Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Review

March 21, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 DRO

I’ll own this lens next week, gonna shoot with it on my trip to Indonesia april 2nd! Maybe I’ll post a small review after it.

12:47 pm - Friday, March 21, 2014

#2 Cynthia McIntyre

Like all Zeiss lenses I am certain it is fantastic!

3:05 am - Saturday, March 22, 2014

#3 David Blanchard

I have this lens and use on a NEX-7. I put an order in for it the minute I heard about it. Took almost three months to arrive. Nice piece of work.

There are a few pics on my flickr photostream, but most of the HDR ones were done with this lens. It was an HDR workshop.

8:38 pm - Monday, March 24, 2014

#4 Michael Anderson

Plan on getting this as soon as my A6000 ships from BHPhoto as my first lens for all around use. Then get the ultra wide zoom and a 50mm 1.8 prime I’m guessing.

10:36 pm - Thursday, April 3, 2014

#5 lc1

I love this lens. It’ s not petfect with some softness in the corners , but in general it prpvides very good photos. I have this lens and the E 50/1,8 OSS on my A6000. I use the 50 mostly for portraits with a very good bokeh and the Vario Tessar for all the rest. All togheter is less than 1 kg.  with a very good quality. I use the 6000 more than my A99 ..

10:47 am - Friday, August 8, 2014

#6 gama

sample images are all soft

9:18 pm - Friday, February 27, 2015

#7 Cesar

I have been reading customer complaints abour QA on this lens. Anyone here had any issues with Bad lens?

6:11 pm - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

#8 BobS

I’m also scrambling to get user-feedback on this lens. The form-factor and potential (Zeiss) make it very attractive, but I’ve heard enough so-so feedback that I’m not yet willing to pull the trigger.

8:01 pm - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

#9 Ben

Does anyone know what the focus motor type is?

3:19 pm - Thursday, June 4, 2015

#10 Richard Chatcuff

I have a Nex-7. When using the 16-70 at 70mm setting, will I get the optical effect of a 70mm lens but merely cropped to 105, or will I get the optical effect of a 105mm lens?
Also, can this lens be used on an A-7 full frame without any vignetting, cropping, etc?
Thank you.

7:59 pm - Saturday, December 26, 2015

#11 Richard Chatcuff

Does the 16-70mm at 70mm with the Nex give you the optical effect of the 105mm or is it the the optical effect of a 70mm merely cropped down to 105?

8:07 pm - Saturday, December 26, 2015

#12 Thomas Selzer

This lens could be a dream, if Sony would manage a constant quality. Bought my 1670 in hope to improve the result of the 18-55 kit.lens I used on my NEX 6 so far. First shots with the new 1670 were a complete disappointment. Center wasn’t better than the 18-55 and edges were much worse, specially at 70mm. Stopping down changed nothing. I sent it to the german service immediately. Short time later I got it back with the comment, that they exchanged some “unit”. First test at 70mm (worst results before) showed significant improvement. Went on a trip to Kuba and shot some thousand pictures. Most of them with the Zeiss. Because there was plenty of light most of the time I stopped down to 7,1 if separation from foreground and background was no issue. At home I found that in midrange around 35mm the right 15% of the picture were unsharp (mushy and double contours) while the left side was quite o.k. So I sent it to service the 2nd time with sample-pictures and description of the problem. A few days later I got it back, with the remark, that the inner life of this lens was exchanged with the first service, and that the described problems could not be reproduced by tests. So I got it back without further service. Since then I try to avoid 35mm, but I’m not happy. My Nikon 16-85mm kit lens costs half the price and shows even performance from edge to edge. I tried and tried again to get sharp results around 35mm but failed. Unfortunately there is now real alternative on the market. If you got a good example of the lens, you’ve won the lottery. See also the test on

1:56 pm - Friday, May 6, 2016

Entry Tags

review, samples, test, images, lens, zoom, standard, alpha, Sony, f4, e-mount, kit, nex, e-system, Carl Zeiss, 16-70mm, nex-7, 16-70mm oss, Sony 16-70mm review, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T E 16-70mm f4 ZA OSS Review, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T E 16-70mm f4 ZA OSS

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