Sony Zeiss Vario Tessar T*E 16-70 mm f4 ZA OSS lens Review

If you are looking for a walk around zoom lens for your Sony E-mount camera you’ll find there are relatively few options. You’ve got the old and new kit lenses , the 18-55 mm f3.5/5.6 and the 16-50 f3.5/5.6 powerzoom pancakelens. Both acceptable lenses, of the two the 18-55 mm is known to be a little sharper (if you’ve got a good copy). The 16-50 mm is of course more compact, and the powerzoom is nice if you shoot a lot of video. Both are O.K. lenses, but if you are a passionate amateur photographer you’ll find they might restrict your possibilities at one point.

Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f4 op de originele zonnekap
Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f4 on the lenshood

If you want more (optically or in range) the next best thing is the Sony G E PZ 18-105 mm f4 OSS, which costs about 600 euro’s (or about the same in dollars). This lens does suffer from a lot of distortion (which is corrected automatically by your camera in JPEG or you can correct it yourself in Lightroom when you shoot in RAW). It’s quite big also, which is a shame for a small mirrorless camera. This lens is ideal for videographers, with its constant aperture of f4 and the powerzoom.

In the walk around zooms you’ll find one more option (if we forget about the Full Frame FE zoom lenses), the Sony Zeiss Vario Tessar T*E 16-70 mm f4 ZA OSS. With a price of about 1000 euros or 1000 dollar this gem is the top of the line of the Sony APS-C E-mount zoom lens. Does this lens compensate its hefty price tag with great performance?

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