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SonyVario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens
 
4.4

(based on 43 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

91%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (23)
  • Lightweight (23)
  • Strong construction (22)
  • Consistent output (17)
  • Easily interchangeable (17)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (25)
  • Video (14)
  • Weddings (9)
  • Night photography (8)
  • Low light (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (17), Pro photographer (11), Semi-pro photographer (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (35)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Superb Zeiss Colors and Solid OSS

I bought this lens as an all-purpose walk-around kit to use with the Sony A7. It has not disappointed. The colors are typical Zeiss - saturated and rich. The optical stabilization is amazing...Read complete review

I bought this lens as an all-purpose walk-around kit to use with the Sony A7. It has not disappointed. The colors are typical Zeiss - saturated and rich. The optical stabilization is amazing - I can get sharp pictures hand-held 1/15 sec at 60MM. If you looking for a lens that is sharp at all apertures and all focal lengths this is not it. For a perfect performance get the Leica 28-90 at about $7K. Cons: 24MM is a bit weak and 70MM gets a tad less sharp. But so what, be aware of the limitations and work around them.There is more to a photograph than "sharpness" - colors, rendering and richness of images are attributes that this lens delivers in spades. Add to the fact that it is built very well and is weatherproof and you have an excellent addition to your gear.Viewed in context, it competes very well with much bigger and heavier counterparts from Cannon and Nikon.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Sony FE 24-70mm Vs Canon EF-S 15-85mm

I tested this lens on the Sony A7r. It is soft at 24 and 35mm starting at 60% of the way out towards the edge. I compared it to my current system, the...Read complete review

I tested this lens on the Sony A7r. It is soft at 24 and 35mm starting at 60% of the way out towards the edge. I compared it to my current system, the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f4-5.6 IS on Canon Rebel 550D. I photographed a brick wall at a variety of focal lengths and f-stops, I'll only go into detail on one set, take at 24mm f8 on the Sony, and the equivalent focal length on the cropped sensor of 15mm f8. Both sets were taken at ISO 200 and 1/250. These parameters eliminate depth of field and "shutter shake" considerations. I used Photoshop to "up-scale" the 16Meg Canon file to the 36meg that the Sony file contains. As the 100% image crops below show, the Sony is perhaps a bit sharper at the center. By 40- to 60% of the way to the edge along the horizontal they are equal. At 70% the Canon is sharper and the difference increases as one goes closer to the edge. The story is similar at 35mm. The Sony is sharp across the field at 50mm, but at 70mm some softness creeps in to within 10% of the edge.
The positives are the lens seems well build, is compact. I like many aspects of the A7r. Judging from other reviews, the Sony prime lenses do much better. Ultimately my reason for going from a cropped sensor to a full frame camera is to improve image quality. Small and light is a tremendous factor for me. However, without an improvement in what is my most used focal length range, I concluded that is pre-mature for me to jump ship to the Sony FE system and returned the camera and lens. I am hoping future lens offerings will cause me to reconsider.

Reviewed by 43 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great for still... not so much for video

By Neighbors Video

from Los Angeles, CA

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Difficult Manual Focus

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

I'm using this with my A7s primarily for video. Picture quality is good, image is sharp... when it's in focus. Which brings me to my main gripe. Although the AF seems to be quick for stills, it is maddening trying to get focus manually with this electronic focus ring. I can't wait for the FE 28-135 video lens to come out for that reason. with that said, the image stabilization works well and the rings move very fluidly. I would recommend this for still photographers, but not for video unless you have plenty of time to hunt for focus.

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  • No

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5.0

good glass

By RMP

from Irvine, CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

The lens makes the camera! Clean, crisp, and feels good in the hand.

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4.0

Quality lens

By Ken

from Seattle

Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

I ordered this lens to use for landscape. It did not disappoint. I should say that Zeiss is not know for making zoom lens and this is a great challenge for a company known for making the best primes on the market. The agreement between Sony & Zeiss to produce quality lens for their A & E mount lens appears to be smoothing out. I sent the first 24-70 back because it was too soft along the edges. The second one image results is what I expected from the best lens maker in the land. The lens for the most part is very sharpe throughout, even the corners are acceptable for high quality enlargements taken with my Sony A7R.

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4.0

Good, but not great.

By BenEllard

from Island Heights NJ

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

      This is the ideal walk-around lens for an E-mount Sony full-frame camera. I'm using it with my a7R, and I'm very happy with its light weight, small size and terrific resolution -- at least at the center. But as you move outwards, that crispness falls off. Okay, I'm comparing it to its big brother, the A-mount Vario-Sonnar 24-70mm f2.8, a stunning workhorse of a lens that maintains sharp resolution almost to the edges. I was planning to sell mine, but decided to keep it after comparing it to the E-mount f4. The big lens will outperform the f4, especially in landscape work but it's bulky, and heavy, and doesn't provide the automatic functions of native f4. In any case, half the fun, and an unexpected delight for me, was the size and weight of the a7R. It's a joy to carry around. There's no doubt at all that the Vario-Tessar 24-70mm f4 Sony lens is its perfect companion.

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      5.0

      Great glass

      By AJV

      from Fort Lauderdale, FL

      About Me Photography Student

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Lightweight
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery

        Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

        As advertised. Clear and crisp images with exceptional detail. I used this primarily for landscape and street photography.

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        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Solid

        By Egill Bjarki

        from Hong Kong

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • Poor in Low Light

        Best Uses

        • Video

        Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

        I bought this lens mainly for my A7S, for shooting video. It does not deliver the same insane standard of image quality as the FE 55mm on a A7R. For photos, the FE 24-70mm is very capable on A7S 12mp sensor, flawless for HD video. The lenses shortcomings are visible in the edges on the A7R, slightly soft.When I first got the A7S, I mostly used it with a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 (via Metabones FE to EF lens adapter). The results were very pleasant, but the lens was just incredibly oversized compared to the small camera body. After running into some autofocus obstacles and mount occasional connection issues, I finally switched to the native FE 24-70mm.Loosing one stop is not a big deal with the A7S incredibly high ISO performance. I found my self stopping down to a smaller aperture anyway, very hard to track focus manually on f/2.8 in video.The OSS works very well on this lens, autofocus is quite decent. Very happy with it and do not regret selling the Tamron.

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        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Decent at Times....but Inconsistent

        By Scott

        from Saint Louis, MO

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Weddings/Events
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

          I had high expectations for this lens as a primary travel/walkaround lens on the A7s. While it's met some of these expectations my results have been inconsistent enough to warrant concerns. Physically it's small and light and is very pleasant to use. Optically it appears worst at 24 and again out at 70, with it's sweet spot around about 35-50mm or so. It usually appears to have pretty soft corners, which may or may not bother a user depending on what they are shooting. I do quite a bit of landscape work while travelling, and I think the smearing and other effects I've noticed will keep me from truly embracing this lens. Bokeh is ok, can be attractive at times, but obviously won't perform up to the quality of a F2.8 zoom or good prime. That said I have gotten some good results from it, and if ultimate optical quality is trumped in your use case by the need for reducing weight, this can produce for you. It may ultimately make more sense to get the new 16-35/F4 FE lens and pair it with primes in the 24-70mm range until Sony/Zeiss do an updated model. It's a bit disappointing and probably the weakest in the FE range...but again it will have its proponents.

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          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Excellent walk-around and travel lens

          By RichG

          from Modiin, Israel

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

          The lens has performed admirably for street and travel photography with my Sony A7, but it is not perfect. It is very sharp for a zoom, particularly in the center. Image stabilization works extremely well. It is built like a tank, which makes it a bit heavy on the A7. I have used it in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem and in Prague, among other places, and I am very pleased with the results. That said, it cannot compare to the great Sony Zeiss FE 55mm 1.8 prime, but that lens is in a class nearly by itself. My main complaints are the distortion (easily corrected) and the slightly rough bokeh, but the images are nevertheless impressive. All in all, a fine addition to the Sony A7 system.

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          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Reasonably good normal zoom

          By Shoestring Shooter

          from Cold Spring, NY

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • General photography

            Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

            I use the Vario-Tessar T* 24-70 for those shots that are difficult to cover with a 50mm macro, usually due to space limitations. It focuses quickly, and seems adequately sharp at a normal aperture. It's a reasonable size and weight for a full-frame lens. I do think that Zeiss and Sony are overcharging quite considerably, though. True, lens prices have gotten comparatively high, but these are among the pricier offerings relative to quality.

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            • No

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            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Main Driver

            By itsKalan

            from Dallas, TX

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Distortion

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Video

            Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

            I use this for all of my paid jobs, tests, and video shoots.

            The lens is sharp, light, and comes with stabilization. As someone who typically prefers prime lenses, I'm surprised by how much I prefer to use this lens. When working for clients it's great to not have to slow down the shoot by switching to different lenses for certain shots.

            The distortion is quite intense especially once zoomed all the way to 70mm. However, Lightroom's lens preset does an excellent job of correction the issue.

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            • No

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            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Smooth focus and good color

            By kneelz

            from New York, NY

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Photography
              • Sports/Action
              • Video
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

              I love the color rendition and the smooth focus it gives in video mode. This lens is a must for videography and it is perfect paired with the Sony A7S :)

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              • No

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              (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              I love ... Love the lens!

              By RMZnyc

              from New York , NY

              About Me Photography Student

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Lightweight
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Photography

                Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

                After reading a lot of harsh review from other web site, I opted to buy this lens since I need a walk around lens for street photography. No regrets that I bought this coz the picture quality of this lens is amazing. I have this for over 3 weeks now and the shots I took has this zeiss color quality. Working as an assistance fashion photographer I describe this lens as constructed with quality and beauty. The lens screens expensive! I love the feel of it in your hand, and I love the proportion when attached to the A7.As in Fashion you pay more for the label. But this one ... you are paying the label and the quality. I will buy this lens again and I will recommend it to anybody.

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                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Great for A7 Videos

                By Jack

                from Placentia, CA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Video

                  Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

                  Good for video, OOS. Kinda slow for this price.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (9 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  2.0

                  Poor Optics Cant Use OSS on A7r

                  By Paul3NT

                  from Rancho Santa Fe, CA

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                    • Poor Iq Oss Doesn't Work

                    Best Uses

                    • Only Tripod Landscape

                    Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

                    The Image Quality of the lens is mediocre at best due to choice to use the inexpensive Tessar design rather than the much better, more expensive Sonnar design. Compared to the top-of-the-line Canon 24-70 F4 L VR mounted with a Metavbones III adapter on a A7r, the Zeiss performs poorly: corners at about 35-70mm focal length are soft whereas the Canon are tact sharp. AND there is a large distortion at 24 & 70mm. But the worst design feature is the lack of a switch to turn the OSS on or off. On a A7r the "SteadyShot" mode is permanely turned-off in the latest firm-ware because Sony recognizes that the shutter vibration problem interferes with the OSS. Therefore you CANNOT use the OSS with the A7r. But on the A7 and A7s that employe a different, vibration free shutter, the "Steady-Shot" is NOT turned off and the OSS can be used.Summary: Use the Canon 24-70 F4 L VR with the metabones III adapter to achieve top-quality IQ AND Optical Steady Shot or Vibration reduction.

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                    • No

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                    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Made for video

                    By Ryan

                    from Kirkland, WA

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Lightweight
                    • Rugged

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Video

                      Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

                      Auto Focus when shooting video is butter-smooth. Acts like video AF should. It's quite remarkable. On the other hand, the manual focus ring is very hard to predict and feels numb to the touch. I haven't used AF for video in years, so the MF behavior I find to be very frustrating. That said, the AF is good enough to actually be useful, and it's a very nicely made, compact, high-quality zoom with very good OSS.

                      In photo mode, it seems to nail focus quickly and produces some very nice images, but I haven't taken too many photos with it yet. Considering the 2.8 FF options, I would call this a lightweight lens that balances with the A7R very nicely.

                      One star off for the poor manual focus feel and the omission of an M/AF switch on the lens barrel.

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                      • No

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                      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Sharp, Well Made Walk Around Lens

                      By Colorado_Freeskier

                      from Denver, CO

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

                            So far I love the lens…yes, it is expensive but it is extremely well made and produces very sharp photos. This is my primary walk around lens for my A7 due to the reasonable size, weight and versatility. Between this lens and the FE 35mm I'm becoming a big fan of the Sony Zeiss lenses.

                            I've attached a few photos, just note that all of them are cropped, in particular the photos of the bee and the moth.

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                            • No

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                            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            My new favorite lens for my SONY A7r

                            By Dressage Queen

                            from Nashua, NH

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Durable
                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                            • Lightweight
                            • Nice Bokeh
                            • Rugged
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Night Photography

                              Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

                              I find this lens sharp, the focus is quick and the detail I get in my photos with the SONY A7r is beyond my expectations. I have used the lens now for a few weeks in all types of situations, even low light and have not been disappointed. Nice bokeh and I find the lens functions nicely at 24 mm or zoomed fully out to 70mm. The lens is well-made and sturdy.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • Yes

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                              (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              impressive size, excellent as all Zeiss

                              By GCS

                              from Miami

                              About Me Pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easily Interchangeable
                              • Lightweight
                              • Rugged

                              Cons

                              • Slow Focus

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery

                              Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

                              use as a prime lens

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              SHARP AND USEFUL

                              By sailingtennisbum

                              from Virginia Beach

                              About Me Pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

                                    The Sony A7r with Zeiss 24-70 is used primarily as a carry everywhere camera. Image quality is very good and the lens has a useful range. Much lighter and a little smaller than a comparable Nikon setup....will fit in a briefcase ! Focus is acceptably quick for everything but sports work , and the smaller form and reduced weight is a welcome relief for a retired pro.

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                                    • No

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                                    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    4.0

                                    Sony a7R's First Dedicated Zoom Lens

                                    By DGS

                                    from Carrizozo, New Mexico

                                    About Me Pro Photographer

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                                    • Nice Bokeh
                                    • Quality
                                    • Strong Construction

                                    Cons

                                    • Not Quite Long Enough

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Landscape/Scenery
                                    • Video
                                    • Weddings/Events

                                    Comments about Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens:

                                    First off, this is an outstanding lens. Could it be better? Yes, but it is good enough for 90% of the work I do. I shoot a lot of landscapes and the wide to mid zoom is good most of the time. I wish it was like my Canon 24-105 since that covers more of what I shoot. I waited a long time for this lens and I'm not disappointed. I do wish it was a little faster than f/4 but then I probably couldn't have afforded it so I won't complain about that either. It is incredibly sharp on the 36mp sensor. Edge sharpness is almost as good as center and it has a very nice bokah. The colors and contrast are what you would expect from a pro lens. Movements are sure but not too firm. It has a great feel in your hand. The only reason it does not get 5 stars are the things I mentioned. Zoom length and speed and that is strictly my personal preference.

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                                    • No

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