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OMorissette

NEW Sony 16-35 F4 PZ G Lens

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I haven't see the news on the forum yet, but Sony announced this new 16-35mm G lense, integrating a Power Zoom (PZ) technology. More designed toward videography (constant zoom, low focus breathing), it may be interesting for underwater photography, especially with its smaller since (compared to the Zeiss) and its slightly larger magnification ratio.

https://m.dpreview.com/articles/8204971789/hands-on-with-the-sony-fe-pz-16-35mm-f4-g

Have a goood read.

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Something that was only pointed out by a german reviewer so far. The distortion at 16mm is extreme. Through the correction you lose about 20% of resolution. So be aware of this fact. All in all an interesting lens but would also like to see some impressions from fellow divers. 

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The reason he was the only guy to point it out is that he is wrong. DPReview hands-on states that the lens "shows very high levels of sharpness, to the edges of the image, particularly at 16mm". This lens is smaller, lighter, and sharper than the Zeiss branded 16-35 released almost seven years ago and it cost $1200.00 while the Zeiss offering was 1350.00 at release. 

The power zoom can be assigned to a function button on any Sony camera and can then be zoomed without need for a focus gear. This lens will be a very attractive offering for both stills and video paired with a 230mm dome port for best results.

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35 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

This lens will be a very attractive offering for both stills and video paired with a 230mm dome port for best results.

If it works behind a dome port...

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I would be very surprised if it doesn't work behind the 180 and/or 230mm ports with a Nauticam extension in the 20mm range. It is 11+mm shorter than the 14mm F1.8 which focuses to 25cm and works with a 230 and 30mm extension. The 16-35mm focuses to 24cm which is about 4 to 5cm closer than other 16-35mm F/4's. 

I am aware that this does not guarantee success but again I would be surprised if the lens has some magical formula that prevents it from working behind a dome.  

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1 hour ago, Phil Rudin said:

I would be very surprised if it doesn't work behind the 180 and/or 230mm ports with a Nauticam extension in the 20mm range. It is 11+mm shorter than the 14mm F1.8 which focuses to 25cm and works with a 230 and 30mm extension. The 16-35mm focuses to 24cm which is about 4 to 5cm closer than other 16-35mm F/4's. 

I am aware that this does not guarantee success but again I would be surprised if the lens has some magical formula that prevents it from working behind a dome.  

Thanks you for your input Phil, that was my overall understanding. I'm looking forward to see if any one will review this lense underwater. 

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12 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

The reason he was the only guy to point it out is that he is wrong. DPReview hands-on states that the lens "shows very high levels of sharpness, to the edges of the image, particularly at 16mm". This lens is smaller, lighter, and sharper than the Zeiss branded 16-35 released almost seven years ago and it cost $1200.00 while the Zeiss offering was 1350.00 at release.

I think we used different terms here. I was talking about raw resolution you pointed to sharpness. Just take a look at Sony FE PZ 16-35 mm f/4 G – first impressions and sample images - Autofocus and some remarks concerning optical properties - LensTip.com

The distortion needs extreme correction, you're losing sensor area and by this resolution. A Sony A7 IV will drop down to 24MP from 32MP by correction and cropping. If the lens still is sharper in the end, good but we still should point out the drawbacks from this "software" fix. 
On the bright side, for video we're almost at fisheye level with this lens at 16mm :D.

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I understand your concern however this is a per production lens without the lens correction added to the lens or in any of the programs like Lightroom at this point. In the review summery the result is that the lens seems to belong to the group of Sony lenses that are "opticaly outstanding". I own several of these Sony smaller, lighter, optical designs like the FE 14mm F/1.8 which also use lens correction and using the corrections the file sizes do not change from the original full frame file size. I am sure you understand these things better than I do but I do understand that Sony's goal is to make smaller, lighter, faster lenses with better image quality befitting the goal for mirrorless camera. In this regard I think Sony is doing an excellent job. 

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With its quite short minimal focusing distance and interesting magnification, it may find good use for rectilinear CFWA. In many instance, barrel distorsion is probably a minor concerns, no? 

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4 hours ago, OMorissette said:

With its quite short minimal focusing distance and interesting magnification, it may find good use for rectilinear CFWA. In many instance, barrel distorsion is probably a minor concerns, no? 

The concern is that resolution is lost when the barrel distortion is corrected in camera.  A lot of modern lenses correct distortion and other aberrations in software rather than trying to make an optically perfect lens.  In theory you should be able to turn off the distortion correction in raw processing and get that resolution back.

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Lens designers never take into account the issue of presenting a curved virtual image onto a flat sensor. In addition, close focus performance is not really a parameter for wide angle lens design.

11 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

but I do understand that Sony's goal is to make smaller, lighter, faster lenses with better image quality befitting the goal for mirrorless camera

Of course, and this is true of all camera and lens manufacturers. It should also be pointed out their goal is actually to be commercially successful! What they are not doing is designing lenses for underwater use. Any lens that works well behind a dome port is serendipitous, rather than by design.

I must confess that I am not seeing (underwater) rectilinear wide angle images produced by Sony mirrorless cameras that show good corner sharpness. Many of the images I see in reviews actually show obviously quite poor optical performance, even at online resolutions. This is not about a lens “working” underwater. Will it focus, control exposure and be sharp in the center of its frame? Undoubtedly! Will it allow for sharp corners at f/11 - no one knows yet.

It’s not about secret sauce, it is about physics!

The simple fact is that we cannot (and should not) recommend lens choices for underwater use based on specification or focal length. Some work well, others do not. Unless the lens has been used and tested underwater, any such recommendation is disingenuous. I get that we are all excited about new lenses, but please bear in mind that until someone has used it underwater (and ideally you have seen the results), you are running the risk of an expensive mistake! 

It is also perhaps important to note that historically, I would venture that the majority of rectilinear wide angle lenses do not work well behind dome ports. Many very good land lenses are poor. Those that do work well have been in a significant minority.



 

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I agree that all camera and lens manufactures are in business to make money and that some are doing much better in that regard than others. I also agree that none of those manufactures are designing cameras or lenses with U/W photographers in mind.

I also think that it is a no brainer that if you had a choice between  two lenses of the same focal range were one has poor optics above water and the other has excellent optics above water you would be more inclined to chose the better lens to test in a dome. That of course does not guarantee better corners only a better starting point. 


In this thread I said, This lens will be a very attractive offering for both stills and video paired with a 230mm dome port for best results.

I don't see this as a recommendation for an as yet untested lens, but I should have been more clear. I believe this lens will appeal to those Sony users not interested in moving to a wet wide optic. The Sony 16-35 is a popular zoom range which works better with 230mm ports than 170/180mm ports. I think the power zoom will appeal to video shooters v manual zoom and that being able to zoom without buying a gear will also be an upside. 

While sharp corners are an upside seen less with rectilinear lenses than with fisheye lenses it is only one factor in the overall picture. We would all like to see superb corner sharpness with all lenses. Some of use find the tradeoff from the distortion found in fisheye lenses to be worth a little softer corners in many applications. I think it is the reason many of use own multiple lenses for different uses. 

If the physics of Sony lenses somehow prevent them from having sharp corners it appears that 1000's of underwater photographers don't see this as a huge downside. Sony has many of the hottest selling systems in the market which I am sure helps the bottom line for many of Wetpixels advertisers who as you pointed out above wish to be commercially sucessful.  

 

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23 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

also think that it is a no brainer that if you had a choice between  two lenses of the same focal range were one has poor optics above water and the other has excellent optics above water you would be more inclined to chose the better lens to test in a dome.

I think this is an incorrect assumption. There are plenty of examples of “inferior” lenses that work better than more expensive/better optical options behind a dome port. The only way to solve the dilemma is to try both and compare the results!

I don’t disagree about using different lenses for differing creative purposes. However this thread is about one specific lens and it’s suitability for use underwater. In my opinion, soft corners with a rectilinear lens distract a viewer’s attention from the image’s subject, and hence reduce their enjoyment of it. I think it is a critical attribute. 

I am a wholehearted supporter of the amazing industry members that support this forum and all those that help us to create our imagery. I immensely value their support, advice and friendship. However, this should not and does not influence my reviews or advice on these forums, including my (personal) equipment choices and opinions.

 

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2 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

and that being able to zoom without buying a gear will also be an upside

Is that even possible? I know that on Olympus cameras you can map power zoom to camera buttons, but I wasn't aware this was an option on Sony. Some older cameras had a zoom rocker around the shutter button (A5100 comes to mind) that could actuate power zoom lenses, but this feature appears to have been dropped from newer models.

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Hi all,

I know it's only just been released, but wondering if anyone has grabbed the new Sony 16-35 F4 PZ G Lens & given it a go underwater?

It supposedly sharper than the GM and weighs less than anything else available, so quite appealing... But not too sure how the optics will work underwater.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers! 

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Merging with existing discussion on this lens. 

 

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I expect it will take a few weeks at least before someone gets it behind a dome, first thing is to work out the optimum extension and this may take a little time. Keep an eye out for updates to port charts from companies like Nauticam, that will possibly be the first indication that it has been checked for performance.

 

There's a few land based reviews about with samples a couple of points noted include some corner softness at 16mm and stopping down doesn't help that much and also the power zoom assignment to camera buttons is only active during video mode, sounds like you'll need a zoom ring for stills.

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Regarding the power zoom it does work for stills or video on newer Alpha cameras like the Sony A7 IV. The PZ can be set to buttons like the left/right arrows and you have eight different power speed levels that allow full zoom through from about two seconds to around fourteen seconds. This ability could be added to older cameras by an upgrade.  

The reason this has been overlooked by most reviewers is that a land photographer would find little use for this feature other than using it for remote focus for things like group shots, selfies or drone shots as it can also be operated from a remote or phone app. Cameralabs.com has a full review that demonstrates the use in stills.

 

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Would be realy nice to see the results of this lens. I'm just curious if the 35mm would make a differenz or if the tamron with it's 28mm is still good enough. I realy like that we have more options on e-mount. 

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Regarding new Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F/4 lens, a lovely U/W range for stills and video the lens works behind both 180 and 230mm ports. It also works very well with the S&S 77mm correction lens with a step-up (72 to 77mm) ring and 230mm port. The power zoom can be set to control buttons (OK and down arrow on mine) on the Sony A1 and A7 IV cameras. I was not able to set the zoom on Sony A7c or A7R IV, I am not sure if this can be changed with a future firmware update but at this time a zoom gear will be required.  

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It sounds like I might be one of the first divers to have used it other than Phil. I CADed up and 3d printed a zoom gear for it with my Leo Wii housing from EasyDive. I shot it behind their 240mm dome and a 40mm extension tube. Was not thrilled with the corners, but I loved the internal zooming. Because the zoom ring is digital the jump from 16-35mm is quick. I guess that could be a good thing underwater. Less rotations of the zoom gear. 

Pictures: 

https://www.drewwilsonphotography.com/Wrecks-and-Artificial-Reefs/TBF-Avenger/

https://www.drewwilsonphotography.com/Wrecks-and-Artificial-Reefs/High-Seas/ 

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@Phil Rudin Thanks for the update, Phil. I just took a quick look at the Nauticam N100 port chart and didn't see this lens listed. What port did you use it with (if you were using Nauticam) when you had the S&S correction lens attached? I'm assuming one of the N100-N120 ports?

- brett

 

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@serpentara

Thank you for sharing the links. 

It looks like a challenging photographic environment, and I would guess that you were shooting with pretty open apertures? 

Could you share your settings?

 

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