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Thread: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Question Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    Just wondering what experiences you've all had with the Sony (Zeiss) 24-70 f/4 full frame E-mount lens regarding good/bad copies. Are they very consistent or have you had to send some back? Please share...
    Brad Husick

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    I recall a couple of members stating they had sent back their copies in various threads in the forum.

    I'm sure if I looked long and hard enough I'd find problems with mine.

    Personally, I'm liking the 24-70 more and more, especially the 24mm end stopped down to f8. It is a very convenient range for the kind of urban and country landscapes I do.

    Some of my favourite captures in the last 6 months have come from that lens.

    Thing is, if you pixel peep then you can face disappointment. But content is king. Who cares about a little de-centering or distortion if what you got is good to look at on a wall from 1 metre away.

    A7R, iso50, f16, 26mm, 1 second - tripod shot.



    Just my two cents.

    LouisB
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    My new book "Whitechapel in 50 BUildings", Flikr Stream, www.louisberk.com
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    I'm no longer in the reviewing game but last year I wrote this in-depth look at the lens and there is a section on sample variation.

    In short, there is a chance you'll need to go through more than one copy to get a good one, but a good one is really worth having.
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    Very well said Louis; content is king
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    My first copy was certainly off on one side and my 2nd copy is I think as good as it can be for this lens. I seldom use it now though it does really shine on the A7s

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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    After 2 copies, I gave up. I am going to take my chances on the rumored 24-70 f/2.8 zoom (may be).

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    After 2 copies, I gave up. I am going to take my chances on the rumored 24-70 f/2.8 zoom (may be).
    I did as well but I'm going to buy it back because the high ISO levels are far better and it may actually focus now for PR work.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    I have one that seems good.
    I was walking around yesterday with it on an A7RII.
    Made images at F4 and F8.
    Focus quickness is not an issue.

    Found a shrub growing around a decoration and shot each of the designated focal lengths so I can have a closer look at its results on the A7RII.

    Haven't spent much time reviewing but I'm happy with what I've seen so far.

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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    Here are a few images from my walk about with the A7RII and 24-70 F4.

    One reason for taking the lens was to see what the difference was between F4 and F8 at various focal lengths.

    EXIF data is attached, I think these are all F4 samples.

    All the images have processing applied. Kodachrome color mix, sharpening, minor cropping, Clarity, Shadow, Highlight, Exposure

    The image of the train leaving the station was shot AF-C single shot.
    The image of the tree with fungi is heavily sharpened to emphasis the texture of the bark.
    The image up the trunk of the tree is processed to optimize the sun flare through the trees. There is CA around the leaves that can't be corrected in Lightroom.

    I knew I liked the lens, just wanted to confirm its performance on the A7RII.

    Guy, with the Nissin Air speedlite system this camera/lens combination will work a charm for events.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    That's what I'm hoping
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member sjg284's Avatar
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    Wondering if any 24-70 owners do much video?

    I experiment a lot with the A7s for video, but find the micro vibrations with my non-stabilized lenses to need a lot of post-cleanup.

    Does the OSS in the 24-70 help, at least for stationary shots? It looks like IBIS helps, but I'd prefer to wait for an A7sII for IBIS..
    Curious if OSS is a nice holdover, and also seems OSS works with IBIS to give more stabilizing, at least with all-Sony equipment.
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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viramati View Post
    My first copy was certainly off on one side and my 2nd copy is I think as good as it can be for this lens. I seldom use it now though it does really shine on the A7s
    I find that too. I don't want to read to much into it but maybe fat pixels and better than ones that are shrunk to extreme levels?

    LouisB
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmward View Post
    Here are a few images from my walk about with the A7RII and 24-70 F4.

    One reason for taking the lens was to see what the difference was between F4 and F8 at various focal lengths.

    EXIF data is attached, I think these are all F4 samples.

    All the images have processing applied. Kodachrome color mix, sharpening, minor cropping, Clarity, Shadow, Highlight, Exposure

    The image of the train leaving the station was shot AF-C single shot.
    The image of the tree with fungi is heavily sharpened to emphasis the texture of the bark.
    The image up the trunk of the tree is processed to optimize the sun flare through the trees. There is CA around the leaves that can't be corrected in Lightroom.

    I knew I liked the lens, just wanted to confirm its performance on the A7RII.

    Guy, with the Nissin Air speedlite system this camera/lens combination will work a charm for events.
    I don't know, but to me these don't look as sharp as the ones we've been seeing with the Batis, but then maybe we are all spoilt now!

    That was the one lens in the Sony stable I was not impressed with. Maybe 'shutter shock', maybe not, but somehow I did not find the images to have that pop or sharpness.

    But I am willing to give it another try with the A7RII. It is a nice size and of course extremely useful focal length for a general purpose walkabout lens.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........

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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    I don't know, but to me these don't look as sharp as the ones we've been seeing with the Batis, but then maybe we are all spoilt now!

    That was the one lens in the Sony stable I was not impressed with. Maybe 'shutter shock', maybe not, but somehow I did not find the images to have that pop or sharpness.

    But I am willing to give it another try with the A7RII. It is a nice size and of course extremely useful focal length for a general purpose walkabout lens.
    I went through three copies and settled on one that still has issues if you want to pixel peep into the corners and compare it to primes like the FE 28, 35 and 55. However, it is small and light and is perfectly capable of taking great images if you feed it great images. Another way of saying content is king. I carried an A7S or an A7r with this lens all over the streets and alleys of India at all hours of the day and night and it was a joy to carry and a joy to use. There is no way I swap it out for a 24-70 2.8 even if the image quality was somewhat better. The extra size and weight just would not be worth it to me.
    Whenever I think about getting bogged down about the image quality of the FE 24-70 zoom, I pick up a copy of Steve McCurry's book, the Iconic Photographs. His photographs leave me breathless, and I don't even notice that the images are nowhere near clinically sharp across the frame.
    hcubell
    www.howardcubell.com
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    Yea I'm buying it back. Now I just have to wait till my smug mug money comes on Sept.9. My wife stole my cash stash for it( vacation). LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    I went through three copies and settled on one that still has issues if you want to pixel peep into the corners and compare it to primes like the FE 28, 35 and 55. However, it is small and light and is perfectly capable of taking great images if you feed it great images. Another way of saying content is king. I carried an A7S or an A7r with this lens all over the streets and alleys of India at all hours of the day and night and it was a joy to carry and a joy to use. There is no way I swap it out for a 24-70 2.8 even if the image quality was somewhat better. The extra size and weight just would not be worth it to me.
    Whenever I think about getting bogged down about the image quality of the FE 24-70 zoom, I pick up a copy of Steve McCurry's book, the Iconic Photographs. His photographs leave me breathless, and I don't even notice that the images are nowhere near clinically sharp across the frame.
    Yes, I too have Steve McCurry's books. His genre is people and you don't need a very sharp lens, just content which as has been rightly said, is king.

    I don't do people at all. Not my cup of tea. Get forced to do family events but I barely survive there.

    For landscapes and wildlife, sharpness is important, content still rules, but it has to be presented well. Nick Brandt does it completely differently of course but he is in a class of his own.

    I only have the one copy I got initially. It is probably alright, but I haven't checked it out in a while. My initial impressions were that it was softer than my 16-35, 35 2.8 and 55 1.8, which is perhaps not surprising.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........

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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    I think we all want the best performance available from any lens we own.
    That said, with digital the lens and camera are the beginning of the process.
    Here are two images I processed using a processing action developed for Photoshop CC that used some advanced techniques for extending dynamic range and sharpening.

    Its more detailed than what I normally do in Lightroom put also delivers a better result.

    We also tend to forget that 1024 web images are about 1/7th the resolution of the A7RII file. That suggests that even the best lens and processing is going to be sacrificed at the alter reasonable file size for the web.

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    Senior Member sjg284's Avatar
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    I've picked up a copy today to try, will report back.
    I can tell already that the OSS does make a large difference for video, getting rid of much of the distracting micovibration of hand holding.

    Will do stills tomorrow to make sure I got a decent copy...
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    Re: Good/bad copies of Sony 24-70 f/4 lens?

    I hope you got a good copy.... good luck!

    I found this thread from last year in which I posted the same scene shot on the 24-70 and the 55 f1.8 and invited people to guess which was which. There was no consensus. In other words, at least as I shot and processed the scene on both lenses, they seemed about equally (i.e. both very) sharp. Read from the fourth post down, by me, starting with 'thanks Zoran'.

    My takeaway from this was that much as I love the 55, unless I want bokeh and DOF effects I take the 24-70 because in the range of about 40 to 65mm and at F8 you can, if you shoot it right, get sharp corner to corner and edge to edge. A good copy is incredibly useful.
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