Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA SSM ( Sony SAL-1635Z ) - Full Format Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Sony Alpha (Full Format)
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This lens has been kindly supplied by Dieter Scherk!
The Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA SSM is the first newly designed ultra-wide angle Sony
lens since the introduction of the Alpha system. In fact it's also one of only two full format
ultra-wide zoom lenses for Sony Alpha available today (not counting discontinued lenses) - the
other one is the Sigma AF 12-24mm f/3.5-5.6 EX DG HSM. So it was about time to release a native
solution for this range. Some may wonder about the term "Vario-Sonnar". "Sonnar" refers to the German
word "Sonne" (sun) and identifies comparatively "bright" = "large aperture" lenses and a "Vario" lens
is a zoom lens. The Zeiss ZA lenses are designed by Zeiss Germany but they're manufactured by
Sony Japan based on Zeiss quality control standards.
The build quality of the Vario-Sonnar is very good based on a combination of metal and high quality
plastic parts. Some users criticized the sheer existence of plastic in such a pricey lens
but this does only apply to the middle part of the lens. The front and back portions as well
as the petal shaped hood are made of metal. The physical length of the lens remains constant
although the inner lens tube moves a little according to the zoom position.
The focus and zoom rings operate very smooth.
The Zeiss lens benefits from an SSM ("Super-Sonic Motor") AF which operates extremely fast.
The AF accuracy was fine on our test camera (A850). DMF ("Direct Manual Focus") is possible
in single-shot AF mode.
|Optical construction||17 elements in 13 groups inc. 2x ED and 3x aspherical elements|
|Number of aperture blades||9 (circular)|
|min. focus distance||0.28m (max. magnification ratio 1:4.2)|
|Filter size||77mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||petal-shaped, snap-on, supplied|
|Other features||ultrasonic AF, DMF|