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Sony16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens
 
4.7

(based on 43 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (29)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (34)
  • Consistent output (24)
  • Easily interchangeable (22)
  • Lightweight (19)
  • Durable (17)

Cons

  • Lens creep (6)
  • Weak casing (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (23)
  • Night photography (12)
  • General purpose (11)
  • Sports/action (9)
  • Weddings (9)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (17), Semi-pro photographer (7), Enthusiast (6), Semi-professional (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (24)

Reviewed by 43 customers

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Sony 16-80Z Varop Sonnar

By Archi

from Saint John NB . Canada

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Poor in Low Light
  • Slow Focus

Best Uses

  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Macro Photography
  • Night Photography
  • Weddings/Events

Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

I have used this lens for nearly an year,and most of my pictures were for travel, and a few closeup macro type shots.
I had previously been using a Sony 18-70 mm kit zoom lens, which was satisfactory, both in picture sharpness and colour.However, when I started using the 16-80 lens, first thing I noticed was it's sharpness of image, edge to edge even at wide open apertures. The barrel distortion at 16 mm is sometimes noticable only if I was shooting a subject with horizontal and vertical lines, like shooting in downtown Chicago. The only thing I don't like about this lens is the coolness of the colour,and to correct this, I always shoot in Vivid mode, and also use the manual White Balance set to warmer colours. The 35mm equiv of 120 mm focal length at the tele end is in most cases quite adequate, and only in rare oases, I had to get my 75-300mm lens out to get closeups of distance objects. I am in general very pleased with the lens, and would recommend to anybody.

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  • No

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(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Exactly what I needed

By Amateur Chris

from Parkersburg, WV

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery

Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

This lens functions as my primary lens. For an amateur who is just starting to really get into photography, this lens provides an ideal focal/zoom range. Upgrading to this from the kit lens provides an amazing leap in picture quality. Colors, clarity, and overall sharpness are miles ahead of a kit lens. That being said, the autofocus is somewhat noisy and the aperture craps out at f3.5. But I don't really count these as negatives because I did my research before buying the product, so I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. The two above issues can be fixed of course, but that would require buying the two thousand dollar Zeiss 24-70 f2.8 lens...something that is way out of my price range. For what I payed I could not be happier.

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

For me, an old trustworthy friend...

By jmtheowl

from miami,FL

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

        Back in 2006 I bought my first digital camera from B&H, a Sony DSC-R1, which came equipped with this same lens but it is fixed not interchangeable...perhaps the best quality zoom lens I ever owned... At the end of 2012 I bought the new Sony A65 and I could not think of a better lens but this one again... The focal length is the ideal range for about 90% of the images I create, from an acceptable 24mm wide angle for landscapes to a decent 120mm for portraits o closer shots... I use it as my prime lens... and I enjoy to no end its optical quality, consistent output and mechanical reliability.

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        • No

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        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Sharp saturated colors.

        By cptab

        from Virginia

        About Me Casual Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Sharp images and colors
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Lens Creep

        Best Uses

        • anything

        Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

        I'm a new DLSR user (Sony a35), and purchased this because I wanted a high quality lens to take with me on vacation. I splurged on this one and was concerned overspent. I also debated whether I should have purchased a 18-250 travel lens for the trip. Thankfully, my buyer's remorse was theoretical. Once I saw the results, I'm quiet glad I made the purchase. Of course, maybe I could have seen the same results from another less expensive lens. I also could have saved some time changing lenses if I purchased a travel lens.

        Nevertheless, it worked great in bright and lower light, is quite sharp and and has some great bokeh. It can also see the difference from shots taken w/ my kit lens. As others have mentioned, the lens extends if it hang off your shoulder and points down.

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        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Super sharp!

        By Va Boater

        from Virginia

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight
        • Nice Bokeh

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Night Photography
          • Video
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

          After reading reviews of this lens, I took the plunge. I use this with the A77. It is now on my camera almost all the time. Very fast focus, quiet and tack sharp.

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          • No

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          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great lens

          By B

          from Canada

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Lightweight

          Cons

          • Lens Creep

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery

          Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

          Use this lens for my Sony A33 and it's fantastic. I would rate this 4.5 out of 5 (but I can't).

          The image quality, focus noise and speed is a massive step up from the 18-55mm kit lens, as you would expect. However, I found a bit of zoom creep when walking around with the lens. A zoom lock would have been a great addition, and for the price of the lens, something that should have been included. So far this has been my only issue.

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          (12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          ALMOST PERFECT

          By Grampa Bruce

          from Colorado Springs, CO

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Lightweight

          Cons

          • Lens Creep
          • Poor construction
          • Weak Casing

          Best Uses

          • Indoor With Flash
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Sports/Action
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

          I've been using the Zeiss 1680Z for about two years and find it to be exceptional in terms of image quality, sharper than other lenses/brands in this price range. I agree that at 16mm the edges can be fuzzy, as well as extended to 80mm but both cases are easilly solved with a bit of cropping or an aperature of about f/5.6. It's focal length range is perfect for most situations but it's wide angle capability (24mm on APS-C) is it's strong point.

          I say "almost perfect" for two reasons. After two years of use it developed extreme lens creep, apparently a well known issue, and without a lens lock it's most annoying. I use a wide rubberband to prevent it but doing so with a Zeiss lens doesn't bode well for their percieved quality. Their strong point seems to be glass rather than functionality?

          About a year into using the lens it failed to auto focus. I believe the internal focus gears are plastic which resulted in a $160 Sony repair bill. Another quality issue with Zeiss which surprises me, and the repair bill is why I'm using a rubber band for lens creep!

          I've recently purchased a Sigma 18-200mm lens for times I know I'll need some extra reach (10%) while retaining wide angle capability. Not quite as sharp but acceptible. MACRO photography is not the intended purpose for the 1680Z although it does better than I expected. For MACRO, invest in Sigma's 50mm 1:1 MACRO, or their 90mm MACRO.

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          • No

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          (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Sharp lens

          By Randy

          from Las Vegas NV

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

            It is a excellent sharp lens and I will use all the time

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            • No

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            (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            A Great lense for any occasion

            By BJ

            from Denver, CO

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Night Photography

              Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

              I am making fine art landscape photography.
              Its focal length range is ideal for my Sony A580 (APS-C), equivalent to 24-120mm. The image quality is always great; sharp, but with gentle,good colors,cleaqr contrasts, and very pleasant images.
              This DSLR system complements for medium format Hasselblad and large format 4x5 B&W & color slide films.

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              • No

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              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Fantastic lens!

              By Squishy

              from Canada

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Photography
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

                I've used this for a month now and just love the lens. I'd read about these lenses not quite being up to the Zeiss name for build quality but I think this has been fixed. There's no space or jiggle between the lens and camera body (a common complaint) - very tight. The quality is very good and feels sturdy and well built - much better than the kit lens and other Sony zoom I had. And it's fast to focus and the quality is wonderful and a real step up from other Sony lenses.

                Great clear photos and nice bokeh and the 16mm wide angle is wonderful for landscape and wide perspective shots.

                This is one of those purchases that I thought about for a long time, but I'm confident I won't need a lens upgrade for a long time.

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                • No

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                (9 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                SONY/ZEISS 16-80mm

                By Outafocus

                from MN

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Durable
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Lightweight
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Rugged

                Cons

                • Blurry Focus
                • Poor in Low Light

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery

                Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

                I have owned Zeiss lenses in the past and, in comparison, this lens is somewhat dissappointing. It's hard to get used to a plastic lens with the name ZEISS on it although, I really can't say it's construction is shoddy. The barrel wiggles slightly when fully extended but it doesn't seem to cause any problems. The manual focus ring has about 1/8" of play in it and it does cause problems when trying to do critical close-up focusing. At 16mm wide open, picture details are fuzzy, even at higher f/stops. Sadly, this is the focal lenght I like most when traveling. By 18mm, most of the problem is gone. Color, sharpness and contrast are very good, but not great. The 16-80 (24-120 in 35mm terms) focal length is perfect for 90% of my shots while traveling. I gave it a 4 because of the poor performance at 16mm; it's relatively slow (f/3.5-4.5) and, the [$] price.

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                • No

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                (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Superb all-around lens

                By Mike in CA

                from Palo Alto, CA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Nice Bokeh

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Weddings/Events
                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

                  I bought this lens right after it came out, when I had a K-M 7D, and have recently upgraded to a Sony SLT-a55V. I use this lens for probably 90% of all my shots and have since the day it arrived. The focal range covers anything except real extremes on either end or when the (rare for me) need occurs to have a low f/stop. The outstanding sharpness and relatively minimal distortions make this lens a no-brainer to be on the camera all the time. If I had extreme weight/size limitations on camera gear, the SLT-a55V and this lens would be my setup, no question and no regrets.

                  If you use Lightroom or Camera Raw there are a few people who have made excellent lens profiles that reduce geometric distortions and chromatic aberration quite effectively.

                  Negatives are all minor (for me) and don't detract from the rating I gave it:

                  * focus isn't super fast, nor is it quiet so it is not so great as a video lens if you care about ambient audio and are using the built-in microphones

                  * lens creep when hanging downward

                  * focus ring is a bit stiff and coarse so it's difficult to make very fine focus adjustments, although for the focal length and f/stop range of this lens that's generally not a big issue

                  * build quality doesn't "feel" quite like the price would imply but in actual practice on probably about 10,000 shots so far there has been no issue at all with reliability or performance, and it still looks like new.

                  This is simply an outstanding lens and by far the single best photo purchase I have made.

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                  • No

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                  (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  THIS LENS WILL LIVE ON MY CAMERA

                  By DG7878

                  from ACWORTH GA.

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged

                  Cons

                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

                  BOUGHT THIS LENS FOR MY A390L, LOVE IT! IT IS HEAVY BUT GET OVER IT, IT TAKES GREAT PICTURES, FOCUS IS FAST ENOUGH FOR ME! WISH IT WAS A f/2.8 BUT IT WILL WORK FOR ME! B&H WAS GREAT TO DEAL WITH AS WELL!

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                  • No

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                  (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Excellent IQ!!!

                  By orgazmo

                  from Guam USA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Lightweight
                  • Nice Bokeh

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Photography
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Video
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

                    I bought one together with my A55. I love this lens! Having a Zeiss Distagon, I didn't expect the build quality to be up to that same level, but it is acceptable. High expectations (due to its name) will only lead to disappointment in the plastic build. However, the IQ is what counts and this delivers! Colors pop out with sharp images. Even though it is not a fixed aperture 2.8 lens, a 3.5-4.5 is pretty acceptable to make this compact and light. And the range, with a FF equivalent of 24-120, is really very useful.

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                    • No

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                    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Versatile Lens

                    By Mat

                    from South East Asia

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus

                    Cons

                    • Weak Casing

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Portrairts

                    Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

                    Used this lens on my recent travel, a very good option if you are looking to upgrade from your kit lens.

                    Zoom is limited to 80mm but if you are using APC camera you should get the extra 1.5X boost. I've taken portraits and landscapes with this lens and able to produce very clear and decent images.

                    Weight feels comfortable, and the zoom ring is a little stiff (my preference).

                    My only complain is the build is a little plasticky, but overall not a hinder at all.

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                    • No

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                    (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Good "one lens" solution

                    By CFortC

                    from Colorado

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

                        I am Zeiss T* lens fan from the old Hasselblad days. I bought this lens to go with my new Sony SLT-A33. The combo was intended as a replacement/upgrade to my old Sony DSC-R1 which has produced superb results since I picked it up in 2006. I believe this Zeiss-inspired 16-80mm is the same design as the Zeiss-labeled 14.3-71.5mm on the R1, just up-scaled slightly to account for the slightly larger sensor of the A33.

                        Results on close inspection are very similar to the lens of the R1. Some images show slight color fringes in the corners, easily corrected in Photoshop. Close focusing ability, while not really in the "macro" range, is sufficient for subjects like flowers and larger insects. The distortion is relatively low, similar to zooms designed during the film days, and only occasionally do I feel the need to make a Photoshop correction. On the A33, RAW processing is necessary to show off this lens' abilities. Overall I am very satisfied with this lens as a "one lens" all-round solution for the A33.

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                        • No

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                        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Great lens

                        By cel

                        from sydney, au

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Easily Interchangeable

                        Cons

                        • Slow Focus

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Night Photography
                        • Weddings/Events
                        • Wildlife Photos

                        Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

                        Use it often outdoors, upgraded my kitlens to this CZ lens and very happy with it. Sometimes a bit slow to focus a moving object

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                        • No

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                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Sharp

                        By Sarge013

                        from Foley, MN

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Lightweight
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Sharpness
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery

                          Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

                          Zoom and focus ring are nice and smooth with no play. Sharp at all focal lengths.

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                          • No

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                          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Great all around lens!

                          By Ron the road cyclist

                          from Kennesaw, GA

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Easily Interchangeable
                          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                          • Lightweight
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

                              This lens is a great compliment to my Sony Alpha 55. Has the optical quality and zoom range to be the best "walk around" lens choice in my opinion. Personally, it's the highest quality "all around" lens that I've evey had. There are other choices like the Sony 18-250..but frankly, I find having the 16mm [35MM equivalant of 24mm] very much needed for everyday use. For the top end I have the 70-400 SSM G series and the 50mm F1.4 [75mm in 35MM terms] for portraits,to round things out. With these three lenses...I am all set to take full advantage of the Alpha 55...which has proven to be a spectacular camera for my needs! Love the phase detection autofocus in HD video mode! [...]

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                              • No

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                              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Amazing Lens If You Get a Good Copy

                              By dcisive

                              from Salt Lake City, UT.

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Consistent Output
                              • Durable
                              • Easily Interchangeable
                              • Fabulous Color Rendition
                              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                              • High contrast
                              • Lightweight
                              • Nice Bokeh

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Great walk around lens
                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Weddings/Events

                                Comments about Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT Standard Zoom Lens:

                                General Walk Around Use
                                Amazing sharpness even wide open. Great contrast and resistance to CA.
                                Accurate focus even in lower light. Color rendition is superb
                                Wish it had a SSM Motor
                                My only issue was the 1st one sent to me had poor sharpness on the left side. The 2nd copy sent was perfect, so watch for sample variations in this lens

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                                • No

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