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Sony expands full-frame Alpha lens range with Zeiss 16-35mm wide-angle

Tom Morgan
15 Sep 2014
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Plenty more full-frame glass in the works too, which should be great news to Alpha owners

Sony used its Photokina press conference to concentrate on professional photographers and high-end cameras, having used the IFA consumer show earlier this month to announce the QX1 smartphone camera attachment. That didn't mean there were no new announcements, however; the company revealed a new wide-angle lens for its range of full-frame Alpha cameras, and reassured customers that full frame was a priority.

The 16-35, or to give its full name the Vario Tessar T FE 16-35mm f/4 ZE OSS, uses large diameter advanced aspherical Zeiss optics, has a constant f/4 maximum aperture throughout the entire zoom range and uses on-lens optical SteadyShot image stabilisation.

Sharpness at the image edges "close to fixed focal length" according to professional photographer Benny Regal, who took a pre-production sample to Africa for early testing.

Sony expects the first shipments to begin leaving the factory in October, meaning full-frame Alpha owners should be able to pick one up towards the end of the year. There's currently no word on price, but expect it to be north of £1,000.

With an increasing range of full-frame cameras, but only one new full-frame piece of glass in the foreseeable future, Sony made sure to stamp home the message it was listening to customers; revealing a revised roadmap for 2015, the company announced several new work-in-progress lenses, which is hopes to be on the market by Spring next year.

The new lenses include the FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS 10x zoom lens, expected to launch in February, the Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 fast prime and FE 90mm f/2.8 macro, both due in March, and the FE 28mm f/2 "affordable prime", which will support optional convertor lenses to turn it into a 16mm fisheye or 21mm ultra-wide.

At this early stage there's currently no word on price, but it should still come as welcome news to anyone that's invested in a full-frame Sony Alpha.