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Sony unveils four lenses for A and E mounts

Aug 24, 2011 at 05:05 GMT

Sony has announced four lenses, one Alpha mount and three E mount for its NEX system. The first is the DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM (SAL1650), a dust- and water-resistant fast standard zoom with a range equivalent to 24-75mm on full frame. NEX users get a premium fast prime, the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA (SEL24F18Z), plus the E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS telephoto zoom (SEL55210), and last but not least the E 50mm F1.8 OSS (SEL50F18) - the fastest optically-stabilized lens available for interchangeable-lens cameras. Scroll down for more details on availability and specifications.

Jump to Sony press images and specifications for:

In the absence of a press release, our Technical Editor, Andy Westlake, puts the lenses in context:

The DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM is ideal for shooting landscapes as well as portraits.

With its fast maximum aperture and useful 24-75mm-equivalent zoom range, the DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM becomes the premium standard zoom for Sony Alpha users. It features dust- and moisture-resistant construction, and promises fast autofocus with its in-built SSM focus motor. It's clearly designed to be the ideal companion to the SLT-A77, but we can easily envisage Alpha 700 owners falling over themselves to get hold of it too.

The Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA is the first premium fast prime lens for Sony's E-mount.

The Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA is a premium fast prime that seems destined to be a favorite with NEX-7 buyers, with its classic moderate wideangle view equivalent to a 35mm lens on full frame. And while it’s not a particularly small lens (it’s slightly larger and heavier than the 18-55mm kit zoom), and far from cheap, the Zeiss branding suggests the image quality should be excellent.

The E 50mm F1.8 OSS is the fastest optically stabilized prime lens on any interchangable-lens system.

The E 50mm F1.8 OSS has the distinction of being the fastest optically-stabilized lens available for interchangeable lens cameras, either mirrorless or SLR. Don’t be fooled by the apparently innocuous headline specification – this isn’t a revamped SLR lens, but an all-new design in every way. Given this, we’re not quite sure why Sony has opted for the 50mm focal length – we’d have thought a slightly longer lens in the classic ‘portrait’ range (60-85mm on APS-C) would be more useful. Then again 50mm primes have sold pretty well for use on APS-C SLRs, so we could be wrong.

The E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS is the first telephoto lens available for the E-mount system.

The E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 is the obligatory telephoto zoom for the NEX system that we’d have expected to see much earlier (even Sony describes it as ‘long-awaited’). Potential owners may be perturbed by the relatively slow maximum aperture, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the contrast detect AF system used by the NEXs don’t have the same aperture constraints as SLR phase detect systems, and the excellent high ISO performance of Sony’s recent sensors should go a long way to offsetting the 1/3 stop loss of light-gathering capability compared to similar lenses for SLR systems.     

Sony press material:

Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM

The growing range of compatible A-mount lenses for both cameras now includes the quiet, bright DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM standard zoom with 16mm wide angle coverage that's ideal for both portrait and everyday shooting.

The high-performance lens features a dust- and moisture-resistant design, and offers a zoom range of approximately 3x range at constant wide F2.8 aperture. Optical performance is assured by aspherical glass and three ED (Extra Low Dispersion) lens elements to minimize aberration at all focal lengths. An internal Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) drive enables fast, quiet autofocus.

The SAL1650 lens will also be sold separately for about $700 this October at Sony retail stores.

Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM specifications

Price • US: $700
• UK: £ TBC
• EU: € TBC
Model name SAL1650
Format APS-C
Focal length 16-50mm
35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) 24-75mm
Diagonal angle of view 83-32°
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 16 elements / 13 groups
• 3 ED elements
• Aspherical elements
Number of diaphragm blades • 7
• Circular aperture
Minimum focus 0.3m / 1.0ft
Maximum magnification 0.2x
AF motor type • Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor
• Full time manual focus
Image stabilization via camera body
Filter thread • 72mm
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• ALC-SH117 Lens hood
Weight 577g (20.3 oz)
Dimensions 81mm diameter x 88mm length
(3.25 x 3.5 in)
Lens Mount Sony Alpha

Sony E-mount lenses

The growing choice of E-mount lenses compatible with all E-mount cameras now includes the new Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA (SEL24F18Z), E 50mm F1.8 OSS (SEL50F18) and long-awaited Telephoto zoom E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS (SEL55210).

The new E-mount Telephoto zoom E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS (SEL55210) will be available this October for about $350. The new Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA (SEL24F18Z) and the E 50mm F1.8 OSS (SEL50F18) will each be available this December for about $1000 and $300, respectively.

Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA specifications

Price • US: $1000
• UK: £ TBC
• EU: € TBC
Model name SEL24F18Z
Format APS-C
Focal length 24mm
35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) 36mm
Diagonal angle of view 61°
Maximum aperture F1.8
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 8 elements / 7 groups
Number of diaphragm blades • 7
• Circular aperture
Minimum focus 0.16m / 0.52 ft
Maximum magnification 0.25x
Image stabilization No
Filter thread • 49mm
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• ALC-SH114 Lens hood
• Lens case
Weight 225g (8 oz)
Dimensions 63mm diameter x 65.5mm length
(2.5 x 2.6 in)
Lens Mount Sony E

Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS specifications

Price • US: $300
• UK: £ TBC
• EU: € TBC
Model name SEL50F18
Format APS-C
Focal length 50mm
35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) 75mm
Diagonal angle of view 32°
Maximum aperture F1.8
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 8 elements / 7 groups
Number of diaphragm blades • 7
• Circular aperture
Minimum focus 0.39m / 1.28 ft
Maximum magnification 0.16x
Image stabilization • Yes, Optical SteadyShot
• 4 stops claimed
Filter thread • 49mm
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• ALC-SH116 Lens hood
Weight 202g (7.3 oz)
Dimensions 62mm diameter x 62mm length
(2.5 x 2.5 in)
Lens Mount Sony E

Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS specifications

Price • US: $350
• UK: £ TBC
• EU: € TBC
Model name SEL55210
Format APS-C
Focal length 55-210mm
35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) 83-315mm
Diagonal angle of view 28.2-7.8°
Maximum aperture F4.5-6.3
Minimum aperture F22-32
Lens Construction • 13 elements / 9 groups
Number of diaphragm blades • 7
• Circular aperture
Minimum focus 0.1m / 3.28 ft
Maximum magnification 0.225x
Image stabilization • Yes, Optical SteadyShot
• 4 stops claimed
Filter thread • 49mm
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• ALC-SH115 Lens hood
Weight 345g (12.2 oz)
Dimensions 63.8mm diameter x 108mm length
(2.6 x 4.4 in)
Lens Mount Sony E