Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA

Last updated (05 January’12):
– Review by Kurtmunger

The Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA features 16-35mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/2.8. The lens construction has 17 elements in 13 groups with Closest focusing distance at 1 foot (.28m) and has a filter size of 77mm. The Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA lens weighs 1lb 14oz (860g) and it measures 8.3mm in diameter and 114mm long.

Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA Reviews

Kurtmunger reviews the Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA and writes;
“This is the best (and only Sony branded) super wide-angle zoom lens for your full frame camera. I immediately noticed the nice color and contrast of this very expensive Carl Zeiss lens, and would be well worth the price if you need this focal length, along with the constant fast F/2.8 aperture. It’s sharp in the centers at F/2.8, and very sharp from F/4 to F/8 at all focal lengths, with the corners sharpening up nicely at F/8.”
rating: N/A

Alphamountworld reviews the Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA and writes;
“Overall the Sony Zeiss 16-35mm performs almost flawlessly on an APS-C sensor, with no complaints from me at any focal length. On a full frame sensor such as the A900’s, it out performs any ultra wide angle lens available to the Alpha Mount today, and competes well with other manufacturers offerings at, or near, the same focal length. “
rating: N/A

Photozone reviews the Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA and writes;
“The mechanical quality of the lens is very high thanks to a tightly assembled combination of high quality plastic and metal parts. The SSM AF is both very fast and accurate and definitely a progress compared to the old screw-driven AF. Lateral CAs are very well controlled.”
Rating: ★★★½☆

User Opinions

Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA User Reviews

Excellent Wide Angle Zoom Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“The only alternative to this lens is the rare and coveted Minolta 17-35mm f3.5 G lens. I have tested both lenses using the Imatest lens test software. At an aperture of f3.5, the Sony/Zeiss 16-35 lens at 16mm exhibits better corner sharpness and less chromatic aberration than does the Minolta 17-35 G lens at 17mm. The only advantage of the Minolta 17-35 lens is that it is smaller and lighter than the Sony/Zeiss 16-35 lens.” – by Photo/Video Gearhead

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Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA Sample Photos

Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA Sample Photos @
Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA Sample Photos @
Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA Sample Photos @


Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA User Manual

– Download Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA User Manual (PDF – 2.1Mb)

Features & Specifications

Sony SAL1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA Specifications

Obtain dramatic landscapes and interiors with the unique SAL-1635Z Carl Zeiss® wide-angle lens. It features a 16-35mm zoom and a super-fast f2/8 constant aperture. Thanks to SteadyShot® in-camera stabilization, this spectacular large-aperture, full-frame-capable, wide-angle zoom has the added benefit of image stabilization. It also incorporates professional-grade technology, including Super Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass, three aspherical elements and Carl Zeiss T* coatings on glass-to-air surfaces.

Super Wide-Angle Zoom 16-35mm. Perfect for dramatic landscapes, interiors and unique perspectives on everyday objects. (35mm equivalent when used with APS-C format cameras: 24-52.5mm.) Superb, corner-to-corner consistency. Resolution, contrast and image brightness are maintained not just at the image center, but also in the corners — a hallmark of Carl Zeiss design. Short Minimum Focusing Distance. With the ability to focus as closely as 11 inches (0.28 m), this wide angle zoom lens also lets you move in for dramatic perspectives on people, natural subjects and close-up details. Focus Hold Button. For creative control a focus hold button conveniently located on the lens barrel lets you firmly lock in focus. Focus Hold also enables image preview with the α900 D-SLR. Super Extra-low Dispersion (Super ED) and ED glass. Newton showed that different colors bend at different angles when they pass through glass. In lenses, this causes the problem of chromatic aberration. Sony solves the problem with a Super ED and an ED glass element. You get sharp, clear images with well defined colors. Auto Clutch. For reliable operation, the manual focus ring does not rotate in auto-focus mode.

Fast, constant aperture f/2.8. While typical zoom lenses lose maximum aperture toward the telephoto end, the SAL1635Z maintains a very fast f/2.8 across the entire zoom range for the utmost flexibility in challenging light conditions. Carl Zeiss T* (T-star) coatings. Internal reflections on the glass-to-air surfaces can create veiling glare, which reduces contrast and takes the life out of your pictures. The SAL1635Z overcomes this issue with the famous Carl Zeiss T* coatings. In-Camera Image Stabilization. Because Sony builds SteadyShot® image stabilization into the α cameras, the SAL1635Z does what other lenses can’t. This is the world’s only large-aperture, full-frame capable wide-angle zoom with the benefit of image stabilization (as of Sept. 2008). Multi-Element Design. The SAL1635Z incorporates 17 elements in 13 groups for superb sharpness, speed and edge-to-edge consistency. Three aspherical elements. Fast lenses have a difficult time maintaining sharpness at maximum aperture. The SAL1635Z is amazingly fast for a 16-35mm zoom. Yet thanks to three aspherical elements, the lens achieves incredibly consistent, corner-to-corner sharpness at maximum aperture. Supplied accessories. Carrying case, lens caps and petal shaped lens hood.

World-famous Carl Zeiss optics. Carl Zeiss lenses are prized by photographic professionals. The SAL1635Z features the classic Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar zoom lens design. Super low distortion. The lens minimizes field curvature even at wide angle settings. SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor). Large, wide-aperture zoom lenses tend to have larger, heavier elements that are harder to drive in Auto Focus. Sony achieves fast, smooth, near-silent automatic focusing with the Super Sonic wave Motor. It delivers high torque, high speed and rapid start/stop response. Best-in-Class 0.24 Maximum Magnification. (Among super wide angle zoom full frame lenses as of September 2008). Circular Aperture. Because the aperture blades form a near circle at the wide openings used for low-light shots, spot-light sources have a pleasing circular defocused effect. The lens features nine aperture blades.

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