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

reviewer#7699 date: Jul-18-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 17-35 D f 2.8-4
Sigma 10-20 EX DG 4-5.6
price paid:1460 USD
positive:Sharpness, Flare, Color, Silent focus, Build
negative:Weight, Price
comment: I paid $ 208.00 for my 17-35 D f 2.8-4, brand new in the box. It has been a great lens and I have taken many wonderful photos with it over the years,(or so I thought).

So a few folks, myself possibly included, were wunnerin' if I might need ta' have my head examined for goin' an' spendin' sumthin' like seven times as much for a lens that seems ta' be just about tha' same thing?

Day one I was shooting sequential photos at the Skate park and there was a very noticable difference between the Zeiss 16-35 f 2.8 SSM lens and the Min 17-35 D 2.8-4,(my "old" walk-about lens).
The SSM focus is slightly faster and seems to "track" moving objects better. The tack sharpness of the CZ 16-35 over the Min 17-35 D is readily apparent, especially in the corners. The CZ's color seems to differ slightly from the Minolta's,(I like it). The CZ lens is longer and double the weight of the Minolta, which some folks might find cumbersome, but for me it actually seems to balance out my camera a little nicer,(a700 w/VG-C70AM).

So far this lens has been worth every darn penny I paid for it. It's 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