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Sony DA 16-105mm 1:3.5-5.6 review

March 2008 | By Andy Westlake
Buy on From $498.00

The Sony DT 16-105mm 1:3.5-5.6 was announced in September 2007, as a premium kit lens to accompany the Alpha 700 DSLR. Sony has thankfully (and uncharacteristically) managed to avoid the over-proliferation of letters which afflict lens names from other manufacturers, with just the 'DT' badge (for Digital Technology) indicating that the design is optimised for cameras with APS-C imagers. Sony's information also reveals that the lens incorporates one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass element and two glass aspherical elements, promising minimised colour aberration and excellent contrast across the zoom range, plus a circular aperture for pleasing background blur.

However the 16-105mm is more than just an upmarket kit lens, and offers arguably the most interesting focal length range of any DSLR lens currently available, ranging from a 24mm-equivalent wideangle to a 160mm-equivalent telephoto; indeed for many photographers the wider-than-average angle of view will be more useful than the extended telephoto ranges found on the current crop of superzooms. This follows in something of a tradition for this lens's Minolta predecessors, which included a 24-105mm standard zoom for 35mm SLRs when other brands only offered 28-105mm lenses. Adding to the attraction is the fact that this is achieved within a compact, lightweight package, ideal for travel or just general purpose 'walkaround' use. So does this new kid on the block have the substance to spearhead Sony's intended drive towards DSLR world domination? Let's find out.

Headline features

  • 24-157.5mm equivalent focal length range
  • F3.5-5.6 maximum aperture 
  • Alpha mount for Sony and Konica Minolta APS-C DSLRS

Angle of view

The pictures below illustrate the focal length range from wide to telephoto:

16mm (24mm equivalent) 105mm (157.5mm equivalent)

Sony DT 16-105mm 1:3.5-5.6 specifications

Street price • US: $550
• UK: £400
Date introduced September 2007
Maximum format size APS-C
Focal length 16-105mm
35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) 24-158mm
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 83°- 15°
Maximum aperture F3.5-5.6
Minimum aperture F22-36
Lens Construction • 15 elements / 11 groups
• 1 ED glass element
• 2 aspherical elements
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Minimum focus 0.4m
Maximum magnification 0.23x at 105mm
AF motor type 'Screw drive' from camera body
Focus method Internal
Image stabilization No
Filter thread • 62mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• Petal-type lens hood ALC-SH105
Weight 470 g (16.6 oz)
Dimensions 72mm diameter x 83mm length
(2.8 x 3.3 in)
Lens Mount Sony Alpha/Minolta MA
Other Distance encoder for ADI flash metering

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

Foreword / notes

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / recommendation / ratings are based on the opinion of the author, we recommend that you read the entire review before making any decision. Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of them, click to display a larger image in a new window.

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Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.

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