Excerpt: I have used this lens for nearly an year,and most of my pictures were for travel, and a few closeup macro type shots. I had previously been using a Sony 18-70 mm kit zoom lens, which was satisfactory, both in picture sharpness and colour.However, when I started using the 16-80 lens, first thing I noticed was it's sharpness of image, edge to edge even at wide open apertures.
Pros: Consistent Output, Durable, Easily Interchangeable, Fast / accurate auto-focus, Nice Bokeh, Strong Construction
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.
Summary: For still shots, this is a great overall lens. This has been my walk-around lens on my A65 for a few months. The clarity and color were amazing compared to the kit lens. I would have given 5 stars, but the auto-focus in movie mode isn't the best for action scenes. I think the consensus is to set to to manual focus at infinity, but for the price I was hoping for more performance when videoing.
Excerpt: I've been using the Zeiss 1680Z for about two years and find it to be exceptional in terms of image quality, sharper than other lenses/brands in this price range. I agree that at 16mm the edges can be fuzzy, as well as extended to 80mm but both cases are easilly solved with a bit of cropping or an aperature of about f/5.6. It's focal length range is perfect for most situations but it's wide angle capability (24mm on APS-C) is it's strong point.
Excerpt: I know it's common, but we should band together and demand that lens makers put some sort of DOF scale on modern lenses - even zooms, or, at least include many more distance marks. Otherwise, this lens rocks. It's a slowish lens, but I don't need fast ones for landscapes and its sharpness and contrast is breathtaking.
Very good optical performance under careful testing
Tim Naff "Tim", Amazon
17 November 2011
Summary: I bought this lens as a factory refurb at a Sony store. Before buying, I tested it extensively against my Sony 16-105. I made a series of identical shots, on a tripod, in camera RAW on an A580, going back and forth between the two lenses with the camera on full manual. I took the camera body back to my rented condo (in Destin FL), and compared on my computer, working strictly in RAW (avoiding any sharpening by the camera or by my software and avoiding jpeg artifacts).
Summary: I used this lens for about 5 months, and around 10,000 photos, before giving it to my wife and upgrading to the SAL24-70Z, the more expensive Zeiss zoom. Comparing this lens to the much more expensive 24-70, you realize that the cheaper lens is an outstanding value, but not without its shortcomings. On the plus side: the image quality is excellent (sharp, good colors, decent bokeh, some minor vignetting). The zoom range is excellent for all-around usage.