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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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

(based on 80 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (39)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (31)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

87%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (38)
  • Strong construction (36)
  • Lightweight (34)
  • Consistent output (28)
  • Easily interchangeable (26)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (40)
  • Video (17)
  • Weddings (15)
  • Night photography (12)
  • Low light (10)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (27), Pro photographer (17), Semi-pro photographer (12)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (54)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Not excellent, but not at all mediocre.

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...Read complete review

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…

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 80 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

nice lens

By Shahrzad

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

its a great lens, but i dont recommend it for portraits, since its only f4 and you dont really get a blurry background out of it. but the 24-70mm range can really cover a lot of scenes that you want which is great. the image quality is really nice as well.

 
4.0

Really Clear Lens, need time to learn with camera

By Emery

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Really impressed with the clarity of this lens. Everything on it is electronic and works with the a6300 very well. But there is some use learning curve on it. Took me a bit of time to learn how to manual focus by pushing the button on the camera, same with the aperture control. I will have to go through the settings (probably the user manual as well) to figure out how to get it all working how I'd like and switch between automatic and manual functions faster. But once I get that cased I'm thinking this will be a solid investment for our organization.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent lens!

By Tiggervr

from Undisclosed

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

This lens is an excellent lens. I have shot some excellent pictures with it.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

great lens

By Clark

from Miami, OK

Verified Buyer

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

used it the first time last week, and thought its quality was exceptional

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent balance of performance, price, weight, etc.

By bucktrends

from Chicago

Verified Buyer

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

This lens fits the bill for most of the landscape pictures I take while walking around, where a wide angle telephoto that doesn't require a tripod to use is the most common need. Yet, the f/4 aperture has worked well in relatively low light, the images are sharp, and the weight+size are reasonable for my desire to keep my gear light and manageable. So, for me, this lens is the best starter lens and worth the extra price compared to the usual "kit" lens option.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good lens

By Dan

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

I looked very hard at this lens as I'd read some critical reviews. The results mentioned in these reviews I believe are mostly due to the combination of the lens with the big sensor of the AR7II. This sensor gives one a closer look at any lens deficiencies. In the end, I decided it was as good or better than its Canon L-series analog.

I use this lens primarily for landscape and natural subjects. Used with the A7RII it focuses neither front nor back at both ends of its focal length. Construction feels solid for such a light lens and the controls work smoothly.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great all around lens for the A7sII

By Sherwin

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

This is a great lens to have for the A7sII. And because of Sony's Clear Image Zoom, you can extend the range to around 100mm. I use it for video and the quality of the image is great. My only issue with mirrorless lenses is that it's not great in manual focusing due to its fly-by-wire focusing mechanism. It's not the greatest in video filming. I also think this lens should be cheaper.

 
4.0

Great lens for the price!

By Audrey

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

My go-to lens for shooting weddings. If you aren't used to Sony lenses it takes a while to get the hang of the focus and zoom rings. Some slight vignetting at 24mm but overall a great clear lens for the price.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

The right weight for the camera

By ahblank

from Brooklyn

Verified Buyer

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

I needed a camera that I could carry with me at all times. I got tired of lugging my Canon 5d M3 around the city and/or when I traveled. I decided on a the mirrorless Sony A7r II for its sensor size and its weight. I originally got the larger G series FE 24-70. That lens weighed almost as much as the camera. It completely defeated the purpose. I exchanged it for this lens. The systems portability really works for me now. As for the quality of the lens, I am not sure as I have only had it for a couple of weeks and not really put it through its paces. But from what I can see so far, I am pleased.

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

One of the best

By Rodney

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Simply one of the best lenses. Super sharp, light, fast and very simple to use. Get it. You won't be disappointed.

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

need a longer range lens

By Tim

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

love it for close in photos

(0 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Technical problem

By raoul

from Undisclosed

Site Member

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

There is no control in the focus. When you move it slower it doesn't move at all.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Center sharp, corners are not!

By cshanephoto

from Charleston, SC

Verified Buyer

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

Tried this lens out as an alternative to the massive Sony 24-70 2.8. I wanted a good/sharp lens that was lighter and more compact on the Sony mirrorless bodies. This f4 lens is decent in the center at f4 but definitely soft in the corners from 4-5.6. From f8 and on it gets better, but in my opinion isn't a usable lens for anything other than web size images. I shoot professionally and the 2.8 is sharp all across from 2.8 and onward and renders beautiful images. I would recommend either using all prime lenses or the 24-70 2.8 which is fantastic (just heavy and cumbersome on an A7II).

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

My "Desert Island" Lens For My FS7

By Brian

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

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

I don't think that this lens produces quite the images that, say, my sigma lenses do in this range.  That said, if I was on a desert island and could only bring one lens, I think this would be the lens I'd select.  Why?  Because it's the most versatile.

It covers pretty much all the most useful focal lengths.  You can do fairly-wide establishing shots and get it close for closeup.  The lens has auto-focus and stabilization, making it great for handheld and run-and-gun applications.  It's the native e-mount for the FS7, so no adapters needed.  And it's a reasonably small, light lens that doesn't require a big case or lens support etc.  And while I don't think it produces quite the images that some of my others lenses do (and it's not as "fast" as some either), in general I've been pretty happy with the images that it has produced.

(12 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great

By Corey

from Orange County, Ca

Verified Buyer

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

Used canon glass with the metabones adapter before purchasing this lens for A7Rii, and it made me hate the camera because they didn't play very nice with each other. This lens makes me love this camera again and the quality is fantastic.

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Excellent versatile lens

By Sjalowiec

from Tulsa

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Weddings/Events

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

    This is an excellent combination with the A7RII body. It is well balanced and IQ is fantastic. Sure it is a little soft around the edges, but for wedding, travel and family pics it works wonderfully. The focusing is quick and accurate.

    I switched from multiple Canon L glass, which are fantastic lenses, this lens is comparable in most situations ... and much much more portable, which is important to me.

    I would recommend this as a great walk around lens due to its light weight (when compared to L glass) and its quick and accurate focusing.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (95 of 100 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!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (0 of 34 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 .

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (51 of 58 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…

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (13 of 15 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.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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