Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5

Last updated (11 August’10):
– Review by ShutterBug

The Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 features 16-80mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/3.5-4.5. The lens construction has 14 elements in 10 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 83 degrees. Closest focusing distance at 1′ 2.4” (62mm) and has a filter size of 62mm. The Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 lens weighs 16oz (445g) and it measures 2.8 inches in diameter and 3 inches long.

Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5
Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Reviews

ShutterBug reviews the Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 and writes;
“Peak optical performance (incredibly high) was produced in the 18-80mm range, at f/8, for a level of quality usually expected only from a single focal length lens. Corner sharpness/brightness is very high, and the images exhibit great resolution of the most intricate detail, great clarity, snappy contrast, and a beautiful color rendition.”
rating: N/A

Whatdigitalcamera reviews the Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 and writes;
“Equally pleasant is the way in which depth-of-field is rendered: there is a particularly soft gradation from in-focus to out-of-focus regions despite biting sharpness in the former. This trick is something of a Carl Zeiss speciality and is one of the best reasons for choosing this lens over Sony’s own lenses.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Lenstip reviews the Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 and writes;
“When working on A100, the lens focuses for about 1 second and does it with characteristic whirr. At 80 mm from infinity to close it often makes errors so the focusing can last even over 2 seconds. On A 700 the lens’s motor works more silently, we hear only quiet buzz. The autofocus works a bit quicker..”
rating: N/A

Photoclubalpha reviews the Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 and writes;
“The Zeiss T* coating is entirely unlike former Minolta coatings, and gives the lens a much higher overall contrast with saturated, very neutral colours. You may find it a little clinical for portraits and a soft-focus filter plus some warming-up of white balance is advised. It has very good resistance to flare, but produces visible chromatic fringes at both extremes..”
rating: N/A

Popphoto reviews the Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 and writes;
“It’s marginally faster, with a significantly wider zoom range, and the construction is all-metal instead of plastic. More importantly, while both lenses tested in the Excellent range, the Zeiss’s numbers were an order of magnitude better, especially at higher magnifications, due to better control of chromatic aberration.”
rating: N/A

Kurtmunger reviews the Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 and writes;
“The Sony Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 16-80mm DT F/3.5-4.5 ZA is a fairly expensive ($699) lens, but turned in a solid performance all the way around and is worth the price if you like to shoot in low light and enlarge and scrutinize your images. At F/5.6, this lens is near perfect, and would make a great permanent lens on your APS-C camera.”
rating: N/A

Photozone reviews the Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 and writes;
“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.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

User Opinions

Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 User Reviews

Zeiss Vario Sonnar | Rating: ★★★★☆
“I am very pleased with this lens and the A100 combination especially the improved contrast and color rendition. I just took an entire wedding under overcast sky and the pictures look like they were taken on a sunny day. Now I reset the camera to a lower contrast and saturation level. “ – by S. Burany

A magnificient lens for my SONY a100! | Rating: ★★★★★
“At first I was thinking about the high tech plastic lens barrel but quickly forgot about it after I starting using the lens as my primary optics on my a100 camera body. It is sharp, clear and produces superb detail…” – by P. Cassidy

Sony SAL-1680Z Lens Review | Rating: ★★★★★
“This lens is razor sharp, with absolutely no chromatic abberation at any zoom length. The only optical “problem” with this lens is a VERY slight vignetting in the extreme corners of the image when the lens is at full wide angle (16 mm). The field of view of this lens is so wide that lens attachments such as a protective UV filter ring must be chosen carefully so that they do not intrude into the image. The zoom is smooth… the focus is super fast and scary precise…” – by Roger A. Krupski

Great all-purpose zoom lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“If you really really care about sharpness, resolution, MTF, then get multiple prime lenses. No zoom lenses match any Minolta/Sony prime lenses in this category. But if you can compromise a little bit (just a little bit) and want some 5x zoom convenience, look no further. This lens gives you all…” – by D. H. Kim

Excellent Zeiss Zoom Lens For Sony Alpha System | Rating: ★★★★★
“I recently had the opportunity to use it at this year’s Photo Plus East and was quite impressed with the extremely high color saturation and resolution of this lens, trying it with the brand new flagship Sony Alpha 700 SLR camera…” – by John Kwok

Sony Zeiss 16-80mm Zoom Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is a fine zoom lens with superb optics. Construction is a bit less than desirable as it makes some strange noises and manual focus is not very smooth…” – by Eduardo A. Nogueira

Best Lens I’ve Ever Owned, | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is an incredible lens and it is probably on my camera 90% of the time. It is tack sharp at all apertures and focal lengths. The range is awesome. I love the wide-angle. I almost never use my ultra-wide anymore. I love the colors and contrast. I love the compact size. I find the build quality to be good and the focusing to be fast. “ – by Erick McCourt

Excellent product!! | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is a great lens and has good sharpness, contrast and zoom range. I bring this lens around where ever I go due to its versatility. It is as sharp as a prime at 80mm. At 16mm, it is already very sharp in the center at f3.5 and when stop down to f5.6 it is sharp from corner to corner. Due to its great range, it can be use as a wide angle lens as well as a portrait lens.” – by Ben

Excellent all-round lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“Image quality – sharpness, good contrast and colors are what I look for. The kit lens that came with my Alpha actually seemed softer many times than my FZ18 or FZ50 pictures! That was a huge concern. Why get a DSLR if there isn’t a marked improvement in IQ! ..” – by Jaffrey W. Ali

Not for full frame cameras (i.e. A900/A850), good for APS-C Alphas | Rating: ★★★★☆
“..The lens does a good job on my APS-C camera A350. It is a tough pill to swallow making a lens purchase that is not compatible or complimentary with a newer, full frame body. However I think I will use this lens on my A350 and my full frame longer lenses on my A900 until I can decide what full frame lens to buy..” – by themosquito

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Sample Photos

Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Sample Photos @
Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Sample Photos @
Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Sample Photos @
Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Sample Photos @
Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Sample Photos @
Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Sample Photos @


Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 User Manual

– Download Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 User Manual (PDF – 3.3Mb)

Features & Specifications

Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Specifications

Enjoy using the professional-grade, compact, easy-to-carry Sony Carl Zeiss SAL-1680Z lens for your next photography session. Its precise optical design will make it one of your favorites. The ultimate all-in-one zoom lens designed specifically for DSLR imaging. It’s the first professional-grade 5X zoom lens specifically designed for APS-size CCD image sensors–providing incredible precision in a single compact, easy-to-carry lens that carries you from 24mm wide-angle to 120mm telephoto (35mm equivalent). Advanced Carl Zeiss optical design and anti-flare T* Coating make this one of the most valued lenses in the world of digital photography.


* 5x Zoom Range: Smaller and lighter, it’s the only 5x zoom lens designed specifically for the APS-size CCD imager used in the Sony α (Alpha) DSLR-A100 camera.
* Glass-Molded Aspherical Lens Elements: Two glass-molded aspherical lens elements correct visual aberrations and improve picture quality across the entire zoom range.
* Circular Aperture: Because aperture blades form a near circle at the wide openings used for low-light shots, spot-light sources have a pleasing circular defocused effect.
* Auto Clutch: In auto-focus mode, the manual focus ring does not rotate–and in manual focusing, a wider focus ring provides a solid, hands-on feel.

Compatible Models
Sony DSLR-A100, DSLR-A100K.

What’s in the Box:
Lens, front and rear lens cap, SH0005 lens hood.

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