Sony makes a statement of intent by adding the popular 16-35mm focal length to its E-mount system, giving as yet undecided photographers considering switching to Sony’s compact full-frame system just another reason to try something new and jump ship.
Many existing E-mount camera owners will also be pleased to see Sony working to expand its lens range and giving photographers focal lengths we really want. The Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS wide-angle zoom lens joins the FE 24-70mm f/4 and FE 70-200mm f/4 telephoto zoom, filling what had previously been a gaping hole in the E-mount zoom lens range.
Featuring five aspherical lens elements, including a single large advanced aspherical element and three extra low-dispersion glass elements intended to combat lens aberrations and reduce distortion, and delivering good corner-to-corner sharpness. The T* optical surface coating featured on the FE16-35mm is designed to minimise flaring and ghosting effects while boosting contrast, especially when shooting scenes with high dynamic ranges. Of course, we look forward to testing all of these claims out for ourselves in the coming weeks.
The 16-35mm focal length is ideal for landscape and architecture photography, but it’s also a fantastic range for day trips and street photography. Sony’s version retains the sleek and premium look of the other Zeiss lenses in the range and it’s compact enough to avoid standing out too much in public. This lens has been optimised for use with Sony’s a7 series of full-frame cameras and benefits from a dust and moisture-resistant design, according to the Japanese camera manufacturers.
Its constant f/4 maximum aperture will enable photographers to create a shallow depth of field with this lens throughout its entire focal length range to create attractive separation between subjects and their surrounding scenes. Additionally, Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation has been built-into this lens, further increasing its suitability for handheld shooting in low-light situations at lower ISO sensitivities.
The Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS full-frame wide-angle zoom lens is available to pre-order now from sony.co.uk and will go on general sale in the UK from November 2014.