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Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 Standard Zoom Lens for Sony A-Mount Cameras

by Sony
72 customer reviews
| 18 answered questions

List Price: $799.99
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  • DT Lens Design for optimum performance with APS-C DSLRs
  • Superb wide-angle to mid-range telephoto shots
  • Wide f/2.8 aperture for fast response and strong depth-of-field
8 new from $748.00 19 used from $385.47 1 refurbished from $698.00
$748.00 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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  • Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 Standard Zoom Lens for Sony A-Mount Cameras
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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

A more compact llens designed specifically for use with APS-C size sensors.

From the Manufacturer

Sony make . believe

DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Zoom Lens

This versatile 16-50mm telephoto zoom has an innovative optical design and maintains a large F2.8 maximum aperture with consistently outstanding contrast and image quality throughout the zoom range. The large maximum aperture and circular aperture design deliver smooth, natural defocusing effects, while built-in SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) drive ensures responsive, quiet autofocus performance.

DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM Zoom Lens


ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass
Aspherical lens elements

ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass

As focal lengths get longer, lenses built with conventional optical glass have difficulties with chromatic aberration, and as a result images suffer from lower contrast, lower color quality, and lower resolution. ED glass dramatically reduces chromatic aberration at telephoto ranges, and provides superior contrast across the entire image, even at large aperture settings. Super ED glass provides enhanced compensation for chromatic aberration.

Aspherical lens elements

Aspherical lens design dramatically reduces spherical aberration while also reducing lens size and weight. Spherical aberration is a slight misalignment of the light rays projected on the image plane. This is caused by differences in refraction at different points on conventional spherical lenses which degrade image quality in large-aperture lenses. Specially shaped “aspherical” elements near the diaphragm restore alignment of light rays at the image plane, maintaining high sharpness and contrast even at maximum aperture and can also be used at other points in the optical path to reduce distortion. Well-designed aspherical elements can reduce the total number of elements required in the lens, thus reducing overall size and weight. Advanced Aspherical (AA) elements are an evolved variant, featuring an extremely high thickness ratio between the center and periphery. AA elements are exceedingly difficult to produce, relying on the most advanced molding technology to consistently and precisely achieve the required shape and surface accuracy, resulting in significantly improved image accuracy and quality.

Distance encoder

The distance encoder plays an integral part in ADI flash metering, which delivers high precision flash metering that is unaffected by the reflectance of subjects or backgrounds. The distance encoder is a lens component that directly detects the position of the focusing mechanism, and sends a signal to the CPU in order to measure distance to the subject. During flash photography, this data is very useful in calculating how much flash output is appropriate to the scene.

SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor)

SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor)

SSM is a piezoelectric motor that contributes to smooth and silent AF operation. The motor produces high torque at slow rotation, and provides immediate start and stop responses. It is also extremely quiet, which helps keep autofocusing silent. Lenses that feature SSM also include a position-sensitive detector to directly detect the amount of lens rotation, a factor that improves AF precision overall.

Additional Features

Internal focusing

Only the middle groups of the optical system move to achieve focus, so the overall length of the lens does not change. Other important benefits include fast autofocusing and a short minimum focusing distance. Also, the filter thread at the front of the lens does not rotate, which is convenient if you’re using a polarizing filter.

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2011 Sony Electronics, Inc.

All rights reserved. Sony, the Sony logo, Alpha, “&#945” and Super SteadyShot are trademarks of Sony. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.

Product Details

User Manual [618kb PDF]| Warranty [110kb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches ; 1.3 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B005IY2OD4
  • Item model number: SAL1650
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.
  • Date first available at August 24, 2011

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 114 people found the following review helpful By D. F. Watt on December 9, 2011
This is a beautiful (albeit not light or cheap) partner for the Sony Alphas, esp. the new A77 and A65. The term 'kit lens' might be misleading, typically implying very average optics in order to get a flexible focal length. This is clearly the sharpest 16-50 2.8 on the market right now, and perhaps slightly sharper than the pricey alpha mount Carl Zeiss 16-80mm, but without the reach at the telephoto end. Balancing that, it is significantly faster than the CZ 16-80. After surfing through many dozens of lens reviews at the phenomenal ImagingResource collection of lens tests, not only is this the sharpest 3X zoom range lens for Sony alpha cameras, it right now is the sharpest 16-50 2.8 lens available on any DSLR, full frame (which would be 24-75mm equivalent) or APS-C, from any manufacturer. Only the Panasonic 12-35 2.8 (for micro 4/3 cameras) is as sharp in as wide a range of focal lengths as this lens (in terms of so-called kits lenses).

It is not an overstatement to suggest that this might be one of the finest general purpose lenses for any APS-C digital camera - and one of the very best values in digital optics. If you're skeptical of this claim, take a close look at the lens tests at Imaging Resource (a great resource for photographers). Not many zoom lenses even come close, and it beats many prime lenses at 16-35mm (including some prime lenses of those highly touted competitors, Canon and Nikon). At f4, it beats several highly rated Sony prime lenses between 16-35mm, and at 5.6, comes very, very close to the 1.4 50 prime lens in sharpness. Even the highly-touted pro-grade Canon and Nikon 24-70 zooms (for full frame cameras) are not quite as sharp overall as this lens (they both fade a bit at the tele end in terms of sharpness, while this does not).
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Adam on February 3, 2012
Verified Purchase
This lens is a substantial upgrade to the kit 18-55mm kit lens that comes with the A65 and it is worth the money as it practically gives you an entirely new camera to work with. This review will focus on the key differences between this lens and the kit lens, and is really aimed at the non-expert.

Pros vs Kit lens:
1) The image quality is flat out better than the kit lens. Colors are a bit brighter, contrast and sharpness are improved. Not dramatic but definitely noticeable.
2) Max Aperture of F2.8 vs the kit lens F3.5-5.6. allowing a faster shutter speed or a lower ISO with the same lighting conditions. At the wide angel, this lens will be twice as fast. At telephoto, it will be 4 times faster. This makes a huge difference in indoor photography especially if you have a fast moving subject like a child.
3) The F2.8 aperture gives better background blur (called bokeh) and this lens's bokeh is quite pleasing. This makes photos look much, much more professional and allows you to really focus in on your subject.
4) Focusing is incredibly fast and silent. After shooting 2000 or so pictures with this lens, I am yet to have the camera hunt for the focus.
5) The focus ring has zero play and turns with just the right amount of force to allow accurate focusing.
6) Full time manual focusing lets you quickly adjust the focus in the rare case when the camera focuses on the wrong thing.
7) Exceptional zoom smoothness and feel which allows smooth, steady zooming during video while the kit lens is much harder to do this with.
8) The A65 and A77 are designed to work with this lens and will correct most of it's flaws even in RAW shooting.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By robertsmx on January 3, 2012
Verified Purchase
Sony DT 16-50mm/2.8 SSM replaces Sony DT 18-55mm/3.5-5.6 (SAL1855 DT SAM) in my inventory of lenses. The 18-55 was the kit lens for my Sony A55. I had two main and one "nice to have" reasons to go for it:
1- Larger (and constant) aperture, f/2.8, throughout the zoom range.
2- SSM over SAM for those moments especially when the choice is video recording.
3- This is a parfocal lens. In other words, it will maintain focus across focal lengths when zooming in/out.

The negatives, especially compared to the 18-55, are that it is substantially chunkier and heavier. In fact, it is nearly identical in both regards to my travel zoom lens (Sigma 18-250mm/3.5-6.3 HSM). But it is the kind of tradeoff we can look for, with a constant large aperture, SSM and all those elements with 72mm threads. The additional benefit of the large glass to me was that I could now share 72mm filters between three of my primary lenses (Sony 16-50/2.8 SSM, Sigma 18-250/3.5-6.3 HSM and Minolta 200/2.8 APO G HS).

The build quality and feel is exceptional. IMO, this lens would easily qualify for a "G" lens. Probably the only thing that gets in the way of that recognition is that it was designed for APS-C cameras. My limited experience so far points at great image quality, sharpness, colors and a good bokeh. I have added a few sample photographs (significantly downsized). None of them are processed in any way (other than a significant downsizing in size). I also tried to see any signs of chromatic aberration, inside and out, against bright lights, wide open at extreme ends of the zoom, but did not see any. Flare issue, however, can be regarded as moderate if the sun is slightly to the side. So the included hood will find use. Flare is appears to be well controlled when looking straight into the sun.
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Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 Standard Zoom Lens for Sony A-Mount Cameras
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Price: $748.00
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