Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens Review

My Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens Review

90
Check prices @ BHPhoto

In this review I will be covering the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens using the Sony A6400 mirrorless camera. The E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens retails for a whopping $1398 US, but in the real word it’s absolutely killer and does have top quality internal hardware and build quality. Basically it’s a smaller and lighter weight version of the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens which I reviewed here >> This is great for those pro quality oriented users that don’t want to use a full frame lens on the more compact lighter weight APS-C camera bodies like the A6600, A6500, A6400 and so fourth.

In this highly detailed review I will go over everything that matters and show you how this lens performs in the real world as well as some lab testing for those interested in that.

One beef I have with the lens considering the price point, is it has no optical stabilization built in. However, neither does the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens, so we just have to deal with that and use higher shutter speeds or a tripod with those slower shutter speeds. Of course the sensor stabilized camera bodies like the new Sony A6600 and the now older Sony A6500 would certainly help with slower shutter speed hand holding.

Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens – Key Features:

  • E-Mount Lens/APS-C Format
  • 24-82.5mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • High Speed XD Linear Motor
  • Nano AR Coating
  • Four Aspherical Elements
  • 17 Elements in 12 Groups
  • Max Aperture = f/2.8
  • dust- and moisture-sealed design
  • Fluorine Lens Coating
  • Minimum Focus Distance = 1.08β€² / 33 cm
  • Diaphragm Blades = 9, Rounded
  • Filter Thread = 67mm (Front)
  • Weight = 1.09 lb / 494 g
  • Price = $1389 US @ BHPhoto

Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens Review

Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens Review
My Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens Review
Top Quality Zoom Lens
So at the end of the day recommend the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens for those pro oriented users that demand the very good optical quality and versatility in one relatively lightweight package. Event photographers, run and gun shooters, photojournalists, landscape, and even portrait photographers can use a lens like this and have the convenience of 16-55mm range at their fingertips. The sharpness, clarity, bokeh rendering, and build quality are all fantastic on this lens at all zoom ranges. The distorotion at 16mm however is pretty horrible and worth noting for sure if you are a raw quality shooter.
Bang For The Buck
83
Feature Set
90
Build Quality and Design
95
Ergonomics
95
Auto Focus System
97
Real World Usability
95
Video Quality
95
Real World Image quality
95
Lab Testing Optical Quality
84
Lens Distortion Control
65
Low Light Performance
93
Fun Factor
95
Pros
Fantastic image quality
Excellent build quality and design
Cons
Very expensive
No optical stabilzation
Significant distortion at 16mm
90
Check prices @ BHPhoto

Sample Photos

I took a ton of sample photos with the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G lens using the Sony A6400, and I must say the lens never disappointed. Previous to this lens, my favorite all in one optical solution was the Sony E 16-70mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens which I reviewed Here >>

Sony really created an awesome optical tool for capturing those special moments, and I can only wish it was not so expensive. However, it is what it is my friends…

Layla is loving the Fortnite on the Sony PS4 πŸ™‚ I must admit the game is awesome and I love playing it as much if not more than her, lol…

55mm @ f/2.8, ISO 2000, 1/100sec via A6400

Just look at the killer depth of field play and sharpness you can capture with this lens!

55mm @ f/2.8, ISO 1250, 1/100sec via A6400

Here are a few Landscape style photos from the green bridge I frequent for testing gear.

And here are a few from fallsburg falls using my Gobe 67mm variable ND Filter which allowed me to slow the shutter speed way down for those silky water effects. I also used a tripod and the self timer to keery things nice a steady for the longer exposures.

Here are a few from this past Thanksgiving and be sure to click on these photos for larger version!

Lab Testing:

First I wanted to show you the Minimum Focus Distance testing so you can see just how close you can get to stuff and what the background bokeh ball rendering looks like at various apertures. Please click on the images for a closer view. For reference these lab testing photos were all taken in raw quality with no lens correction applied. Also be sure click on the images for a larger version.

With a close inspection of the minimum focus distance testing you can see some purple fringing on the high contrast quarter in the f/2.8 photo, but once you stop down to f/4 it goes away. Also worth noting, you can see some bokeh ball polygon action once you get to f/5.6. Otherwise the images are very sharp and render really well in the lab scene I would say.

Focal Range Test for distortion and sharpness wide open @ f/2.8

Full image on the left, top left corner 100% crop in the middle, and the center 100% crop on the right side… Please click on the images for a larger version.

So as you can see from this focal range test the distortion is pretty horrible at 16mm which is very surprising in my opinion, especially with the price point being $1400 retail. Honestly I was shocked when I saw this. Of course you can apply a lens correction profile to the raw file and it will fix most of the distortion, but this is really disappointing. The distortion gets much better as you zoom in and the sharpness is really good across the board wide open at f/2.8 I would say.

Lens Accessories:

Conclusions

So at the end of the day I do recommend the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens for those pro oriented users that demand the very good optical quality and versatility in one relatively lightweight package. Event photographers, run and gun shooters, photojournalists, landscape, and even portrait photographers can use a lens like this and have the convenience of 16-55mm range at their fingertips. The sharpness, clarity, bokeh rendering, and build quality are all fantastic on this lens at all zoom ranges. The distorotion at 16mm however is pretty horrible and worth noting for sure if you are a raw quality shooter.

The price point on this lens is very high, and clearly not for everybody which is why I would recommend considering the Sigma primes lenses for those looking for super fast glass at a way more affordable price point. For example the wide angle Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC Lens is fantastic and goes for around $400 US at the the time of this review. Sigma also offers a 30mm f/1.4 DC Lens for ~$290 and 56mm f/1.4 DC lens for $429... So you can basically get all three of these killer super fast prime lenses for less than the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens. However, you lose that all-in-one convenience factor, which at times can be a really big deal for certain situations as I already mentioned.

If you don’t need the f/2.8 speed this lens offers, then you must consider the Sony E 16-70mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens which goes for about $998 US. That lens is absolutely awesome in my opinion and has significantly more zoom range. In addition, it has built in optical stabilization to help combat the slower f/4 max aperture. Also, you have the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Powerzoom Lens which goes $648 US, is also excellent, and offers more range than all the others plus has built in powerzoom, which is fantastic for video in particular.

Other lenses I reviewed worth considering if you are in the market for this lens:

Final Word

I really hope you got what you were looking for in this review and please feel free to ask questions or comment below as always. Have a great day and I will catch up with you all next time πŸ˜‰ Jay

Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens Review
My Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens Review
Top Quality Zoom Lens
So at the end of the day recommend the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G Lens for those pro oriented users that demand the very good optical quality and versatility in one relatively lightweight package. Event photographers, run and gun shooters, photojournalists, landscape, and even portrait photographers can use a lens like this and have the convenience of 16-55mm range at their fingertips. The sharpness, clarity, bokeh rendering, and build quality are all fantastic on this lens at all zoom ranges. The distorotion at 16mm however is pretty horrible and worth noting for sure if you are a raw quality shooter.
Bang For The Buck
83
Feature Set
90
Build Quality and Design
95
Ergonomics
95
Auto Focus System
97
Real World Usability
95
Video Quality
95
Real World Image quality
95
Lab Testing Optical Quality
84
Lens Distortion Control
65
Low Light Performance
93
Fun Factor
95
Pros
Fantastic image quality
Excellent build quality and design
Cons
Very expensive
No optical stabilzation
Significant distortion at 16mm
90
Check prices @ BHPhoto

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