Sony 16-35mm f/4.0 PZ FE First Look Power (zoom) to the people

Today Sony introduced a new power zoom full-frame lens – the Sony 16-35mm f/4.0 PZ FE. This lens will be positioned between the faster f/2.8 GM and Sony-Zeiss f/4 lens and targeted at hybrid and video shooters.

16-35mm f/4.0 PZ FE – a Wide Angle power zoom lens

Sony already has a higher-end video-centric FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G cinema lens which comes with a special servo unit (this lens is probably derived from the faster GM lens). The Sony 16-35mm f/4.0 PZ FE is a new, slower lens that emphasizes size and weight as well as presents a more affordable option (the FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G sells for over $5.5K).

The new lens has 4 linear XD motors which the company promises can be used for slow to high-speed zoom either manually or with the power zoom function (the XD motors also power the power zoom mechanism – for the first time in any Sony lens).

The Sony 16-35mm f/4.0 PZ FE lens

16-35mm f/4.0 PZ FE

When it comes to size, the lens is pretty compact at 8.8cm and with a very lightweight of 353 grams (12.4oz) – half the weight of the GM version. The lens doesn’t extend for focus or zoom which might make it attractive to many gimbal users.

The lens has a pretty complex optical design with 13 elements in 12 groups including 2 advanced aspherical elements, a Super ED element, another regular ED element, a regular aspherical element, and an ED aspherical element.

When it comes to close-up performance, the lens can focus as close as 24cm (at 35mm) or 28cm (16mm) with a macro magnification ratio of 1:4.3.

As for the zoom – the lens has a zoom lever on the side of the lens and some bodies like the FX3/ZV-10 can change to power zoom (and you can also control it via some remotes) and with some newer models can let you assign a specific key to the zoom.

A new favorite lens for gimbal users?

16-35mm-f4.0-PZ-FE-gimbal

Sony claims that the lens has little to no breathing (which is especially important for such a video-centric power zoom lens) and more interestingly, after talking to Sony they have confirmed that the lens is parfocal, meaning, it will keep focus even when you change the zoom which is a fantastic option (and fairly rare among zoom lenses).

In terms of control, the lens has a triple ring design (focus, zoom, and aperture) with AF/MF switch and a focus hold button, and a de-click switch. You of course also have the zoom lever on the side of the lens just keep in mind that operating it while shooting can shake the lens.

On the Sony FX6

16-35mm-f4.0-PZ-FE-on-FX6

Sony 16-35mm f/4.0 PZ FE Specs

Here are the main specs of the new Sony 16-35mm f/4.0 PZ FE lens:

  • Lens: 16-35mm f/4 lens with FF coverage.
  • AF mechanism: two XD motors for AF and another two for zoom.
  • Optical design: 13 elements in 12 groups.
  • Aperture blades: 7.
  • Coatings: fluorine coating.
  • Sealing: dust and moisture resistant.
  • Minimum focus distance: 24cm (@35mm).
  • Macro magnification: 1:4.3.
  • Filter thread: 72mm.
  • Weight: 353g (12.4oz).

Pricing and availability

When it comes to pricing the lens will start shipping in May 2022 for $1400.

Hand on reviews from around the web

There are already several hands-on reviews of the new Sony 16-35mm f/4.0 PZ FE:

Gerald Undone on the new Sony 16-35mm f/4.0 PZ FE

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ZY Cheng on the new Sony lens

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Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter on the new Sony 

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Gordon Laing on the new Sony 16-35mm f/4

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Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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