lens setup; I really love the smooth autofocus, which is quick and accurate although you can expect it to hunt a little bit in low light. It focuses quickly and easily while providing a great deal of control, making it a good choice for both amateurs and professionals. There are decent-sized zoom and manual focus rings to control the lens with, as well as a programmable function button, which can be used to change autofocus modes to suit the subject.
“It focuses quickly and easily while providing a great deal of control, making it a good choice for both amateurs and professionals.”
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of Sony.