Build quality: 6.8/10
Optical quality: 9.2/10
- Flexible general purpose range.
- High contrast and very sharp results.
- Relatively small and light.
- Squeezes best from the Alpha system.
- Build quality not a big upgrade over kit lenses.
- AF noise and speed similar to kit lenses.
- Manual focus ring not very smooth.
- Macro no better than kit lens.
Assuming a good sample the Zeiss ZA 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 DT is surely a desirable lens. The primary
design objective was obviously to maximize resolution because this is where the lens
shines with generally stunning MTF figures matching or beating many standard zooms out there.
However, there're also downsides. At 16mm vignetting is a problem at f/3.5 and the level of
CAs and barrel distortions is very high. At around 700€/US$ the lens resides somewhere
between the typical consumer and pro grade zooms. Some may have hoped for a metal construction
but truth is that most other standard zooms in this price league have also plastic bodies.
The mechanical quality is decent with tight tolerances but nothing to rave about. In Sony Alpha
mount the lens remains an obvious choice for enthusiasts and beyond.
No gradeSony Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80 mm f/3.5-4.5
- solid, tasteful but, in the same time, compact body,
- very universal focal length range,
- excellent picture quality at all apertures and focal lengths,
- good control of chromatic aberration,
- very little distortion at 16 mm upwards,
- slight astigmatism,
- sensible autofocus work,
- a lens hood and a case in the set.
- high vignetting at all focal lengths,
- noisy autofocus.