Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master – Lens Review

The Sony 24-70 f/2.8 G Master lens is Sony’s premium 24-70mm zoom. It has a gasket at the end and a “sealed” body. It feels more solid than the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 lens I had (if you gripped the barrel slightly the focus ring would become harder to move, suggesting the barrel wasn’t a very strong plastic), and it’s quite heavy.

This review is incomplete. The wordpress app isn’t very good and it’s easier to make a page and then edit it later on my phone than to try creating a new page on my phone. When I’m in Canada, if I remember, I will try add some photographs here and whatnot. This isn’t a lens I ever imagined owning. After my US Visa was denied a second time, I kind of impulse bought a few things. I have a few feelings about my purchase decision. I’m leaving to go to Canada next month and the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master is arguably a better lens. It covers a better range for landscape photography and more importantly, it’s a lot lighter. The lens itself is lighter and to get a wider FOV, I have to bring another lens, the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8. In total, that’s a lot of weight to hike with 20+ miles a day for several months. It’s still considerably lighter than an equivalent DSLR setup but it’s not lightweight. I feel the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens supplements it beautifully, and the extra reach will be useful for wildlife. I also considered buying a Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 lens and then having a three prime setup. Again, for hiking, this isn’t pragmatic at all. If lenses are in your backpack, the chances are you won’t use them very often. So a three prime setup equates to two primes not really being used much and one getting a lot of use.

After careful consideration, I feel that I can use the ultrawide prime during lunch breaks and at night around camp, and the Sony 24-70 f/2.8 G Master lens during the day. I won’t be doing loads of photography in the evening because I will be knackered, but for sunrise and sunset shots, I think it’ll be great. The Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens was also a cheaper option for me compared to the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master lens because I already own the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8.

If I have one complaint, it’s that I believe the grip of the body gets very close to the lens body. It doesn’t pinch my finger, and I have really long (but slim) fingers. I think if you were overweight, it might be a problem but I don’t know for sure. I feel that when I hold the camera naturally, it’s never been a problem. It’s only when I try make it a problem that it becomes one.

Image quality

The out of focus areas have been advertised more so with these G Master lenses than I have ever seen before, and rightfully so in my opinion.

The out of focus areas are incredibly round at all apertures and it never looks displeasing (I guess it’s subjective, but hopefully these examples give you an idea). Above is a knife handle I was working on. I made a mistake at the top (a good workman shouldn’t blame his tools, but…) I have since fixed. I digress. This was held a short distance away from me and it’s quite interesting how well the lens works as a macro lens. It’s not going to be 1:1 by any stretch, but it’s good enough for the wildflowers I will encounter in Canada :).

At the wide end the lens is very, very sharp. At 70mm it’s cheaper than I imagined it to be (Sony lenses are criticised for their sharpness at this focal length) but if I have a complaint with the image quality, it’s not with the sharpness. I find something about the flaring or contrast simply isn’t as good as the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens. I guess that’s what you get with a prime. In normal lighting conditions, it’s not really noticeable and I don’t notice any troubles with micro-contrast or whatever people argue about on forums with :). The lens renders nicely and I like it.

Other complaints

I feel this is the lens that I never imagined owning, it didn’t excite me like the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens, but I’m really growing to love it. I don’t have many complaints. I’ve mentioned the possible issue with its size near the grip. I don’t like lenses that extend very much but this is my fear of dust getting inside. If it’s not an issue after a year, I’ll edit this. Other than that, I can’t really criticise it so far. It hasn’t had much use yet though and when I take a lot of photographs with it soon, I’ll add a bunch :).

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