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Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G First Look Review

Our Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G First Look review includes a hands-on video and sample images in order for you to discover exactly how this new wide angle zoom lens can benefit your content creation.

With a lightweight design which is easy to carry and work with, this full-frame addition to the Sony E mirrorless lens range is ideal for travel photography and video content creation. If you’re a hybrid or video-first creator the lens will be of particular interest thanks to its compatibility with Sony's breathing compensation and active stabilisation features, helping achieve cinematic shots far more easily.

So let's dive in and discover what it offers, how much it costs, and how it compares to other lenses for Sony E cameras.

Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G First Look Review

Sample images

All the sample images for this review were taken by our very own Gareth Evans during his video review, using the A7C II camera.

Key Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G lens features

This wide angle zoom lens packs numerous features including G-Series optics into an extremely portable frame, the most important of which include:

  • Constant aperture f/2.8 full-frame ultra wide zoom
  • Measures 74.8 x 91.4mm and weighs just 409g
  • Special optics include ED, aspherical ED, and aspherical lens elements
  • 0.17m minimum focus distance with 0.2x maximum magnification
  • Linear Motor maintains up to 30fps and autofocus in 4K120p
  • Includes a de-click aperture control switch
  • Compatible with Active stabilisation and breathing compensation features
  • Excellent handling with customisable buttons and linear Response MF
  • 11-blade circular aperture
  • Dust and moisture-resistant design

Sample 01 pet photo at 25mm. Camera settings 1/1000 sec. f/4. ISO 320

Sample pet photo at 25mm. Camera settings 1/1000 sec. f/4. ISO 320

How much does the Sony 16-25mm f/2.8 G Lens cost?

Reflecting its combination of contemporary G-series optical quality and a lightweight fully-featured design, the Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G Lens costs £1249.00. This is just £100.00 more than the FE 24-50mm F/2.8 G, which is a standard zoom comparable to this model.

What is a 16-25mm lens good for?

A 16-25mm lens provides an ultra wide to wide focal range, which is particularly suitable for certain types of photography, offering a broad scope of potential uses. When mounted on a crop sensor camera, it effectively becomes a 24-37.5mm zoom lens, which still maintains a wide angle of view.

Here are some common uses for this lens:

  • Landscape photography
  • Architectural photography
  • Street photography
  • Wedding and event photography
  • Environmental portraits
  • Vlogging
  • Videography

Sample 02 landscape at 16mm. Camera settings 1/400 sec. f/4. ISO 100

Sample landscape at 16mm. Camera settings 1/400 sec. f/4. ISO 100

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it gives you an idea of the most common types of subjects suitable for this focal range. If you tend to shoot subjects which are close to the camera like interiors and food for example, you may also find this a great option as a walk around lens for everyday photography.

Next let’s find out how this model fits within the existing range.

Compared to the 24-50 G lens

Where does the 16-25mm f/2.8 G fit into Sony's range?

Sony offers alternatives like the original FE 16-35mm F/2.8 GM and second generation FE 16-35mm F/2.8 GM II, however these are larger and more expensive. Pairing the new 16-25mm with the Sony FE 24-50mm F/2.8 G Lens offers a wider reach from more compact models.

This option will be preferable to many creators and filmmakers who operate within a narrower zoom range and want the additional reach with a wide aperture, without needing to invest in premium GM lenses.

Other options include the FE 12-24mm F/4 G lens, although this has a slower aperture and 1mm less range, cementing the 16-25mm f/2.8 G as the new go-to choice as an affordable ultra wide full-frame zoom.

Sample 03 flowers at 25mm. Camera settings 1/1250 sec. f/2.8. ISO 100

Sample flowers at 25mm. Camera settings 1/1250 sec. f/2.8. ISO 100

What’s the Sony 16 25 image quality like?

Sony’s G-Series optics have given rise to some incredibly capable lenses of late, which include the 70-200mm F/4 G OSS II and 20-70mm F/4 G. What these have in common with the 16-25mm f/2.8 G is an optical formula designed to capture stunning image quality, while remaining compact and lightweight.

To achieve this the 16-25mm f/2.8 lens includes 16 lens elements arranged in 13 groups, with 3 ED, and 4 aspherical elements, one of which is an ED aspherical lens. These achieve excellent resolution, detail and contrast, with extremely well controlled aberrations throughout the frame and across the zoom range.

The design also allows for high magnficiation with a close minimum focus distance. This not only enables you to achieve images where the subject fills the frame, but also renders high contrast and sharp results when shooting closer to your subject.

The result of all of this technology is a compact and portable zoom, which captures sharp images, minimal aberrations, and smooth bokeh. Rounded bokeh is captured by the 11-blade circular aperture, coupled with the wide f/2.8 opening, making for excellent low light capabilities too.

All in all you can’t ask for more from an optic in this price bracket, which will appeal to enthusiasts as much as it will professionals who value the portability of this model.

Sample 04 abstract photo at 25mm. Camera settings 1/1250 sec. f/2.8. ISO 320

Sample DOF abstract photo at 25mm. Camera settings 1/1250 sec. f/2.8. ISO 320

How is the focus speed?

If you capture moving subjects it’s well worth considering the focus capabilities of any lens, which is especially true when capturing close-ups where pin sharp accuracy is vital. The Sony 16-25mm maintains extremely quick AF thanks to a linear motor, keeping pace with cameras like the A1's 30fps.

It will also maintain focus during high-speed 4K video at 120p, ensuring consistently sharp and smooth results at the very fastest speeds, which any Sony camera is capable of.

Durability and ease of use

Every Sony lens is built to last and this model includes a dust and moisture resistant design to keep the elements at bay. It also benefits from internal focusing, a multi-coating and comes with a petal shape, bayonet type hood to securely reduce the effects of incidental light.

As has become customary the barrel features customisable buttons, enabling you to set your most frequently used features to an easy to reach button, while the Linear Response MF ensures immediate, intuitive manual focus for stills and video recording.

Lifestyle photo mounted on the A7C II camera body

Lens accessories

A compact 67mm filter thread accepts threaded camera lens filters. Depending on what you shoot popular options might include a Hoya 67mm UX II UV Filter to protect the front element, a Hoya 67mm UX II Circular Polariser Filter for outdoor shooting and the Hoya 67mm Variable Density II to record video in bright conditions.

You can also add square systems from LEE filters such as the LEE100 Filter System Long Exposure Kit, which requires a LEE Filters 100mm System 67mm Wide Angle Adaptor Ring.

Keeping your lens clean is essential, and requires only the ZEISS Lens Cleaning Kit, or a similar Hurricane blower plus a lens cloth to get the job done.


The newest Sony wide angle lens is a thoughtful addition to a comprehensive range, which adds a relatively affordable zoom for stills and video content creation. It combines the latest optical know-how with portability to deliver fantastic results across the zoom range, which is key for many creators.

Reserve your Sony FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G lens today and explore our comprehensive range of Sony mirrorless camera lenses to find the perfect one for your needs.

If you’ve got an older model, or other camera gear to sell, why not grab a free quotation from us and we’ll ensure the entire upgrade process is as smooth as it can possibly be.

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By Nick Dautlich on 16/04/2024

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