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Home » Camera Lens Reviews » Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Review

Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Review

Looking to find more information regarding the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM? Read our latest review to learn more about the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM, its specifications, and if it’s a good camera lens for you. 

Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Overview

The 24-70mm F2.8 GM features three aspherical elements, including a newly developed, extremely precise XA (extreme aspherical) element that minimizes aberration and provides the highest resolution throughout the entire zoom range and aperture range, as well as from corner to corner of all picture files. Furthermore, while minimizing resolution and bokeh without any unnatural coloration, an ED (Extra-low-Dispersion) glass element and Super ED glass element minimize chromatic aberration.

The Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM lens has a 9-bladed aperture that maintains a near circular form at all settings and is coated with Sony’s original Nano AR coating to reduce reflections and provide stunning contrast and clarity. The new FE24-70mm F2.8 GM lens features a direct drive SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) focusing system that works efficiently owing to the use of new algorithms, which position the lens components swiftly and precisely. The motor is smooth and silent, making it an excellent choice for shooting both still pictures as well as videos.

With its dust and damp-resistant construction, lightweight yet sturdy build, compact design with AF/MF switch as well as focus hold, zoom lock, and hood release buttons, and sleek appearance that includes an AF/MF switch as well as a focus hold button, this lens is designed to be simple to use.

Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Specifications

The Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM was first announced on 02/03/2016 with a Sony FE mount type. Below is a summary of this len’s specifications: 

Indicative Price: $2200

Focal Range: 24-70mm

Aperture: F/ 2.8

Filter Diameter (millimeters): 82

Maximum Diameter (millimeters): 87.6

Number Of Lenses: 18

Length (millimeters): 136

AF Motor: SSM

Stabilization: None

Zoom Type: Ring

Tripod Mount: None

Colors Available: Black

Manual Focus: Yes

Weight (grams): 886

Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Performance

The Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM lens has a sharpness of exceptional quality and high excellence for focal length between 70mm and 40mm. While the middle part of its focus range is very sharp, the performance at 24mm is not very good, usually being described as being slightly soft with detail lessening in appearance beyond this point.

Build and Handling Quality

The mount is somewhat narrow and has a large diameter boost not far into the optic. Several smaller diameter increments may be found until the lens reaches its relatively wide maximum diameter at the objective end.

The focus ring and zoom ring are both very smooth, positioned in the rear and closer to the mount, as I prefer. Extension with focal length increase is typical for a lens of this class. The total extension is 1.26″ (32mm). Nikon lenses and Canon lenses operate in the same direction as well as opposed to previous models.

The particularity of this lens is that the serial number is printed on a thick plastic label beneath the mount end. The label can come off and, after removing a corner, I can inform you that it becomes very sharp and unpleasant to hold in your left thumb when holding below the lens. Otherwise, this lens feels quite robust with no play in moving elements.

It’s weather sealed, with a mount gasket seal included.

Autofocus Performance

Although the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM lens is known to have an excellent autofocus performance, it does not always appear very quiet, but this could be due to a lack of contrast that may make it difficult to track certain types of movement or fast paced action if shooting quickly or under low light conditions. Auto focus errors may occur from time to time with images appearing slightly less sharp than they should when zooming in at 100%. Although images can sometimes be improved by using manual focusing techniques, AF accuracy is typically very good even when photographing dimly lit scenes where AF noise is generally noticeable and greater care must be taken for exposures as camera shake can begin occurring more easily especially at longer focal lengths and  lower shutter speeds.

Sharpness

At f/2.8, this lens performs extremely well in the middle of the frame across the entire focal length range. That said, on our test lens, I’ll call 70mm the softest (followed closely by 35mm) and explain why with a look at the f/2.8 and f/4 image quality results compared to each focal length using the site’s image quality tool. Even stopped down by just 1/3 stop to f/3.2.

At f/4, this lens is razor sharp in the center at all focal lengths. At f/5.6 and f/4, you will not notice a difference in the outcomes.

Vignetting

Vignetting is quite pronounced at 24mm, with the edges appearing 2/3 of a stop darker than the image center and stopping down to f/5.6 helps reduce these dark corners into corners that are only 1/3 of a stop darker than the image center. At 70mm vignetting is more like 1/4 of a stop in the corners and stopping down to f/5.6 reduces this effect to about 1/7 of a stop darker in the corners.

Chromatic Aberration

While chromatic aberrations are prominent throughout the entire focus range, it is generally described as being acceptable in most cases when stopped down even to f/16 or f/22. The corners are much more noticeable than the center when zooming in on areas of contrast however this could be due to field curvature issues where straight lines towards the edges appear to curve towards the center. Although distortion can vary from shot to shot, it is typically described as being quite pronounced at the 24mm focal length and for this reason it should be kept in mind that architectural shots at this particular focal length could appear slightly warped.

Distortion

Another common feature of a zoom lens is linear distortion. At the wide end, this lens exhibits mild mustache/wave distor- tion. When the lens is zoomed in, the distortion transitions to almost no distortion from 28-30mm and then quickly increases in pincushion distortion at 35mm. The amount of pincushion distortion increases as you get closer to 70mm.

Geometric distortion makes framing certain situations with straight lines, such as a flat horizon over the sea, difficult because there are no parallel lines to the viewfinder or viewfinder gridlines. The use of electronic levels on cameras with built-in sensors has gotten rid of this problem for most photographers.

Image Quality

This lens had the highest minimum focus distance of any previous 645 lenses, with a focusing range from 0.5m to 1.1m. The wide constant-maximum aperture is also quite useful, but a premium grade lens must produce excellent picture quality in order to succeed in the market. Image sharpness is important, and an f/2.8 lens is used because that widest aperture needs to be utilized. As a result, good f/2.8 image clarity is essential . This lens has this characteristic, thankfully.

Bokeh

While the bokeh quality which renders out of focus backgrounds into smooth and creamy looking areas is very good, its circular shape starts becoming noticeably rounded when stopped down to f/16 or f/22. This could be due to field curvature issues where straight lines towards the edges begin to curve towards the center while within close range, but stopping down helps to improve performance in this regard. It’s also worth noting that flare and ghosting may become an issue with bright lights sources entering into frame, such as the sun.

How Does The Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Score? 

Below are the lens metric scores we’ve measured for this specific lens: 

  • Performance and Image Quality: 9/10
  • Features: 8/10
  • Bokeh: 9/10
  • Build Quality: 10/10
  • AutoFocus Quality: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 7/10
  • Value: 9/10

Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Pros and Cons

Below are some of the pros and cons regarding this lens. 

Pros: 

  • Compatible with all Sony E-mount cameras
  • Strong build quality
  • Sharp contrast
  • Good image quality
  • Good bokeh

Cons: 

  • Premium price point
  • Large lens can make it harder to handle
  • Slight distortion
  • Not ideal performance at 24mm

Our Verdict

Sony has a long history of making great cameras, especially in terms of sensor development. Prior to their lenses, Sony made a name for itself as a camera manufacturer and particularly for its sensor technology. Many serious photographers who used Sony cameras opted to use Canon adapters. An adapted lens is no longer the best option in the 24-70mm range at least. The Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens is superior to the Canon and Nikon lenses currently available thanks to its built-in image stabilization and native compatibility with the Sony E-mount system, making it now by far the finest choice.