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Sony unveils four lenses for A and E mounts

By dpreview staff on 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
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Comments

Total comments: 37
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Nov 2, 2011)

Having owned Leica primes its very hard to downgrade but this new 24 seems to be a good alternative. I'm on the waiting list for this puppy as well as the NEX7 for my NEX trip to Italy.

0 upvotes
Brian1951
By Brian1951 (Sep 17, 2011)

Since I purchased my NEX5, my digital SLR hasn't seen the light of day. The 55-210 will give me all the range I need for my photography (principally travel) and with the 16mm and 18-55mm, it is hard to imagine a serious need for another lens. The compactness of the system combined with the high quality photos I am able to capture is great. But the NEX7 with a viewfinder -- that may change things for me as I do prefer a viewfinder if only to not have to put on reading glasses to see a screen.

1 upvote
bbbinohio
By bbbinohio (Sep 15, 2011)

I just sold my Nikon D700 and now I am selling my 14-24mm and my 24-70mm. For me, this is clearly the way to go. I don't believe ANYONE will be making a DSLR in 3 years. Mirrors are mechanical dinosaurs and all but GONE!

2 upvotes
PatMann
By PatMann (Aug 27, 2011)

If Nikon doesn't bring out something soon to compete with the 24 f/1.8, or Zeiss doesn't bring this out for Nikon DX, I'm probably getting this lens with the NEX7 as my new P&S, provided it has the performance I expect from Zeiss. I bet the combo winds up getting more use than my Nikon SLRs. NIKON - WAKE UP and fully support APS-C format, or Sony is going to take half your SLR market away from you.

1 upvote
ivan364537
By ivan364537 (Aug 30, 2011)

Ditto for Canon.

1 upvote
vedat aslan
By vedat aslan (Aug 26, 2011)

no 50 mm prime lens has optical image stabilisation. this is a very important innovation. it's very hard for fast lenses.

3 upvotes
camera lucida
By camera lucida (Aug 25, 2011)

anybody knows if the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA has a LEAF SHUTTER?

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Aug 25, 2011)

It most certainly would not.

2 upvotes
Eric MORAND
By Eric MORAND (Aug 24, 2011)

Why so big ? The NEX7 looks so perfect, I just can't why Sony is unable to manufacture a fast prime lens that is not 3 times the size of my 20mm 1.7 from Panasonic. Please Sony, I want your NEX7, badly : make a really compact and high quality lens to match such a tiny body (considering the features of course) and you'll have my money. All my money !

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Aug 25, 2011)

I think a lot of use feel exactly this way. Too bad we can't get Samsung to make their 30mm f2 in E mount.

0 upvotes
aleckurgan
By aleckurgan (Aug 26, 2011)

Sorry Sony, but I really can't understand why you 50/1.8 has to be THAT BIG. It's bigger than Canon's 50/1.8, which is not the smallest 50/1.8 for FF.

0 upvotes
Tahir Hashmi
By Tahir Hashmi (Aug 27, 2011)

I asked the exact same question on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/groups/alpha-nex/discuss/72157627513100620/

0 upvotes
PatMann
By PatMann (Aug 27, 2011)

Quality, fast lenses require volume. This lens weighs 8 oz - that's not a monster for APS-C format. This format is a lot bigger than M4/3. I'll take the quality and almost 2x sensor size, thanks. This isn't intended as your pocket pancake lens, and no pancake is going to have the quality this lens will have.

0 upvotes
MattME
By MattME (Sep 18, 2011)

The reason the lenses are big is because the sensor is big, equivalent of a APS-C dSLR, the M4/3 sensors are smaller and can therefore support smaller lenses. If you want the corners black then you can have a small lens on your NEX!

In the case of the 50mm prime, I imagine it is longer than a "standard" 50mm prime because it has OSS built in.

0 upvotes
Lukino
By Lukino (Aug 24, 2011)

no fast 35 yet. I wanted to like Nex system, but without a fast (and possibly compact) prime, it's not my game. And btw, 50mm on apsc IS NOT a prime!

0 upvotes
nologo
By nologo (Aug 24, 2011)

Prime = Single Focal Length Lens.
A 50mm lens on any format is considered a prime.

I think you mean that it's not a "normal" lens.

1 upvote
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Aug 25, 2011)

...but the 24 on an APS is a 36 FOV
Is that what you want? A 35 type FOV
...any single focal length, non zooming lens is a prime ...18, 24, 25, 50, 85, 105, 135, 200, 400, 600, etc, etc

2 upvotes
Lukino
By Lukino (Aug 25, 2011)

sorry guys, I got lost in translation, it was a long day. @nologo you got it right. @happypopeye what I really want is a fast 50 equivalent, because is the focal I use the most.

0 upvotes
jadgl968
By jadgl968 (Aug 27, 2011)

prime just denotes a single focal length, and not a zooming one

0 upvotes
MattME
By MattME (Sep 18, 2011)

I agree, I have a 50mm prime on my Nikon APS-C and it doesn't get used that often because at 75mm it is too long for a general lens. The Zeiss 24mm is a great length for me, shame about the price!

0 upvotes
zackiedawg
By zackiedawg (Aug 24, 2011)

Just a curious note on the wording "first telephoto lens available for the E-mount system' under the 55-210mm lens. Wouldn't the 18-200mm that has been available from the beginning also be a telephoto lens, though with a much bigger range on the wide end?

1 upvote
imageShelter
By imageShelter (Sep 8, 2011)

I'm interested in the answer to the question you posed? Has it been answered? Why isn't the 18-200mm lens in this category?

0 upvotes
Brian1951
By Brian1951 (Sep 17, 2011)

I'm guessing that the 18mm end of the 18-200 isn't telephoto, so the lens is technically a zoom lens with both moderate wide angle, normal and telephoto capability. The 55-210mm is strictly telephoto.

0 upvotes
S.A.
By S.A. (Nov 14, 2011)

Why isn't it classified as a telephoto... geezuz... who cares.

0 upvotes
copejorg1
By copejorg1 (Aug 24, 2011)

Andy, you need to strike the

" 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 SLR-system lenses."

comment from the end of the summary on the E55-210 lens. I won't bother to explain why, as I'm sure you can figure it out (the "E" prefix is the clue ...)

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Aug 24, 2011)

That line isn't supposed to imply that the E 55-210mm is for SLRs, it merely compares it to lenses for SLR systems that the NEXs inevitably compete against. But I take your point, and have modified the wording (although clearly you knew exactly what I meant).

0 upvotes
pete_mb
By pete_mb (Aug 24, 2011)

I think copejorg1 is confusing the 1/3 stop you're referring to (between f6.3 at the 200mm end of this lens and f5.6 on most competing lenses) with the 1/3 EV reduction in light transmission on the SLT cameras. Hence the comment about the E prefix, as opposed to A mount.

0 upvotes
ZeevK
By ZeevK (Aug 24, 2011)

The NEX is APS-C (crop) system, never announced to be a FF. And taking into account the popularity of MF 50 of all kinds with both m4/3 and NEX - the 50/1.8 is a very good choice. It's definitely a welcome candidate to replace my MINOLTA MD w/ adapter combo - if the IQ is comparable (and I believe it would be...)

0 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Aug 24, 2011)

Exactly. The e-mount system isn't FF. So there's no need to still use focal lengths like 50mm for a portrait lens. Many of the Micro 4/3rd primes have got it right.

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Aug 24, 2011)

IQ maybe, colors hardly.. Sony lens have zero personality. Except ZA ofc.

0 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Aug 24, 2011)

If the 50/1.8 is a portrait lens for an entirely new system, what's with the 75mm fov equiv? A 60-85mm/1.8 would of made more sense (90mm-127.5mm fov equiv). This lens has the problems of every other 50mm on an APS-C sensor: too short for portraits. You'd think Sony would take this into consideration with a new lens for a whole new mount. Plus this lens won't be FF compatible, so what's the point? So much for their motto "like no other".

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Aug 24, 2011)

straylightrun - logic like no other :D

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Aug 24, 2011)

Its not too short, its just awkward. Leica has 75mm for Leica M too. And it actually works quite nice. Just needs bit to getting used to.

Though I agree that 100mm or 135mm equiv would be better.

0 upvotes
nologo
By nologo (Aug 24, 2011)

75 and 85 aren't that far apart, its simply a short portrait lens.

A 50mm 1.8 is a pretty easily formula for them to make and they didn't have a fast portrait lens in the system.

0 upvotes
Rick_X
By Rick_X (Aug 31, 2011)

Traditionally the perspective of a 70-90mm lens on a FF 35 was considered the most flattering for a portrait. Wider angles start to look distorted and 135mm and up compressing the view too much! That is why 75 is really a good portrait lens.

0 upvotes
jvideographer
By jvideographer (Sep 12, 2011)

I need a birding lens for my Sony NEX-5. The 200 or 210 isn't going to make it. If they offered a 1.5 extender, that might do it. Anyone know of a third party extender?

0 upvotes
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Aug 24, 2011)

why does login msg box pop up on this page even though I am logged on dpreview.com?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 37