Sony has announced the FE PZ 16–35mm f/4 G, a full-frame wide-angle lens with power zoom that is targeted at “hybrid” shooters. Focus and zoom are both internal, so the lens has potential for use in an underwater housing.
While Sony has produced other power-zoom lenses, this is the first with linear motors for driving both autofocus and zoom. The feature distinguishes the lens from the existing Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar FE 16–35mm f/4, a popular choice for underwater photographers. The lens offers both a control ring and control lever for zooming, and zoom speed depends on how quickly you rotate the ring or how far you move the lever. The zoom ring rotation direction can be customized to taste. There are also physical focus and aperture rings.
Boasting a dust- and moisture-resistant design, the lens features 13 elements in 12 groups, including two advanced aspherical elements, one extra-low dispersion (ED) element, one aspherical element, one Super ED element and one ED aspherical element. A fluorine coating on the front element repels water, oil and other contaminants. The minimum focusing distance is 11in (28cm) at 16mm and 9.5in (24cm) at 35mm. At 12.5oz (350g), it’s also impressively lightweight.
Available in June at retailers such as Backscatter, the FE PZ 16–35mm f/4 G has an MSRP of $1,200, a little cheaper than the Sony Zeiss equivalent.
When purchasing underwater photography equipment like the products mentioned in this article, please support DPG by supporting our retail partner—Backscatter.com.
Sony Electronics Announces the World’s Lightest Constant F4 Wide-Angle Power Zoom Lens, the Compact FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G™
Latest Addition to Sony’s E-mount Lens Line-Up Offers Evolved Image Quality and Operability for Full-Frame, Content Creation
SAN DIEGO, CA – March 22, 2022 – Sony Electronics Inc. today introduced the FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G (model SELP1635G) – a wide-angle power zoom with evolved image quality, high performance AF (autofocus), and superior operability designed to meet the needs of today’s creators.
Developed with Sony’s vast expertise in lens design, the FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G delivers outstanding performance and control in the world’s lightest[i] full-frame wide-angle power-zoom lens with a constant F4 aperture. The compact hybrid lens offers refined image quality, reliable G lens rendering, and industry-leading AF performance in a remarkably compact form factor that will appeal to both photo and video content creators. The FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G is ideal for everything from video production and vlogging to street and landscape photography, offering a variety of outstanding hybrid features such as incredible resolution, beautiful bokeh, and fast and precise AF. In addition, Sony’s newest lens offers advanced video features including an innovative power zoom function and refined capabilities such as an independent aperture control ring for even more creative control.
“The needs of our community are our top priority. As the content creation landscape continues to evolve and the worlds of still imaging and video continue to merge, we are constantly developing new products to meet this growing demand for hybrid content creators,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “With an advanced feature set and unmatched portability and flexibility, The FE PZ 16-35MM F4 G is perfectly designed to meet these evolving needs and ensure that today’s creators can realize their full vision.”
Evolved Image Quality for Photos and Videos
The FE PZ 16-35MM F4 G offers an extraordinary blend of breathtaking resolution and beautiful bokeh in a lightweight, compact lens. The optical path includes two AA (advanced aspherical) elements and a conventional aspherical element for an accurate image across the frame and 16-35mm zoom range. One Super ED (extra-low dispersion), and one ED glass element control chromatic aberration, while one ED aspherical element controls both chromatic and spherical aberration.
The use of AA elements in an advanced optical design also ensures excellent close-up performance throughout the zoom range – minimum focusing distance is 11 inches (0.28 meters) at 16mm and 9.5 inches (0.24 meters) at 35mm, with a maximum magnification of 0.23x. Additionally, an optimized coating effectively suppresses flare and ghosting for clear, well-defined images.
A circular aperture and carefully designed control of spherical aberration work together to deliver smooth, deep full-frame bokeh that adds visual impact.
The FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G utilizes two XD (Extreme Dynamic) Linear motors to control autofocus. The fast response and smooth, quiet operation of this system gives users new creative freedom. With Sony’s flagship Alpha 1 body it is possible to maintain accurate focus while shooting stills continuously at up to 30fps (frames per second)[ii] and up to 120fps in movie mode.
Focus is especially critical when shooting slow motion 4K up to 120fps or 8K movies[iii]. The FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G works with Alpha cameras[iv] to reliably focus, and smoothly and silently track even fast-moving subjects. High-thrust XD Linear Motors, optimized optics, and responsive control add up to extraordinarily precise AF performance while keeping the lens compact with internal focus.
Advanced Features for Video Including a New Power Zoom Function
Based on feedback from leading creators, Sony specifically designed the FE PZ 16-35MM F4 G to deliver the refined imagery and control for today’s video needs. It features the latest lens technology to reduce focus breathing as well as focus and axial shift when zooming to ensure the highest quality video is easily captured. Focus, zoom, and aperture operation are also extremely quiet, greatly reducing noise and vibration that can interfere with movie recording.
For the first time in a Sony Alpha lens the FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G uses four XD linear motors for the power zoom function in addition to the two XD linear motors used for focus. With this newly designed electronic power zoom system, the FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G provides advanced control with the response and immediacy of non-powered manual zoom. It features both a zoom ring and a zoom lever with variable zoom speed that makes it easy to execute super-slow, fast or constant-speed change in focal length. Power zoom also minimizes camera shake or movement that can occur when operating a traditional zoom ring, and when used with compatible cameras, users can customize the zoom ring direction to suit shooting conditions. Zoom can also be controlled with the zoom lever on compatible cameras. Remote operation is also possible when using the Imaging Edge™ Mobile app[v].
As an added benefit, users can operate buttons and controls on compatible cameras or accessories for convenient zoom control, including the GP-VPT2BT Bluetooth Grip and Remote Commander RMT-P1BT to remotely control zoom while the camera is mounted on a gimbal[vi].
Furthermore, Linear Response MF ensures high repeatability as the focus ring responds directly and repeatably to subtle control when focusing manually. An aperture ring makes manual aperture/iris control fast, direct, and easy. The aperture ring includes a switch that can select aperture click stops that are ideal for photography or de-click operation for smooth iris control which is ideal for video.
Superior Mobility, Control and Reliability
World-class design and technology come together to deliver a compact, lightweight lens that also includes focus, zoom and aperture/iris rings and power zoom for unprecedented mobility and handling.
Using internal focus and internal zoom, the overall length of the lens remains constant during use for ideal balance and handling. Consistent balance makes this lens an ideal choice for gimbal-mounted movie shooting or use with a matte box. The focus ring can be easily controlled while shooting movies, and the adjacent focus and zoom rings are different sizes so they can be easily operated by feel while viewing the monitor.
More convenient features on the FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G include the Iris Lock Switch that can be engaged to prevent the aperture ring from being accidentally moved between the auto and F4 - F22 settings and the customizable focus hold button for convenient control.
As the world’s lightest[i] F4 wide-angle power-zoom lens, the FE PZ 16-35MM F4 G weighs just 12 ounces (353 grams), 30% less than the Vario-Tessar T* FE 16–35 mm F4 ZA OSS and is just 3.17 inches x 3.47 inches (80.5mm x 88.1mm) in size with a filter diameter of φ72mm. The lens also has a dust and moisture resistant design[vii], as well as a fluorine front element coating to keep it clean and reliable for outdoor use.
Pricing and Availability
The new FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G will be available in June 2022 for approximately $1,200.00 USD and $1,500.00 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
New content will also be posted directly at the Sony Photo Gallery. For detailed product information, please visit:
A product video on the new FE PZ 16-35MM F4 G can be viewed HERE.
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new FE PZ 16-35MM F4 G and Sony's other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony α - Alpha brand.
[i] As of March 2022, Sony survey of constant F4 wide-angle zoom lenses for 35mm full-frame sensors
[ii] Hi+” continuous shooting mode. Effective at 1/125 sec. or higher shutter speed. In AF-C mode at shutter speeds of 1/250 sec. or higher the maximum continuous frame rate will depend on the shooting mode.
[iii] 4K: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. 8K: 7,680 x 4,320 pixels.
[iv] Compatibility info at: https://www.sony.net/dics/breathing/
Available in movie mode only. Angle of view and image quality may change slightly when this function is used. Compensation may not be able to cover all situations.
[vi] Zoom operation depends on the body used. Refer to the help guide for details.
[vii] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.
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