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As most Dooyoo members and followers of my reviews will know much of the cameras and lenses I review are ones I have tested for my camera club or been invited to test by manufacturers, this review however is on a lens that I own personally and use as part of my professional kit.
The lens in question is the Sony SAL16105 this is a zoom lens designed for use with Sony DSLR`s, the mounting type is Minolta A-type so this lens can be use with old Minolta cameras but best results will come from use with the modern Sony DSLR`s.
I shoot Sony as a professional, many other pro`s shoot Canon or Nikon or the likes but I made the decision to go Sony even though they are new to the world of DSLR`s because the image stabalisation is built in to the camera and not the lens which means neither this nor any other Sony lens comes with built in image stabalisation making them cheaper than other branded lenses which need this.
The focal length of this particular zoom lens is 16 to 105 mm which is an optical zoom of six and a half times, I have many other lenses that I use for a variety of types of photography but this one is a great lens for portraits and especially outdoor portraits where you want to blur the backgrounds, having an aperture possibility of F3.5 means that this lens when used at F3.5, F4 or F5.6 will allow you to throw the background nicely out of focus whilst keeping the person in the picture tack sharp.
What I like about this lens and other Sony lenses is the build quality of them, these are heavy sturdy lenses that you feel very safe when using that they won't break with the slightest knock or bump of which there can be lots when shooting outdoors.
The glass quality of this zoom lens means that when you take a picture you can rest assured that what you see is what you will photograph, the colours will be reproduced to perfection and the exposure, focus, and contrast in shadow and highlight will all be captured which is rarely the case with cheaper DSLR lenses and hardly ever the case with compact cameras.
The minimum focus range of this lens is 40cm so it will let you get quite close to what you are photographing but is by no means a macro lens. The lens can be used as a manual or auto focus lens and when on auto focus it will focus quietly and quickly, this lens focuses almost instantly when used with my Sony A900 camera but the Sigmas and other lenses I use cannot keep up with the camera itself so focusing is slower by a noticeable margin than this Sony.
Back to the build quality and although this lens is a heavy lens it does not suffer from lens creep which is a phenomenon caused by the weight of the lens dragging the lens out when you are focusing on something downwards, even with a filter and a lens hood on I can point this lens straight to the ground and it will stay at the exact zoom range I have chosen, absolutely no lens creep at all.
Many people think that if you want to shoot wide angle then you need a specifically designed prime wide angle lens and you may get the very best results from a prime wide angle lens but this lens used at 16mm which is wide angle produces great results and the beauty of a wide to telephoto lens is that if I am shooting wide angle and suddenly see something in the distance that makes a great shot I do not need to change lens or get myself closer to shoot I simply zoom in and this lens shows no sign of softer images at any part of the zoom range like cheaper lenses do it shoots consistently well at all ranges.
This lens is of course not cheap, it will cost you around the £500 mark these days which is around £100 cheaper than when I bought it around 9 months ago. With the lens you get the caps for both ends and a lens hood, this may seem like a lot of money to many people but when you consider that I have lenses that cost me well over a thousand pounds you can see that it is nowhere near the most expensive of lenses and if you really want to get the very best photos like the pro`s take then you really need to get some good glass (pro talk for good lenses).
THE SONY SAL16105 SPECIFICATIONS:
Focal Length 16 mm - 105 mm
Lens Aperture F/3.5-5.6
Minimum Aperture F/22 - f/36
Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 24 - 157.5mm
Optical Zoom 6.5 x
Min Focus Range 40 cm
Focus Adjustment Automatic, manual
Zoom Adjustment Manual
Max View Angle 83 degree(s)
Min View Angle 15 degree(s)
Lens Construction 11 group(s) / 15 element(s)
Filter Size 62 mm
Diaphragm Blades 7
Mounting Type Minolta A-type
Features Internal focusing system, ED glass, focus clutch mechanism, aspherical lens
Length 8.3 cm
Diameter 7.2 cm
Weight 470 g
TO SUM UP:
There are lenses out there that cover the same focal lengths that this lens does and offer the same apertures as this lens but they are simply not as well made and will not give the same results as this one will. If you are happy getting results that you and your friends find excellent then the cheaper lenses may well supply you with all you need but if you want photos that can be entered into the many competitions that are around these days or you want to sell your work then you really want a truly excellent lens that you can rely on and the Sony SAL16105 is exactly that.
LOOKS - 10/10
BUILD QUALITY - 9/10
EASE OF USE - 9/10
IMAGE QUALITY - 10/10
VALUE FOR MONEY 10/10
OVERALL - 10/10
** PLEASE NOTE THAT THE QUICK RATING GUIDE BELOW HAS BATTERY LIFE LISTED BUT AS THE LENS DOES NOT USE BATTERIES THIS IS OF COURSE NOT RELEVANT**
Thanks for reading.