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Equipment Reviews

Sony E 16-50 OSS - Sony PXW-FS7 Autofocus Test

This is a quick and basic test of the Sony E 16-50 OSS - Sony PXW-FS7 system. The Sony E 16-50 OSS is a small, compact, inexpensive kit lens marketed with cameras like the Sony a6300 mirrorless stills/movie camera. I've never seen it sold with the Sony FS7 4K cine camera, nor have I ever seen anyone attempt this pairing. It turns out this combo works remarkably well. The autofocus is quick and accurate with a little practice. I purposely under-lit the Pure Leaf tea bottle in this video and shot through a dirty window to see how autofocus would handle these imperfections. As you can see, it seems to do just fine. I wouldn't use an autofocus lens for most of my shooting with the FS7, but might use it for some run-and-gun situations with docs, news or for a cinéma vérité look. When mounted directly to the FS7 E mount, it produces a field of view close to that of a 24-75mm lens on a FF DSLR. The lens will also zoom remotely through the FS7's two zoom controls (grip and top handle). Finally, the Sony 16-50 weighs almost nothing and is tiny. This is not the lens you would mount on the FS7 to impress your client (or girlfriend) with. For that, try a Fujinon 75-400mm T2.8-3.8 Premier PL Zoom (20 lbs.).

**I discovered something very interesting in my testing. When the lens is on the FS7 and I zoom remotely with the camera's handgrip, the zoom motion is rough, like one would expect from a stills lens. That's when I'm not recording. When I start record and zoom, the zoom motion becomes very smooth, like a video lens. Crazy, but good.

Gear Used:

Sony PXW-FS7
Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Zoom Lens
Kessler Quick Release
Sachtler Video 25 Plus Fluid Head
Shape Sony FS7 Rig
Zacuto Bluestar Eyepiece Chamois

Martin Lisius is a producer, director and cinematographer at Prairie Pictures, Inc. He is the founder of StormStock, a collection of weather and climate footage he founded in 1993. Full bio at linkedin.com/in/martinlisius.

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