Customer Review

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony SAL-1680Z Lens Review, September 14, 2007
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This review is from: Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T DT Zoom Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera (Camera)
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.

If you buy the Sony Alpha camera, you absolutely must get this Carl Zeiss lens or another lens of similar high quality, in order to take full advantage of what the camera can do.

Edit to add: I recently purchased an A-700 camera body. Of course, this lens also works with the A-700... and the resulting pictures are even better!

This lens rates 5 stars plus!
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 20, 2007 4:12:06 PM PDT
hieuman says:
the statement of no CA at any focal length is misleading. at the wide 16mm and wide open aperture, the CA on the edges are pretty apparent, but within tolerances for the lens in this class.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2007 6:12:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 18, 2007 6:13:41 AM PDT
I tested the lens for chromatic abberation in sunlight, hoping to get the widest spectrum of light which would show C.A.

Of course, I didn't think of the fact that the aperture was certainly not "wide open" in bright light. Therefore, I missed seeing what you report.

The lens is, in my opinion, still a 5 star "must have".

--RK

Posted on Apr 18, 2010 10:39:40 PM PDT
Klaus says:
As boyracer2k says "no chromatic aberration" is plain wrong. Check out the review and charts at Photozone. Krupski did the testing wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2011 11:57:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 25, 2011 12:00:42 PM PDT
I don't think so!!! After extensive testing, chromatic aberration is a non issue and, aside from the slight vignetting at 16mm, there really are no other issues with this lens! I have several 30 plus years of experience in optical testing to back this up. If anyone is looking for the perfect lens, they are likely to be sorely dissappointed!!
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