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As promised last November, Sony has announced two new full-frame A-mount lenses. Compared to their 2008-vintage predecessors the Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II feature improved image quality, less ghosting and flare, and a four-fold improvement in subject tracking speed, according to Sony. Another addition are seals that should make these lenses dust and water resistant.

Both lenses will be available in June. The 16-35 will be priced at $2250, while the 24-70 will sell for $2100.

Press release:

Sony Introduces Two Premium ZEISS® Lenses for α A-mount Camera System

Newly Refined Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 and 16-35mm F2.8 Zoom Lenses

SAN DIEGO, Apr. 23, 2015 – Sony today has announced two new high-performance ZEISS® lenses zoom lenses – a standard zoom and a wide-angle zoom – for its α A-mount system.  

Designed for professionals and high-end photo enthusiasts, the new Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II (model SAL2470Z2) standard zoom and Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II (model SAL1635Z2) wide angle zoom lenses deliver significant improvements in image quality, ghost reduction and AF performance over their predecessors and add a rugged dust- and moisture-resistant design.

The new zoom lenses are ideal partners to Sony’s α A-mount family of interchangeable lens cameras, including the highly acclaimed α99 and α77 II models. With the addition of an optional mount adaptor, they’re also compatible with α E-mount cameras such as the α7 series. 

The new Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II models achieve legendary ZEISS image quality thanks to  ZEISS T* coating on their optical surfaces that minimizes ghosting and flare plus aspherical and ED (extra-low dispersion) glass elements that suppress aberration and minimize distortion.  

Additionally, the new models feature enhanced AF capabilities compared to their predecessors, delivering approximately 4x the subject tracking speed thanks to their SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) system and faster, more powerful processing in the lens LSI.   This advanced AF performance makes the new lenses an ideal complement to the impressive 4D focus system on select α camera bodies like the α77 II model, and a great choice for shooting fast moving subjects like sports, wildlife or young children.     

Pricing and Availability

The new Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II (model SAL2470Z2) standard zoom and Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II (model SAL1635Z2) wide angle zoom lenses will be available this June for about $2100 and $2250, respectively.

Lens specifications

 Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM IISony Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II
Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length16–35 mm24–70 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountSony/Minolta Alpha
Maximum apertureF2.8
Minimum apertureF22
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Aperture notesCircular aperture
Special elements / coatings1 ED, 1 super ED, 3 aspherical elements plus T* coating2 ED, 2 aspherical elements plus T* coating
Minimum focus0.28 m (11.02)0.34 m (13.39)
Maximum magnification0.24×0.25×
Motor typeRing-type ultrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleNo
Focus distance limiterNo
Weight872 g (1.92 lb)974 g (2.15 lb)
Diameter83 mm (3.27)
Length114 mm (4.49)111 mm (4.37)
Zoom methodRotary (extending)
Power zoomNo
Zoom lockNo
Filter thread77 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Hood product codeALC-SH106ALC-SH101
Tripod collarNo