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Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T DT Zoom Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera

by Sony
52 customer reviews
| 9 answered questions

List Price: $999.99
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  • 5x zoom designed specifically for DSLR APS-size CCD
  • Superb performance from wide angle to telephoto
  • 2 glass-molded aspherical lenses for extra precision
  • Circular aperture for pleasing defocused effects
  • Auto clutch to stop manual focus ring rotation, wide focus ring for a solid feel in manual focusing
8 new from $998.00 13 used from $364.28 1 refurbished from $620.99
$998.00 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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  • Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T DT Zoom Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera
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Total price: $1,029.26
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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

D1) SONY 16-80MM 3.5-4 ZEISS Lens

From the Manufacturer

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Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Zoom Lens

The lightest and most compact zoom in the Carl Zeiss lineup, this lens offers the greatest zoom range making it a superb single-lens solution for many photographers. It delivers acclaimed Carl Zeiss optical performance and handling with image quality that rivals the best prime lenses at any focal length.

Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Zoom Lens


Circular Aperture
Aspherical lens elements
Carl Zeiss T* (T-star) coating

Circular Aperture

When changing your aperture to defocus the background, the light sources appear blurred. This ‘bokeh’ effect of the blurred background can be enhanced with circular aperture blades used in this lens. Conventional aperture blades have flat sides creating unappealing polygonal shaped defocussed points of light. α lenses overcome this problem through a unique design that keeps the aperture almost perfectly circular from its wide-open setting to when it is closed by 2 stops. Smoother, more natural defocusing can be obtained as a result.

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.

Carl Zeiss T* (T-star) coating

Coated optics were pioneered by Carl Zeiss - and this superb lens features the Carl Zeiss T* (T-Star) coating that virtually eliminates lens flare, internal reflection and light scattering that can otherwise occur at glass-to-air surfaces. The T* coating contributes to outstanding image quality, with high contrast and uniformly excellent resolution right out to the image edges. Not simply applied to any lens - the T* symbol only appears on multi-element lenses in which the required performance has been achieved throughout the entire optical path, therefore guaranteeing the highest quality.

Distance encoder

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.

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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2006 Sony Electronics, Inc.

All rights reserved. Sony, ± (alpha) system and Super SteadyShot are trademarks of Sony. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 2.8 x 2.8 inches ; 15.7 ounces
  • 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: B000JE5CKA
  • Item model number: SAL1680Z
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 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 October 4, 2006

Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By DanK on November 2, 2007
I recently purchased SONY A700K, which is a A700 plus SONY 18-70 zoom lens bundle. The bundled lens turned out to be a nightmare. So I purchased this SAL-1680Z. Do I like it? Let me tell you.
If you really really care about sharpness, resolution, MTF, then get multiple prime lenses. No zoom lenses match any Minolta/Sony prime lenses in this category.
But if you can compromise a little bit (just a little bit) and want some 5x zoom convenience, look no further. This lens gives you all. Yes it is not cheap for a digital-format (1.5x FOV) lens, but in addition you get the "Zeiss" color: deep and classy.
Is it perfect? No, it shows some vignetting when wide open.

Bottom line: If you have Sony Alpha 700 (or 100) and if you want a zoom lens which you can use on almost any situation, save some money and get this.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By RogerK on September 14, 2007
Verified Purchase
I have been an amateur photographer for years, shooting with film cameras. When I purchased my old film camera, it came with an inexpensive "kit" lens that did not perform to my expectations. I ended up having to buy a new (and better) lens for it.

I recently purchased a Sony Alpha A100 digital camera with the 18-70 mm DT "kit" lens.

Although the camera itself performs admirably, the included lens was not as sharp and crisp as I wanted or expected.

So, as before with the film cameras, I purchased a better lens for the Sony Alpha - the SAL-1680Z 16-80 mm Carl Zeiss Zoom Lens.

The lens is obviously much better quality. It feels "tighter", and it's made in Japan rather than China. The lens is also heavier than typical "cheap" plastic lenses. Not "too heavy", but the kind of weight that says "quality".

However, the big difference came when I TRIED the lens and zoomed way into the resulting digital images.

This lens is razor sharp, with absolutely no chromatic abberation at any zoom length.

The only optical "problem" with this lens is a VERY slight vignetting in the extreme corners of the image when the lens is at full wide angle (16 mm). The field of view of this lens is so wide that lens attachments such as a protective UV filter ring must be chosen carefully so that they do not intrude into the image.

The zoom is smooth... the focus is super fast and scary precise.

The lens has an internal clutch which disengages the focus ring in auto focus mode. Cheap kit lenses do not have this feature.

This lens is amazingly good - it perfectly complements the Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By The Experimentalist on November 17, 2011
I bought this lens as a factory refurb at a Sony store. Before buying, I tested it extensively against my Sony 16-105. I made a series of identical shots, on a tripod, in camera RAW on an A580, going back and forth between the two lenses with the camera on full manual. I took the camera body back to my rented condo (in Destin FL), and compared on my computer, working strictly in RAW (avoiding any sharpening by the camera or by my software and avoiding jpeg artifacts). I zoomed in to identical magnification at identical original focal lengths at identical f-numbers.

I honestly didn't want it to be better than my beloved 16-105, just because I didn't want to spend the money, and I'd rather have the wider zoom range on hand when needed. The bad news for me was that it out-performed the 16-105 in sharpness and in color. The improvement wasn't stunning, but it was there when you looked for it. Did I have to look hard to see it? Actually, I did have to look very closely to see it, but it was always there. Please understand that I know and understand what constitutes good optical performance. I have the Zeiss 24-70, the G70-300, and the 50 F4, as well as the legendary Minolta 17-35. (In my film days I shot Hassleblad and Nikon as well as testing Leica-M.)

One reviewer said the vignetting was a problem. I can see slight darkening in the corners on my A580, but I wouldn't notice if I weren't looking for it. The same reviewer said he could see a slim B+W 62mm filter. I have a slim B+W XS-PRO nano 62mm, and I see no evidence of the filter if I screw the filter in all the way without tightening.

One reviewer on Amazon said the build quality was poor, and I've read that complaint from others on the web.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAME on November 3, 2007
This is an exceptional zoom lens which owners of Konica Minolta Maxxum SLR cameras as well as Sony Alpha SLR cameras should strongly consider adding to their kits. I recently had the opportunity to use it at this year's Photo Plus East and was quite impressed with the extremely high color saturation and resolution of this lens, trying it with the brand new flagship Sony Alpha 700 SLR camera. This lens is one of the reasons why I might consider adding the Sony Alpha system to my current camera kits; the others are the Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Planar and 135mm f1.8 Sonnar lenses. Quality-wise, I think these lenses compare favorably with the late, lamented autofocus Contax N-mount Zeiss lenses (Like those lenses the new Sony Alpha Zeiss lenses are built in Japan under strict Zeiss quality control, using designs made by Zeiss at its Oberkochen, Germany headquarters, where some Zeiss lenses are still being made for the Zeiss Ikon ZM rangefinder camera system and the Hasselblad "V" series medium format cameras. I am emphasizing this point only because one Sony representative at the show claimed that Zeiss doesn't build its lenses anywhere.). Without question, this lens is more expensive than its equivalent Sony/Konica Minolta peers, but serious amateurs and professionals using either Sony Alpha or Konica Minolta Maxxum cameras will soon realize that it is well worth its price.
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Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T DT Zoom Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera
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Price: $998.00
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