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

reviews found: 93    << 1 2 3 4 >>
reviewer#10099 date: Apr-10-2012
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:* Zeiss 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5
* Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8
* Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Macro
* Konica Minolta 28-75mm f/2.8
* Minolta 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5
price paid:649 USD (open box)
positive:* Sharp wide open at 16mm.
* SSM focus is fast and accurate.
* Great color and detail rendition.
* Weather sealing is a nice touch.
* Sturdy build, but doesn't weigh a ton.
negative:* Significant distortion at 16mm.
* Soft corners wide open at 50mm.
* Large enough to attract attention (unlike a prime or the Zeiss 16-80)
comment:I was hesitant to buy this lens at first - I already had the Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8, and worried there would be too much overlap. I bought the Zeiss 16-80mm instead. Now, the Zeiss 16-80 is a fantastic lens, and I'm really happy with its performance. It's small, lightweight, and sharper than some primes. However, it started to bug me when I was unable to isolate subjects via a shallow depth of field. So, when I found a good deal on an open-box copy of the Sony, I picked it up.

In terms of image quality, the two lenses are more-or-less identical. I've read reviews which show a few very minor differences between the lenses while pixel peeping on a 24mp sensor, but in terms of everyday use, you're just not going to notice it. Other similarities include focus speed (the Sony wins, but not by much) and resolving power (both lenses do a good job with the 24mp APS-C sensor).

So, what does that leave us with for differences? Not much, and nothing major. Do you prefer Minolta or Zeiss colors? Do you need f/2.8, or are you willing to sacrifice aperture for a bit more zoom range? Do you honestly need weather sealing? Is a bulkier lens ok, or do you need the smallest, lightest kit possible? Only you can decide which is more important to you, but rest assured that the Sony 16-50 can keep up with the Zeiss 16-80.

What about other walkaround zooms?

* I did some side-by-side shots comparing the Sony 16-50 to the Minolta 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5. As much as I love old Minolta lenses, the 35-105 just can't keep up with the a77's 24mp sensor. You can still use it, of course, and you'll still end up with nice photos. However, the a77 simply outresolves the 35-105. If you're a pixel peeper or plan on making giant prints, you'll be disappointed by the results.

* The Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 is a good match for the Sony 16-50 in terms of overall image quality. The Zeiss is quite a bit heavier and not as well balanced on the a77, and of course, the focal range is a bit different. If you already have the Zeiss, don't mind the weight, and don't need the wide end, save your money and stick with the Zeiss - it's a great performer on the a77.

* Though I no longer have the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Macro or the KM 28-75mm f/2.8, I feel confident that the Sony 16-50 is sharper than both, and produces better color.
reviewer#10080 date: Apr-3-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Carl Zeiss 16-80
Minolta 28-105 RS
price paid:
missing
positive:-Just as sharp as my CZ1680
-SSM!
-F2.8 is great
negative:-A bit heavy
-Distortion at wide end
comment:I borrowed this lens from a friend and from my limited use I would say it is on par with my CZ1680. However, I ultimately decided to stick with the Zeiss because I found myself needing that bit extra reach for my style of photography. The weather sealing while great have little use because I only have a A65. If I had the A77 I would trade in my Zeiss.
reviewer#10074 date: Apr-2-2012
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 18-70mm
Sigma 20mm f1.8 EX DG Asp DF
Sony 50mm f1.4
Minolta AF 35-105mm 3.5-4.5 (old)
Minolta AF 28-135mm 4.0-4.5
price paid:380 GBP used
positive:Very sharp wide open.
Fast and silent focusing (as I'd expect from a SSM lens.)
DxO Optics Pro modules available
negative:Distortion at wide end.
A77 auto correction not applicable to RAW.
Wished it was a bit longer (70mm).
Not full frame so useless on my film bodies.
comment:This is my first SSM lens so was unsure what to expect with regard to focusing speed and noise. I can confirm that focusing noise is minimal and speed and accuracy are impressive.

Sharpness at 2.8 is very good and this lens is probably the only one that I'd have no qualms using wide open.

Colours appear good to me with excellent contrast in my tests.

Distortion at the wide end is very prominent and would be a serious negative point for me if the DxO Optics module were not available. However DxO works wonders with shots at 16mm. You can lose a significant proportion of the image
when its distortion corrections have been processed so you need to be aware of this during composition.

Build is good and the hood seems robust and fits tightly unlike that of my Sigma 20mm f1.8, which I constantly fear losing.

Flare control is also very good, handling strong, direct light with minimal flare. It maintains good contrast in these situations when many lenses would exhibit haze.

Overall I'm very impressed with this lens. I just wish it was a bit longer to match my shooting style. I also wish it was full frame so I could use it on my Dynax 7.
reviewer#10073 date: Apr-1-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:18-70 kit lens Sony
50 mm f 1.7 Minolta
price paid:599 euro ( new)
positive:f 2.8
Optical quality
Build quality
SSM
Wheather sealed
Price/quality
negative:Had a few weeks lead time.
comment:Impressive lens! Fast and silent spot on focus. Very good at full opening, even better at f 4. Great standard walk around lens. Recommended!
reviewer#10069 date: Mar-31-2012
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:20/2.8, 35G, 50/1.7, 50/2.8, Sigma 50/1.4,18-70, 24-85, 28-85 etc.
price paid:750 USD (new)
positive:Sharp!
Constant /2.8
Color
Build quality
Fast SSM
negative:Distorsions at 16 mm
Wignetting at 16/2.8
comment:Perfect lens for APS-C with 24-75 mm equivalent on FF.
Must have.
reviewer#10061 date: Mar-29-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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:Minolta 70-210/4
Zeiss 135/1.8
Sony 50/1.4
Minolta 20/2.8
price paid:520 GPB (as new)
positive:SSM
Range
Weight+Size
MF
negative:this is DT lens, but for this price...
comment:Those lenses have been bought as replacement for 20/2.8. I found having prime lenses in this length too limiting and opted for zoom instead. After discussion on this forum I decided to buy those lenses instead of Zeiss 16-35/2.8. While I do expect that Zeiss performance is better, those lenses are superb in their own right and at half price, with larger range, weather sealing, smaller size and weight are definitely standing their own ground.

I took now more then 5k photos with those lenses - sports, architecture, street photography and general walk around. My orginal expectations has been exceeded.

AF is silent and very good, its difficult comparing with the non-SSM lenses, they focus so fast that making missfocus in the game is not a problem as they will get it right. They are not as precise as Zeiss (1.8!) but its so fast is hardly a problem. Those are also first lenses where I use Eye start AF - with great results for street photography or candid photos.
It perform really well for landscape and architecture. Its great to have the range. It produce nice portraits, not on the Zeiss level but wide end ones are as nice as with 20/2.8. With group photos it can occasionally go wrong on wide side (20/2.8 was notorious for that), but just take a few shots and problem will be solved.

Those are not low light lenses, 135/1.8 and 50/1.4 are my workhorses here. But they work very nicely on the tripod and my long exposures are very pleasing. Also flash work is similar or even slightly better then to 20/2.8 - which is very good. Hardly any missed AF and good colours.

Distortion is feature of wide lenses and I find it good, flare control is good but not perfect. I thinks colors are not as good as on my primes but its a mater of taste I expect. Bokeh is nice and pleasing, better then 50/1.4 but not as nice as Zeiss or Beercan.

Lenses are sharp in extreme range and from 2.8, so only praises here. There is a problem with the corners on the wide side so you need to step down, but this seems just slightly worse then 20/2.8. I read that some models of those lenses can suffer from noticeable decentering (see Luminous Landscape for details) but mine seems fine.

MF is a pleasure with this lenses but I do miss DMF on my A55. With this and focus peeking it will be a true blast.

Overall, great lenses and very recommended. They have replaced 20/2.8+35/1.8 in my camera bag with ease.

UPDATE:
comment update after 5k shots - portrait and group experience and some cosmetic changes
reviewer#10051 date: Mar-23-2012
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50
SAL16-80Z
SAL16-105
price paid:568 USD (new)
positive:-F2.8
-Sharp
-Build quality
-Focusing speed & Accuracy

negative:-Stock limited
comment:Is totally different class compared with T17-50.
The image quality is look similar with my 70-400G.
Also, well matching with A77, slightly heavy at the front when plug into A33.
The focusing is very accuracy and fast. Silent, no front/back focusing issue on my both A77 & A33. This 72mm diameter glass manage to provide sharpness across the range when wide open. Also, it is included corner sharpness as well.
Is a must have lens for Alpha user.
If need to choice between 16-80Z and 16-50, I will go for 16-50 without any doubt.
reviewer#9919 date: Feb-12-2012
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300G, Sony 70-400G and Sony 35mm F1.8.
price paid:With A77 - £1450
positive:An excellent lens which with the A77 does exactly what you would expect and hope - and then some.
negative:Nothing so far.
comment:The lens feels completely solid and well made. Attached to the A77 it gives an almost perfect balance. Combined with the A77 the weight, balance and ease of use make a great combination.
I also own the 70-300G, 70-400G and Sony 35mm F1.8. This lens compares in terms of image quality, build, speed of focus to either of the other two zooms and is better than the fixed lens.
The quality of the images is excellent and the speed that it focuses is fantastic. Sometimes at 2.8 and indoors you have to be a little careful re sharpness but I am aware of this and can normally sort it by altering the shutter speed - which is slight anyway and may well be done to the limits of me rather than the camera or lens.
To date I cannot recall the lens ever hunting for the subject. Always auto focus is both fast and accurate. I have not used manual focus so far.
I have only shot jpeg to date so again cannot comment on RAW with the lens and A77.
I have been out, or at least got caught out in some rain with no protection and both the camera and lens were absolutely fine.
I cannot find any fault whatsoever with the A77 and 16-50 combination and am sure attached to another equally good body this lens will perform just as well.
reviewer#9882 date: Feb-4-2012
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:
missing
price paid:kit to A77
positive:Top all-rounder. Extremely Sharp right from f2.8, Fast & Silent SSM focusing, Excellent build.
negative:Colors can be a bit washed under bright day light. Distortion can be heavy at 16mm (but perfectly corrected by A77 in-camera lens profile)
comment:This is definitely one of the best Sony lens ever produced and an indispensible choice for 24 MP APSC sensor on A77, and A65. SAL1650 lens gives stunning sharpness right from f2.8 and seems to maximizes at f5.6. Stopping down further doesn't increase much sharpness. For hyper focal landscape shots, F13 still gives excellent sharpness from 1 meter to infinity, while from F14 onwards, diffraction starts kicking in and becomes noticeable at pixels level.

I observe the colors can be a bit washed out or lightened under bight day light and not as deep and vivid as true Minolta colors. But that's not a problem and can be easily boosted to your liking by lightroom and photoshop sliders. Although flare can be noticeable at wide apertures like f2.8 and reduce contrast a bit, this is very typical for all zoom lens in this range with constant f2.8. SAL1650 performs well relatively to its class so I give 5 because 4.5 isn't available.

Distortion can be strong closed-focused at 16mm but perfectly corrected by A77 in-camera lens profile. I usually shoot RAW but if I observe straight lines in the shot that clearly exhibit distortion, I will just switch to JPEG and the in-camera lens profile in A77 solve everything. CA is minimal and easily corrected.

SSM focusing is very fast and silent. This is one of the best features of this lens that make it suitable for taking still as well as video. Tested and no problem with back/front focusing on my copy.

Build quality is excellent. The zoom is tight and doesn't creep. Zoom lock button is a nice plus that doesn't exist in 16-80 CZ.

In summary, I'm very impressed with the build and performance of Sony SAL1650 lens and it's one of my keepers. When the shooting situation is unclear, I always bring 16-50SSM with my A77 and this combination never disappoints and always gives me the best shots! Easily one of best APSC lens available on Sony system. If you're deciding between 16-50 and 16-80 CZ, in my opinion, constant f2.8 is very versatile for all day/night shoots, weather sealing, SSM, clearly outweigh the additional 30mm benefit of CZ. If you miss that 30mm, slight cropping in post-processing can fix but it can't create the bokeh of 16-50. Some might say 16-80CZ for day-time and 16-50SSM for low-light. But I don't see much advantages so, I'd consider 16-50 SSM and Sony 16-105 combo instead.

See my photos with SAL1650 on my Flickr collection at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeispixels/collections/72157628204412995/
reviewer#9866 date: Jan-31-2012
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:Sony 16-80 ZA, tamron 17-50
price paid:700 usd
positive:excelent lens
negative:
missing
comment:
missing
reviewer#9785 date: Jan-13-2012
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron SP 17-50.
price paid:€1,25 per gram (new)
positive:Image quality even excellent at 2.8.
Solid as a rock, terrific focus ring.
Crispy and contrast full image quality.
negative:Auto focus (AF) not accurate on my a580.
comment:Auto focus i barely use, so for me the AF is a minor inaccuracy. Tamron's AF is better, at least on my a580.

Otherwise the Sony 16-50 is a better lens, including the same Tammy-distortion at 16 mm ;).

Highly recommended for photographers with big hands and/or long fingers, plus a lot of money. They will love the 577 gram weight, build quality and fluent, firm focus ring.

reviewer#9777 date: Jan-11-2012
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-70
Tamron 17-50
Sony 16-105
Sony Zeiss 16-80
price paid:700 EUR (new)
positive:Weather sealed
SSM
Zoom lock
16mm
F2.8
negative:No focus hold button
Distortion (16mm)
comment:Finally I decided to sell my CZ 16-80 (sic) and buy this gem because I prefer a relatively fast lens to 80mm zoom possibilities with CZ.
I still have to completely understand how it works so this is a work in progress review.

EDIT: 2012/02/12th, I've raise the sharpness rating to 5 and mentioned how great is SSM. Plus some corrections about vignetting and distortion.

SHARPNESS: I would say excellent, even at f/2.8.
I obtained wonderful and super detailed portraits at f/2.8 - f/4 - 50mm
I still have to understand how I can obtain pleasant result for landscapes, at the moment it seems like CZ16-80 was a better lens for that.
Corners are generally a little soft, bokeh is much better than CZ.
At 16mm, sometimes, it's difficult to obtain perfect focus at f/2.8, maybe it's my A700, still have to try and verify.
All in all I'm happy with it, sharp, detailed and contrasted photos!

COLOR: Same as all Sony lenses, very nice and neutral, I didn't see any difference switching from CZ.

BUILD: WOW!! It's superb, I can't ask for a better lens! Weather sealed, SSM motor, AF/MF selector, zoom lock...ah yes, maybe it only miss a focus hold button like G lenses and, hey, why not labeled as a G lens? Hum, all in all Canon didn't labeled L its 17-55 USM f/2.8.
It's a pleasure to use with my A700, great balance and look!

DISTORTION: it's heavy at 16mm, maybe a little more than CZ.
You have to take care of your compositions. From 24 on it's neutral and unnoticeable.
Chromatic aberration are noticeable at 16mm at any aperture but they quickly diminish at 24, 35 and at 50mm f/2.8 they are almost unnoticeable. Anyway if you shoot ARW they are easy to fix.
Vignetting is noticeable at 16mm f/2.8 but it's not worse than CZ, works very well with Hoya HD CIR-PL and it doesn't add more vignetting ar all.

FLARE: I still have to try but it seems pretty resistant with the Sun directly on the lens but it rapidly lose contrast with Sun just out of the hood.

Finally a special mention to SSM AF motor. It's superb and fast.
I've photographed children playing on the snow, running and sliding...and with AF-C and eye-start I almost obtained more than 90% of the photos in perfect focus!!

So, at the end, am I happy with it after selling my beloved CZ? Oh yes I am!!
This lens is made to last and to give satisfaction.
It's better priced than CZ and I don't think it's expensive for what it gives. I'm quickly forgetting the CZ 16-80.
And please, don't call it a kit lens! :)
reviewer#9761 date: Jan-6-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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:Tokina 2,8 11-16mm
Minolta 1,7 50mm
Sigma 3,5-6,3 18-200mm
price paid:650 EUR
positive:- sharpness
- weight on a KM D7D
- SSM
negative:- nothing so far
- lens flare is the worst of all lenses I own (parts of it see above, "compared to")
comment:Since I got this lens (4 weeks ago) I just love it. It feels just right on my old KM D7D and is a fabulous update to that camera. The lens is sharp, very fast and super silent (nice to have).

To the range: I noticed that either the range of that lens isn't right or the one from my Tokina or Minolta lens. At 16mm the lens has a little more wide angle then my 11-16mm Tokina. So either the Sony is more a 15mm at the lower end or the Tokina goes up to 17mm. At the range end of 50mm it is the same thing. The 50mm Minolta lens has more tele then the 50mm of the Sony. So in my opinion the 16-50mm is just a little to much, more 15-48mm. But the differences are marginal, but noticeable.
reviewer#9754 date: Jan-3-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 DT 18-55mm/3.5-5.6 SAM
Sigma 18-250mm/3.5-6.3 HSM
price paid:600 USD (Like New)
positive:Build Quality, Aperture, Wide Angle, SSM
negative:Weight & Size
comment:I decided to replace the kit lens for my A55 with this primarily for its larger aperture, and the nice to have SSM. I'd also read about its sharpness and IQ in general. In less than a week of ownership, I can attest to it being an excellent product.

Sharpness and color are great, build is exceptional, distortion and CA are very well controlled. Flare control leaves a little to be desired however, but based on quick and dirty attempts, it actually performed quite nicely when looking straight into the sun but not so much at an angle. Pretty good MFD as well as 1:5 magnification.

The tradeoff (compared to SAL1855 DT SAM) is weight and size. But I was aware of it and IMO, worth it. In fact, in "zoom lock" position, it is just a little smaller size than the Sigma 18-250, and just a little lighter. But it would still make for a good walk around lens for me. Many may complain about limited zoom range, but IMO, I would prefer quality in the more usable 16-35 range than compromising any of it for more zoom. I think of it as a "flexible prime".

I was also (pleasantly) surprised to see it beat the Sigma 18-250 in terms of distortion at their widest focal lengths (16mm for the Sony, 18mm for the Sigma). It also helps that this lens has 72mm thread, meaning, it can share filters with my Sigma 18-250 and Minolta 200/2.8 APO G HS.

Great addition to the Sony lens lineup.
reviewer#9740 date: Jan-2-2012
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50
Sony 18-250
Sony 35-105
Minolta 24-105
Sigma 10-20 hsm
Sigma 50-150
Sony 70-300 G
price paid:kit to a65
positive:Color, sharpness, speed, build, balance on camera
negative:Not figured out yet
comment:Excellent walk around lens for aps-c, well worth the price paid.
reviewer#9739 date: Jan-2-2012
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 24-70mm f/2.8
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Sony 35mm f/1.8
price paid:867.76 USD (new)
positive:Build is really superb. Almost feels like a G/CZ lens.
Really sharp even at f/2.8.
Focusing is dead silent and fast. It rarely hunts even at low light.
Focal range
negative:VERY MINIMAL front focusing
Not good distortion
Some CA
comment:Aside from looking really good, this lens lives up to its tale. It's really sharp. No doubt.

My copy has some VERY MINIMAL front focusing, although it is really not noticeable (it's just a tad soft) but at +4 adjustment, it's tack SHARP at all focal lengths.
Perfect for a77 because of the microfocus adjust, in-body lens correction.

This lens one of the best all-around lenses that sometimes, my other lenses are just stuck in the drybox for the longest time.
reviewer#9724 date: Dec-28-2011
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 own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50
Minolta 50/1.7
Sony 35mm/1.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp from wide Open.
As good or better than my tamron 17-50 in every area
excellent build quality
Fast and dead silent focusing
negative:a bit heavy
72mm filter size, 77mm filters won't fit with hood
comment:a truly excellent lens, my copy is every bit as sharp as my primes, the CZ135 is sharper by a bit so -0.5 point for sharpness.

there is some distortion especially @16mm, but the A77 is able to compensate fairly well, even without compensation there is less distortion than on my T17-50.

SSM AF is really quick, and so silent it cannot be heard when filming.

this is one of my favorite lenses right now, it is hard to fault
reviewer#9723 date: Dec-28-2011
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:CZ 16-80 f3,5 - 4,5
SAL 16-105 f3,5 - 5,6
price paid:700 USD (new)
positive:Very Fast Lenses
Sharp enough at wide open
negative:Just 50
Heavy
comment:This is very superb lens in APSC mode , sharp at wide open, fast , weather shield, matched with my A77 and HVL 43.
reviewer#9721 date: Dec-27-2011
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:CZ 16-80
Sony 50 1.4
Minolta 28 2.0
Sony 100 2.8 Macro
price paid:Kit lens
positive:Sharp
SSM fast
Build quality
negative:Focal range only 50mm
comment:It has a very solid feel. However my lens had a severe front focus problem at 16 mm. Sony made a quick warranty service and the lens is now in good working condition. It requires a +2 setting on the Micro Adjust. Sharper than the Sony 50 1.4 at F2.8.
reviewer#9702 date: Dec-19-2011
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:Sony 16-105
Sony 28-75
Sony 70-300G
Sony 70-400G
Sony 100mm
price paid:680 CDN
positive:Great build compares to my Sony 70-300G, for an under $1K lens.
Larger more effective hood than my 16-105
Very useable wide open, throughout the range.
Quick precise silent SSM focusing.
Best choice of the in lens motorized 16/17-50 F2.8 lenses.
Very sharp if you get a good copy.
negative:For some may seem heavy on a lighter camera, feels right at home on a larger body camera, like A-700/77.
Most expensive of the 16/17-50 F2.8 lenses, but well worth it. (only the non motorized Tamron 17-50 F2.8 has a much cheaper price).
comment:Initially my first copy was off calibration, which was a big disappointment after reading so many great positive reviews (can even happen with a name brand these days). After testing I exchanged it for another copy, and second copy lives up to all the great reviews.

Many may say, the basic Tamron 17-50 F2.8 (non motorized) is quite a bit cheaper, and they are right ($300 approx), but when you compare the Sony 16-50 F2.8 to the motorized versions of the Sigma and Tamron 17-50 F2.8, less than $80 difference, and if bought as a kit probably comes out the same as the 3rd party motorized lenses. Tamron doesn't currently make a motorized 17-50 F2.8 lens in a Sony mount.

Build quality of the Sony is in the class of a 'G" lens for an under $1K lens (not fair for the price to compare to a $1K+ 'G' or Zeiss). Much better build than the 3rd party lenses, and you are assured compatibility.

WIde open it's very useable, and with just a touch of sharpening it's razer sharp at 1:1 when viewed. From F4 up next to no sharpening is required.

For those that make videos with a SLR with that feature, a motorized lens is really the only way to go, otherwise the in camera motor noise can be picked up, which would be very annoying.

Even in lower light this lens doesn't hunt for the most part.

At 16mm there is mild distortion, but this is common for most zooms in the the range. Only primes handle the distortion better.

This lens with it's larger petal hood, handles lens flare better than my 16-105.

The replacement for my 16-105 general purpose lens, is now complete with the Sony 16-50 F2.8 and the Sony 28-75 F2.8, which to me is a better fit for c sensor users than a 24-70 F2.8. Price of the combo is just a bit less though, but weights about 150g more.

I'd highly recommend this lens, if you get a properly calibrated copy it doesn't disappoint. Worth the price, and SSM is better than SAM or others where you have to switch on the lens to MF (just have to push the AF/MF button and temporily MF).

I wish the Sony 28-75 F2.8 was SSM, and not SAM.

Could have bought it about $30 cheaper as a kit lens, but at the moment it's close to a 2 month wait on the A-77's in Canada.


reviewer#9683 date: Dec-8-2011
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:SAM 18-55 kit lens (currently for sale)
Beercan
price paid:$1.21 / gram ( 699 )
positive:Very sharp and fast, good flare control.
Silent, fast AF. Zoom lock.
Focus and zoom rings large and easy to use, well dampened and smooth. feels good in hand and looks good on camera. A pleasure to use.
negative:Price, what you gonna do?
A little too conspicuous for street photography.
comment:I just got this lens yesterday, so I can't be as thorough as I would like.
This is the lens that should have come with my A55, of course it would have doubled the price! The kit lens was OK, but this baby just sings. It is sharp and resists flare even when the sun is in the shot. the build is tight. the zoom and focus are smooth and well dampened. The lens is kinda big, but is seems like it 'fills out' the small A55, so it fits my hand as a set. Super comfortable and easy to use. I'm really going to love this lens, I anticipate that it will be on my camera most of the time from here on out.
When I get some more photons through it, I will add to this review.

1-14-2013: I keep this lens on my A77 now. It is even better! So very sharp and great AF performance. A real must-have for APS-C.
reviewer#9660 date: Dec-4-2011
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:
missing
price paid:SGD900 (KIT)
positive:Sharpness
Bokeh
Color
Build. Weather-sealed
Super Quiet Motor. Excellent for video
Excellent performance in low light
negative:Edit: Distortion at 16mm
Need to use slim CPL to avoid vignetting
comment:I bought this lens together with the @77 body last October 21, 2011 and I must say that this is lens is excellent! I use this lens for landscape and portraiture shots and now I am have tons of keepers in my drive. The sharpness and color that this lens gives makes my shots looks like one that was shot by a professional, award-winning photographer. I wonder why Sony wouldn't categorize this lens as a "G".

Edit: I decided to downgrade the distortion rating to 4 as I found to have it at 16mm
reviewer#9655 date: Dec-2-2011
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:tamron 17-50 2.8, sony cz 16-80
price paid:Kit lens
positive:Good build quality, dust and moisture proof, IQ, fast, focal length, SSM motor
negative:pricy & a bit heavy
comment:Just got this lens as a kit with A77 camera some days back. Haven't tested it much. but this lens works well with the A77 and feels better in the hands than my earlier Tamron 17-50. The Tam is good for A700 but imho its cheap build and noisy AF is not suited for A77 and its video abilities. The sony beats the CZ in quality, built and aperture. End of the day this lens has been especially designed to handle 24mp resolution of A77

A must have for everyday use. All i can say is super quality, quite, fast and great IQ. Bokeh is lovely.

IMHO sony should have called this a 'G' lens. unbelievable that sony has provided this as a kit lens. Wonder whats in store for the A99 in future.
reviewer#9585 date: Nov-13-2011
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:Sony 50mm 1.8 SAM
Sony 18-70
Sony 18-55
price paid:€599 (BULK)
positive:F2.8
Size
Silent AF
Sharp
negative:Slight distortion and vignetting (pretty normal for this range)
comment:Bought this lens for my A77. The lens is available in Europe as BULK, so no orange Sony box. However with normal guarantee.

Before owning this lens I mostly used the plastic fantastic 50mm 1.8 which I found to be very sharp. Well the 16-50 is as sharp, maybe even sharper and has much nicer bokeh. The range makes it an ideal walk round lens. It's a bit heavy but I like it that way. In fact I haven't used the 50mm 1.8 anymore since.

The build quality is superb. The lens looks very nice and Sony payed real attention to the looks. Furthermore the lens is weather sealed so combining it with an A77 makes it the ideal travel companion.

At 16mm there is some distortion. However I actually like it at 16mm, gives a bit of fish eye effect. Vignetting is present, but does not bother me at all.

This lens is a great addition to the collection with very fast and silent AF, great build quality and F2.8 throughout the whole range. To bad Sony did not label it as G or CZ. However that would have influenced the price also..
reviewer#9584 date: Nov-13-2011
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:Tam 16-50
SAL2875SAM
price paid:900 AUD
positive:Sharp
Fast
SSM
Good balance on A77
Metal filter thread
Distotion correction with A77
negative:So far nothing
comment:A little early as I only have it for two days, I will review it later again if anything changed.
This is one sharp lens, so far I was always worried to use any lens wide open, except my 70-300G, but cetrainly there is no problem with this.
The SSM as usual fast and quite, but so far all my lenses been fast with a77.
Combined with A77 the distortion is gone, which fantastic, I dont need to relay on dxo anymore.
Comparing it to Tam 16-50, this one for sure sharper wide open.
Overall highly recommended, I wish I would have wait until the kit was available, as buying them separate costed me $300 extra.
Flare I gave 4 as I have not really tested yet, so for now 4.
The build I gave also 4, as it is not fair to 70-200G if you give this one 5, but I think it is actually better than my 70-300G.
Distotion, gets 4, as it is expected at wide it does exist. (If you shoot jpg, like me with a77, this is not really a problem.) But i tried to give more a general review.
reviewer#9580 date: Nov-12-2011
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 70-400mm G
Sigma 10-20mm
Carl Zeiss 16-80mm
Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 200mm f2.8 HS APO
price paid:£500 (new)
positive:Sharp
Weight and feel
Fast AF
Silent AF
F2.8 all the way
Colours
negative:Slight vignetting at16mm and f2.8
Slight distortion at 16mm
Only 50mm
comment:I love the weight and feel of this lens on both my A77 and A580. Sharpness is very good at f2.8 but excellent at 3.5 onwards. I would rate this at least 4.8 on the scale so decided to go for the nearest which is 5.
I didn't notice any flare on any of my images so far but will come back and amend when I have taken more in bright sunlight.
I sold my CZ16-80 because it did not live up to its price tag and this lens is just as sharp at 3.5 as the CZ - would like to have had the 80mm length but not at the expense of an f4.5. Thought about the 24-70 but needed the width that this lens provides. If I go FF, the 24-70 would be my choice.
reviewer#9579 date: Nov-11-2011
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 used to own this lens
compared to:My primes SAL20F2.8, SAL28F2.8, M35F2, M50F1.7
price paid:589 EUR (new)
positive:Well built, feels solid
Instant silent accurate AF
Smooth zoom and focussing ring
Weather sealing
negative:Heavier than expected (or is this a positive)
comment:Got tired of walking around with 4 primes all the time. OK, lost a bit of light compared to the 35F2 and 50F1.7, but not much and the lens is actually very nice at F2.8 (don't expect razor sharp corners, for that you need to stop down a bit, but who needs sharp corners wide open?). Use it at F5.6-8 and you have corner to corner sharpness and great depth of field for landscapes

The range perfectly suits my needs.

At 16 mm distortion is there, but on which WA there isn't? Fix it in post processing or buy A77 and shoot JPG. There is some vignetting wide open, so what?

Haven't noticed any flaring, but eventually all wide angles can be made to do it. Has a nice hood though.

Color is what you make it in the digital age, but looks nice.
reviewer#9576 date: Nov-11-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 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:CZ 16-80
Sigma 17.50 f2.8
price paid:670GBP
positive:Sharp at f.28, really sharp at f3.2 onwards
SSm fast & silent
negative:none
comment:I've been waiting a 'long time' for this lens (or its equivalent) to come out. For professional use on APS C there isn't a better lens available. Used on the A700, the SSM is quick & silent. The range is 24-75, a perfect equivalent to a 24-70 on FF. Mild distortion at 16mm, but in no way bothersome. Slight blue fringing detected at f2.8, which is nearly gone by f3.2. Also vignetting at f2.8 is reasonably strong, however, if your a portrait photographer, you actually 'want' vignetting at these apertures. What I've found really exciting was the colour & the overall exposure. This lens has immediately transformed my A700. I would go so far as to say that this is the no 1 lens for your APS-C Sony. Certainly if you're serious about your photography.
reviewer#9565 date: Nov-5-2011
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:16-105 DT
24-70CZ
price paid:600 USD (kit)
positive:Fast
Sharp
Build
negative:Size
Weight
comment:Definitely not a small or light lens, but it balances with the A77. Sharpness is great, and rarely back/front focus. With micro AF adjustment it'd be even better.
The 16-105 seems really light after holding this for a while.

I love the silent AF and the range. You will feel limited by the range at first, but this is the range I shoot at 70% of the time (and the 30% is covered by my 55-200 or 70-200) (On APS-C, that is)

No doubt the designers are serious about the build. Very solid.

If you look for an affordable high quality lens, this lens will be a good start. Still a way to compare with the 24-70CZ, but at the price, you get what you pay for.
Still first days using the lens, so will update review if there are any changes
reviewer#9564 date: Nov-4-2011
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:CZ 16-80
price paid:600 USD (New)
positive:SSM
Build Quality
Constant Aperture
Fast AF
Bigger filter diameter (more intimidating in a way, but you look more like a pro with it)
negative:Heavier than CZ16-80 (NOT a real issue)
distortion on 16mm, but to be expected
a bit more range please? :p
comment:It's really hard to find an A77 with this lens as kit in Indonesia, and I finally got it! and boy was it worth every phone call and text messages I made to every possible retailer around.

The lens basically trumps the CZ 1680 in terms of build, focusing, and aperture (means almost all aspects including low light situations), except for the shorter focal length (which is more useful on outdoors) and heavier (if you want to travel light, the CZ is more shoulder friendly, but only by a bit).

Sharpness is great on all focal lengths, even at max aperture. I've heard there were issues of decentering. However I learned of that after I had the lens for a few days and I found none in my copy.

If you are looking for a consistent lens to walk around with good low light performance and fast & silent AF(compared to the CZ), this is the answer. And the price is cheaper when compared to a new CZ 16-80 if you buy it as a kit lens with the A77. Even if you buy it separately, it's still better IMO.
reviews found: 93    << 1 2 3 4 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 93
  • sharpness: 4.74
  • color: 4.71
  • build: 4.85
  • distortion: 4.12
  • flare control: 4.42
  • overall: 4.57

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