Sony AF DT 16-105mm F3.5-5.6 A-mount lens review by gmanmi

reviewer#10609 date: Oct-21-2012
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL1855
Tamron SP 70-300
price paid:400 USD (used)
positive:Very Sharp
Excellent contrast and colors
Solid build quality
Great zoom range
Fast AF
negative:Little overpriced
Aperture drops quickly
comment:I got the SAL16105 used on ebay as an upgrade to the kit lens SAL1855 for the Sony Alpha a65. After a lot of research and comparison to the Zeiss SAL1680z, I decided to go for this lens. The primary reason was the cost and better range for travel use. Used prices for this lens are about half the price of the Zeiss.

After a couple of days of shooting I am impressed by the image quality. Pictures are very sharp and show high contrast and color saturation in RAW, and require minimum PP. Build quality is good, the lens has a nice heft to it and balances well on the a65 body.

I was also surpised by the quick AF with the in-body motor. Focusing is a little noisy but quick and accurate. I shot a soccer game in Continuous AF mode with the central AF points active. Most of the pictures are sharp. Compared to the Tamron SP 70-300 that I normally use for sports, the Sony lens AF is much more accurate. Even though the Tammy has the in-lens USM motor, it seems to struggle with AF on fast moving objects. I have never been able to use AF-C mode with the Tammy.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 92
  • sharpness: 4.58
  • color: 4.62
  • build: 4.32
  • distortion: 4.07
  • flare control: 4.51
  • overall: 4.42 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania