Carl-Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS ( Sony SEL1670Z ) - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Sony NEX

Sample Images & Verdict

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Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 16.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 16.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 40.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/250s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 37.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/2000s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 70.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 70.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 70.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/2000s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 63.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1600s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 18.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 70.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/250s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 51.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 47.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1250s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 19.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-6000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 70.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/1250s

Verdict

I suspect that some will probably come up with the statement that OpticalLimits is biased against Sony after this review. However, truth is that I took Sony gear to several private sessions in the past (besides I still own a Sony laptop and smartphone actually). This also applied to the A6000 / Carl-Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS. Unfortunately I only verified the center performance of the lens at the time which is obviously great. Upon checking the results my disappointment was high though. Sony/Zeiss did many things right - range, build quality, image stabilization but optical quality is not part of the list. Yes, the center quality is outstanding but the corners are often mediocre or even dismal. The 70mm setting is especially terrible here. Lateral CAs are high in the lower range. In critical scenes you will also notice a heavy barrel distortion at 16mm and the high vignetting at 16mm @ f/4. At this stage it is worth to mention AGAIN that we also send the lens to the Sony service in order to let them verify that our sample was within specs - TWICE and we let them know who we are and that there'll be a review. So we have to take their word.

Typical for most Sony-made lenses the build quality is impressive. The tightly assembled metal body feels reassuring and mechanically it's simply a joy to use it out there. The AF speed is noiseless and fast without being a speed demon though (even on the A6000). The optical image stabilizer is certainly handy at times.

However, the high mechanical qualities doesn't overshadow the fact that this Zeiss lens is both heavily overpriced and below average by today's standards. As such we can only conclude ... not recommended.

PS: Just to mention - the review has been out for a while now but we didn't receive a single word from Sony so far.

Optical Quality:
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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