Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM

Lens Summary

Brand: Sony

Also Known As: Sony 16-50mm f/2.8

Lens Type: Zoom Lens

Format: APS-C / DX

Focus: Autofocus

Lens Mount: Sony Alpha

Release Date: 2011-08-24

MSRP Price: $798

Made in: Japan

Infrared Rating: Good

Production Status: In Production

Lens Description: This remarkably compact and lightweight lens packs first-class optical performance and a versatile zoom range for your APS-C format camera. At the wide end you have a 16mm focal length that is ideal for interiors or sweeping landscapes. Zoom out to the 50mm end for mid-range telephoto reach that can bring details and distant subjects closer. What\'s more, you have a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture throughout the entire zoom range.

Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM Specifications

Lens Specifications
Lens TypeZoom Lens
Focal Length16-50mm
Mount TypeSony Alpha
FormatAPS-C / DX
Compatible Format(s)DSLR (APS-C Sensor)
Compatible with TeleconvertersNo
Zoom Ratio3.12x
Optical SteadyShot / AntiShake (Image Stabilization)No
Aperture Information
Aperture RingNo
Maximim Aperturef/2.8
Minimum Aperturef/22
Maximum Angle of View (APS-C or smaller format)83°- 32°
Optical Information
Lens Elements16
Lens Groups13
Diaphragm Blades7
Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Elements3
Aspherical Elements1
Focus Information
Built-in Focus MotorYes
Direct Drive Super Sonic wave Motor (DDSSM)Yes
Minimum Focus Distance0.30m
Distance InformationYes
Filter Information
Filter Size72mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Physical Characteristics
Weather / Dust SealingYes
Mount MaterialMetal
Dimensions8.10 x 8.79cm
Other Information
Available in ColorsBlack

Lens Construction and MTF Chart

Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM Lens Construction and MTF Chart


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Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM
Note: (if you don’t want to read my whole review, just scroll down to the bottom for the score and pros and cons)

Mount used: Sony A mount

Price: You can buy this lens separately new for 800$ like I did. For around 600$ with the Sony A77, and in great condition for 650$ used. At firs the price might seem a bit high, but than you consider this is a weather sealed, SSM, f/2.8 lens, and that the Canon one that is not as well built costs 1000$, and the ancient Nikon one costs 1400$, and it seems like a bargain.

Build: I would say the build is on a very high level, just not on the top end level. For the most part the body is made of very nice, high quality plastic, with a sealed metal mount, and some metal in the front of the lens. The build feel really solid, and I have no worries about it being a problem. I have used it out in the rain many times, and never had a problem. It has a zoom lock that only works at 16mm, but even without it, the lens never extends when tilted downwards. The zoom ring is rather stiff, but loosens a bit over time. The focus ring is very nice, and feels rather smooth. Now another thing to note is the size differences between the Sony one and the Canon/Nikon equivalents. Compared to the Canon 17-55 f/2.8, the sony is .9 inches shorter and 70grams lighter, and is weather sealed, whereas the Canon isn’t. Compared to the Nikon it is also .9 inches shorter, but an astounding 201grams lighter, they are both weather sealed. In the end though, the shorter and lighter Sony is much easier to have on an APS-C crop body.

Autofocus: Using Sony’s SSM internal focusing system, the front element doesn’t turn and the focusing it self is lightening fast. The focusing is at least as fast as the Canon and Nikon equivalents. It is also rather accurate, and I never had any problems.

Image Quality: lets get this out of the way, in my opinion this is the best crop camera standard zoom lens that you can buy for a Sony mount. At 16mm and f/2.8, there is a very nice area of central sharpness, and stopped down to around f/4, it becomes really tack sharp across the frame. Diffraction starts to set in at around f/8-11, but in real world use, until f/16 it is perfectly usable. At 24mm, there is a very similar performance to 16mm. at 35mm, it is a tad bit softer wide open, but again stopping down yields tack sharp results. The only real weakness of the lens is at 50mm, were wide open it is a bit soft, but not overly so. Stopping down really helps, and it is again tack sharp at around f/5.6-8. Also the colors of the lens are nice, something of a cross between canons cooler colors and Nikons warmer ones. The lenses Bokeh is also alright, although when there are many objects in the frame or highlights it can be rather busy. It doesn’t have a prime bokeh but than again neither does any zoom lens. I would say overall the bokeh is alright. overall image quality is comfortable in the 4/5 range, with optimum image quality at the wider end.

Overall: Like I said previously, this is a great lens. Built well, focuses great, and takes great sharp images. It isn’t quite on the level of the 2,000$ zoom lenses, but unless you really pixel peep the difference won’t be noticeable. In the end I highly recommend this lens and give it a 5/5
Note: ( I also believe that if this lens was a Canon or Nikon lens, it would sell very well because of its smaller lighter body, weather sealing, great image quality and good price point.)

– price (cheaper than the older less well built Sony Ziess 16-80, and capable of similar image quality) (also it is 300$ cheaper than the non weather sealed Canon version, and over 600$ cheaper than the Nikon.)
-Image quality at all but the 50mm setting
-Stopped down to around f/4, all focal distances are very sharp
-Great Build
-Weather Seal
-SSM focusing
-Rather small and light (compared to equivalents, overall it is a rather hefty lens)

-Not the sharpest wide open after 24mm; needs a bit of stopping down
-still not the lightest lens in the world

Overall: 5/5 Excellent (A must have for A mount crop camera users)