Sony 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 DT ( SAL-16105 ) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha/NEX (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published June 2008

Lens kindly provided by Dieter Scherk!


The Sony 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 DT is one of 4 APS-C standard zoom lenses made by Sony. The lens is usually offered as part of a camera kit alternatively to the low-end 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 DT but it is also sold separately for around 500 US$/€. As such it is only marginally cheaper compared to the next best lens in the food chain - the Zeiss ZA 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 DT. The field of view of the Sony lens is equivalent to about 24-158mm (6.5x zoom ratio) on full format cameras making it an obvious option for situations where you want to survive with just a single lens.

The build quality is fairly similar to the Zeiss ZA 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 DT (shown to the right in the product image gallery below) - it's decent but nothing to rave about either. The outer shell is made of good quality plastics. The broad, rubberized zoom ring operates smooth but also a little stiff. The focus ring could be somewhat more precise - it isn't really a highlight of the construction. As you can see below the lens extends significantly using a duo-cam system (two inner lens tubes). Fortunately the tolerances are pretty tight so there's only marginal wobbling here. In AF mode the focus ring is decoupled from the AF gears so it does not rotate during AF operations. Thanks to an IF (internal focus) design the front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem.

The lens does still rely on the conventional focusing system driven by the camera (via a slotted drive screw). Consequently the AF produces a moderate degree of noise during operations but it focuses fairly fast on the Alpha 700.

Equiv. focal length24-157.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/5.3-f/8.4 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction15 elements in 11 groups inc. 1xED and 2x aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades7 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.4 m (max. magnification ratio 1:4.3)
Dimensions72 x 83 mm
Weight470 g
Filter size62 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped, snap-on, supplied
Other features-