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Thread: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    Your images look soft on my monitor.











    Kidding!

    Seriously, I have one Sony body -- an A7r converted to full spectrum -- and this is the only Sony dedicated AF lens I have for it. Is it the best lens I've ever owned? Not even close. Does it suck? No, but I can't say it's great either -- though I can say it is certainly adequate for my needs on this body; I like the fit, balance and ease of use of the pair.

    End of day, it isn't particularly great compared to Canon or Nikon 24-70/2.8's I've owned at f5.6-up, and I think this is what everyone compares it to and why it has the uglybutt rep...

    (I've said it before -- and know it's not a favored opinion here on the Sony forum -- but Sony needs to step up their AF zoom lens stable for full-frame E-mount superbigtime if they want to seriously play against C and N. 3rd party manual lenses notwithstanding, fast, reliable, superb-quality AF is where they need to be, and to date they aren't very close...)

    This one at 24mm f6.3 -- corners do go soft if you view actual pixel, but certainly remain usable for even relatively big prints:

    Jack
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    I have the 24-70 and use it regularly for portraits, weddings, etc.
    I haven't taken the time to compare at pixel level, but its adequate for the jobs and print sizes that are likely to be used.

    If in needed a critically sharp lens for a job, I'd likely use a macro or prime. If I need flexibility for fast moving situation then zooms and the 24-70 suits.

    Entire wedding last Saturday was shot with it. No problems with softness, except when it was slow shutter speed and movement. Not the fault of the lens.

    My opinion of most web reviewers is that they look at pixels searching for something to say that will get them clicks on their site to generate revenue. Are all the reviews or reviewers worthless, no. But, in the end I want to have the lens in my hands, evaluate it and make my own decision, based on the specific lens I have and my needs.

    Here are some examples of what I mean from Art Expo Chicago last Thursday.
    All were shot with Auto ISO, Av, minimum shutter speed 1/100, F4.
    The motorcycle image is ISO 2500, as is the off hand portrait of an artist.
    The modernist head is ISO 2000 and the endless reflection is ISO 800. All are 1/100 at F4.

    Even at 1:1 all are good images for noise, sharpness and that's without any work in Lightroom or photoshop.
    The endless reflection was corrected for white balance, the others are essentially straight out of the camera with maybe some cropping.

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    Last edited by dmward; 22nd September 2015 at 09:51.
    David

    dmwfotos | davidmward.photography
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    Nice images OP

    24-70 is not terrible, just as the 28-70 is not terrible. They seem real close actually with the latter better in some circumstances.

    The disappointment comes when you compare performance with the best Canikon glass. The 1635 is closer to that bar.

    The lens is a grand and not too fast. I think they missed the tune for this sensor configuration a bit.
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    Its not terrible in performance, clearly; however, I think many would agree that it is approaching terrible value for money, especially at the release price.

    The Canon 24-70 f4 L significantly outperforms it in the corners at the wide end according to all the lab tests I have seen and it looks quite weak from 60-70mm until stopped down. Central performance looks to be stunning at the wide and mid range from wide open, so while it can put in a stunning performance there (and in the middle of the zoom range stopped down into the corners), it is not a solid smooth allrounder without any glaring weaknesses. Canon is doing a great job of pushing out such lenses and going by the price of the 16-35mm f4 L, at a lower price point (the intro price of the 24-70 f2.8 L II being too high IMO).

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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    I do not have the lens. Fortunately I still have my Sony Zeiss 24-70 f2.8 ZA lens, which I will try with my newly acquired LA-EA3 adapter. Photozone quote re: distortions.....

    "As a user you can select whether your images shall be auto-corrected or remain in true RAW mode. In auto-corrected mode, there is, unsurprisingly, nothing to worry about. The distortions stay at less than 0.5% which is negligible. However, the situation changes completely when looking at the original characteristic of the lens. It shows a hefty ~3.8% barrel distortion at 24mm and a 3% pincushion distortion towards the long end of the zoom range. This is hardly impressive for such a pricey lens."

    I think I will pass on this lens. I do have the 16~35 ZE and it is quite good at the middle and shorter ends. For 35mm, if I have time to change lenses, I use the fantastic little Zeiss 35mm f2.8.
    Regards to all
    Dave in NJ
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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I've said it before -- and know it's not a favored opinion here on the Sony forum -- but Sony needs to step up their AF zoom lens stable for full-frame E-mount superbigtime if they want to seriously play against C and N. 3rd party manual lenses notwithstanding, fast, reliable, superb-quality AF is where they need to be, and to date they aren't very close...
    Jack, I don't think you'd get much disagreement about this statement on the GetDPI Sony forum (except perhaps from Guy ).

    Seriously, the native E-mount lenses that I'd compare with ANY Nikon-branded lenses I've owned are the Zeiss Batis 25mm, Zeiss Batis 85mm, and Sony-Zeiss 35mm f/1.4. Those three give me hope that "fast, reliable, superb-quality AF" is possible and that Zeiss (with or without Sony) is key.

    I have the FE 24-70mm and use it as my "grab it and go" lens for casual shooting. I've seen some outstanding images produced with that lens (thanks to Louis and others) and wouldn't say it "sucks" either. Sample variation and Sony QC also play a huge role in its reputation.

    Joe
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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    Hi,

    I skipped over the 24-70/4 lens and bought the cheap 28-70/3.5-5.6 instead. From the tests I have seen the 24-70/4 is not a great lens, the kit lens is of course not a great lens either.

    What I use mostly is the Sony 24-70/2.8ZA, which seems to be a very decent lens when stopped down to f/8 or so. Another lens I use is the 70-400/4-5.6G. Both these lenses are really good.

    To my surprise the first generation Sigma 12-24/4.5-5.6 I have also works reasonable well.

    The best lens I have is the Sony 90/28 G Macro, it is really sharp.

    Now, getting back to the kit zoom, I use it for handheld shooting. It is no great lens, but I still think it would deliver decent images in A2-size.

    Let's face it, making use of those 42 megapixels makes some demands on both lenses and photographers. I would also say that web size images may be great but they tell very little about image quality. Even truly horrible images can look good in small sizes. Who needs a 42 MP camera for 0.48 MP (800x600) images?

    Best regards
    Erik

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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    I echo the general consensus -- the lens is decent and a great walk around. I am always torn about whether to take it with me on various trips where I take a little extra time to take photos. By the end of the day, I am too tired to keep changing lenses (maybe i am a wimp) so generally glad i have it... in the long run, likely to do some cropping anyway.
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    IMO, why have a dense, state-of-the-art sensor like the A7R or A7R-II and use a mediocre lens on it? Doesn't make sense to me. I had this zoom lens on my A7R, tried to like it for some months including shooting weddings with it where the A99 with the ZA24-70/2.8 ran circles around it. I simply didn't like the distortion, lack of any redeeming character, and so-so performance for a f/4 zoom at that price. I sold mine and have been using the FE35/2.8 (also a bit lacking in character, and slow for a 35mm, but at least it's a f/2.8), and the FE55/1.8 which is fine.

    In short, I pretty much agree with Jack … the cameras outstrip the system lenses available for them.

    - Marc
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    I agree. Two samples bought/tried and returned (thank you amazon.de!).
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    I think that's a little unfair, IMO The 16-35 is pretty good (but not as good as the Canon which I find jaw dropping), the 70-200 f4 is very good indeed, but 'the one in the middle' lets the side down. As for the primes, the 55 is spectacular and while it lacks a special character, is no less at fault of this than most recent releases from any manufacturer where they are trying to milk the high MP sensors. The 35mm f2.8 is very good indeed and tiny/light to boot (but was too expensive). The 35mm f1.4 is superb by anyone's book and the 90mm Macro is too. Both are expensive, but look at the price and size of the new Canon 35mm f1.4 (which I suspect will outshine the distagon, judging by Canon's recent lenses).

    So overall, the line up is rapidly improving, but there are still some weak spots. The 28mm F2 shows that Sony is keen to improve value (thankfully, because the 24-70 f4 was insulting at that price, as was the 35mm f2.8 when released), the Batis lenses have people in raptures by offering a formidable combination of features, performance and decent value... so I think the system is coming along well, finally. Where I agree with Jack is that the line up is lumpy. If the rumored 24/28-70 f2.8 is a good'un, it will help no end. That lens should be the anchor for any prosumer system, but one should not have to be jumping from Sony G to Zony to Sony to Zeiss properly fill out a system. Give it a few years and it will almost certainly go from good but lumpy to grounded and rounded. Sony is going for the jugular, so I would be surprised if we see anything less.


    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ....the FE35/2.8 (also a bit lacking in character, and slow for a 35mm, but at least it's a f/2.8), and the FE55/1.8 which is fine.

    In short, I pretty much agree with Jack … the cameras outstrip the system lenses available for them.

    - Marc

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    Thanks for the comments. I just thought the 'sucks' conclusion by Ken Rockwell was a bit extreme.

    I'd say the lens is competent. It could also be that my satisfaction is based on getting the lens at a discount and then on top of that benefiting from Sony's end of year promotion (in 2014) to get another £100 off the sticker price in a cash-back rebate.

    I do agree that the line-up is 'lumpy'. Where it struggles is with UWA. I have the Loxia 2/35 and 55/1.8 and now the 90/2.8 and all three are to put it mildly, stellar.

    I had an order in for the 25/2 but really what I want is a 21/2.8. I have the CV Ultron 21/1.8 but stopped down it is a sod to focus exactly because the image is so dim. And it seems to fool the metering for some reason. I'm not crazy about the 16-35 although if Sony again offer some kind of rebate this Xmas I may go down that route.

    But bottom line we definitely need a 21mm and 18mm UWA prime lens, either a Loxia or Batis (at those focal lengths I'll take manual rather than nothing).

    Until I can get exactly what I want, I'll keep using the 24mm end of the 24-70.

    Just my two cents

    LouisB
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    Sorry Louis I can't.... I don't have one yet
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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    I wasn't all that impressed with it on the 7RMI, it seemed flat with no character. However, it looks good in the images posted here. Maybe I have a bad copy. I haven't used it on the 7RM2 but will take it to Rennsport this weekend and give it a whirl. Maybe it will behave better on the 7RII? I hope Sony has another go on this one in the new spring lineup its my go-to lens range.
    Mike

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Will no one defend the CZ 24-70 f4?

    Mike,

    I think the whole issue is the variability --- you either get one that sucks, or you get a usable one, albeit marginally so. For me, I took the chance on it knowing it was going to be used for dedicated IR capture, and there extreme resolution is difficult with the best lenses, and absence of hot-spotting is a bigger benefit. So for me in this application it works well. I would not consider my copy more than a "P&S convenience" lens on a normal visible-spectrum 24MP+ cam...
    Jack
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