Making a switch? Sigma 24-70 f2.8 to Carl Zeiss 16-80...discussion?

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by steve_c.|5, May 21, 2009.

  1. I'm using the Sigma now, which is a decent lens, but I'm not as happy with the sharpness and quality as I had hoped. Also seeing some CA faintly around some bright edges as well. It's about a $400 lens here in the US, but I'm thinking about making a switch to the CZ, in the interest of better quality.
    Now with the Sigma, I've got an f2.8 aperture which is nice, and also macro. But, I'm not satisfied with the bokeh, which results in out of focus objects in the background becoming blurry circles instead of a creamier bokeh which I would prefer.
    With the CZ, I'd have a max aperture of f3.5, and would give up macro. But, I'd have a wider zoom range, Zeiss quality, and I hope better smoother bokeh on the tele end for portraits. I would also have the much noted vignetting at the 16mm end to contend with, but I've got other very wide lenses to get around that problem. The CZ would run me around $600 here in the US, so a bit more cash outlay. But, by Ebaying the Sigma, I could get into it.
    Your thoughts/experience?
  2. I have the 17-50/2.8, but I can't say it would be anything over your Sigma. Have you considered the new Sigma 24-70/2.8 HSM? Seems an entirely different lens optically (performance wise), though it should be, with that price...
  3. I haven't investigated that one, Rich, but I'm sure it's good/pricey. I'll check it out. I'd be happier I feel with the wider zoom range of the Zeiss, but without the Sigma, I'll be stuck without a good macro for doing ring shots, flower closeups, etc. Can't have everything I guess.
  4. If the lack of width is an actual issue with the Sigma, I'd definately consider replacing it over an issue with sharpness. The 16-80 does seem a good fit. I don't think you would miss the wider aperture that much... you can use this lens wide open, plus you always have wide lenses like your 20/1.8 and 30/1.4 if you need that wide aperture? There seems to be lots more 16-80's available now too, since a lot of people jumped to the A900.
  5. Did you consider the Sigma 17-70 2,8-4,5 DC macro ? It gives you almost the range and speed of the CZ 16-80, plus macro ability for less than half the price.
    I have this lens in two mounts (Canon and Sigma) and I must say its versatility and performance/price ratio are very good. The only thing to wish for is IS and HSM motor.
    For some more money there is the Sigma 18-50 2,8 DC EX Macro, which have about the same optical performance as the lens above but of course is faster and have a shorter range.
    If you have the funds thou, I think ( since I dont own the CZ 16-80) the CZ is the better choise if you can live without the macro ability. You can always use diopter lenses and extension rings for closer focus.
  6. If you want a macro just for ring shots, get the 50mm macro, costs not very much and weighs not very much.
    I wouldn't get too excited the CA on the CZ stuff if my CZ24-70 is anything to go by. It definately still shows significant CA especially when subjects are backlit.
    Is sharpness that much of an issue for you? My standard zoom before I bought the CZ24-70 was the Tokina AT-X 28-80mm which whilst not as sharp was more than adequate. Where the CZ really comes into it's own is for the speed and accuracy of AF. Heck, if you want a cheap standard zoom, I've still got the Tokina, haven't got around to ebaying it yet.
  7. If it helps, I could send you some unmanipulated samples from the 17-50, Steve.
  8. Sorry to break in with bad news, but accuracy of AF is not the strong point of the CZ 16-80.
    My sample of this lens collects dust because it has focus error on my _two_ Sony A100 bodies and Minolta 5d body. Moreover, unlike most other lenses, it shows focus errors on the tele side, which is untolerable.
  9. With regards to Oleg's comments, I would make the assumption that Steve would look for a good copy of this lens, as there are known QC issue with it. And with second thoughts to my last comment, I would forget the 17-50 Tamron lens Steve, the build quality is far too low for your line of work.
  10. I did step into a SonyStyle store here in Florida this weekend, and talked the salesman (who knew nothing useful) into letting me put the 16-80CZ on an A300. Sure, they had an A700 there, but it had a security block over the lens release and they could not remove it for me to play with. Anyway, I didn't get to inspect photo output from the lens by downloading test shots, but it did AF properly and I could detect no vignetting on the corners at 16mm on the LCD. That's not to say the final images wouldn't have vignetting, of course. I did like the build and range of it, though. I do think I could live with one, as long as I got a good copy.
  11. If you're patient Steve, you might get gifted a Sony 16-55/2.8 type lens. It's one of the definate 'holes' in Sony's lens selection. Though, i wouldn't hold your breath. There have been leaks of a 10-24 lens on Sony sites now, so we can expect that to be a Tamron re-make which means if we did get a 2.8 APS-C standard zoom, it would likely just be a remake of the 17-50 Tamron lens :(.
    I wish you luck with the 16-80. Maybe try posting a WTB on People on there would probably even send full res sample pictures if you request so (so that you know you get a good copy).
  12. My dream lens right now would be a 10-24 f2.8 with better sharpness than my Sigma 10-20. Where did you see anything about a 10-24 on a Sony site? I'd love to know more.
    Have you seen any scuttlebut about a 16-55 f2.8? If it's sharp and a macro, I'd be all over it.
    I'll keep doing my research. Business is slow for everyone in the States right now and lens funds are non-existent for the time being, so it's no rush.
  13. Click here:
    I saw it on a couple of days ago. It shows a few accessories/lenses that were all lifted from a Sony site, so they're not 'fakes' as such. I suspect a SAL-10-24 is surely just a Tamron remake though ?
    I see Tokina have a 11-16mm f/2.8, and a 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 fisheye zoom. Both seem to get okay reviews. As does their 16-50/2.8, where the only real problems with that is CA and distortion at the wide end.Those sound like nice wide lenses though, don' they? Shame Tokina don't like Sony. No bickering about a 16-55/2.8. I doubt we would get such a lens. Sorry to hear business is low at the moment - hang in there, I'm sure it'll pick up soon.
  14. Steve, noticed this review of the 16-80 on Photoclub Alpha. I think it's been there a while but I've never noticed it because I haven't been particularly interested in the lens.
    Suffice to say, apart from built quality, it seems to be a pretty glowing review.

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