The new Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G power zoom lens features a remarkably compact form factor that will appeal to both photo and video content creators.
The focal length coverage suggests the new Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G is an ideal lens for landscape and other types of photography, but Sony claims that the new lens was also designed to offer advanced features for video, including a new power zoom function. While some may argue that a power zoom for video is not in their list of wishes, the company says that it was built the lens “based on feedback from leading creators” and that it delivers “the refined imagery and control for today’s video needs.”
According to Sony, the lens “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. “
The Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G is different from previous Sony Alpha lenses. For the first time a lens from this family 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.
Sony says that 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.
A lens for hybrid content creators
As an added benefit, Sony adds, “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.” 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.
“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.”
Sony claims the FE PZ 16-35mmF4 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.
Silently track fast-moving subjects
The use of AA elements in an advanced optical design, the company adds “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.”
As noted above, the FE PZ 16-35mmF4 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) and up to 120fps in movie mode.
Focus is especially critical when shooting slow motion 4K up to 120fps or 8K movies. The FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G works with Alpha cameras 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.
Ideal for movie shooting
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 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, as well as a fluorine front element coating to keep it clean and reliable for outdoor use.