Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II Review

June 21, 2016 | Jack Baker |

Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II Sharpness at 20mm

For this test, the Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 16-20mm F2.8 ZA SSM II lens was attached to a Sony A99 body, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. Exposure delay mode was activated. Tonal and colour variances across the crops are due to changes in natural light during the session.

The full frame at 16mmThe full frame at 20mm

If fall-off is the 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II’s weakest area, sharpness is definitely its strongest aspect. Even wide open at 16mm, corner sharpness is high, and reaches maximum sharpness at just f/4. At f/16 there’s a tiny amount of diffraction, and slightly more so is apparent at f22, but you have to look very closely indeed to spot it. The more obvious image quality issue is clearly the vignetting from light fall-off, though by 24mm this is much less apparent, and sharpness is still just as high throughout the focal range.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/2.8 Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f2_8-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f2_8-edge_crop.jpg
f/4 Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f4-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f4-edge_crop.jpg
f/5.6 Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f5_6-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f5_6-edge_crop.jpg
f/8 Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f8-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f8-edge_crop.jpg
f/11 Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f11-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f11-edge_crop.jpg
f/16 Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f16-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f16-edge_crop.jpg
f/22 Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f22-centre_crop.jpg Sony_SAL1635Z2-sharpness-20mm-f22-edge_crop.jpg