Sony Carl Zeiss 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Vario-Sonnar T* A-mount lens review by op1318

reviewer#25494 date: Feb-13-2016
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-35 f:2.8-4
Zeiss 16-80 f:3.5-4.5
Tamron 28-75 f:2.8
price paid:900 EUROS (used)
positive:• Sharpness
• Colors
• Build
• Overall image quality
negative:• Price
• Strong vignetting
comment:Fist, I have to say that I did not buy this lens earlier because I found it too expensive for a wide angle zoom. I don't know why but I find it easier to invest a lot of money in a telephoto lens than in a wide angle…
But since 2010, when I bought my first full frame digital SLR, I have not been happy with all the super wide angle zooms I have tested. For many years, I have been mostly relying on my old Sigma 17-35 which I found less than satisfying.
Finally, I found the Zeiss 16-35 f:2.8 in very good condition at an attractive price, so I bought it.
And I can now say that it is exactly the lens I wanted.
The colors are very pleasing, very natural. The build quality is nice and the lens feels well balanced on a FF body like the A900. I find this lens to be very sharp. I rate it 4.5 only because the extreme corners of the image remain soft from 16 to 24mm but I have to say that even those "soft" extreme corners are considerably sharper than with the Sigma 17-35 mentioned above. The lens suffers of some very strong vignetting but fortunately, it is easily corrected in Lightroom.
I try many lenses, buy some, sell some, and I immediately know when I find the "right one" for me. A lens that makes me want to shoot, a lens that makes me want to try new things. And this one is 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