Sony Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 ZA - Samples


The following images were taken with the Sony DT 16-80mm lens using the Sony Alpha A100. Each image was recorded using the A100’s Large Fine JPEG mode, Auto White Balance, Vivid colour mode and with the D-Range Optimiser switched off, while metering was set to Multi-Segment. The individual file size, exposure mode, shutter speed, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the Very High quality preset, while the resized full images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the High quality preset. The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

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Sony DT 16-80mm lens

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Sony DSLR-A100 with 18-70mm lens


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Landscape: 3.02MB, Program, 1/60, f8, ISO 100, 16-80mm at 16mm (equivalent to 24mm)

Our first sample image was taken on a blustery, overcast day with the 16-80mm zoomed-out to 16mm.

The equivalent focal length of 24mm allowed us to capture much more of the boat’s deck than other shots taken at around 28mm.

The crops reveal a high level of detail and there’s little to no fringing to worry about between the ropes and the sky.


Portrait: 2.46MB, Aperture Priority, 1/124, f4.5, ISO 100, 16-80mm at 80mm (equivalent to 120mm)

Our next shot was taken with the lens fully zoomed-in to an equivalent of 120mm, and with the aperture wide open at f4.5. It was late in the day, so we also forced the A100’s flash to fire.

Once again there’s some very sharp details in the crops, while the open aperture has resulted in an attractive out-of-focus bokeh in the background.

These first two shots already illustrate the great flexibility of this focal range.


Building: 3.67MB, Program, 1/160, f10, ISO 100, 16-80mm at 16mm (equivalent to 24mm)

This church was photographed with the lens fully zoomed-out and the Sun directly behind us. Again the 24mm equivalent coverage can capture a decent field of view, although in situations like these, watch out for your shadow!

The crops are again sharp and detailed, including the first one which is actually taken from the absolute top right corner. This illustrates the excellent corner performance at normal focusing ranges.


Wildlife: 3.23MB, Program, 1/60, f8, ISO 100, 16-80mm at 22mm (equivalent to 33mm)

This Highland Cow was taken at relatively close range with the lens working at an equivalent of 33mm.

Here we found the relatively modest focusing speed of the lens proved frustrating as the animal rarely stood still, but once it paused for a moment we were able to capture a good sharp image.

Notice the minimal fringing around the horn against the bright overcast sky – a tough test.


Macro: 3.34MB, Aperture Priority, 1/100, f13, ISO 400, 16-80mm at 80mm (equivalent to 120mm)


The Sony 16-80mm is not suited for extreme close-up work with very small subjects, but if the object in question is, say, a larger flower head, you can get some good results.

This was taken with the lens zoomed-into 80mm and near to the closest focusing distance. A small aperture has ensured most of the flower is sharp, although noise has crept in a little with the A100 set to 400 ISO.


Wildlife: 3.95MB, Program, 1/160, f5, ISO 100, 16-80mm at 80mm (equivalent to 120mm)

Our second wildlife shot was taken with the lens fully zoomed-in to an equivalent of 120mm. As before, the average focusing speed can prove frustrating with this kind of subject, but we managed to grab a sharp shot here.

The aperture was almost wide open, so the depth of field quite small, but details lying on the focal plane including the eye, antler and some fur areas are very sharp and detailed.


Landscape: 3.94MB, Aperture Priority, 4 secs, f22, ISO 100, 16-80mm at 16mm (equivalent to 24mm)

This shot of a waterfall was taken with the lens zoomed-out to 16mm and the A100 balanced on a ledge. Dim conditions, a 100 ISO sensitivity and a manually selected aperture of f22 resulted in a 4 second exposure and the blurred water effect.

As you’d expect at an equivalent of 24mm and an aperture of f22, there’s a very large depth of field, but diffraction has inevitably resulted in softening of ultimate detail.


Landscape: 2.90MB, Program, 1/250, f13, ISO 100, 16-80mm at 80mm (equivalent to 120mm)

Our final gallery shot was taken with the lens fully zoomed-into 80mm, working at an equivalent of 120mm.

The crops here reveal a very high level of sharp detail, and there’s also subtle tonal details visible in areas which other lenses might fail to capture.

An excellent result here for the 16-80mm, which under day-to-day conditions, is capable of delivering quality results and great flexibility.

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