Sony E 16-55mm f2.8 G review
Written by Gordon Laing
The Sony E 16-55mm f2.8 G is a high-end general-purpose zoom for E-mount mirrorless cameras with APSC sensors, like the A6000 series. Announced in August 2019 alongside the E 70-350mm, it’s Sony’s first f2.8 zoom designed for APSC mirrorless bodies and a model that owners of its higher-end cameras in the series have been crying out for. Sony describes it as a G Master quality lens and the price reflects this, costing around $1400 or 1200 pounds, making it the most expensive option in Sony’s APSC lens catalogue, not to mention pricier than similar lenses for rival systems.
The lens itself is a fairly compact and lightweight design that feels surprisingly well-balanced on the small A6000 bodies; I used it almost exclusively when testing the A6600 and found the combination comfortable while remaining portable. From a personal viewpoint, it felt like a better-balance to me on the A6600 than Fujifilm’s slightly heftier XF 16-55mm f2.8 does on an X-T3. The dust and moisture-sealed barrel on the Sony measures 73mm in maximum diameter, 100mm long and weighs 494g, so when mounted on the A6600 the combination totals a very reasonable kilogram. The lens includes a customisable focus hold button, a switch for manual or autofocus, employs a 67mm filter thread and is supplied with a petal lens hood.
The optical design employs 17 elements in 12 groups including two Advanced Aspherical and three ED elements, has a constant f2.8 focal ratio throughout the 16-55mm range, sports nine aperture blades and a closest focusing distance of 33cm for 0.2x magnification. Sadly there’s no optical stabilisation, so to iron out any wobbles you’ll either need to mount it on a body with IBIS like the A6500 or A6600, or use it with a gimbal. Focusing is quick and quiet thanks to an XD linear motor – a first for an E-mount APSC lens – and videographers will be pleased to learn the manual focusing ring has a linear response. Find out if this lens is right for you in my full review video below, or if you prefer, go through the text versions on my quality, samples and verdict pages!
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