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

reviews found: 84    1 2 3 >>
reviewer#30696 date: Oct-2-2016
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina AT-X Pro II 11-16/2.8
Tokina AT-X 17/3.5
Sony DT 18-55/3.5-5.6
Minolta 35-70/4
Minolta 50/1.4
Minolta 50/2.8 Macro
Sigma DC HSM II 18-200/3.5-6.3
Sigma EX DC 30/1.4
Various vintage M42 lenses
price paid:$315 used
positive:Exceptionally sharp
Constant 2.8
SSM focus
24-75mm equivalent full frame range
Build quality
negative:Not internally zooming
Wasn't free
comment:This lens is my savior! I do nightlife photography on the weekends, and have been using my Tokina 11-16/2.8 in combination with a Sigma 30/1.4 on my a77II, and being limited to either super-wide or near-portraiture views was killing me. This lens has provided the very handy and very needed 24-75mm range that is so hard to get with APS-C. The results were nearly astounding.

This lens is surprisingly sharp, even wide open. On par with my primes, and outperforms any other zooms I own, with the exception of maybe the Tokina 11-16. The only prime I own that I can say is definitively sharper is the 50/2.8 Macro. There is little chromatic aberration, but some. Distortion is noticeable, but easily corrected in post, and the ACR/Lightroom correction profile is spot on. Color rendition is beautiful, and contrast is so much better than anything else I've owned. Bokeh is smooth and pleasing, with rounded aperture blades. The image quality overall is something like I'd expect from a G lens, or at the very least, a Sony Zeiss lens. I have only owned this lens for a few days but I am already in love with it.

SSM focusing is very fast, accurate, and much quieter than any screw-drive lens. I have seen people complain about the noise of it, but my Sigma HSM lens is no better. I have had backfocus issues with the Tokina while I'm shooting in the extremely low light, and so far I have not had any such issues with this lens.

A common complaint about this lens is that it is heavy, and it is. Significantly heavier than the Tokina, which is all metal construction as well. This is not a con to me. In this case, weight = quality, and this lens screams quality. It is solid and does not rattle. Zoom and focus rings are well damped and secure. The zoom ring is a bit on the tight side for my preference, but it's certainly not bad, and I will never worry about zoom creep. The focus ring is geared (not at a 1:1 ratio with the focus itself), and does not rotate with SSM focusing.

There is not much bad to say about this lens. I do wish it was internally zooming, but it doesn't extend much and it doesn't really bother me. Hmm, what else? It isn't f/1.2 and it doesn't spit money out at me I guess, but I have nothing to truly complain about.

In short, BUY THIS LENS!
reviewer#30688 date: Sep-24-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6
Rokinon 16 F2
Minolta AF 24 F2.8
Minolta AF 28 F2.8
Minolta AF 50 F1.7/RS
Sony AF 28 F2.8
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Sony CZ 16-80 F3.5-4.5 DT
Sony DT 16-105 F3.5-5.6
Sony DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM I/II
Sony DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6
Sony DT 18-135 F3.5-5.6 SAM
Sony DT 18-200 F3.5-6.3
Minolta AF 24-50 F4
Minolta AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5/RS
Minolta AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D
Tamron SP 17-50 F2.8
Tamron 18-250
price paid:298 USD (used)
positive:Internal focus
Non-rotating filter/hood
Non-rotating focus ring in AF
Good contrast
Pretty sharp wide-open
In-body lens compensation
negative:Size and weight
Clutched manual focus control
Fairly heavy and uneven zoom mechanism
Extending barrel with zoom
Distortion at wide end
AF noise
Expensive hood
comment:A very clean copy with both original caps but no hood purchased from another forum member. I found a used hood and added it to the cost. This lens is currently on sale for $750 new and is one of the kit lens options for the A77 bodies. The optical design is similar to the older Tamron SP 17-50 mm F2.8 XR Di-II LD SP Aspherical. "MADE IN CHINA"

It is a bit strange this lens didn't get the G designation. Not only is this the best normal APS-C zoom. It is also one of the best wide angle lenses. It probably deserves a 5 for sharpness. It only falls off a bit wide-open at the 50 mm end of the zoom.

It seems to be a slightly modified version of the Tamron SP 17-50 F2.8, but the modifications make a better lens. Maybe some of this is just tighter manufacturing tolerances. This lens is much sharper wide-open and the focus plane is much flatter at the widest end. It is wider than the Tamron on both ends--more like a 15-45 mm. The field-of-view at the long end is similar to the DT 50mm F1.8 prime.

It does often show more lateral CA in the corners, but that is very easily corrected. The distortion at the wide end is similar to the 16-80 and 16-105 lenses. The actual focal length of all of these seems to be less than 16 mm, perhaps to allow for cropping required for distortion correction.

The SSM does clunk into position a little un-silently. Like the Sony 18-135 the AF switch on the lens is redundant. Sony could have put a focus hold button and/or a range limiter or something useful there instead. There is also a Tamron standard issue lock switch.

Overall a very nice kit lens and a great reason to own an A-mount APS-C camera. It is a reasonable alternative to the cheap, little primes with the size and weight being the major drawback for the convenience of zoom. This is also one of only two DT lenses with a lens profile in Capture One 8.

Test chart comparison with Tamron 17-50 F2.8, Carl Zeiss 16-80, Sony DT 18-135 SAM, and primes.
reviewer#26573 date: May-4-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 18-270mm, Minolta 50mm f1.7, Sony 35mm 1.8
price paid:$300 USD (used)
positive:Sharp, Fast, Well Built. Very sharp for a zoom.
negative:Some distortion at the wide end, easily corrected in post. Some flare.
comment:Sharp lens that focuses fast, even in low light. Wonderful on the a77ii. I took some photos of my dogs playing ball at 12fps. Lens had no trouble keeping up with focus during fast action. Flare is definitely an issue if pointed near the sun. If a UV filter is used, make sure it's of good quality. I bought this used and it had a Hoya UV filter. Flare was nothing short of atrocious. I got a better filter and the flare was greatly diminished.
reviewer#26569 date: Apr-27-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] Autofocus Lens
price paid:$389 in 2015
positive:Nothing else to add that hasn't already been said
negative:Perhaps a bit heavy on the A77
comment:It's a better lens overall than the Tamron 17-50. Plus when shooting jpeg, corrections are made by the camera.

HOWEVER, I've had this lens over a year and the zoom ring has not loosened up ; it's stiff - and even after hundreds of intentional back and forth movements, it's still so stiff as to 'bind' during slow movements. I am not able to smoothly zoom while taking a video - there are several spots where the zoom ring is 'sticky'. Since this was a white box special at a good price, maybe that was the reason for the deal.. I've tried a touch of lubrication under the rubber zoom ring and at the back end of the lens where the zoom cover meets the inner mount of the main tube. That has helped some, but overall, this really detracts from an otherwise great lens. If you're buying one, beware..
reviewer#25513 date: Mar-1-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony Carl Zeiss - 16-80 F3.5-4.5
Sony 50 F1.4
price paid:4000 DKK
positive:- RAZOR SHARP from 2.8 at 16mm, and F3.5 at 50mm
- Anti creep lock
- Fast SSM focus motor
- Near silent focus
- VERY close focus distance (10-15cm) !!
- Bokeh is quite nice
negative:- A little heavy (compared to Zeiss 16-80)
- Flare is bad (based on reviews, i've only shot 500 photos so far)
comment:I don't know if I'm just lucky, but this lense is razor sharp from 2.8 and onwards.

My Zeiss 16-80 broke after aprox 30.000 photos, the focus simply cracked inside the lens :( - so i went out and bought this lense as a replacement, I'm sad i didn't do so sooner :(

This lens is MUCH MUCH better than my Zeiss, i usually had to stop down the zeiss so much that it was unusable in low light - typically 4.5 at 16mm to get really sharp, and F7 at 80mm :(

Bokeh is excellent..

I fear that i'll never use my 50/1.4 again :-/
reviewer#20385 date: Oct-18-2015
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF20. Sigma super wide 2. Minolta AF28f2. Minolta AF35f2. Zeiss FE2,8/35. Minolta AF50. Sigma 50mm f1:4. Zeiss FE1,8/55. Sony 2.8/85 SAM. Minolta AF135.
price paid:£360.00
positive:Sharp, fast and looks great. Very well built. Sharp everywhere. Weather proof.
negative:not full frame. Not really any sharper than 16-105
comment:I love this lens but not as much as I would if it was full frame.
reviewer#12213 date: Mar-28-2015
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Various Minolta and Sony lenses.
price paid:529,00 €
positive:Sharp, quieter and faster AF thanks SSM, useful initial aperture (f2.8), protected from the weather, good addition to a telephoto zoom.
negative:A little bulky, be restricted to FF.
comment:Very useful lens on the go, thanks to the relatively large maximum aperture very versatile. The slight weakness in the distortion is compensated by the automatic correction of the camera! Overall: Highly recommended!

reviewer#12058 date: Dec-12-2014
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-135, Tamron 17-50, several prime lenses, etc.
price paid:440
positive:Great images, especially for a zoom.
Fast f/2.8 aperture.
Good zoom range, especially on the wide end.
Weatherproofing.
Awesome SSM focusing - quiet and smooth and includes DMF, which I love. It's also really good for video b/c of quiet motor.
negative:It's size and weight. It's not huge, but it's bigger than most walk-around zooms. It also has some distortion on the wide end.
comment:I don't review lenses as often as I should, but I feel a compulsion to review this one because it's such a great lend! This is the best walk-around lens I've found, and quite honestly one of the things keeping me with an APS-C camera instead of going to FF. It's not perfect, but it's really good for so many things. Renders images really quite nicely -- not as good as some primes and not quite as nice as some of the Zeiss zooms, but really excellent overall, especially given its max aperture and the fact that it's a zoom. I've stopped using the Sony 35 1.8 altogether because of this lens. In terms of IQ, it's a little bit better than other options like Tamron 17-50, but not hugely better. However all the little things -- the extra range, the awesome focusing, weather proofing, etc. -- make this really worthwhile. I use this a lot for indoor shots, family shots, portraits, landscapes. It's good for almost anything. The f/2.8 aperture is awesome and makes this lens so versatile. I like rotating lenses, so I'm sometimes disappointed that I'm so drawn to use this lens so often.
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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.

Update Nov 2015: After using this lens for a couple of years it has slowly grown on me. It is a good match for the A77 sensor and has subtle qualities. still looks and feels good.
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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.
reviews found: 84    1 2 3 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 84
  • sharpness: 4.74
  • color: 4.70
  • build: 4.85
  • distortion: 4.14
  • flare control: 4.44
  • overall: 4.58

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