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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
SonyVario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens
 
4.7

(based on 146 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (107)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (31)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (50)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (37)
  • Durable (32)
  • Consistent output (27)
  • Easily interchangeable (25)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (5)
  • Heavy (4)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (35)
  • Everyday (27)
  • Travel (26)
  • Landscape photography (21)
  • Portraits (21)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (34), Enthusiast (17), Semi-professional (9), Professional (6), Semi-pro photographer (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (74)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

The missing link

This is just the lens I've been waiting for for my Nex7. It takes that camera to the next level in terms of usefulness for landscape photography. I would buy it just for the...Read complete review

This is just the lens I've been waiting for for my Nex7. It takes that camera to the next level in terms of usefulness for landscape photography. I would buy it just for the extended range over the kit lens, but when you throw in that it's better quality overall that clinches it.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not worth the money

I had high hopes for this lens, but ultimately it was a huge let down. It's unfortunate. The lens is the perfect size, constant aperture, great zoom range, great build quality,...Read complete review

I had high hopes for this lens, but ultimately it was a huge let down. It's unfortunate. The lens is the perfect size, constant aperture, great zoom range, great build quality, etc.... however it's optical performance was less than stellar. Both the left and right edges of the frame were incredibly blurry. I love Sony cameras but the quality control on their lenses makes me rethink my decision to switch from Canon to Sony. I have bought 3 Sony lenses now and they ALL have been decentered, being incredibly blurry on one side of the frame, or both.

Reviewed by 146 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Awesome, you get what you pay for.

By TomG

from Orange Park, Florida

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Yes, the lens is expensive and I thought long and hard about getting it but after a few outings with the lens, I'm glad I did. I'm using the lens on my a6000 right now and I've produced some of the sharpest images I've ever created. This lens will be well worth the price in the long run.

 
5.0

LOVE THIS LENS!

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Great lens. Zeiss quality!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Prime guru meets first zoom worth using...

By nickgnyc

from Garrison, NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

I'm generally a prime lens guy. Recently I was going on a trip where I was limited with my baggage and could not bring my assortment of primes. Found this lens to be excellent for a zoom. The convenience of the 16-70mm (APS-C) range was useful and although the pictures are not as sharp as you would get on a prime, they were quite sharp for a zoom. If you're going to limit yourself to a single zoom, this is the one.

 
4.0

Terrible lens hood; keeps falling off

By RjP

from New York

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

I've been trying to find a good quality lens for traveling so I can keep it light and not have to worry about packing and carrying around lenses. This is an excellent lens that takes great photos.

But beware, the hood falls off easily as it does not screw on. When you put this hood on you turn it about 45 degrees and that's it. I've had this stupid thing fall off numerous times and it's really annoying.

 
5.0

awesome

By Salvatore

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Great all around lens

 
5.0

Nice lens!

By Richard

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Love it!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Small, light, compact and great quality.

By James

from undisclosed

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

This is my first purchase of this lens and I love it. It is light, compact and easy to use. I used to use a Canon 24-105 with Canon bodies and it was twice as heavy or more. I don't see any difference in image quality from the Canon lens to this lens. I would like to see another one with 24-105 for FE Sony Full frame, which I also own.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The most discussed lens on the internet

By Devin from Rainy Portland

from Portland, OR

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Early QA issues causing bad review results and the fact that this lens is quite pricey has kept the internet abuzz with "IS THE ZEISS 16-70 TOTAL GARBAGE???!" discussions for YEARS, and they persist to this day. Well, I think this is a very good zoom. It's very sharp wide open, especially at 35mm. The colors are great. The mechanics are very nice. It's extremely lightweight and versatile. It's just a bit overpriced, and I'll be the first to admit that. This should be a $600 lens. In fact, if it were, I'm sure that there would be a lot less discussion about it. Anyway, it's not, and as of now there still is no better choice for a walk around zoom for the A series crop cameras, and that's a fact. So, you've just got to buck up and get this baby I suppose. I'm glad I did. You can get it cheaper online, but with all the talk of QA problems, there was no way I was buying this anywhere else than B&H for full price. I would recommend doing the same, unless you want to risk getting a $700 paperweight that you can't return back to the Chinese ebay seller you just got it from.

 
5.0

Quality, versatility and compact size, all combined!

By Melania

from undisclosed

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Quality, versatility and compact size, all combined!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent zoom

By Devin

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

I don't know where all the bad reviews come from on this lens. It's darn good. I just went out and took a ton of test shots and the only thing I noticed is that at 70mm one size of the frame was a little soft. Everything else was stellar. Sharpness is outstanding for a zoom. I really don't know why people hate on this lens so much, other than I guess it's kind of expensive. Well, it's Zeiss, so it ain't gonna be cheap!

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Awesome!

By Charles

from undisclosed

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Great Lens!

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

good choice for Sony a6000 series

By BB

from SF Bay Area

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Although the kit lenses available on the Sony a6300 are reasonably good for everyday photo/video applications, the Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS lens represents a step up in image quality, particularly in the color achieved in the unprocessed file. Additionally, the zoom range is more useful (24-105mm equivalent), making the 16-70mm Vario-Tessar by Zeiss something that can be left on the camera for a vast majority of shots. One issue that has been mentioned in past reviews, soft left/right focus, isn't really present in this copy. Sure, there is a slight drop-off in sharpness from the center to the edges, but nothing to be too worried about. So, the only reason for not giving this lens 5 stars is the regular price. That said, if you're looking to use only one lens on a Sony a6000-series camera, the Vario-Tessar 16-70mm should certainly be considered among the available Sony zoom lenses as a prime candidate.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great lens

By Gogo

from Seattle, WA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Great lens for the price. Even better that it's quite compact and lightweight. I'm able to take my A6500 and this lens with me everywhere!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great lens and service

By mashmirza

from Memphis, TN

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Got the lens for Sony A6000. Already have two prime lenses. Gives me the flexibility when I am shooting outdoors without changing lenses. F4 is plenty wide enough for outdoor work. The lens was in excellent shape and was delivered on time.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Awesome lens!

By Rich

from Ogden, UT

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

I wanted to compliment my A6500 with a good all around lens and this lens did not disappoint. Super sharp and the colors are great. I am very happy with this purchase.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great lenss

By Peter

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

An excellent lens for traveling.

(21 of 21 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good sharp lens

By Aggie Shooter

from College Station, Texas

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

I just bought this to go with a Sony a6300, whose 16-50 kit lens is truly a waste of money if you need image quality. My Vario-Tessar 16-70 is plenty sharp, showing normal distortion close up at very wide angle. Color rendition is very good. I use a 5Diii and L glass in my work, but bought crop-sensor Sony and this lens for compact vacation travel, often flying to Costa Rica. So far, results are excellent. Its single failing is f/4. Needs to be f/2.8 or wider for best portrait work, but then would be larger and much more expensive. Camera and lens, without eye cup and lens hood, BARELY fit into a Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 10, worn on my belt. Probably should go one size up on the belt bag. Having gear this small is so handy when a fish is being boated or a grandchild is doing something cute. I may use as a backup in my work as an agricultural journalist. Camera and lens are always with me because of their size. And as everyone else says, B&H provides first-class service always.

 
5.0

Great lens.

By Thomas

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Makes a big difference.Cinematic look.Great quality.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Solid but bit overpriced

By Art C

from Los Angeles, CA

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

Been using this for few weeks on a6300. Compact for focal length range and very solid build. Pretty sharp with nice color and contrast. Slightly soft in corners at wider apertures but not really an issue in everyday use. Focuses swiftly. Nice walk around focal range 24-105mm equivalent. With all the positives I still think the lens is a little expensive for what it is. Would be much better value at $600-700.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent tool for walk around shooting

By Bob

from Torrance CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

The 16-70 mm Zoom focal length covers about 98 percent of the pictures I take which was why I wanted this lens for my Sony Alpha 6000 to replace the 18-55 mm kit lens. My images are mostly family pictures along with occasional scenics from vacation and day trips. The extra few mm on both ends are much more valuable than many realize. Better scenic or tight spaces shots on the wide end and portrait options on the long end.

The lens is expensive so I was looking for a good used sample. Found a couple of listings on the B&H site along with an "open box" sample. When I called to make a selection, they apparently all had been sold. My sales person was very helpful and found another option which fit my budget. Delivery was prompt and the product arrived in perfect condition right on schedule; new and in the manufacturer's original packaging.

Initial testing confirmed the lens worked well. In the past few weeks it has been put to work and I am very pleased with the results. It is a great lens for my shooting needs.

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