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Sony FE 16-35mm f/4: Aperture Series at 35mm Pumpkin + Mitigating Focus Shift

Get Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS at B&H Photo.

This study is superb in showing the focus shift of the Sony 16-35mm f/4 OSS. Never before have I seen behavior this extreme, and certainly not from f/5.6 - f/8. It is the most extreme behavior I have ever encountered form any lens on any platform.

This series also shows (like the others), the truly exceptional bokeh of the Sony 16-35, which I place beyond that of any zoom I have used, and most primes. The flip side is that the bokeh extracts its price (focus shift); I think the two are related.

Aperture Series @ 35mm: Pumpkin, Focus Shift (Sony A7R)

But what to do? I speak to that in Focus and Focus Shift Mitigation. The discussion applies to any lens with focus shift, not just the Sony 16-35/4 OSS, but it also speaks to the specific behavior of the Sony A7r and siblings.

Late November Optimist
Sony A7R + Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS @ 35mm @ f/4


Tero N writes:

Just wanted to drop a note and say that the coverage of FE 16-35/4 OSS has been superb. Understanding zooms behavior is always more complicated and when one has such quirks as the FE 16-35 the coverage is hugely valuable for a Sony FE system shooter such as myself.

Regarding the Live View Setting effect on/off; you are right on mark on it's behavior. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure that out, but there seems to be no pattern on how much and when the cameras will open up on it's own for AF when Live View Setting Effect is on leading quite random behavior on lenses with focus sift.

On the other hand the Setting Effect Off is hugely valuable for handheld stopped down shooting with lenses without noticeable focus shift. When shooting for example Zeiss ZE lenses on the Metabones smart adapter these lenses are nicer to focus than native mount Loxias, one can focus wide open and the lens will stop down on shutter press; this gives always best possible EVF quality and refresh rate + easy to place focus; something not available in Loxias with their manual aperture control.

DIGLLOYD: more coming.

The Zeiss Loxia lenses are very compact and I like their 100% predictable behavior. But it is true that being able to focus wide open and have the lens stop down upon exposure is all but a necessity for some types of photography (people or anything moving).

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