Sony FE16-35mm f4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* Lens

Sony A7s - Sony FE16-35mm f4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* Lens

Sony A7s - Sony FE16-35mm f4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* Lens

Sony A7r - Sony FE16-35mm f4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* Lens

Sony A7s - Sony FE16-35mm f4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* Lens

The good news about the Sony FE16-35mm f4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* Lens is that in the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the Sony FE lens range it's more Hyde than Jekyll. This isn't a 28-70mm or 24-70mm with poor corner rendering. It's not perfect, but it is an excellent lens with incredibly sharp centre performance and decent corner and edge performance. This is pretty typical of a 'full-frame' 16-35mm zoom and one of the best wide-angle zooms I've used. Similar in focal length, size and weight to the Fuji 10-24mm f/4 it has the added bonus of OSS (Image Stabilisation) and it does of course cover a larger sensor than the Fuji.

Bottom line (or is that the top line?) is that this is a lens that's going to spend a lot of time on my Sony FE cameras, as it's much more useful to me than any 24-70mm or 28-70mm. I've been using the APS-C 10-18mm on my Sony's which does work well between 13-15mm, though not outside those limits without serious vignetting, but the 16-35mm has a much wider focal range and covers all the popular focal lengths of 18mm, 21mm, 24mm, 28mm and 35mm well which the 10-18mm doesn't on the FF Sony's. The Sony / Zeiss also covers those focal lengths very well and unless you need a faster aperture, you'll find this lens compares very well with primes.

As you can see above from the set taken in Stratford-upon-Avon, it's capable of some pretty spectacular results with the A7r and it's for those kind of pictures that I bought it for. As you can see the light was incredible, very cold and my fingers stopped working when I finished shooting, but the results were well worth it. This is going to become my 'standard' lens for the bulk of my work as I was able to give a serious workout yesterday and to say I was pleased with what I got is somewhat of an understatement. I'm going to be able to create some great images with this lens.

I'll do more comparison tests in later posts, but I'll conclude this initial appraisal by saying that this is one of the better lenses for the Sony FE system and it highlights what I was saying in my previous post. The Sony FE system is well suited to a serious professional workload when the right lenses are used. The Sony FE16-35mm f4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* Lens is (thankfully considering it's price!!) one of those 'right' lenses. It's beautifully made as well and considering what it is, reasonable in terms of size and weight. Not the greatest lens I've ever used, but more top end than run of the mill. And ultimately that's not that important, because it's a lens that is going to earn me money and more importantly create images that I'm proud of. It's done that already on the first day I've owned it and I can't think of a more impressive debut performance from any lens I've bought. This is a good one.


As a full-time photographer I make my living from selling images on Stock Photography sites. Writing this blog and doing the comparison tests takes time away from that and earns me very little. If you find what you read here of interest, then you can help me to fund the gear I buy to review, by clicking on the adsense banners, donating and / or buying your gear from the affiliate links. You don't pay any extra, I get a small commission. 

Previously I was posting on the free, Blogger platform, but this site, with it's greatly increased functionality, costs me money and the more it expands, the more it will cost.  If I can get THE SOUNDIMAGEPLUS BLOG economically viable, then I will be able to review a lot more gear and extend and expand those reviews. Running a blog these days that competes with the best out there requires a lot of time and effort and is close to a full-time job. This means that I'm neglecting other work to put that time in. It is my intention to turn this into a much more comprehensive review and user experience site and I can only do that if I can get it to generate more income. 

This site, like much of the internet, has free content and like much of the internet is funded by advertising and donations. I realise that not everybody likes advertising, but without it many of our favourite sites would have to resort to charging for what they do. Google, Facebook and all the other social networks sites remain free because of that advertising. 

There is an interesting article on the BBC website HERE, which deals with many of the issues above.

Many Thanks

David Taylor-Hughes