1. Im surprised nobody mentioned anything about comparison with 16-35f4 from zeiss.
    I have 16-34f4 from zeiss. Is it worth it to change into this new lens?


  2. Steve, with the three wide-angle zooms now available, which one would you buy? I have nothing wider than 24mm, and I held off buying the f4. Which one do I buy now?

    The 16-35 f2.8 is a straight upgrade on the f4, since size and weight are not much different. So it’s an easy choice of performance vs. price. I’d buy the 2.8.

    But with the 12-24 f4 also available, I wonder. Previously I would have bought a prime 12mm to go with my 16-35, but now do I buy the 12-24 instead? Is the 12-24 f4 a viable alternative to the 16-35? Does it make sense to eventually own both? How should I think about these options?

    • Well, for me it would be the 16-35 as I use the f/4 version all the time (for video tough). I am not a ultra wide kind of guy so would not buy the 12-24 for ME but I can see how it is very attractive to others who do shoot that ultra wide FOV. The 24-70 is stunning as well, as I was using it for a while with the M9 and was just blown away by it. But I prefer primes anyway for size in that range. I guess the answer would be dependent on what you shoot.

      • Thank you! I have the 24-70 f2.8 as well and it is indeed amazing. I wouldn’t carry it around, in fact I’m tempted to pick up the original kit zoom for casual snapshots, but for a concert or something similar the 24-70 G-master is impressive.

  3. With these lenses it is like discussing the merits of Ferrari versus Lamborghini. As a Volkswagen or Fiat driver I would not feel any loyalty with associated luxory brands. I am not willing to pay the prices. I am not willing to deal with the inconveniences in daily use. I am even less willing to draw that much of public attention, if I had both of the former willingnesses.

    But Steve, please continue reviewing them.

  4. Hi Steve,

    I would appreciate if you could do a comparison of the new 16-35 f/2.8 @ 35mm with the ‘natives’: 35mm f/2.8 and the huge 35mm f/1.4 @ f/2.8 – regarding portrait photography in general and in low light.

    The small 35mm f/2.8 is one of my favorite lenses for street photography but its performance does not convince me regarding portraits. For the (in Europe) insanely high price of the 16-35 f/2.8 I could get the older f/4 version plus the 35mm f/1.4 lens; which honestly I would not like to carry around (that is not within boundaries of my mirrorless-philosophy^^). Of course, the speed difference between f/1.4 and f/2.8 is huge but I objectively would not need f/1.4 on a 35mm lens very often…

    Coming to the A9. WOW! Not flawless but certainly the most complete mirrorless camera to date. I really like the A7R (II)’s higher megapixels count, since for large prints (panorama etc.) or cropping that is very convenient. Again, not a necessity to me and I appreciate a much better/extended shooting experience over it. Considering the recent discussions about a slightly lower DR (especially on lower ISO) of the A9 compared to the A7R II [ https://www.dpreview.com/articles/7266455439/sony-a9-real-world-iso-invariance-and-dynamic-range ], in real life that is probably going to affect only very few specialists (which anyways would stick to their A7R II or go for something like the excellent Fujifilm GFX 50S). Again, for me nothing to really worry about. 🙂

    Regards and THX!

    • I would never buy the 16035 GM for portraits. The 35 1.4 would be a much better option IMO. That lens’s look could never be replicated by the zoom. I would buy the 16-35 if you need ultra wide for video, for landscape or for those moment where you want a really wide angle of 16mm. It could never replace the 35 1.4 for what that lens excels at.

      • Appreciate your input! I wish there were smaller native 1.8/35 or 2/35 AF lenses…

        Have you shot portraits with the Batis 2/25 and if so, how does this perform? I know it is not a portrait lens; just playing around a bit with what would make sense for me to buy. I am missing a winder angle – not for video – but primarily for landscapes/street and the latter will (hopefully) result in environmental portraits with some ‘magic’, as well. 😉

        I will probably consider the 16-35 GM for video once/if Sony decides to add S-LOG via a [given the A9’s high price, hopefully cost-free] firmware update; since even Canon did recently start to offer C-Log as an add-on to the (IMO, especially for 4K video useless) 5D IV.

        • I have both the Sony-Zeiss 35 f1.4 and the Batis 25 f2, and I took both of them on a trip to Japan. Shooting family members with the 35 produces gorgeous results. It’s warm, has a unique color to it, it’s just gorgeous. My photos with this lens stand out in my collection.

          The Batis is terrible at this task, mostly because 25mm is too short for portraits and people look distorted. Of course it’s great for interiors and landscapes.

          A couple of other differences: The 35 f1.4 focuses quite slow, too slow to catch candid portraits. The Batis focuses instantly and never misses a shot.

          The 35 f1.4 can see through chain link fences at 1.4 if flush with the fence (be careful not to scratch). The Batis has such deep DOF that any specks of dust on the lens will show up in your photos.

          Overall I value my 35 f1.4 and I feel “meh” about the Batis. I also bought the 35 f2.8 used at about half price, and that’s what I think it’s worth. It’s handy for street shooting I wouldn’t pay full price for it.

          • “The 35 f1.4 focuses quite slow, too slow to catch candid portraits.”

            Thank you for your detailed answer! Well, slow AF is an issue. Maybe I am lucky and Sigma will release a smaller, fast 35mm prime that just suits my needs on this specific focal length. 🙂

  5. This really is a great addition to the Sony line up, they continue to make it harder for me to resist. Thank goodness they don’t employ Fuji’s tactile handling with aperture dials and hard focus stops on the lenses, that would be the straw that broke the camels back, I would sell everything, and become an unabashed Sony photographer 😉

  6. Very exciting news about the 2 new Sony lenses. I am curious, however, about the apparent lack of new collaboration with Zeiss. I wonder if you might look into this. When the Sony A7 series first came out, it was Zeiss designed lenses that gave Sony its cachet. Now, the collaboration with Zeiss seems to have disappeared.The new G lenses seem to bear no relationship to Zeiss and appear to be made in China or Thailand.. My new 85mm non G f1.8 lens doesn’t even say where it’s made. I have no idea who designed it. Where are these new lenses designed and tested? Is there a new Sony collaboration with someone or is design and testing in house?. With Fuji x we know all. Everything is done in Japan and lenses and cameras are manufactured in house in factories owned by Fuji. Why can’t Sony disclose more about the design and manufacture of its lenses?

    • Well, also the first prime lenses (1.8/55 and 2.8/35) have not been made by Zeiss! I preordered them in 2013 and upon receipt, I had to send both to maintenance because of some contamination on their insides [no replacement possible, due to ‘sold out’]. Throughout the years, both lenses have been in for warranty several times – at least I was lucky to have purchased a 3 years warranty plan for each lens, initially… Anyways; I contacted Zeiss at that time to communicate my disappointment in quality control and they replied that they had *nothing* to do with these lenses: it was/is just a cooperation with Sony for using the name/brand “Zeiss” on their lenses.

      I personally do not care too much about the origin of my gear, as long as I receive the quality and long-term (customer) support I pay for. 🙂

    • FE 85/1.8 was designed by Tamron.

      The Sony Zeiss 50/1.4 was released not too long ago and is a top end lens. I’m sure more of these Sony Zeiss lenses will follow.

Comments are closed.