Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G Lens Announced – a Compact f/2.8  Wide Zoom

April 16th, 2024 Jump to Comment Section
Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G Lens Announced - a Compact f/2.8  Wide Zoom

Sony announces a new f/2.8 wide zoom lens. The new FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G will complement Sony’s recent FE 24-50mm f/2.8 G with similar physical and optical attributes (aside from field of view, of course). The new lens opts to combine compactness, good optical and mechanical quality, ample controls, and relative affordability.

Fast aperture and high optical quality should contradict compactness and affordability. Yet, since the mirrorless revolution erupted we are seeing more and more attempts to challenge that constant. While slower lenses are always cheaper and lighter, it seems manufacturers have managed to minimize the weight and price of f/2.8 zooms quite significantly. 

The Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G joins its FE 24-50mm f/2.8 G stablemate, starting a compact f/2.8 set. This sub-segment of affordable, compact f/2.8 zooms was pioneered by Tamron, which still occupies a major position in it. Tamron’s f/2.8 trinity is comprised of the 17-28, 28-75 and 70-180. There’s also a compact 20-40, all with a constant f/2.8 aperture. SIGMA also recently joined the fray with both 16-28 and 28-70 lenses. These entries indicate the growing popularity and demand for such lenses on which Sony wishes to capitalize.

Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G. Image credit: Sony

Mechanical quality

The Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G is a well-built lens. Being part of the G line means decent materials, craftsmanship, tolerances, and weather sealing as well, making the lens an excellent choice for the outdoors. Ample control methods should elevate the shooting experience. Geared towards both still and video, these include the following: 

  • Declickable aperture ring
  • Linear response manual focus ring
  • Custom button
  • AF/MF switch
Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G controls. Image credit: Sony

All are crammed onto a relatively small lens, but this seems like a reasonable compromise. The FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G weighs 409g, perfect for smaller gimbals or tripods. Filter diameter is the common 67mm, the same as the one used for the FE 24-50mm f/2.8 G. The lens uses dual linear focus motors.

Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G Dual linear focus mechanism. Image credit: Sony

Optical quality

Sony made quite an effort here. The optical formula includes three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and four aspherical elements, including one ED aspherical glass. This rather complex design should help minimize distortions and aberrations. The FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G utilizes 11 rounded aperture blades to render circular bokeh at all aperture settings. The minimum focus distance is 18cm. Considering the wide field of view, this won’t result in an impressive reproduction ratio but will allow for nice perspective manipulations. Sony also promises reduced focus breathing.

Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G close focus ability. Image credit: Sony

Who is it for

The FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G caters to the needs of many. The combination of fast aperture, compact yet sturdy build, and relatively affordable price tag does the job. Wedding, outdoor, documentary, gimbal, street, family, landscape, etc. All these genres may benefit from such a lens. The Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G seems to have it all, but it also has some stiff competition. 

Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G in hand. Image credit: Sony


As mentioned, the sub-segment of compact, affordable, f/2.8 zooms got pretty crowded in recent years. The new FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G faces direct competition by both Tamron and SIGMA, and also by other Sony stablemates. SIGMA’s 16-28mm f/2.8 DG DN and Tamron’s 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD are about the same size and weight but cost significantly less ($900 and $800 respectively). While both lenses don’t offer the same level of control, and are probably a tad worse regarding build quality, the price difference is significant. The core features of these lenses are compactness and affordability, and in that regard, the 3rd party offers take the lead. 

Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G. Image credit: Sony

Tamron also offers an interesting 20-40mm f/2.8 Di III VXD option. While not directly comparable, this compact lens covers quite a wide angle while offering better normal coverage. For some, this lens may render both a 16-25 and a 24-50 obsolete. The same may also apply to the Sony FE 20-70 f/4 G. True, it’s not a direct comparison. I do, however, suspect that many of those considering the 16-25 may do with the slower, less expensive 20-70mm and its superior zoom range (while maintaining compactness).  

Price and availability

The Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G will cost $1,198/€1,400. The lens will be available from April 22nd.

Do you get the appeal of compact fast zooms? Will the new Sony FE 16-25 f/2.8 G fit your bill? Let us know in the comments.

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