Sony FE 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS review

Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS reviews roundup: should you buy it?

Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS reviews roundup: is it worth the price?

Released in 2014, the Sony Zeiss FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS is a wide angle lens for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras. It’s the perfect lens if you want to shoot landscapes, architecture and interiors.

Specs: 

  • Mount: Sony E-mount
  • Optical stabilization: Yes
  • Dust and moisture resistant
  • Weight: 518 grams (18.3 Oz)
  • Min. aperture: f/4
  • Max. aperture: f/22
  • Minimum focus distance: 28cm
  • Filter size: 72mm
Sony 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T FE F4 ZA OSS E-Mount Lens
  • Ideal for landscapes and the a7 series of full frame cameras, ZEISS T (T star) coating to reduce flare and ghosting
  • Minimum Focus Distance : 0.92 ft (0.28 m), Maximum Magnification ratio : 0.19x, Focal-Length : 5/8 - 1-3/8 Inches
  • Three ED glass elements to suppress chromatic distortion, constant F4 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range

What do the critics think of the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS?

Overall, most reviews on the web say that the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS is a very good wide angle lens for Sony full frame mirorless cameras. It’s versatile and provides pictures of remarkable quality (except at 35 mm). Even if it has a relatively small maximum aperture, the presence of an optical stabilizer compensates for this.

For the negative points, vignetting and distortion are quite noticeable but can be corrected in Lightroom.

Most reviews like…

  • Optical quality (very sharp)
  • Great build quality (Dust and Moisture resistant)
  • Light and fairly compact
  • Good corner sharpness
  • Minimal flare issues
  • Stabilized
  • You can add filters

Most reviews don’t like…

  • Expensive
  • Not a fast aperture lens (there are better options for astrophotography)
  • Distortion and vigneting noticeable throughout the zoom range

For more infos about the positive and negatives sides of the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS, check out the selection of reviews below:

Websites Reviews

  • Enthusiastphotoblog.com7 out of 10 (‘For many shooters who don’t want to pay the premium for 2.8 aperture and who prefer the usefulness of the 16-35mm range (plus ability to use standard filters), this should be the lens of choice.‘)
  • Photographyblog.com★★★★½ Highly recommended (‘The Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35 mm F4 ZA OSS lens does suffer from both distortion and vignetting at either end of the zoom range, requiring some post-processing to remove it, but chromatic aberrations are well-controlled and it can even create some nice bokeh effects when shooting wide-open at 35mm.‘)
  • Pcmag.com 4/5 Excellent – (‘The Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS shows some distortion, which is typical for a lens of its type, but it’s one of the best full-frame ultra-wide angle zooms that we’ve tested.‘)
  • Thephoblographer.com4/5 (‘We strongly recommend it for the more photojournalistic type of shooters due to the versatile zoom range. However, we had a heck of a lot of fun with it.‘)
  • Stevehuffphoto.com95% – HIGHLY Recommended (‘They could have made it smaller, which would have made it perfect but optically it is wonderful. ‘)

Amazon users reviews

Sony 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T FE F4 ZA OSS E-Mount Lens
  • Ideal for landscapes and the a7 series of full frame cameras, ZEISS T (T star) coating to reduce flare and ghosting
  • Minimum Focus Distance : 0.92 ft (0.28 m), Maximum Magnification ratio : 0.19x, Focal-Length : 5/8 - 1-3/8 Inches
  • Three ED glass elements to suppress chromatic distortion, constant F4 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range

Alternatives:

If the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS is too expensive for you, the closest and most competitive lens in the same category would be the Tamron 17-28 mm f/2,8 Di III RXD. It’s lighter, cheaper, and offers a fixed aperture of f/2.8. It also has a shorter focus distance (19cm).

Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD for Sony Mirrorless Full Frame E Mount (Tamron 6 Year Limited USA...
World's most lightweight large aperture wide-angle zoom in its class (smaller than original F4 lens)
$899.00

The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM is more expensive than the f/4 and it’s bigger and heavier, it has a faster aperture, it’s not stabilized but it’s tougher and give a slightly better optical performance. If you’re a pro landscape photographer, you might want to invest in this one.

Sony - FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Wide-angle Zoom Lens (SEL1635GM)
Designed to achieve 50 Line pairs/mm resolving power
$2,198.00

Finally, there’s an even wider lens with the Sony 12-24mm but there’s no filter thread on it. If you’re a real estate photographer, you should consider this lens instead of the 16-35mm.

Sony - FE 12-24mm F4 G Wide-angle Zoom Lens (SEL1224G)
G Lens design for corner-to-corner high resolution
$1,773.00

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