is the second time I've owned the Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f/4. During my
non-ownership period I thought the Sony DT 16-105mm might make a good,
less expensive substitute. As the above image shows, the size is not
really comparable, and the Sony DT 16-105mm has terrible handling on
the A6000 or A6300. It's front heavy, and focusing is not that accurate
on the LA-EA4, yet it is also a terrible manual focusing experience on
the LA-EA3. It has a terribly short focus throw, and as will be seen
here, has issues with focusing to infinity. Of course this side by side
look is at one copy of each end, and Sony is notorious for poor quality
control, so take everything with a grain of salt.
Don't care to read the whole thing? Performance is remarkably similar
between the two lenses, yet out in the real world the Sony Zeiss
16-70mm produces more consistent results because of better
auto-focusing. AF on the Sony DT 16-105mm with the LA-EA4 is often off,
and manual focus is a dreadful endeavor. Typically stunningly sharp in
the center wide open, the Sony Zeiss 16-70mm is no stunner in the
corners, even stopped down. On the other hand it's light, handles well
and is a beautiful match for the Sony A6000 series camera. Both cameras
have very different white balance results, but in the modern world
that's easy enough to fix. The Sony DT 16-105mm can also be prone to
veiling flare at times, especially with highlights - not a lens for
whitewater kayaking unless you can stop down at least one stop.
One can look at the Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 OSS in two ways. In one
light, it's rather unimpressive for an optic that has an MSRP of $1,000
- sharp in the centers yet never crisp in the corners. On the other
hand you can look at it as a fine example of engineering; a combination
of solid optical performance in 3/4 of the frame, useful focal range,
constant aperture, OSS and silent focusing all fit into a package the
size of a Canon or Nikon 18-55 kit zoom.
The Sony DT 16-105mm is surprisingly good optically for a lens that can
be had so cheap, but crippled by an outdated and inconsistent focusing
Introduced in 2007, the Sony DT 16-105mm retails for $700 new, yet is
available on the used market for around $200. I lucked out and got mine
for around $150. It has a 62mm front filter thread and is 20oz with the
attached LA-EA3 adapter. It has 15 elements in 11 groups and 7 aperture blades.
Introduced in 2013, the Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 retails for $1,000 new,
yet is available on the used market for around $700. I purchased a grey
market version for $700 and it has a 55mm front filter thread and is
11oz. It has 16 elements in 12 groups and 7 aperture blades.
Typical business; shot raw images on a Sony A6300, mounted on a
tripod, same shutter speed for each aperture, OSS off, identical white balance,
focused to infinity in 10x live view at widest aperture and finally,
converted via ACR with default settings for sharpening, the only
non-standard setting if the camera profile being neutral.
Center and just off center 100% crops.
1200px of the corner crop.
Now at f/8
Corners at f/8