Gear Tech

Sony’s new FE PZ 16-35mm is a cool power zoom lens

Zooms at the flick of a switch and offers impressive image quality…

Ever heard of a Power Zoom lens before? Well, it’s just like a regular zoom lens but instead of twisting the zoom ring to adjust the focal length, these optics feature an innovative toggle switch that powers the zoom forwards and backwards – think of the zoom on a camcorder and you’ll be close.

Image taken with Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G / Sony

This technology is at the heart of Sony’s new wide-angle FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G lens; a compact zoom that will be suitable for landscape, portraiture and architecture photography work, along with being perfect for video – all thanks to that power zoom. What’s really clever is that the speed of the zoom can be adjust to one of eight settings.

Sony introduces the FE PZ 16-35mm…

Despite this advanced technology the full-frame lens is actually pretty compact tipping the scales at just 353g and measuring only 80.5 x 88.1mm – in fact, Sony says it’s the ‘world’s lightest constant F4 wide-angle power zoom lens’ and this means that the maximum aperture of f/4 can be achieved through the full focal range of the optic. 

The lens is powered by no less than four XD linear motors for the power zoom function in addition to the two XD linear motors used for focus and it’s even possible to control the zoom remotely on a smartphone using Sony’s Imaging Edge app. The motors bring a lot of power to the table and enable the lens to maintain accurate focus while shooting stills continuously at up to 30fps (frames per second) and up to 120fps in movie mode.

Image taken with Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G / Sony

Built around a ​​13 elements in 12 groups construction, the lens includes some quality glass with two AA (advanced aspherical) elements and a conventional aspherical elements along with One Super ED (extra-low dispersion), and one ED glass element, while one ED aspherical element controls both chromatic and spherical aberration.

Image taken with Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G / Sony

Other features include a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches (0.28 metres) at 16mm and 9.5 inches (0.24 metres) at 35mm so that smaller objects can fill the frame. The close focusing distance will also enable Vloggers to present to the camera straight in front of them. 

Image taken with Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G / Sony

The aperture ring includes a switch that can select aperture click stops that are ideal for photography or de-click operation for smooth iris control which is ideal for video. Lastly, the FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G includes a 7-bladed aperture, which should deliver pleasant and smooth circular bokeh in out of focus areas.

Image taken with Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G / Sony