Intro

The Sony FE 24-70mm f2.Eight GM is a typical zoom lens for its full-frame Alpha mirrorless cameras. The vast to quick telephoto vary and shiny f2.Eight focal ratio make it supreme for portraits, occasion and wedding ceremony pictures, together with general-purpose use. Introduced in 2016, the FE 24-70mm f2.Eight was certainly one of Sony’s first G-Grasp, or GM, lenses, claiming the corporate’s greatest optical high quality to this point. Like most lenses within the system, it depends on the digital camera physique to offer picture stabilization, and dispenses with the mechanically coupled focus ring for a focus-by-wire as a substitute. Plus it has a customisable button which may be assigned varied capabilities like AF-Lock.

For this assessment I examined the Sony FE 24-70mm f2.Eight GM commonplace zoom lens on the 42MP Sony A7R II digital camera physique. I in contrast it to the newer Sigma 24-70mm f2.Eight DG DN Artwork and Tamron 28-75mm f2.Eight Di III as fascinating – to not point out extra reasonably priced – third get together options. So should you’re through which commonplace zoom lens to decide on in your Sony mirrorless system, you’ve come to the suitable place!

Information from the catalog

As normal I’ll take a look on the technical knowledge of the Sony FE 24-70mm f2.Eight GM first. I’ve rated the options with a [+] (or [++]), when it’s higher than common and even state-of-the-art, a [0] if it’s commonplace or simply common, and [-] if there’s an obstacle. For comparability I take advantage of the Sigma 24-70mm f2.Eight DG DN Artwork and the Tamron 28-75mm f2.Eight Di III RXD. For brief I merely use “Sigma” and “Tamron” within the comparisons under.

Dimension (diameter x size): 88 x 136mm (3.5 x 5.4in.) + 41mm lens hood which is 105mm in diameter. Zooming in to 70mm focal size extends the front-end of the lens (which is a single-barrel design) by one other 31mm bringing the full size to 208mm (8.2in.). The Sigma is 88 x 125mm + 36mm lens hood + 34mm extension to a complete most size of 195mm. The Tamron is the smallest lens at 73 x 118mm + 27mm lens hood + 25mm extension to a complete most size of 170mm. [0]

Weight: 886g (31.Three oz.) plus 37g for the lens hood. The Sigma is 827g + 55g lens hood, the Tamron is way lighter at 540g + 25g lens hood. [0]

Optics: The Sony has 18 parts (together with 2 particular dispersion parts and three aspherical ingredient) in 13 teams. That makes 26 glass/air surfaces the place reflections may cause issues. Sony employs nano coating to cut back reflections. The Sigma has a barely extra advanced design, the Tamron’s is a bit easier. [+]

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Closest focus distance is 0.37m (14.6in.) with a magnification of 1:4.Zero at 70mm focal size and guide focus. The working distance is a minimum of 19cm (7.5in.). A magnification of 1:10 is achieved at 0.8m (2.6ft.) giving a working distance of 0.57m (1.9ft.) with lens hood hooked up. That is fairly much like the Sigma and Tamron at 70mm. However the Sigma is particular because it permits to go even nearer at 24mm focal size to a magnification of 1:2.6 – at a working distance solely 2cm. [+]

Filter-thread: 82mm identical to the Sigma. The Tamron makes use of cheaper 67mm filters. [0]

Picture stabilization: Not one of the lenses on this comparability presents optical stabilization. However the full-frame mirrorless cameras from Sony present built-in sensor-shift stabilization. [0]

Auto focus: Sure with built-in AF drive. Handbook-focus override is by merely turning the devoted focus ring on the entrance of the lens. The main focus ring has a non-linear gearing which permits for very exact guide focus however makes clean focus pulling for videographers fairly arduous. As is common with lenses for mirrorless cameras there aren’t any distance or dof markings on the lens. The Tamron is comparable whereas the Sigma has an nearly linear gearing between the main focus ring and the main focus motion. [+]

There’s a spotlight lock button on the lens which may also be assigned a special operate relying on the digital camera physique. That’s much like what the Sigma presents. Each the Sony and Sigma even have a zoom lock swap arresting the lens at 24mm. However when you can unlock the Sigma zoom by merely turning the zoom ring the Sony zoom stays put. [+]

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Lens profile: The lens comes with a lens profile for vignette-, CA- and distortion-compensation which may be managed from the digital camera. Adobe’s RAW converter (as of model 12.2) doesn’t acknowledge the profile utterly: vignette is compensated because it was set in digital camera (however you can not swap between off and auto in post-processing) whereas CA-compensation is all the time ON, distortion compensation all the time OFF. To eliminate the distortions in RAW information it is advisable to activate the Adobe provided lens profile. [+]

Covers full body/FF or smaller. Similar with the competitors. [+]

Worth: 1900 EUR (incl. 19% VAT) / 2200 USD. That’s fairly costly however nonetheless cheaper than the skilled commonplace Z or RF zooms for mirrorless cameras from Nikon or Canon. The Sigma is 1200 EUR / 1100 USD and the Tamron is cheaper nonetheless at solely 730 EUR / 880 USD. [0]

The lens comes with a pleasant padded lens case plus strap, the lens hood is included, reversible for transport, and has a lock to stop it from by accident falling off. That’s the identical as for the Sigma. The Tamron comes solely outfitted with the lens hood. [+]

Aperture ring: No, identical to the opposite lenses on this comparability. [0]

Sealing: sure, a rubber grommet on the lens-mount plus additional particular weather-sealing all through the development. The Sigma is equally outfitted whereas the Tamron solely has a sealing on the lens-mount. [+]

The rating of 0[-]/6[0]/8[+] reveals that the Sony 24-70mm f2.Eight GM is probably not the smallest, lightest or most cost-effective commonplace zoom however in any other case it’s fairly well-featured.

Beneath I’ve shot two mirrorless methods with their respective skilled 24-70mm f2.Eight zooms side-by-side. Dimension-wise each combos appear to be a match.

Two 24-70mm f2.Eight zoom lenses for mirrorless cameras

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Above: Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.Eight S (left) vs. Sony FE 24-70mm f2.Eight GM (proper)

Options

The marketplace for full-frame 24-70mm zooms with a big f2.Eight aperture is fairly crowded should you embody optical designs that have been developed for DSLRs and can be utilized by way of adapter on a mirrorless digital camera. However decisions slim down when you deal with authentic native mirrorless designs:

  • The Sigma 24-70mm f2.Eight DG DN Artwork from 2019 is equally sized and outfitted because the Sony however has two distinctive options: You may get your lens mount swapped (at a value) between Sony E-mount and Leica L-mount (plus maybe Canon RF and Nikon Z mount sooner or later) and it could actually focus nearer than the opposite 24-70mm f2.Eight commonplace zooms giving a 1:2.6 magnification at 24mm focal size. At 1200 EUR / 1100 USD it’s additionally less expensive than the Sony and earned a advice in my Sigma 24-70mm f2.Eight DG DN Artwork assessment.
  • Tamron presents the 28-75mm f2.Eight Di III RXD from 2018 for about 730 EUR / 880 USD. It begins at 28mm which could not be vast sufficient for some functions (see comparability under) however it’s smaller and 350g lighter plus prices lower than half of the Sony. The lens earned a Really useful in my Tamron 28-75mm f2.Eight assessment.

Right here is the angle of view that the Sony FE 24-70mm f2.Eight GM covers with its 2.9x zoom (with distortion compensation):

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Above: Sony FE 24-70mm f2.Eight GM protection on Sony A7R II (FF) physique at 24mm (left) and 70mm (proper)

Examine this to the angle of view from the Tamron 28-75mm f2.Eight Di III:

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Above: Tamron 28-75mm f2.Eight Di III protection on Sony A7R II (FF) physique at 28mm (left) and 75mm (proper).

The basic 24-70mm focal vary captures a visibly wider angle on the quick finish.

Focus and zoom

Focus accuracy and repeatability is important to constantly produce sharp photographs. Repeatability (the accuracy of deal with the identical topic after repeated focus-acquisition) of this lens at 70mm focal size is excellent when the lens is focusing from infinity however drops significantly in sharpness and repeatability when coming from a more in-depth distance. In a blended take a look at Reikan FoCal measured 96.0% with no outliers over a collection of 40 photographs. That’s not dangerous however common sharpness was 6% decrease in photographs the place focus got here from a more in-depth distance with some photographs 10% much less sharp. You could not discover this underneath regular viewing situations nevertheless it robs the lens of some acuity when seen shut. I didn’t detect any searching. At 70mm focal size the lens focuses in round 0.7 sec from infinity to 0.8m (1:10 magnification), which is as quick because the Tamron and Sigma.

The zoom ring turns by 75 levels and has a 24mm vast rubber floor with a superb grip. It turns stiffly and can’t be operated with one finger. The lens reveals a bit of zoom creep however the lock at 24mm can stop that. The main focus ring is 18mm vast and is positioned on the entrance of the lens. It strikes tremendous clean and is so delicate to the touch that I typically by accident switched the digital camera to focus magnifier which may be annoying at occasions.

AF-operation of the Sony is inaudible from the skin or should you document video with the built-in microphone. And as you pull focus, you’ll discover solely little or no focus respiration: the picture will get barely much less magnified by 1% at nearer focusing distances. This could make videographers comfortable.

I additionally examined whether or not Sony’s zoom lens means that you can change the focal size with out altering its focus. This attribute known as parfocal. I manually centered the lens at 70mm after which slowly zoomed again to 24mm checking deal with the way in which. The Sony FE 24-70mm f2.Eight GM stored focus completely – till I hit the 24mm mark the place the lens grew to become visibly defocused:

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Above (from left to proper): Sony FE 24-70mm f2.Eight GM at 70mm, 29mm, 24mm, all at f2.8

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