Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 76    1 2 3 >>
reviewer#11932 date: Aug-3-2014
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 1
flare control: 4
overall: 3.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:17-35 minolta
16-35 Zeiss
AF28-75f2.8
and others
price paid:
missing
positive:Weight and size is good, so is sharpness.
AF is good and noiseless
negative:Colors are ok, but not like good old minolta-ones.
Build quality is lacking. The use of focus and zoom ring goes too stiff, make subtle adjustments somehow hard, as the rings sticks/release. The lens was made also for video use, but the stiff and sticky rings makes it troublesome to use either manual AF and zoom during video recording.
The fact that somebody invented in-body lens corrections made the reason for this lens to be awkward in the distortion across all focal length. Distortion is well handled if - and only if - you happen to have a camera with in-body correction, but/and only if you are a jpeg-shooter. RAW-shooters are left in the shadow. And do you know what ? Sometimes the in-camera correction makes a mess. Somebody is of the opinion, that the distortion is easily handled in post processing, but no. Not many softwares make the correct correction, and it takes power out of your expensive computer and give us less freedom to choose software for pp.
About noise...the aperture is noisy, easily shadows the sound of the shutter itself. Just compare noise at f2.8 and fx. f16 !
Sharpness with small apertures is devastating.
comment:I really hope Sony would make a lens like this, but without this complex form of distortion. Good old barrel or pincushion is hand-able, but not this complex wavy distortion.
I gave the lens low score for the build quality due to distortion, the sticky adjustment rings and the noisy aperture, and the lack of sharpness in smaller range of aperture is making the whole build quality wacky.
And a question: For what use is a lock-lever on a lens, if it can only lock it in wide ? If the lens have creep it could be useful, but for only locking wide ? Usable if it was possible to lock in any position.
reviewer#11904 date: Jul-14-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX-II
Sony Carl Zeiss 16-80 F3.5-4.5
price paid:400 euro used
positive:f/2.8, sharpness, build, fast focus
negative:distortion in raw but easily corrected in post processing
comment:excellent lens,very good sharpness at 2,8 sharp at 3.5 - 5.6 ,distortion in raw but easily corrected in post processing , perfect on a77 ,lens correction +1
reviewer#11771 date: Apr-15-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:16-80ZA
price paid:600
positive:Sharp, inexpensive, low profile
negative:Nobody knows it
comment:Came as kit and is a super buy. Unless you are buying a Sigma 18-35f1.8
reviewer#11761 date: Apr-13-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50mm
Minolta 50mm f1.7
price paid:with kit
positive:-well built
-fast and silent focus
-lovely colors and 'rendition'
-sharp
negative:-distortion in raw was a problem (LR5.4 now has a profile so it's not an issue any more)
-a little drop off in sharpness in the corners
-significant vignetting at 16mm f2.8.
comment:This lens replaced my tamron 17-50mm. The sharpness is on par with the tamron, which is already good. However, bokeh, color, build, and af are all much better than the tamron. The sharpness on the lens is pretty good. I'd say it's on par with the minolta 50mm at f2.8. This lens has basically replaced the 50 mm prime, because I like it's renditions for portraiture better, and the 50mm isn't really sharp until f2.8 anyways.

The distortions and vignetting are really its only weakness. However, LR5.4 now has profiles to correct them.
reviewer#11683 date: Feb-6-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17 - 50 2.8
price paid:390 CHF (Used)
positive:Sharp wide open
Sharper at 3.5
SSM
Weather resistant
In body distortion corrections for A77
Great for video, silent
Fast AF
negative:Distortion without corrections can be heavy on the wide end
comment:The Sony is sharper wide open compared with the Tamron. The Sony is fast to AF, almost silent. Colours to me seem better than the Tamron. Tamron is also sharp but needs stopping down to 3.5 - 4. My feeling is the sony is sharper. Add to the Sony SSM, weather sealing, video support, it is a worthy upgrade to the Tamron. Great lens.
reviewer#11632 date: Jan-23-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
minolta 50 f/1.4
price paid:
missing
positive:Excellent Build quality
Sharp
Image Quality
SSM
negative:
missing
comment:I sold my a65 with tamron 17-50 f / 2.8, but tried an a77 with this lense, I was caught, I had to have it. love it.
reviewer#11537 date: Dec-12-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50/2.8
price paid:with body (used)
positive:Very fast, silent and sharp.
negative:Little heavy but it is OK.
comment:Excellent lens for Sony a77.
reviewer#11308 date: Aug-13-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Nikkor 18-200 VR
Nikkor 18-55
Sony 18-55
price paid:
missing
positive:Excellent Build quality
Sharp
Image Quality
Constant aperture
Bokeh
weather sealed
SSM
negative:a bit heavy
comment:I used this lens on my a77 as kit lens.result very good with this body.very good for landscape and portrait from 16 to 50.
reviewer#11284 date: Aug-3-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-75mm f2.8
Minolta 50mm f1.4
Minolta 20mm f2.8
price paid:NA: Part of kit
positive:Sharp
Silent
Balance and build
negative:Not Full Frame
Not quite Minolta colors
comment:This is the lens that sold me on Sony. After swaying from Canon I had an A65 kit. Soon after purchase I went back to the store and tried the A77 after reading up on extra features. Once I tried A77 kit I was completely hooked. The focus is fast and crisp. A year and many lenses later, this is still a great pair. I finally upgraded to full frame, and regret this combo isn't getting used as much now. I feel my copy of 16-50 gives better IQ than my Minolta 20 but not fair to compare to the 50mm f1.4. If you need a solid APS-C walkaround lens, this is it.
reviewer#11245 date: Jul-12-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:$561 as a kit-lens
positive:Sharp , Build , Fast focus , silent , great for photo and video
negative:none
comment:I got this lens as a kit lens for sony a77 ,it becomes the only lens I use for landscape photography.
It's sharp ,fast , silent .. great lens if you want a lens for everyday photography.
reviewer#11234 date: Jul-3-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70/3.5-5.6(A350s kit zoom)
Minolta 28-80 AF zoom macro, Baby Beercan
price paid:~350 USD(bundled)
positive:Sharp as hell! Works like a charm on my A77. On the A350 on the other hand you wont get the whole advantage of this lens.
negative:Buttons on lens takes down the quality feel from a perfect 5 to a 4. I wonder if they will last as long as I want to use this lens?

Its supposed to have a quiet focus motor and yes it's not as noisy as the focus on the old beercan but its not that quite i thought. Just less noiser than usual.
comment:I saved up the extra money so I could afford to buy this lens bundled with an A77 when it was time to upgrade my camera system. I would say that it was well worth the extra 3000 SEK(around 350USD), the most expensive lens I ever bought.(I seldom buy new lenses cause I can't afford them).

If I hadn't bought it i would regret it if I knewed what I missed.
reviewer#11035 date: Apr-13-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:16-80
price paid:kit
positive:fast focus
f2.8
quiet
sharp
negative:distortion
comment:nice lens very good match with A77
reviewer#10979 date: Mar-14-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 17-35 (most similar focal length)
& loads of others as listed in my member profile
price paid:EUR 350 used
positive:sharp
quiet
fast
negative:only locks @16mm, but otherwise no real negative comments
comment:I had to buy this lens for the price. It was a steal. I was already very pleased with my KM 17-35, but I spotted the ebay ad, from a local seller- hit buy it now, and had the lens picked up same day. I thought if I don't like it, I can always sell. 3 months later- I have no intention of selling...

I don't really need to add much to the positiveness that others already posted. But how does it compare to KM 17-35 2.8-4?

Well, optically they are both very good. I prefer the colours on the KM- but it is really hard to tell which is better.

Where it excels- is reach. 16-50 makes it a far better walkabout lens. Distortion on wide is acceptable, and both 17-35 and 16-50 are way ahead of the standard kit lenses. Build quality is top. It feels nice, it moves nice- and for video- almost silently- so great for video.

Do you need both? If you intend to go FF, then keep the 17-35. I'm keeping mine for this very reason.

If you intend to stay aps-c, then this lens is a great all rounder. You'll reach less often for a nifty 50mm prime where this really delivers stunning results throughout the focal range. It works great in low light too due to constant 2.8.

Recommended without hesitation. If you are buying an a77, consider getting the combo with this lens. It is worth the extra.
reviewer#10959 date: Mar-3-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Sony DT 35mm f1.8 SAM
- Sony DT 50mm f1.8 SAM
- Bower 85mm f1.4 manual focus, aspherical IF
- Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm f1.8 ZA
- Sony DT 18-55mm f 3.6-5.6 SAM
- Sony DT 18-250mm f3.5-6.3
- Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm f2.8 ZA SSM
- Sony 28-75mm f2.8 SAM
- Sony 70-200mm f2.8 G SSM
- Minolta AF 70-210mm f4 Beercan
price paid:$650 AUD (New)
positive:-Sharp
-Well build
-Weather sealed
-Not too big and heavy
-Zoom clock
-SSM
negative:- Distortion and vignetting at wide angle wide open
- Flare control can be better
- CA control at wide open aperture can be better
- Corner sharpness ok
comment:This is a very good lens, I've tested on 3 Sony SLT models- A57, A77 and A99 and this lens produces very crisp and vivd images on all 3 cameras.

IMHO For starters looking for a all-rounder walk around zoom lens that can also be used in low light conditions to pair with their APSC Alpha bodies, this lens is highly recommend. Though it doesn't offer great zoom range as the 18-250mm lens, it is much faster to focus, sharper, and better build and offers constant f2.8 aperture. However, some may find this lens isn't exactly lightweight and the focal range isn't enough for general purpose/ walk around photography. Though this lens is not exactly cheap but it is cheaper than the Canon Nikon equivalent and plus you can also find some seriously good deals for this lens online.

The sharpness of my copy is excellent, much better than the kit lens, and it is similar to my 28-75mm f2.8 lens. When comparing to Sony 50mm f1.8 lens at f2.8 it is hard to tell which one is better. When stopped down to f4, this lens is tack sharp no question. When coupled with A77 or A57, IMHO this lens can even be a match to other brand's full frame cameras with their 27-40mm f2.8 lens in turns of sharpness say Canon 5D MK II + Canon 24-70mm L combo, but the Sony combo has the advantage of image stabilisation build into their camera bodies while the Canon/Nikon doesn't( lens dependent) .

When mounted on A57, this lens can seem a little front heavy, though personally I find no problem, and this lens is a perfect match on A77, very well balanced and handles brilliantly with A77. On the A99, you can not use the AF-D with this lens, and you only get 10MP files, but you can still produces good images from it.

Colour is generally good with this lens,but not excellent, not as saturated contrasty as Zeiss 24-70mm and rich as Minolta Beercan.

The fast, silent and accurate focus from the SSM motor is really handy for snap shots, however, it doesn't guarantee no misfocus especially in continuos burst modes and low light conditions. In general this lens focuses well, and rarely hunts even in low light. Other features like weather sealing and zoom lock button is welcome and really adds value to this lens.

Bokeh wise, this lens is generally good , it can render good out of focus scenes and blur the background relatively smoothly when used at f2.8 and f4, however, the bokeh balls can appear a little busy sometimes in day light at wide open aperture. The 70-200 G produces better bokeh than this lens wide open.

The biggest con of this lens is the relatively strong distortion at 16mm, when shooting RAW wide open this is very obvious. When shooting in JEPG however, the distortion control is better, but still excises. Stopping down and shooting at 24mm this almost goes away. Vignetting wide open at 16mm is also visible too, again stopping down helps. Lastly, the corner performance, flare and CA control of this lens is not the best, though acceptable but not excellent. Stopping down to f4 helps with CA, though not eliminates the issue. Corner performance greatly improves as stoping down to f5.6-f8 or smaller aperture; and to avoid flare, try to avoid direct sunshine to lens.

Overall, great lens for APSC Alphas and a must if you want a standard zoom for walk around photography and low light shooting.
reviewer#10954 date: Feb-28-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss 16-80 and tamron 17-50
price paid:Traded
positive:Build, Image quality, and flare resistance
negative:zoom range, and IQ not nessesarily better than the tamron 17-50.
comment:
missing
reviewer#10921 date: Feb-15-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50
Sony 18-55
price paid:350 GBP (used)
positive:+Well built
+Fantastic autofocus performance
+Weather sealed
+Constant aperture F/2.8
negative:-Heavy.
-Stiff zoom ring.
-Expensive.
comment:I had Tamron 17-50 F/2.8, I was very surprised about IQ for that lens and really liked it. Anyway, I thought, I paid too much for it- 329GB for new, almost 100 GBP more than cheapest deal on the Internet. So I gave it back to the store and tried to find cheaper deal. Finally, I found used Sony 16-50, in mint condition, splitted from A77, for almost same price which I paid for new Tamron.

After this Tamron, Sony version didn't surprise me with IQ, I don`t have both lenses together anymore, but I`m pretty sure that there is no noticeable difference between them. Zoom ring is also same class- stiff as hell, can`t compare with classic Minolta AF zoom rings, for video, it`s also hard to zoom smoothly.

The greatest thing about Sony lens is autofocus performance, it`s fast and quite. But in a very quite place, you can still hear it on the video, not motor, but clack-clack, when it stops focusing, so, the external mic is anyway a must.

Also it`s very heavy, Tamron was quite nice and balanced, this one is like a brick attached to your camera, maybe it`s only with my entry level body, but I read there, that even on A77 it feels same. After few hours shooting my hand feels extremely tired. And with external flashgun, I don`t need gym anymore :)

In terms of IQ, and maybe it`s most important for any lens... It performs well, but I can`t say it`s outstanding. I`m not saying that it is bad, but for the price, it should be reviewed more critically. At F/2.8, it looks like a bit softer than Minolta AF 28mm F/2.8 prime lens, and definitely softer than Tamron 17-50 was. At slower F it becomes very well. Colors- typical Sony colors, my Sony 50mm F/1.8 produces exactly same results.

Price- new is pretty expensive, I`m not sure if it is worst the price. For still images only- Tamron 17-50 is clear winner in terms of price&performance. For video shooting- probably this is better, with slightly faster and less noisy AF. Weather sealed is also a nice feature. And of course, it looks much better :)

Updated 27/05/2013

Had chance to test this lens on a new A58 and its 20MP sensor. Comparing to old A35, pictures looks a bit sharper on this camera, I'm more happy with results on A58 than on my old A35. Plastic lens mount on the camera doesn't look like a problem, and overall feeling is a bit better than with A58- it feels slightly more balanced, but any way, it's still too heavy for entry level bodies.
reviewer#10919 date: Feb-15-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Sony DT 1.8/35 SAM
- Minolta AF 1.4/50
price paid:599 EUR (new)
positive:- Great build quality
- Fantastic silent and fast AF
- Great image quality at around 24mm to 35 mm
- Very decent image quality for the rest of the zoom range
negative:- It isn't super sharp (still very respectable for its class)
- Distortion at wide end
- Bokeh is a bit harsh
comment:Even with its faults, it's a great lens. Focusing ring is just right, zoom ring is a bit stiff but at least there's no zoom creep. It's heavy and even on A77, without the battery grip, very front heavy. Still, I like it as a walkaround combo.

I find that, shooting RAW, the images from this lens on the A77 are pretty flat, low contrast ones that are great to post process in Lightroom.
reviewer#10891 date: Feb-1-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:N/A
price paid:Kit Lens w/a77
positive:Fast.
Quite.
Sharp.
Versatile.
Quality build.
negative:N/A
comment:It took me a while to warm up to this lens. It wasn't the lens, it was my perception of the lens. After using a while i have really grown to love it. It's versatile as a landscape and portrait lens. It's very sharp, fast AF and very quite. It also balances the camera with VG very nicely. I only wish that I could take it with me when I eventually move on to a FF camera.
reviewer#10883 date: Jan-30-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 16-105
price paid:500 USD (new)
positive:Sharp
Silent AF
Excellent build quality
negative:Zoom ring a bit firm
Distortion at 16 mm (can be adjusted in post-process though)
comment:I absolutely love this lens. It's silent, fast-focusing with top image quality even at f2.8.
(It's a litte bit unbalanced with my A65, but this is not the lens' problem.)
reviewer#10876 date: Jan-27-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 3.5-4.5/24-85 AF
Minolta 1.7/50 AF
price paid:500 euros
positive:Sharpness
definition
construction
colors
very speed AF
negative:nothing...
comment:The best lens I have ever had. Very sharp, high level definition, excellent color rendition. Mounted on a Sony A-77 body, it is fabulous.
reviewer#10867 date: Jan-23-2013
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50 1.7 AF
Minolta 28-85 3.5/4.5 (on Film)
Minolta 35-70 f4
Sony 18-70 (on A100)
Sigma 24 2.8
price paid:£349.00GBP
positive:Colour rendition
Fast quiet focus
Feels well built
Weather seals
Looks the part
negative:Hood does not facilitate use of filters such as polarising filter.
No jaw dropping sharpness.
comment:This lens is the most expensive lens I've owned in 37 years of using SLRs, and only the second new lens (as opposed to used). Of the images i've grabbed so far none of them have made my jaw drop open when compared to what I got with my (lost/stolen) A100/SAL1870. The weather seals have withstood a couple of hours session in the snow, and a spraying from an inconsiderate motorist. I have noticed some vignetting at 16mm , but I think that may have be caused by the polarising filter I was using as an ersatz "skylight" lens protector in the snow the other day. There is also some quite alarming chromatic aberration even at f11 at the wide end. The wide maximum aperture is useful for portraits but the handling of out of focus areas is nothing to write home about.

Conclusion? Disappointing, given the price. Although I have to remind myself that a lens of this focal range and fast maximum aperture would have cost considerably more not so very long ago. It's made in China.
reviewer#10859 date: Jan-18-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70
Tamron 70-300
price paid:800 (new)
positive:Very useful range on APS-C camera
Very sharp until about 35mm, but still good
Great Build
Very fast and accurate focus
negative:Distortion wide open can be harsh
Flare control is about average
comment:Great Lens overall, love almost everything about it. It has a great range, very very useful for a crop camera. The SSM focusing is great and super fast. Weather seal is good, have been out in the rain with it, as well as in sand, and other than maybe a few grains of sand causing a problem all was good. Sharpness wise it is very good, able to virtually maximize my A100 sensor. Love the color as well very nice indeed.Only problems are with distortion wide open, but that is correctable in jpegs in newer cameras, and through photoshop. Flare is also about average, can't say it great, but not bad.
Overall and bottom line is that I love this lens, it isn't perfect, but it is a must have for sony crop camera users wanting a reliable, fast, and well built standard zoom.
reviewer#10750 date: Dec-3-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 17-35, Minolta 28-135, Minolta 24-50, Minolta 35-70
price paid:£319 GBP
positive:Solid Build, Weather Sealing, Sharp wide open, silent focusing, colour rendition
negative:Distortion at edges @16mm, heavier than expected, manual focus not as smooth as others
comment:First time owning an SSM lens, very impressed with the build quality, weather sealing, sharpness and colour rendition. Overall this lens is superb with only a few minor niggles.
reviewer#10729 date: Nov-26-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-250 Macro HSM
Minolta GT (A2)
Tamron 28-300
CZ Planar 50 f/1.8
price paid:£350 (A77 kit)
positive:Superb contrast/resolution
Very good build quality
Fast silent AF
Gives consistently excellent image quality without having to 'work at it'
negative:A bit heavy?
comment:One of the best half frame (APS-C) zoom lenses ever built.
Flare control is good rather than very good (still well above average, but 4.5 isn't available!).
The sort of lens you can fit and forget - it just works: it works very well all the time without you having to think about it; it allows you to concentrate on the composition and not worry about the gear.
reviewer#10709 date: Nov-17-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony CZ16-80
Sony 18-50
price paid:Bundled with A77
positive:Everything
negative:None
comment:Having had a Sony CZ16-80 with its build quality problems I really loved this lens straight away. Don't get me wrong the CZ is fantastic and gives very sharp results and is lighter and looks better on smaller bodies but it has many problems that make this lens a really superior lens compared with it.

At the start I noticed that details aren't that great at pixel level although the picture had an overall good quality. I did a little micro-adjustment using the Moire method and this lens started to show its true colours! pictures taken with it had great details even at pixel level.

The quiet and quick SSM does a great job, and the lock (which works at the 16mm end only) is a good addition but lens is so well built that it doesn't really need it anyway.
reviewer#10573 date: Oct-9-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:Bundled
positive:AF - very fast and silent
Dust/Weather Sealing
Great solid build
f/2.8 throughout the range
Parfocal lens
negative:Distortion
Sharpness at certain settings
Quality of lens hood plastic
Zooming action isn't perfectly smooth
comment:It's one of the best lenses on a market, especially when we compare value to the quality.
Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G runs for £900-1000 and at the same time doesn't even offer 24mm equivalent focal length! Meanwhile Sony runs for little more then a half of the price and hardly has anything to be ashamed of comparing to it's by far more expensive counterpart.

As for the sharpness - at f/2.8 it's perfectly usable on all focal lengths, but it's razor-sharp between f/4 and f/7 (below f/8 with A77 you can clearly see diffraction kicking in). What I like is that the lens is very consistent and predictable - it hardly has any "strong" or "weak" focal lengths - performs evenly across entire range what's really quite an achievement.

As for colors - well, I'm hardly an expert in that, but it seems to be "ok". Not to good, but not bad either. It got quite neutral colors, but because of this - it doesn't "pop" in any way that can be used as an advantage like in the Zeiss lenses.

Distortions... well, everyone put it quite nicely already: Quite bad on wide angle f/2.8, but stopping down to f/5.6 seems to be fixing the issue nicely. But at least it doesn't have any very complicated distortion pattern. Never the less - out of all lenses I got: This one has most pronounced distortions.

Quite complicated flare made of small spots and one large green can be visible on a shots, with green one very eye-catching, still visible even on a bright background. It's not the worst one, but can be annoying.

As for aberrations - TcA is quite ok, quite easy to correct, lucky: LcA is nearly non-existent, so thank Sony for that, as this one is nearly impossible to correct with post-processing.

Bokeh - well, it's not bad, nor beautiful either. Comparing to Carl Zeiss 16-80mm this one is tad disappointing. It can be smooth, but hardly anything I'd describe "buttery smooth". Overall though: I got few lenses that have worse bokeh, including these making weird twisted patterns, and this one is nothing alike. Solid performer, but nothing extraordinary.

Build quality - well, this lens is nearly a tank. I shot with it in a rain, sand, hot sun, it even fallen down to concrete once, and never got even a slightest problem with it. Definitely a must-have for everyone shooting in bad weather.
What I don't like though is the zooming action - no way I could zoom in video through entire range smoothly. That's very frustrating considering a fact that this is suppose to be a lens build with video in mind.
Second issue is the lens hood - it's made of plastic that sticks out from an overall lens build quality. My is already whole in scratches - to a degree where you can't read "Sony" on it any more, cause it got scratched out of it. o_O
reviewer#10572 date: Oct-7-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/1.4
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
price paid:600 CAD(Used)
positive:-Dust/Weather Sealing
-Incredibly Sharp at all focal lengths and aperture
-Fast and Silent AF motor
-Full-time manual focus override
-Build Quality
negative:-Nada
comment:I regretted not buying my a77 with the Sony kit lens within 2 months of the purchase, and jumped on the opportunity to buy the lens separately at a great price.

There's nothing to complain about with this lens especially on the a77. With the grip the whole system is weather sealed and balanced to perfection.

The silent SSM AF motor is a nice to have for stills, but is a must for video if you're not recording externally. I was relying on manual focusing during video but with the SSM I have no fears of using the AF during video.

Of all my lenses this is probably the sharpest zoom, and second in sharpness only to the Sigma 50mm 1.4; but even that is debatable.

I've heard a lot of people mention there's a newer class of zoom lenses for each system, that can rival primes but found it hard to believe until I got this lens.

Worth every penny.
reviewer#10518 date: Sep-18-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 2.8/24-70
price paid:619 EUR
positive:Fine lens beautiful matches. Compact size and not too heavy.
negative:Zoom range could be greater.
comment:
missing
reviewer#10499 date: Sep-10-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:F1.4 50mm Minolta
price paid:£450 new
positive:Build quality
Manual Focus control
Colours
negative:Distortion at wide aperture
comment:What a fantastic lens. OK it has some obvious distortion wide open but this aside it's near faultless. Maybe a little large diameter be careful when changing lens if you have small hands. Although a recent purchase I see this spending most of tie time on my A77
reviewer#10473 date: Aug-26-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-50 EX DC f2.8 HSM
Tamron 17-50 f2.8 XR
price paid:614 Euro (new)
positive:fast and silent SSM
very sharp, bokeh
color and contrast
weather seal
negative:extreme corners could be a little sharper
comment:The focusing is very precise and fast. Optical and build quality is very good.
Sharper as my Sigma and Tamron.
Distorshion, vignetting and CA well corrected on my a65.
The best one for video
Overall I'm very impressed with this lens
reviews found: 76    1 2 3 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 76
  • sharpness: 4.72
  • color: 4.68
  • build: 4.84
  • distortion: 4.14
  • flare control: 4.47
  • overall: 4.57

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