Samsung 16-50mm f/2-2.8 S ED OIS NX

Lens Reviews / Samsung Lenses i Lab tested

(From Samsung lens literature) The Samsung 16-50mm F2-2.8 S ED OIS lens allows photographers of all skill levels to achieve professional image quality through a myriad of new and advanced features. It is the first Premium ā€œSā€ Series lens, which signifies end-users will be given superior optical-technology to meet their photography needs. Its versatile standard zoom angle of view allows for flexibility to take photos at frequently desired angles and vantage points, without limitations on what is captured. The 16-50mm has an extremely bright aperture (F2.0 at 16mm; F2.8 at 50mm) making it the brightest 3X zoom among equivalent class lenses, adding-value to the overall picture-taking experience and imaging results. Splash and dust proof, this lens is designed to deliver quality results even in extreme, harsh conditions.

This lens features an Ultra-Precise Stepping Motor (UPSM), improved from the conventional Stepping Motor (SM), that is 3X more precise in its ability to control and focus on subjects. Coupled with its optical image stabilizer and combination of three aspherical (ASP) lenses, two extra-low dispersion (ED) lenses, and two eXreme High Refractive (XHR) lenses, the 16-50mm F2-2.8 S ED OIS has the ability to take a steady shot and produce an exceptional photo with ultimate clarity and detail. The combination of these advanced elements work together to enhance the results from the lens. The ASP lenses reduce and nearly eliminate spherical aberration, whereas the ED elements reduce chromatic aberration and the XHR allows for a more compact and light lens.

Most people tend to think of image stabilization as being mainly for telephoto lenses. While it's true that their longer focal lengths tend to magnify the effects of camera shake, image stabilization can provide a very useful assist at wider angle focal lengths as well; anyone who's ever tried to blur the image of a waterfall, while keeping the surrounding landscape tack-sharp knows exactly what I'm talking about.

At the 16mm focal length setting we see about two and a half stops of hand-holding image stabilization. With OIS turned off, we see results we'd expect with the one-over-focal length rule of thumb: 100% sharp images at a 1/15s shutter speed. With OIS turned on, this improves to 90% sharp images at 1/4s, and 50% sharp at 1/2s.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

Zoomed in to 50mm, we see even better performance, perhaps around three stops of hand-holding stabilization. With OIS engaged, we get 90% sharp images at 1/8s, and 50% sharp images at 1/4s - pretty impressive at 50mm!

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

IS systems tend to provide more benefit to less-stable shooters than very steady ones, so most users will see the same or greater amounts of shake reduction as we measured here. You can read more about our IS test methodology here: SLRgear IS Test Methodology, v2.