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Sony unveils two new full-frame lenses

Sony this morning announced two new full-frame lenses along with the announcement of the new A900 24MP full-frame DSLR.

Coinciding with Tuesday's announcement from Sony of its new 24MP flagship camera, the Alpha A900, two new full-frame lenses were announced as well: the 16-35mm f2.8 ZA Vario Sonnar T* Carl Zeiss series lens (SAL1635ZA), and the 70-400mm f4-5.6 G series lens (SAL70400G). Since Sony uses an in-camera image stabilization system, SteadyShot, both lenses have the benefit of image stabilization.

The Vario Sonnar T* 16-35mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss series super wide angle zoom lens has a constant aperture of f2.8 though the zoom range. It is constructed with an extra-low dispersion (ED) lens element for better clarity and resolution, and a super ED element to reduce chromatic aberration. It features the Carl Zeiss T* lens coating technology, which minimizes flare and improves color and sharpness. The lens utilizes a Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) autofocus drive system for fast and quiet focusing. It will be available in January 2009 for approximately $1,800.

The 70-400mm f4-5.6 G series super telephoto zoom lens is part of Sony's G-series line of premium lenses. The first thing you notice is its silver color, which indicates Sony's new design direction to give the high-end telephoto lenses a distinctive look. The lens has a variable aperture through the zoom range from f4 to 5.6, with a nine blade circular diaphragm for a pleasing out of focus effects. It has a minimum focusing distance of 3.8 feet, and like the 16-35mm lens it has a SSM AF drive system for silent precision focusing.

There is a focus mode switch and a range limiter switch on the lens, as well as three focus-hold buttons right on the lens barrel. The focus-hold buttons can be very helpful when shooting things like sports photography. When attached to the Sony Alpha A900 the AF hold buttons can be customized to activate the intelligent preview function. It will be available in January 2009 for about $1,500.

For more information of the Sony Alpha A900 24MP DSLR, read our hands-on preview.