Sony Introduces Compact Ultra-Wide FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G Lens


Hot on the heels of February’s 24-50mm announcement, Sony is back with another compact, short-range zoom: the FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G. This ultra-wide full-frame lens is all about portability, with a sleek design and a useful range that hits an everyday sweet spot for those photographing architecture, interiors, landscapes, and street subjects. And with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture, it’s a solid choice for low-light shooting.

Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G
Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G

This lens is a great companion to the recently announced FE 24-50mm f/2.8 G, offering a seamless transition to broader fields of view while maintaining the super compact, lightweight design and speed benefits of a constant f/2.8. The lens is nearly identical in size to the 24-50mm, measuring the same 74.8mm-diameter and coming in at 91.4mm in length, which is 0.9mm shorter than the 24-50mm—or, in US measurements, this lens is 2.9” in diameter and 3.6” long. It weighs 409g (14.4 oz), compared to the 440g (15.5 oz) of the 24-50mm companion.

Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G and FE 24-50mm f/2.8 G
Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G and FE 24-50mm f/2.8 G

Where things get more interesting with this lens is when it’s compared to some of the other f/2.8 wide-angle zooms—namely, the FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II and the FE 12-24 f/2.8 GM. The 16-25mm f/2.8 G stands out in that it’s a G-series lens (not a GM) yet features the f/2.8 design. Other G lenses, while offering greater reach, have a more modest f/4 design. The second distinction of the new lens is the unique focal length that sits right in between a 12-24mm and a 16-35mm. It's for someone who doesn’t need the 12mm or 35mm positions of the other two zooms, is happy working in that middle wide-angle area, and prioritizes a lens that’s notably smaller and lighter than these other f/2.8 ultra-wide zooms.

Moving over to the specs, there are a lot of similarities between this lens and the 24-50mm; they’re both Sony G lenses that are star performers when it comes to sharpness and clarity. Aspherical and extra-low dispersion glass elements help achieve an impressive MTF chart, and an 11-blade diaphragm produces smooth, rounded bokeh for shallow depth of field shooting. The lens can focus as close as 7.1” at the wide end and 9.5” at the long end, resulting in a maximum magnification of 0.2x (or a bit closer when manually focusing).

Autofocus is handled by a pair of linear motors and it’s an internal focusing system, which helps keep focusing speeds quick enough to sync up to the 120 fps burst shooting modes of the a9 III. The lens also supports Focus Breathing Compensation, making it a good option for video shooters and vloggers.

Physically, the lens is resistant to dust and moisture and there is a front fluorine coating that’s easy to clean and resists smudging. There’s also a dedicated focus ring, tactile focus hold button, and a manual aperture ring that can be de-clicked. Also, to keep up with the similarities between the 16-25mm and the 24-50mm, the lenses share the same 67mm filter ring diameter as well as the exact same lens hood model, the ALC-SH178.

Quoting from the announcement of the 24-50mm, this “isn’t the flashiest of lens releases,” but it is a solid and welcomed addition to a filled-out lens lineup. It adds something new for those looking for ultra-wide coverage while hoping to maintain both speed and portability. If you’re willing to sacrifice the edges of zoom ranges of a 12-24mm or 16-35mm while gaining portability, the FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G is a solid partner to a walkaround vlogging setup or a great companion for landscape and travel photography.

If you want to learn more about this lens you can find all the details on the product page. You can also leave a comment, below, with any of your thoughts or questions.