Sony DT 16–50 mm F2.8 SSM Review

The Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens is a flexible zoom lens that was developed for use with Sony Alpha cameras that use the APS-C format. This lens offers remarkable versatility for a variety of photographic applications, such as landscape photography, portrait photography, and street photography, thanks to its broad focal length range and its quick maximum aperture of F2.8. Because of its sophisticated focusing technology, solid build quality, and picture stabilization, it is a solution that is trustworthy for both novice and professional photographers.

In this study, we will investigate the lens’ performance, autofocus system, vibration reduction, build quality, handling and ergonomics, image stabilization, shooting experience, picture quality, and teleconverter compatibility, as well as compare it to other lenses in its class. In addition, we will go through the benefits and drawbacks of the lens, as well as its price and availability, and we will wrap things up by providing an overview of its overall performance.

Key Specs

  • Focal Length: 16-50mm
  • Maximum Aperture: F2.8
  • Format: APS-C
  • Lens Groups / Elements: 13/16
  • Maximum Magnification Ratio: 0.2x
  • Mount: Sony A-mount
  • Aperture Blades: 7
  • Circular Aperture: Yes
  • Filter Diameter: 72mm
  • Image Stabilization: Body-integrated (SteadyShot)
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.0 ft (0.3 m)
  • Dimensions: 3-1/4 x 3-1/2″ (81 x 88 mm)
  • Weight: 20-3/8 oz (577 g)


Outstanding performance is provided by the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens over the entirety of its focal length range. It captures broad landscapes and architectural photos with amazing detail and clarity because to its 16mm wide-angle vision.

At the telephoto end of the 50mm focal length range, it enables tighter compositions and portraits that are more pleasing. The extremely fast maximum aperture of F2.8 guarantees superb low-light performance, which enables photographers to shoot in adverse lighting settings without sacrificing the quality of their images.

Autofocus System

This lens is equipped with a powerful autofocus (AF) mechanism that enables users to focus their shots quickly and precisely. Because it is fitted with Sony’s Smooth Autofocus Motor (SSM), the lens provides a swift and silent autofocus operation. This makes it particularly useful for capturing moving subjects or for shooting video.

Because it is also capable of providing fine focus tracking, the AF system is an excellent choice for shooting action and sports photography that involves subjects that are moving quickly. In addition, the lens has support for manual focus as well as full-time manual override, which enables photographers to manually adjust the focus of their images for greater control over their creative expression.

Vibration Reduction

The image stabilization technology that is integrated into the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens helps to reduce the blur caused by camera shake, which ultimately results in photos that are crisper. Because of this, photographers are able to make advantage of slower shutter speeds without sacrificing the quality of their images, which is especially helpful when shooting handheld or in low-light settings.

Stability is provided by image stabilization technology, which also reduces the possibility that captured images will be blurry as a result of camera movement in either the horizontal or vertical planes. Photographers are able to confidently take photographs that are crisp even while shooting in tough environments, thanks to this feature.

Build Quality

Sony has ensured the DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens’s endurance and lifespan by constructing it with a sturdy build quality that makes it bulletproof. The lens has a metal mount that ensures a strong connection to the camera body. This improves the lens’s stability and reduces the amount of vibration that it experiences when in operation.

It is also weather-sealed, which protects it from dust and moisture. As a result, it is excellent for use in outdoor photography in a variety of environments. The sturdy design of the lens instills trust in the user and leads to a more professional experience when shooting.

Handling and Ergonomics

The Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens prioritizes convenience and ease of use for photographers throughout its development. Because of its small size and low weight, it can be easily transported and maintains a healthy balance when attached to a camera body that is compatible with it. The focus and zoom rings both rotate smoothly to give accurate control, which enables photographers to make rapid adjustments while they are shooting.

The lens also has a button that is specifically designated for holding the focus, which enables users to lock the focus at a set distance. This function is very helpful when recomposing images. In general, the ergonomic design of the lens guarantees a comfortable experience when shooting, even when used for an extended period of time.

Image Stabilization

The lens has optical image stabilization (OIS) technology built into it, which helps to generate photos that are sharper and less blurry by reducing the effects of camera shake. Because the image stabilization technology is able to detect and adjust for undesired movement, it enables photographers to shoot at slower shutter speeds without running the danger of blurring their images due to shaky hands or unstable shooting situations.

This function is especially helpful when shooting handheld in low-light conditions or when employing longer focal lengths, as both of these scenarios require more light than usual. The image stabilization feature in the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens contributes to an overall improvement in the image quality as well as an increase in the lens’s adaptability to a wider range of shooting conditions.

Shooting Experience

Because of its quick focusing mechanism, user-friendly settings, and consistent overall performance, the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens provides a shooting experience that is virtually seamless. Because of the lens’s rapid and precise focusing, photographers are able to capture crucial moments with pinpoint accuracy, making it an excellent choice for photographers who work in fast-paced photographic genres such as wildlife and sports. Because the focus motor is so smooth and quiet, it assures that there will be very little disruption throughout the shooting process, making the camera acceptable for video recording as well.

In addition, the lens has a wide maximum aperture of F2.8, which makes it possible to adjust the depth of field creatively. This gives photographers the ability to isolate subjects and create stunning bokeh effects. The Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens offers a rewarding shooting experience for photographers of all skill levels because of its broad focal length range, solid build quality, and ergonomic design.

Image Quality

Excellent image quality is delivered by the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens. This quality is defined by sharpness, clarity, and colors that are true to life. The optical design of the lens comprises a number of cutting-edge components, such as aspherical and extra-low dispersion (ED) glass. These features are responsible for the efficient reduction of chromatic aberrations, distortions, and other optical flaws. Even when using wider apertures, the photos that are taken with this lens have a high degree of detail and are crisp from edge to edge.

This is the case even when the aperture is set to a smaller value. The lens is also capable of producing photos with good contrast and color reproduction, which results in photographs that are vivid and accurate representations of their subjects. Whether a photographer is capturing landscapes, portraits, or sights from their everyday life, the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens never fails to offer remarkable image quality that lives up to the standards set by even the most critical photographers.

Teleconverter Compatibility

The versatility and range of the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens may be increased by using teleconverters, which are compatible with the lens. Photographers are able to enhance the focal length of their lens and gain a greater reach by installing a teleconverter, such as the Sony 1.4x or 2x teleconverter. This makes the lens acceptable for photographing distant scenes, such as animals or sporting events.

It is important to note that using a teleconverter may result in a slight reduction in maximum aperture and overall image quality; however, the ability to extend the lens’s focal length can be a valuable option for photographers who require increased zoom capabilities without investing in additional lenses. Teleconverters are available in a variety of focal lengths, including 1.4x, 2x, and 2.8x.

Comparison with Competitors

When compared to other lenses in its class, the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens distinguishes out thanks to its remarkable optical performance, sturdy build quality, and adaptable variety of focal lengths. Although other companies provide lenses that are comparable to Sony’s in this category, what sets Sony’s lens apart from the competition is that it maintains a maximum aperture of F2.8 throughout the entirety of its zoom range. This results in improved performance in low light as well as more bokeh potential.

The autofocus technology of the lens is especially remarkable since it enables quick and precise focusing, making it appropriate for a variety of types of photography, including action and sports photography. In addition, the lens’s compatibility with Sony’s teleconverters provides it an edge over some of its rivals. This benefit comes in the form of greater focal length possibilities that may be achieved without the need of any extra lenses. Photographers who are interested in purchasing a high-performance zoom lens for their Sony Alpha APS-C format cameras have a tempting option available to them in the shape of the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens.


35 mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)24-75mm
Angle of View (APS-C)83°-32°
Focal Length (mm)16-50mm
Lens Groups / Elements13/16
Maximum Magnification ratio (x)0.2x
Maximum aperture (F)2.8
Minimum Aperture (F)22
MountSony A-mount
Aperture Blades7
Circular ApertureYes
Filter Diameter (mm)72mm
Image stabilization (SteadyShot)– (Body-integrated)
Minimum Focus Distance1.0 ft (0.3 m)
Size & WeightDimensions (Diameter x Length) – 3-1/4 x 3-1/2″ (81 x 88 mm) <br> Weight – 20-3/8 oz (577 g)
Footnotes* “35 mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)” and “Angle of View (APS-C)” are with interchangeable lens digital camera incorporating APS-C type image sensors.
At a GlanceFocal Length – 16-50mm (APS-C) <br> Max. Aperture – f/2.8 <br> Size and Weight – 3.25 x 3.5 in. / 20.4 oz.

Pros and Cons


  • With a wide variety of focal lengths and a maximum aperture of F2.8, your photography skills will be quite adaptable.
  • The autofocus technology is quick and accurate, and it also has a full-time manual override for more fine focus control.
  • The in-camera picture stabilization reduces the amount of shaking caused by the camera and enables handheld shooting, even in low light.
  • Durability and effectiveness in the elements are ensured by sturdy construction quality and comprehensive weatherproofing.
  • A nice shooting experience is achieved by handling that is comfortable and has an ergonomic design.
  • Superior visual quality with excellent sharpness, clarity, and color fidelity throughout.
  • The focal length range of the lens may be increased when it is compatible with teleconverters.


  • It’s possible that the lens is on the heavier side and more cumbersome than other lenses of its kind.
  • There is a possibility that the user will consider the cost of the lens to be on the more expensive side.
  • At particular focal lengths and apertures, the lens may produce slight distortion as well as vignetting in the image.
  • Because it was developed primarily for cameras with an APS-C format, it only has limited compatibility with Sony cameras that use the full-frame sensor.
  • There is a possibility that the lens may not provide a field of vision that is as expansive as that provided by other rivals operating in the same focal length range.

Price and Availability

When its functionality and characteristics are taken into account, the pricing of the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens is found to be among the most reasonable in its class. In spite of the fact that it may be more expensive than other zoom lenses designed for beginners, it possesses a greater optical quality, a quick maximum aperture, and more advanced AF capabilities.

The lens is available for purchase from authorized Sony shops, as well as at camera stores and on internet marketplaces. It is normally very easy to get a hold of, however, the availability could change depending on the region and the demand. It is recommended to verify with local merchants or reputable internet sources in order to obtain the most up-to-date information on pricing and availability.


The Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens is a powerful zoom lens that was built for use with Sony Alpha cameras that utilize the APS-C format. It possesses a broad focal length range, a quick maximum aperture, and a sophisticated autofocus mechanism, all of which contribute to its outstanding performance across a variety of photographic subgenres.

The high build quality of the lens, in addition to its image stabilization and ergonomic design, all contribute to an enjoyable experience when shooting. The lens produces an impressively high-quality image that is distinguished by its sharpness, clarity, and true-to-life color reproduction. The Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens is a tempting alternative for photographers looking for a flexible and high-performing zoom lens. Despite the fact that it may have certain limits, such as its size and compatibility with full-frame cameras, this lens is an excellent choice for photographers.

Sony DT 16–50 mm F2.8 SSM FAQs

Q. Is the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens compatible with full-frame cameras?
A. No, the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens is specifically designed for Sony Alpha APS-C format cameras and is not compatible with full-frame cameras.
Q. Does the lens have image stabilization?
A. No, the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens does not have built-in image stabilization. However, it can benefit from the body-integrated image stabilization (SteadyShot) feature found in select Sony Alpha APS-C format cameras.
Q. Can I use this lens with teleconverters?
A. Yes, the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens is compatible with teleconverters. By attaching a teleconverter, such as the Sony 1.4x or 2x teleconverter, you can increase the lens’s focal length and achieve a longer reach.
Q. Is the lens weather-sealed?
A. The Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens does not have specific weather-sealing features. However, it is always recommended to exercise caution when using the lens in adverse weather conditions and to protect it from dust and moisture.
Q. Is the lens suitable for video recording?
A. Yes, the Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM lens is suitable for video recording. It features a smooth and silent autofocus motor (SSM), allowing for quiet and accurate focusing during video capture. The wide focal length range and a fast maximum aperture of F2.8 making it versatile for various video shooting scenarios.


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