Sony 16-50mm kit lens and the 55-210mm lens with image comparisons

The Sony 16-50mm kit lens and the 55-210mm power zoom lens are popular lenses for the a5000, a5100, a6000, a6300 and the a6500 sony alpha mirrorless cameras. The 16-50mm lens is very common because most of the time it comes with the camera body but the 55-210mm lens is IMHO the best option for a zoom lens. Its cheap, has very impressive quality though its zoom and it was made for these cameras so you don’t need an adapter.

Given I have the Sony SELP1650 kit lens as well as the Sony SEL55210B 55-210mm zoom lens for my a6000 I thought id give a somewhat accurate representation of the zoom levels.

I made a groves on the balcony edge with tape and pens to ensure the camera was in the exact same position for each of the shots. See this YouTube video for more images of both lens as well as images and footage taken on the 55-210mm lens.

Here is a collage where I went through the different zoom amounts and put them side by side working up (16-50mm on the left, 55-210mm on the right). You can see each of the individual images in the spoiler at the bottom of this blog post.

Sony 16-50mm and 55-210mm lens comparison
Sony 16-50mm and 55-210mm lens compared side by side
Sony 16-50mm and 55-210mm lens comparison
Sony 16-50mm and 55-210mm lens compared side by side 2

Obviously the 16-50mm is more suited for wide shots and the 55-210mm blows it away for getting a shot with some distance.

The 55-210mm lens is large, not in a sense it’s physically big but the Sony alpha series are small, compact yet powerful cameras and the 55-210mm lens is very large on these cameras.

I was impressed by the zoom range and photo opportunities the 55-210mm lens brought. Bird photography and long-range landscape photos are now very possible as bluntly the 16-50mm kit lens has no range on it.

Also in case you needed it actually needed to be said, don’t bother getting the 55-210mm lens for vlogging as it is simply too big and useless for shooting anything within metres of you.

Pros

  • Awesome zoom.
  • Cheap (buy second-hand! Under $200 aud).
  • New photo oppportunities.
  • Combined with 16-50mm kit lens = you have all round capabilities.

Cons

  • Large.
  • Heavy weights as much as the camera.
  • Slower focus.
  • Only useful for medium to long-range (don’t bother with it short or close ranged).

SEL55210B and its images

The 55-210mm lens with the a6000
55-210mm lens and the a6000
The 55-210mm lens on the a6000
The 55-210mm lens on the a6000
The 55-210mm lens on the a6000 extended with hood
The 55-210mm lens on the a6000 extended with hood
Photo taken with the 55-210mm lens
Photo taken with the 55-210mm lens from 50 metres away
Photo of the moon taken with the 55-210mm lens
Photo of the moon taken with the 55-210mm lens
Photo taken with the 55-210mm lens
Photo taken with the 55-210mm lens from 30 metres away

See the individual comparison images

Sony 16-50mm kit lens Sony 16-50mm kit lens 2

Sony 16-50mm kit lens 3
Sony 16-50mm kit lens at 55mm zoom

55-210mm zoom lens 1 55-210mm zoom lens 2

55-210mm zoom lens 3
55-210mm zoom lens at 210mm zoom

16-55mm zoom lens

55-210mm zoom lens zoomed in
55-210mm zoom lens zoomed in fully.