*UPDATE – The full in-depth review of the Sony FE 16-35 f/4 is now live. LINK
Over the last two years Sony Imaging has continued to push the boundaries of the photo industry. Between the dynamic range found in the a7r (In Depth Review) to the incredible low light performance of the a7s, there is a lot of reasons to love what Sony has been up to. However regardless how impressive Sony’s new cameras are, the native lens line for the FE camera mount has had relatively slow growth. While nearly ever one of the FE lenses available today are very impressive, the glaring hole in the lens lineup has been in the wide angle department, until now.
On September 15th, 2014 Sony finally unveiled the Sony fe 16-35 f/4 ZA OSS lens, which has easily become the most sought after lens for the a7 series cameras (a7,a7r, a7s). Having partnered with Sony over a year ago, they were kind enough to give me early access to the lens while working on a project on The Big Island of Hawaii, where I am currently writing this blog post from. For the next 10 days, I will be pushing this lens to its limits in a variety of situations to see what it is capable of, but I need your help. In the comments below, leave what ever questions you have about the lens and I will make sure to cover as many of them as I can when I release my full in-depth review in the first week of November here on the blog.
- Lens Mount Type : Sony E-mount (35mm full frame)
- Lens Stabilization : Optical SteadyShot
- Minimum Focus Distance : 11″ 0.28m
- Lens Groups-Elements : 10 groups, 12 elements
- Filter Diameter : 72mm
- Lens Type : Full-frame E-mount Wide-angle Lens
- Lens Weight : 18.3 oz (518g)
- Aperture (Max.) : f/4.0
- Aperture (Min.) : f/22
- Maximum Magnification : 0.19x
- Focal Length (35mm equivalent) : 16-35mm (35mm) 24- 52.5mm (APS-C)
- Aspheric Elements : 5 aspherical, 1 advanced aspherical
- Aperture Blade : 7 blades (Circular aperture)
- Angle of View : 83°-44° (APS-C) 107°-63° (35mm)
Weights and Measurements
- Dimensions (Approx.) : 3-1/8″ x 4″ (78 x 98.5mm)
- Weight (Approx.) : 18.2 oz (518g)
One of the first things I noticed about the Sony fe 16-35 f/4 ZA OSS lens was the build quality. Like the other Sony Vario-Tessar lenses for fe-mount cameras, this Zeiss made lens is built with very high standards. When you hold it in your hand, it doesn’t feel cheap. It feels solid. Why? Because instead of using plastic like many camera/lens manufacturers these days, they use a metal finish, both for the lens body itself and for the focus ring, which truly does make a difference when you are holding it in your hands. On top of this, the lens is listed as dust and water resistant, a feature I plan on putting to the test since a hurricane is currently moving through Hawaii as we speak.
Another important observation is the 72mm lens filter diameter. As a landscape photographer filters are an important accessory I use quite often, especially CPL and ND filters, both of which are available via the Colby Brown Signature Edition Landscape Photography Filter Kit that I created with Formatt Hitech. The problem with using filters on wide angle lenses is the increased vignetting and general lack of the ability to stack filters when shooting near 16mm. If I could use a 105mm CPL at 16mm, this lens would be a game changer for many landscape photographers. The 72mm filter opening on the lens looks promising and I can’t wait to further test my filter with this setup here in Hawaii.
Behind the Scenes
Over the course of the next 10 days, I will be exploring much of The Big Island of Hawaii as a teach a photography workshop to 10 of my clients. During that time, I will also be testing the Sony FE 16-35 f/4 ZA OSS lens. As time goes on, I will continue to update this section to include new behind the scenes images of me testing the lens out in the field so that you can get a feel for the kind of conditions the lens is being put through.
Submit Your Questions
One of the biggest problems I see with most reviews is that the review doesn’t always answer all of the questions you as a reader have. This is why I am opening up my review to you. In the first week of November, I will release a full in-depth review, but in the meantime please leave your comments, questions, concerns and or tests you would like to see done and I will do my best to include as much as I can into the review itself when it is released. Enjoy!