Summary: I purchased this lens as an upgrade to my Sony 18-70 mm kit lens that came with my Alpha. I am very pleased with quality of pictures I am getting with it. The pictures are sharp at both ends of the zoom range and corner to corner at wide apertures. The colors are rendered a little cool, but nothing which cannot be corrected by post processing.
Summary: Zeiss won't make a bad lens. The 16-80 is short, sharp, and the equal to the 24-70 with a bit more on each end of the zoom. It is sharp, sharp, not just sharp. I photographed a soccer goal the day I got it; the lines in the goal are like razor blades.
Summary: This is my first piece of Ziess Glass. now Ziess made the glass I wish they made the entire thing. I agree with other post that when at 16 mm there is quite a bit of lens shadow (vignetting) at the edges of the photo. Zeiss themselves would have made sure that lens was perfect at any focal length. I rated it at a 4 for this reason.
Excerpt: This is my go to lens. Sharp! Great lens Stays on my a77. Landscapes are beautiful, great with grand kids as can stay far enough back so they are natural. Color is superb! There is no purple fringing and distortion is non-existent when using Lightroom with this lens checked. I could not get a better lens with this focal range for the price!
Pros: Color, Consistent Output, Fast / accurate auto-focus, Nice Bokeh, Rugged
Summary: This is a very good zoom lens for general use in an APS-C camera. I've had mine for 5 years and haven't had any problems at all. It's almost always been on my camera and never disappointed. I've used it at weddings, sporting events, indoors, outdoors, you name it. It's not quite a professional lens, but it costs less that half as much as a Zeiss 24-70, which I use on my A99. It also weighs half as much and is considerably smaller.
Pros: Much better than average imaging, looks good
Cons: Mediocre build quality, not sealed, not silent
Summary: The optical quality of this lens is superb. I used to have a sony dsc-r1 with a carl ziess lens and I missed the "ziess" quality which i have not seen in any other lens. This lens is better than my original lens in every way. I have a sony a65 and can't believe the quality of my images. I would recommend this lens and would be sure it won't disappoint.
Pros: superb optical quality.
Cons: could be cheaper. Slightly larger and heavier than plastic lens