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Sony 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T FE F4?


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I recently moved up from my NEX 5n & 7 to an a7 and now have the kit lens plus the 70-200 G zoom. I really need a wider lens and it looks like the Sony 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T FE F4 is almost the only choice out there other than a short prime.

In reading reviews on this lens, it don't really sound that great to supposedly be a "Zeiss". Do any of you Guys own this lens and what is your opinion of it? Is it actually made by Zeiss or is this just a Sony-made lens that somehow uses the "Zeiss" name?

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All these lenses are made by Sony and a Zeiss tag is attached to make them look "distinct", as if the price tags aren't enough.  Only those with special bird names like Loxia, Otus and the like are designed by Zeiss and made by Cosina and sold as Zeiss lenses.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been a bit doubtful at first due to some reviews, but I really like the IQ and look of the pictures I took with that lens. The OSS is much more useful than I thought initially, you can use any 72mm filters on it and you have a rather decent maximum magnification (close to 0.2x - the 0.12x max magnification of the 35mm F2.8 is rather annoying at times).

Personally it seems to me that even if the lens might not score that great in test charts, in most real world conditions the lens will help you to take pictures with a great IQ. And even if the lens isn't a 'light-weight' - it's small and light enough that you can easily carry it around.

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Sharing the same filter size as the SEL70200G makes it quite interesting/convenient, I guess. Would be interesting to see a comparison against the Leica WATE, I think thats the only other game in town at the moment, right?

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Is it actually made by Zeiss or is this just a Sony-made lens that somehow uses the "Zeiss" name?

Zeiss mainly designs and tests lenses, they only make a handful of lenses themselves (the difficult ones).

 

The other lenses they sell under their own Zeiss label are made by Cosina in Japan, these include as mentioned the ZM, Loxia and Otus lenses. Cosina also sells lenses under the Voigtlander brand which they now own, they even had to stop making their now legendary 125mm f/2.5 APO macro lens to land the Zeiss contract because it was better (and for half the price) than the 100/2 macro lens which is no slough either.

 

The Sony Zeiss lenses are designed by Zeiss and build by Sony according to Zeiss specs and with Zeiss coatings, so they are as much Zeiss as the "real" Zeiss lenses.

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Zeiss mainly designs and tests lenses, they only make a handful of lenses themselves (the difficult ones).

 

The other lenses they sell under their own Zeiss label are made by Cosina in Japan, these include as mentioned the ZM, Loxia and Otus lenses. Cosina also sells lenses under the Voigtlander brand which they now own, they even had to stop making their now legendary 125mm f/2.5 APO macro lens to land the Zeiss contract because it was better (and for half the price) than the 100/2 macro lens which is no slough either.

 

The Sony Zeiss lenses are designed by Zeiss and build by Sony according to Zeiss specs and with Zeiss coatings, so they are as much Zeiss as the "real" Zeiss lenses.

 

I have a Zeiss Loxia 50mm and a Voigtländer 40mm, both cost around the same, however there is little to suggest that they come out of the same factory. The optic design, material selection, mechanics, coatings and body design are all different.

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I have a Zeiss Loxia 50mm and a Voigtländer 40mm, both cost around the same, however there is little to suggest that they come out of the same factory. The optic design, material selection, mechanics, coatings and body design are all different.

In which country is your Loxia made? Should be mentioned on the lens barrel.

 

And of course those two lenses are totally different, the Loxia is a brand new lens and designed for digital by Zeiss and the CV is an old lens designed by Voigtlander for the film Leica M cameras.

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they even had to stop making their now legendary 125mm f/2.5 APO macro lens to land the Zeiss contract because it was better (and for half the price) than the 100/2 macro lens which is no slough either.

 

 

I didn't know that about the Voigtlander macro....a great pity too.

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In which country is your Loxia made? Should be mentioned on the lens barrel.

 

And of course those two lenses are totally different, the Loxia is a brand new lens and designed for digital by Zeiss and the CV is an old lens designed by Voigtlander for the film Leica M cameras.

 

Its "made in Japan", the 40mm is stamped with "Cosina" and is new, it cost around 500€ against 850€ for the Loxia.

 

They are completely different, however they likely came out of the same factory. It is the design, the material selection, the tolerances and so on which determine the Lens. The factory will meet, and perhaps influence, those design choices during the production of the Lens and perhaps have an impact of sample quality.

 

I made that comment to address the "using the Zeiss name" and what that might also mean for a Sony Zeiss lens. "Design by" is more important than Made by .... would guess that Sony Zeiss lenses are also made by Cosina, just a guess!

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they even had to stop making their now legendary 125mm f/2.5 APO macro lens to land the Zeiss contract because it was better (and for half the price) than the 100/2 macro lens which is no slough either.

 

 

I didn't know that about the Voigtlander macro....a great pity too.

 

And now cost over $2000 on eBay :(

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