Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G review: do the best things really come in small packages?

The Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G delivers wide viewing angles while keeping size and weight to a minimum

Sony FE 16-25mm F2.8 G
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Bigger isn’t always better and, for me, a key selling point of the Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G is that it’s remarkably small and lightweight for a full-frame compatible wide-angle zoom with a constant f/2.8 aperture rating. There are plenty of handling extras packed into this diminutive lens, making it a highly attractive proposition, but it doesn’t come cheap.


  • +

    Impressive image quality

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    Small for an f/2.8 wide-angle zoom

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    Neat handling characteristics


  • -

    Small zoom range

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    Needs correction for distortion

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    Quite pricey

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Everybody loves ‘trinity’ wide-angle, standard and telephoto f/2.8 zoom lenses, right? Actually, you can count me out. Especially for mirrorless cameras, I tend to prefer ‘slower’ f/4 zooms that are smaller and more lightweight, and feel a better balance for relatively slimline bodies, and I switch to a prime lens when I feel the need for speed. 

Following in the footsteps of the Sony FE 24-50mm f/2.8 G standard zoom, the 16-25mm redresses the balance, giving a fairly fast f/2.8 aperture throughout its zoom range, but with a comparatively small and light build. Something has to give, naturally, and the zoom range itself is more restrictive than usual in both lenses. Even so, both zooms aim to take up residence in the line-up of best Sony lenses on the market, and have a lot to offer owners of the best Sony cameras in the full-frame camp.

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Mount optionsSony E (FE)
Lens construction16 elements in 13 groups
Angle of view107-82 degrees
Diaphragm blades11
Minimum aperturef/22
Minimum focus distance0.18mm (0.17m MF)
Maximum magnification0.2x (0.23x MF)
Filter size67mm
Sony FE PZ 16-35mm f/4 G

The similarly priced Sony FE PZ 16-35mm f/4 G is a worthy alternative if you major on shooting video and vlogging. For this application, the power zoom helps to ensure smooth focal length transitions.

Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD

The compact and lightweight Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD is a great alternative to the Sony lens. It goes marginally less wide-angle but has a more generous overall zoom range, again with a fast and constant f/2.8 aperture. Handling isn’t as exotic but it only costs about two-thirds as much to buy.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.