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SonyVario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens
 
4.3

(based on 64 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (32)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (24)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (37)
  • Strong construction (35)
  • Lightweight (33)
  • Consistent output (28)
  • Easily interchangeable (26)

Cons

  • Heavy (4)
  • Poor in low light (4)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (39)
  • Video (17)
  • Weddings (14)
  • Night photography (12)
  • Low light (10)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (26), Pro photographer (17), Semi-pro photographer (12)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (53)

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 64 customers

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(14 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

The Zen of Lenses

By CWTrooper

from Scottsdale, Arizona

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight
  • Nicely Balanced On A7rii
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Zoom Length

Best Uses

  • General Purpose
  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Video

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

I recently got this lens from B&H after reading many reviews of it. I needed an FE lens for my a7Rii and was attracted to it by the Zeiss badge and zoom length.
Now we all know that all lenses and all cameras have their limitations, right? And we all know that you can pixel-peek and read technical reports on DxOMark and elsewhere. And we all know that you can turn off lens corrections in-camera in in Lightroom to witness native lens aberrations, right? But why?
Well, to test this lens as a keeper or not I shot a series of photos at max and min apertures and at max and min focal lengths. Then some shots at the "best" setting for this lens from DxOMark (F4 and 35mm). Then the same shots (except for the variable focal lengths) on my a7Rii with the Batis 85mm F1.8. I know, comparing a zoom with a prime is nuts, right? But the Batis is currently my "gold standard" so I had to try this. I tweaked the images in post and studied them. Yes, the Batis was certainly better. No surprises there. But the differences were acceptable as I was getting great images from the FE 24-70 that were keepers. Now understanding the zen of lenses: you have to know how best to use your gear. Camera and lenses. Experiment some. Try RAW and Jpeg images. Study DxOMark for "sweet spots." This is a fine lens and worthy of the Zeiss badge. I'm keeping it and still learning about how to get the most out of my a7Rii and this lens before I do any serious shooting with them. It's all about the shot, my friends. The composition, exposure, post, etc. We have incredible gear out there and it continues to evolve and get even better. I've been shooting with Nikon, Canon, Sony for several decades now and continue to be blown away by the evolution of digital cameras and the improvements in lens designs. Remember, perfection exists only in the imagination of the beholder. But some incredible photography over the years has been gotten with gear far less capable than what we have today. Composition, composition, composition and practice, practice, practice. Less on the pixel-peeking. I'm talking to myself here, and maybe to you as well. Shoot on!

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(0 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Not bad

By Waldo

from Texas

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Poor in Low Light

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery

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

This lens is not great but is not bad, I wish it has a lower F stop .

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  • No

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(9 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Not excellent, but not at all mediocre.

By Peter

from Tucson

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight
  • Nice Bokeh

Cons

  • Corner Softness

Best Uses

  • General Photography
  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Travel

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

For a long time, I had put off purchasing the Sony FE 24-70 f/4 OSS lens owing to the generally bad reviews posted by DxOMark, Photozone.De, SLRGear and the like. But when my local big box electronics store came up with an "open box" markdown this lens at a considerable savings [25%], I was enticed to purchase it, thinking, despite the negative reports, I could use it as a travel lens on my A7ii, saving my primes for my A7Rii.
I was presently surprised. Mind you, this is not a great lens. In my opinion, it's not as good as the "five star" reviewers think it is, but on the other hand, it's better than the "pixel peepers" would have you believe.
Yes, it's soft in the corners, especially at 70mm. I've learned to mitigate this somewhat, when taking pictures of "flat" objects, like some architectural subjects [no, not brick walls], by moving the A7ii's flexible focus point to one of the corners. The distortion varies from pronounced barrel distortion, with a hint of mustache at 24 mm to pincushion distortion at 70mm. However, in RAW files, this appears to be completely correctable in Lightroom CC. Chromatic aberration appears to be quite well controlled. I used to own the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Lens and in comparison, CA was a real problem at all apertures and focal lengths and not always correctable. And central sharpness was, in my opinion, no better than the Sony which is half the weight. Yes, the Sony isn't as fast, but I'm into landscape and close up photography and I find that I don't miss the extra stop. On the other hand, the Sony's OSS, which the Nikon lacks, mitigates this issue. The Nikon 24-70mm did have very nice bokeh. The Sony's bokeh is acceptable and quite good, but not on a par with the Nikon.
At the price I paid, I'm completely satisfied with the lens. I think the big problem with the Sony FE 24-70 f/4 OSS is that the Zeiss badge, together with a relatively high price point elevated a lot of people's expectations. So I agree with those who claim that it's too expensive for what it is. In my opinion, it probably should have been issued as a "G" lens at a 15% to 20% lower cost. But having said that, now that I own the lens, I really like it for its compactness and versatility and, yes, it's relative sharpness. I can honestly say that I'm not in the least bit tempted by the new Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens at twice the price and weight. Now if Zeiss were to come out with a compact 200mm f/2.8 or f/4 manual focus loxia, well…

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A must for my a7R II

By Rodrigo Ungaro

from Venezuela

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Sports/Action

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

    Great quality and amazing sharpness.. This lens is a must for any photographer using their full frame sony.

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    • No

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    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Outstanding, sharp, fast

    By Special K

    from Weston MA

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

    This is the perfect lens for travel and general use. It is crisp, sharp, wonderful color rendition. Fast accurate focus

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    (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Stop Pixel Peeping and Enjoy this Lens

    By JMR

    from New York, NY

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery

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

      I purchased this lens a short time ago for use on my A7II and am thoroughly pleased with it. Yes, it is pricey. Yes, it is not lightweight (but that is the trade off for a constant aperture and reasonable speed). But as an everyday walk-around lens it will suit the needs of 99% of all of us.

      Most of the negative reviews, I am convinced, are coming from those who are sitting at their computers with a loupe looking at the corners. Generally, the output is fine----and the idea it to take pictures, and not analyze every single one as if it was a science experiment.

      Sum---lens is great---mostly very sharp, and easy to use. The kit lens is great too, if you want to settle for that---but having the constant aperture and going out to 24mm is a big plus, but you pay for it. If you can accept the price as being a little high--buy it.

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      • No

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      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent lens

      By JB

      from Park City, Utah

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Weddings/Events

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

        The lens has very solid construction and a beautiful finish consistent with the Zeiss name. It is well-balanced with the Sony a7RII body. The sharpness is excellent so I am mystified by the few reviews that question the image quality.

        I am transitioning from a Canon system and have a number of L-series lenses. These have not functioned smoothly with an adaptor so it is wonderful to have the full functionality of a native Sony lens on this powerful camera.

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        • No

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        (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Very Good Lens

        By NIKKI_

        from Miami, Florida

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Portrait

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

          Ignore the negative reviews. This lens is very sharp in the center all the way to the edges from 24-70. Most versatile of all full frame native lenses. Excellent color rendition under all lighting conditions. Small in size, built like a tank, buttery smooth operation. It's a do everything very well lens and perfect for travel. Works on a600 as well as A7's. What this lens is not is a specialty lens, such as Macro or wide angle etc.

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          • No

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          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Truly great lens

          By Pluto

          from Greenwich, CT

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Interior Shots
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Macro Photography
            • Wildlife Photos

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

            The most important thing is of course the quality of the pictures taken with this lens. Well I'm pleased beyond my expectations and honestly bought the lens on trial with the thought I'd return it if not wowed... because of the rather steep price. In either portrait or interior shots or mid-range zoom (i.e. 70mm) this lens is dazzling.

            Size and weight were other considerations as I plan to use it for travel and my big zoom is just too heavy and bulky. It appears to be a great balance of usefulness, quality, size & weight. Taking it on a trip in a few weeks and we'll see. For now I'm very happy with this purchase.

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            • No

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            (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Sharp and Crisp

            By Capture and Compose

            from Philadelphia, PA

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

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

              Great in low light even though f/4

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              • No

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              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              A good all around lens

              By PhotoMatt

              from Chicago, IL USA

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Difficult Manual Focus

              Best Uses

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

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

              I'm a pro photographer who works on Film and TV productions. I purchased this lens to use with my Sony A7SII. The lens seems sharp and it is pretty quick in focusing but I'm not completely happy with the knurling on the focus ring when I'm using manual focus. The grooves aren't deep or textured enough for a good grip especially with gloves on, as I often shoot outside in all weather. I had to end up butting a rubber bracelet around the focusing ring for a better grip with gloves. This is an f 4.0 lens (the slowest 35mm I own), but with the A7Sii's ability to use high iso its not much of a problem, don't count on much bokeh though.

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              • No

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              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Good starter lens

              By AlexJT

              from NYC

              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
                • Video
                • Weddings/Events
                • Wildlife Photos

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

                Compared to the kit lens this has more focus around edges.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

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                (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great Walkabout Lens

                By Stevedexteruk

                from London UK

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Reviewer

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

                I use this lens on my Sony A7Rmk2 as a general walkabout lens for street photography and family shots. I think it is a great walkabout lens and good value for money now that it is cheaper than the launch price. I think some people expect it to be as sharp as a similar priced prime lens but that will never happen - you give up some sharpness in exchange for the flexibility of the zoom. 24mm is quite wide and very usefull. Sometmes I would like a bit more than 70mm on the long end but with so many pixels to play with on modern cameras you can just crop. I really like this lens.

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                • No

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                (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Not sharp enough for my needs

                By Dave

                from Ithaca, NY

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                • Blurry Focus

                Best Uses

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

                  I bought this lens about a week ago. I really want to be happy with it, but on my Sony a7R II I'm finding a fair amount of vignetting in 2 corners at 24mm, and lack of sharpness/detail near the edges. I expected more.

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                  • No

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                  (2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  Should be better

                  By Roach

                  from Jasper, Ga

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

                  For the price of this lens I expected better performance! The IQ is inconsistent compared to my adapted Canon lenses. Even though The OSS works very well and the build quality of the lens is superb, for the cost of this lens, it should be better. The zoom range is good for a walk around lens, but I think there are now alternatives to this lens that would deliver better images.

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                  (4 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Could be Great

                  By Bob

                  from Milford, CT

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Great color and contrast
                  • Lightweight
                  • Nice Bokeh

                  Cons

                  • Needs Internal Focussing
                  • Needs To Be 28

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography
                  • Weddings/Events

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

                  I purchased this lens along with an A7II. I'm happy with the lens but it could be better.

                  For the money, I'd expect a bit more out of it in terms of build quality and zoom.

                  Pros:

                  While I don't mind an f/4 lens, it should be 2.8 constant aperture
                  Sharp: my copy is sharp all over
                  Light with great fit, finish, and feel
                  Great color and IQ
                  Stabilization

                  Cons:

                  Should be 2.8
                  Should be internal focus
                  Should be a bit sturdier: I'm a bit wary of how long it will last under professional use
                  Lens needs an upgrade soon

                  While not as sharp as a prime, this is a great do-all lens for everyday work.

                  I'm just building into the Sony system and this is my first lens so we'll see how the future stacks up in terms of lens lineup.

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                  • No

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                  (15 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  good but not great

                  By Mike

                  from Annapolis, MD

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

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

                    I recently bought the Sony A7Rii (and a Metabones Canon to Sony adapter). I compared the Sony lens to a Canon 24-70 II. I preferred the images from the Canon lens at both near and far zoom.

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                    • No

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                    (20 of 25 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Mediocre for the price

                    By Aardvark

                    from Los Angeles

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Reviewer

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

                    I've had this lens since it was released and use it on an A7r. The colors are nice and rich, the OSS efficient, and it's a decent size. But there are huge downsides. Loads of distortion on the wide end, soft on the long end, and messy edges. Yes, you can correct the distortion, but then you lose a lot of the frame, which defeats the point of 24mm. It's terrible for landscapes, which is what I usually shoot these days, but decent for a general travel lens. Now if this lens were $- I could accept that, but at $ it's just not worth it, IMO. I've kept the lens because I'm occasionally lazy and don't want to use my legacy manual focus primes, but I feel a little sick about it. It's definitely not worth the money for what you get. I'd also note that I had to go through a few copies to get one that wasn't de-centered.

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                    • No

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                    (24 of 33 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Know what you are getting

                    By robgo2

                    from New Mexico

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                    • Strong Construction
                    • Zoom Range

                    Cons

                    • Optical quality

                    Best Uses

                    • General Purpose Travel

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

                    The best thing about the FE 24-70 is its zoom range, which makes it very useful as a general purpose lens. However, the optics are barely mediocre. Compared to the FE 16-35, this is definitely an inferior lens. Frankly, I am surprised by all the 4 and 5 star ratings.

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                    • No

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                    (5 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great Lens for all but long telephoto

                    By RussT

                    from New Braunfels, TX

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Sports/Action
                      • Wildlife Photos

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

                      Have not had much time with lens but matched with the A7ii it works well. Have used for web shots and test shots with our labradoodle. Auto focus is quick and accurate - been reading Brian SMith's 'From Snapshots to Great Shots' for hints on things to make the A7ii work better and recommend this book/ebook - he has sample shots with this lens and net, net I think I made a good choice. Colors are great and images (when I don't mess up the settings in the A7ii) are big and clean from edge to edge. Smooth zoom on top of all the other benefits and the F4 with the A7ii is not a problem in low light.
                      Some may think this too large but the results are worth it - coming from micro 4/3 (Pana GH) - for a very small increase in weight and size the advantages far out-way the minor increase.

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                      • No

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