Comparing Sony's 16-35 lenses

Welcome to the New Sony Alpha Shooters Community
Our community was only launched in August 2020 but is already thriving thanks to many amazing and helpful members. We'd love to welcome you on board too!
Join Now

MrFotoFool

Well Known Member
Original poster
Followers
1
Following
0
196
124
Apr 18, 2022
Name
Fred Hood
Country
United States
City/State
Arizona
I am new to Sony with an A74 (and grip) and 200-600 lens. My shorter lenses are all Nikon but one of them got dropped and will require a pricey repair, so I am looking at the Sony alternatives. I hope some of you experienced Sony users can explain the difference between the various 16-35 lenses.

16-35 f2.8 GM - Obviously it's f2.8, which I don't think I need, but is it noticeably sharper than the f4 versions?

16-35 f4 Varrio-Tessar - How is a Vario-Tessar different from a conventional G (or GM) lens? Is it just as sharp?

16-35 f4 PZ - This seems to be designed for video users, and I don't shoot video, so I assume this would be pointless for a stills shooter?
 

Brownie

Well Known Member
Followers
6
Following
1
863
520
Oct 22, 2021
Name
Tim
Country
United States
City/State
SE Michigan
Not from me. I did a LOT of research before I bought the Tamron 17-28/2.8. I really wanted the reach of the 16-35 to mimic my old Leica 8-18 for M-4/3. After reading and watching review after review and looking at samples until I was blue in the face, I ended up getting the Tamron.

The Tamron is noticeably sharper than the f/4 version across the frame. It stands easily with the f/2.8 in IQ, and costs about $800 on sale, $900 regular price. Compared to the cost of the Sony lenses it's a no-brainer. Even if the 2.8 were slightly sharper (and it would take a lot to prove it to me), it's not worth 3X the price.

Here's a folder from my trip to Autorama. I shot the entire event in room lighting, handheld, on an A7 IV.

https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzEPos

A sample from that folder:
DSC00590 by Shotglass Photo, on Flickr
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrFotoFool

Sorefined

Well Known Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
1
Following
0
311
204
May 20, 2022
Name
Ray Richardson
In my opinion, and as an owner of the Sony 16-35 f2.8 there is a significant difference in image quality between an f4 and f2.8 lens.
light physics would generally dictate that based on the much multiplied quantum of light the camera sensor will receive, but that
said, lens quality can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and even unit to unit from the same manufacturer(manufacturing
tolerance)

To cut to the chase I would recommend the Sony 16-35 over the other 2 lenses you reference, the Vario I am not familiar with but
can be checked at many reviewer site(sites) on the INet, the Sony PZ model, as you state, has been developed for videographers
etc and from the reviews I have looked at, the practical image quality is not consistent across the lens focal length and aperture
range.

Once again, in my opinion and as you are no doubt aware, the A74 is unforgiving at such high resolutions and +f2.8 apertures, as
well as shooting set-up and lighting levels(particularily from the standpoint of light collection of a f2.8 over f4 and above will work
against you. The A74 which also does not have good low light performance..

As always the use case that you have for a 16-35 specifically and genre of images you wish to take will also impact on
your ultimate selection.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrFotoFool

Pro Membership Upgrade

  • If you'd like to support this community you can easily do so by becoming a Pro Member and unlocking the following benefits:

    ✓ No Adverts in the Forums
    ✓ Pro Member Competitions
    ✓ Sell Items in the Marketplace
    ✓ Unlimited Gallery Uploads
    ✓ Higher Resolution Gallery Uploads
    ✓ Forum Profile Signature
    ✓ Custom Profile Cover Photo
    ✓ Advertise Your Photography Workshops

    Pro Member Upgrade

Shopping Links

You can also support this site by purchasing gear through the following affiliate links:
Although I would recommend supporting your local camera store if you have one.

User Menu

alpha shooters text logo

© 2020 Alpha Shooters. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Alpha Shooters is an independently run website and is not affiliated with Sony.com
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.