Sony Carl Zeiss 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Vario-Sonnar T* A-mount lens review by Jozioau

reviewer#10879 date: Jan-28-2013
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 16-80mm Vario-sonar
Sigma 10-20mm
CZ 24-70mm Vario-sonar
price paid:AU$1,275 shop demo
positive:Solid build, fine optics and coatings, constant f2.8 max aperture, quick and silent SSM focusing without lens extension.
negative:Weight and price, but well balanced on camera bodies full frame a99 or a900 and APSC a77ii or a700, especially with VCG.
comment:Superbly crafted ultra wide angle lens, comparable in build and optical quality to its sibling the CZ 24-70mm f2.8. Beautiful image quality, natural colour rendering, very sharp, quick to lock focus.
Consistent with the other CZ Vario-sonar T* lenses I've used, there's an almost polarizing filter 'zing' about the colours and the images are truly vibrant.
Good flare control in outdoor sunny conditions. Slight barrel distortion noticeable on interiors shots at the 16mm end on full frame camera.
A good zoom range for architectural photography, as well as for sweeping landscapes.
On an APSC body the range becomes more of a 'walkabout' 24-52mm equivalent when you need that f2.8 maximum constant aperture in low light.
A big investment but definitely a keeper.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 57
  • sharpness: 4.66
  • color: 4.95
  • build: 4.86
  • distortion: 4.47
  • flare control: 4.42
  • overall: 4.67 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania