Sony 24-70mm Review

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This is not a super-inexpensive lens, but it is certainly great. To see more information about the Sony A7r or read other lens reviews, see Trey’s Gear and Tools.

Sony A7r Review

Be sure to visit the full-on Sony A7r Review here on the site to read more about it and the other lenses I use!

Sony 24-70mm Review

The full name for this lens is the Sony SEL2470Z Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS Lens. Who the H E Double Hockey Stick knows what hell that means? Do Japanese guys sit around and come up with wacky stuff while they are blasted out on sake? How is any normal human supposed to understand that stuff?

Well, welcome to Trey’s Lens Review, where I won’t spend any time on that BS lens-nerd stuff and we’ll just talk about the awesome stuff. I Only Review Lenses That I Use. Life is too short for me to talk about lenses I don’t use. If I use it, then you know I Like It. In fact, let’s just say I Love It. I’ll go one more step, I LOLCats Lurve It.

One might say this review is very short of actual substance, and one would be right. But that will change forthwith (a bit).

Sample Photos

Nothing sells a lens like photos. Look at this one. Boom shakalaka. Remember you can click to zoom in to the full-rez version on SmugMug that is over 7,000 pixels across. Sweet sweet 36mp… riding the megapixel pony!

It’s the Autumn here in New Zealand. I took this photo only a few days after having the lens. Zoom in and look at the pin-perfect focus and sharpness everywhere!

This one is 25mm at F/16 to get that nice sun-star!

Sorry. Another reflection — I couldn’t help it! I happened to get this lens right in the middle of the Autumn, so I went a little cray cray. This one is at 37mm and F/10.

Again, by chance, 37mm at F/10.

Here’s a photo of my daughter at F/9.5 and 47mm.

Post-Processing

So, I do post-process my photos. I do this unapologetically! :) If you like what you see and want to know more, check out the full HDR Tutorial here on the site.

The Sony FE 24-70mm Lens

What I love about this is the extreme flexibility. I’m shocked how many portrait and landscape photos I take in this range.

I’d say I use this lens for 50% of my landscape photos now. The other 50% are with the NEX 10-18mm, although that will change when Sony releases an FE wide-angle lens. You can read more about this on my Sony A7r Review.

If you’re getting your first full-frame camera with the Sony A7 series, you’ll be surprised how wide 24mm really is. Naturally, when you aim the camera above or below the horizon, you’ll get some vertical lines bending in or out, but that comes with the territory. I think you’re gonna have a great time with this lens!

It’s also very light. Tiny and light. It doesn’t even compare to the giant lenses of the same range I had for my Nikon. Night and day. This is so svelte and nifty… like a fine lady’s pistol.

As I continue to release more photos for this (and other) lenses, just watch the Sony A7r Category on the blog! :)

Shortcomings

A shortcoming for some people (not me) may be that the aperture does not get any lower than F/4. People that do low-light, handheld shots may not find the F/4 to be fast enough to get enough light into the photo. This may result in a higher ISO and more noise, but that sometimes is minimized by having a full-frame camera. Similarly, if you are using another one of the A7 series, then you may be able to wrestle enough clarity out of the F/4 alone.

Personally, I do all low-light stuff with the Leica lenses. See my Leica Lens Buying Guide here on the site for more! When I take landscape photos, F/4 is often fine for me since depth of field is not an issue. I can also use nice, long shutter speeds since I am using a tripod. Anyway, that’s all a long way of saying the F/4 is not a problem for me.

More about Sony and Me

Sony doesn’t sponsor me or anything. They got me an early camera to test, but I also bought one. I also bought a bunch of Sony NEX-7′s and NEX-6′s when I switched away from Nikon last year. Nikon didn’t sponsor me either… I wrote a full story about switching from the Nikon to the Sony.

  • http://www.bitchinlight.com Eric Thomson

    Remarkable job of making that lens look good. It’s you, not the lens. Great in the center, horrible on the edges.

  • treyratcliff

    Oh thanks! Well yes… I’m not much of an edge-nerd on these things… I find that most of the time, 98% of viewers never even look at the edges… only photographers look at the edges.

  • Edward Nowak

    I have reason to believe that Sony had some quality problems early in the production run, and some poor copies got poor reviews while other reviews extolled its virtues. I was concerned about those poor reviews myself, so when I bought my copy, I set up a fairly rigorous resolution test using test targets, taking shots across the zoom range with my A7 at f/4. The corners on my lens are superb and I have the photos to prove it. For more details about my test setup, see the comments section at the end of the FE 24-70 review at SonyAlphaLab.com. I love using this lens. From what I can tell, I believe that Trey’s copy is, like mine, also a good one.

  • http://www.bitchinlight.com Eric Thomson

    Hi Edward
    I resisted arguing about this in a public forum and we are all entitled to our opinions. Please see my blog about the 24-70 if you haven’t, http://bitchinlight.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-everyday-lens-is-it-the-fe-zeisssony-24-70mm-on-the-a7r/
    The A7r is a considerably different camera from a resolution standpoint, and I would agree that the 24-70 performs well at 24mp and has outstanding center quality on A7r. Thanks!

  • Edward Nowak

    I understand that you regard your views as opinion. My view is not opinion, but instead based on real world results and genuine expertise and experience in high tech manufacturing. And your 24mp vs 36mp ideas are simply nonsense, not born out by any reliable objective data.

  • http://www.bitchinlight.com Eric Thomson

    You did a nice test sequence, argued well. I hope you read some of my blogs. Thanks!

  • Cal Mukumoto

    So true, so true.

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