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

reviewer#8548 date: Jan-20-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 1
overall: 3.6
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:Sigma 12-24
price paid:1800 USD (new)
positive:Fast focus
Sharper than the Sigma
negative:Flare and allot of it
The little button on the side of the lens for focus is easily switched
comment:I bought this lens as a replacement for the Sigma 12-24 that I owned almost 2 years. I wanted to have a wider zoom range and was willing to offer some amount on the wide side to have a little more on the tele side. In comparison of sharpness between the 2, Zeiss is the real winner, especially in the center; but it is not by much but still good visible.

The Zeiss is focussing very fast even in dark places and I have to use seldom a torch to help it focus. The Sigma did it not so good and often was wrong focused.

The real bad thing about the Zeiss is that it produces allot of flare. In many situations inside buildings it is even not usable. The Sigma being much wider did a much much better job of it.

If you need a wide zoom lens for using inside industrial sites and challenging light conditions I would stay away from the Zeiss because of the flair, although the color and sharpness is better on the Zeiss, it doesn't rectify the high price that you have to pay for.

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