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How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?

  
 
chiron
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


I am thinking about getting the Sony 16-35 f/4.0 PZ lens, for travel and also for general use. My exclusive application is stills photography--I don't do videos except on my iPhone.

The early reviews seemed to emphasize that the lens was optimized for video, especially with respect to the silent power zoom. The lens has been out for a while now, and I am curious about how stills photographers have found the lens in actual use. Have stills photographers found the power zoom or other attributes to be a detriment for stills? How do they like using the lens and its results? I saw Guy's Graceland photos and I'm curious about other settings and users.

Any thoughts?



Sep 09, 2022 at 10:30 AM
Donzo98
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


I got itÖ and love it.

Super small and very light. The zoom ring is very smooth. I like that it doesnít extend when zooming.

IQ is excellent.



Sep 09, 2022 at 11:11 AM
hasenbein
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


I just got it.

(To be exact the 2nd copy - first one unfortunately had some lens tilt, not severe, but I don't spend Ä1450 for a lens where always one edge is softer.)

It's great. IQ is astonishingly constant over the whole zoom range, and the edges/corners just look so much better than the Sony-Zeiss 16-35. What I also like is that the IQ is best at 35mm, not at 16mm like in most other UWA lenses. (That said, the IQ at 16mm is juuust aa little bit lower than at 35mm,nothing really significant.) So it's finally a universally usable lens, as opposed to

Sony 16-35 f4 and f2.8: 35mm end not on par, IQ wise
Sony 12-24 f4: 24mm end not great, and you need at least another lens for the 28-35 range
Tamron 17-28 and Sigma 14-24: limited zoom range

The low weight is awesome. And I find the motor zoom no problem at all.
The only downside I can find is that the manual zoom ring is narrow and at the front end of the lens, so one has to take care not to end up with a thumb in the picture... This has been much better solved by Tamron!



Sep 09, 2022 at 11:28 AM
InFocus2014
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


I had the FE 16-35mm f4 when it was first released, replaced it with the GM 16-35mm f2.8, and, finally replaced that lens with the GM 12-24mm f2.8.

I purchased the PZ lens for travel, when i do not want to carry the 12-24mm lens, or various prime lenses. It is so small & lightweight, I can leave it in my bag, so I always have a wide angle zoom with me.

I've gotta say, the PZ lens is amazing. It is really sharp on the A1 (night and day better than the original f4 lens); and, I have absolutely no problems with the power zoom, even though I mostly shoot stills. I look at it as a must-have lens.



Sep 09, 2022 at 11:41 AM
chad hites
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


I will agree with the group this is an outstanding little lens! Small, light, easy to carry, and sharp!

I have 2 galleries where I used this lens exclusively and loved the results. You are welcome to take a look.
Strip Walk II and III
https://www.chadhites.com/Viva-Las-Vegas



Sep 09, 2022 at 12:44 PM
Jonas B
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


Image quality has been discussed (maybe not extensively) in the other current threads. So if this about handling the lens as a tool for shooting still images I would say:
* size and weight are great, the lens can easily be handled also with the A7C
* as mentioned above the zoom ring works and feels fine and so does the focus ring
* bokeh is pretty much neutral and the level of LoCA is low
* the lens behaves as expected: there are no disturbing surprises

as with all modern Sony lenses the design of the lens can be somewhat disturbing:
- the zoom ring and the focusing ring are too close to each other and I predict that will get a little in the way for me during the winter using gloves
- both these rings moves too easily but the focusing ring is a little less nervous than the 35/1.4 GM one
- not having neither a zoom nor a focusing scale may be annoying

My even more personal opinion/experience is that it is an excellent lens. It's the first super wide angle zoom I have liked (compared to experience from Pentax, Canon and Olympus).
The PZ16-35 served me very well during a vacation trip visiting a city with both scenic views and narrow streets. Please note i don't mind some noise so the lens being on the slow side when shooting indoors doesn't bother me.

I dislike the ungainly original hood and use two empty filter rings as a replacement. It works fine and I haven't run into the problem hasenbein mentions above.

Edit: last paragraph rephrased



Sep 09, 2022 at 01:08 PM
InFocus2014
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


chad hites wrote:
I will agree with the group this is an outstanding little lens! Small, light, easy to carry, and sharp!

I have 2 galleries where I used this lens exclusively and loved the results. You are welcome to take a look.
Strip Walk II and III
https://www.chadhites.com/Viva-Las-Vegas


What an outstanding series of shots of Las Vegas!

I will be visiting a friend in Las Vegas in October. I was planning on taking my GM 12-24mm f2.8 for the faster aperture (and 12mm). After viewing your shots, I think I will just go small and light with the PZ 16-35mm.



Sep 10, 2022 at 07:55 AM
chad hites
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


InFocus2014 wrote:
What an outstanding series of shots of Las Vegas!

I will be visiting a friend in Las Vegas in October. I was planning on taking my GM 12-24mm f2.8 for the faster aperture (and 12mm). After viewing your shots, I think I will just go small and light with the PZ 16-35mm.


October is a great time to visit and enjoy Las Vegas! Usually some of our best weather of the year. I shot the first set in the Las Vegas series with the Sigma 14-28 DG DN. I didnít use 2.8 at all and missed the little bit the 35mm gives you on the long end. Unless you need 2.8 my personal opinion is the 16-35 PZ is a huge home run for Sony and will develop a favorite lens status for many of us. I carried it attached to my A1 in a little should bag and was comfortable for hours as we walked.

I hope you enjoy Vegas and make sure you post some of your shots!



Sep 10, 2022 at 08:59 AM
amv8
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


For those of you that have the 16-35 PZ and have or have used the 16-35 F2.8 GM, how would you say the new PZ compares optically to the GM, especially at the wider end of the focal length range? I have the GM, but am thinking if they were close in optical performance maybe switch to the PZ to reduce weight when traveling. I typically don't need/use f2.8 for landscapes.


Sep 11, 2022 at 10:49 AM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


Never shot the GM but the PZ handled this great and light was low

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1767947/0?keyword=Graceland#16009311



Sep 11, 2022 at 11:14 AM
 


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jtra
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


I wonder how Sony 16-35/4 PZ compares with Sigma 16-28/2.8 DN on high resolution body at landscape apertures like f/8. I have not seen a direct comparison yet.



Sep 11, 2022 at 11:25 AM
hasenbein
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?




jtra wrote:
I wonder how Sony 16-35/4 PZ compares with Sigma 16-28/2.8 DN on high resolution body at landscape apertures like f/8. I have not seen a direct comparison yet.

From all the reviews it's obvious that the PZ is better.
The PZ is in the realm of the Sony 16-35 GM, IQ wise; on the long end, IQ is even better than the GM. One can safely assume that the PZ has the best, most consistent sharpness of all wide angle zooms in the Sony system.



Sep 11, 2022 at 02:22 PM
darrenhaken
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


I am so tempted by this lens


Sep 11, 2022 at 03:46 PM
jtra
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


jtra wrote:
I wonder how Sony 16-35/4 PZ compares with Sigma 16-28/2.8 DN on high resolution body at landscape apertures like f/8. I have not seen a direct comparison yet.

hasenbein wrote:
From all the reviews it's obvious that the PZ is better.
The PZ is in the realm of the Sony 16-35 GM, IQ wise; on the long end, IQ is even better than the GM. One can safely assume that the PZ has the best, most consistent sharpness of all wide angle zooms in the Sony system.


Well, in Marc Alhadeff reviews of the both lenses the sharpness results for f/8 show that the Sigma wins at 16mm (both are better at f/5.6 but Sigma still wins - I guess this is caused by Sony having stronger distortion thus correction of it reduces resolution more). Sony wins at mid range in image center (but at f/5.6 Sigma wins instead). Both are the same at the long end (Sony is quite better at f/5.6 while Sigma is worse at f/5.6 than at f/8). But this is not based on comparing landscape pictures. A lens comparison on landscape scene like Fred Miranda does occasionally would be ideal really.





?ssl=1

Review of Sigma is here.. Review of Sony is here.




Sep 11, 2022 at 03:52 PM
hasenbein
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


Don't make the mistake to take Marc Alhadeff's reviews as gospel. His metric "good", "very good", "excellent" etc. is wishy-washy, to put it politely. His tables suggest an exactness and "scientificness" which simply isn't there at all. Roger Cicala would laugh LOUDLY about that. And of course he is subject to sample variation like everyone else. A review can always only be a hint and should be combined with several other sources to get a somewhat realistic impression.

What can be gathered by looking through different reviews and posts is that a) the corner performance of the Sigma 16-28 is OK for a budget optic, but nothing to write home about and b) that the performance of the 16-35 GM is clearly deteriorating at the 35mm end (Roger Cicala who always tests a whole bunch of copies writes that it's a great 16-24 with optional longer end if you have to). Both problems don't occur in the Sony PZ (which I have now), so my conclusion is that the PZ is the best overall package in regard to IQ.

By the way: For many landscape images (or generally images with no relevant straight lines) one can shoot in RAW and disable the distortion correction in post to squeeze out the last ounce of sharpness in the corners, if one is so inclined.



Sep 11, 2022 at 10:59 PM
Blueshound
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


Below is a Flickr link to a local wall, that has several useful graphical elements, that I often use for lens evaluation, similar to what Guy does. I'm providing the link rather than inserting BB code here, because the Flickr upload is at the full resolution of the A7RIV, and is tagged as Public Domain. You may be able to download it for viewing, or at least view the online version at full size and at 240 ppi.

Taken at 16mm, f5.6. Note that the sensor isn't quite square-on to the wall, but still shows very respectable sharpness in the corners and sides.

The image is edited, including some sharpening, so please take this as an indication of potential of the lens, certainly it's not straight out of camera.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/blueshound/52174325052/in/album-72177720300041324/

Brian



Sep 12, 2022 at 09:15 AM
itai195
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


Iíve had it a short time and like it very much. Iíve had a lot of 16-35s and find it to be one of the more consistent performers across the zoom range. Usually they are weaker at the long end, but the PZ seems pretty strong everywhere. And itís so tiny and easy to carry. The only issue I have with it is that I wish there was some more persistent indicator of the zoom position - even if it could just stay on screen at all times that would be an improvement. It replaced a Tamron 17-28 for me - a lens I also like a lot but I prefer the expanded range over the faster aperture, which Iíd go to my primes for.

Since getting the lens Iíve pondered if I could live with a PZ at other focal lengths. I think for a landscape or slower shooting lens Iíd be fine with it, but if I were using this for events or action it might bug me. Itís not that the zoom action is slow, itís just that Iím missing that tactile sense that I think is important in more of a run and gun situation.



Sep 12, 2022 at 09:43 AM
Blueshound
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


itai195 wrote:
Iíve had it a short time and like it very much. Iíve had a lot of 16-35s and find it to be one of the more consistent performers across the zoom range. Usually they are weaker at the long end, but the PZ seems pretty strong everywhere. And itís so tiny and easy to carry. The only issue I have with it is that I wish there was some more persistent indicator of the zoom position - even if it could just stay on screen at all times that would be an improvement. It replaced a Tamron 17-28 for me
...Show more

I agree with everything you've said. Since I don't have much need for events or action, I'd be a sure customer for, say, a 24-70/4 designed in the same way as the PZ 16-35/4. PZ to save size and weight, and with the optical quality, relative consistency across the focal range and the same sharpness performance.

I find that using the zoom ring is OK, quick enough, and since I compose in the EVF, I can see the focal length in the display. Composition would come first, though, over knowing the focal length.

Brian



Sep 12, 2022 at 10:47 AM
Blueshound
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


Or how about a PZ 20-?, Sony?


Sep 12, 2022 at 10:51 AM
itai195
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · How is the Sony 16-35/4 PZ for stills photography?


How it started / how itís going







Sep 12, 2022 at 11:47 AM
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