Sony Zeiss 24mm - What is so special?

Started Mar 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
blue_skies
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Re: Sony Zeiss 24mm - What is so special?
In reply to DRode, Mar 26, 2013

DRode wrote:

Thanks Henry. Most images (taken by serious amateurs) are only ever displayed online or on a computer screen. Of those that are printed, the vast majority are never printed larger than 8x10. I fit that demographic pretty well. I might make one large (20x30) print per year.

If I thought significantly greater resolution would have made a difference, I would have upgraded my D300s to a D800. Instead I bought an NEX-6 (and love it).

So, if I can't see the resolution difference without viewing it 1:1 on my monitor or in huge prints from a +24MP file, are there any other reasons to use this lens?

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There is no native 24mm prime lens available for the E mount. You can only get the 19mm or 30mm Sigmas. Practically, the three lenses are all fairly sharp, but the f/2.8 limitations on the Sigmas plays into low light capabilities, especially since all these lenses lack OSS.

I have traveled with the Nex-7 with both Sigmas, as well as the Nex-7 with the kit 1855 lens and the E24Z. These were just private snaps - nothing for publishing, etc. Guess what? The pictures from the trip with the kit and E24Z lens are nicer than those from the trip with both Sigmas.

I stopped traveling with the Sigmas. Actually, I don't use them that often any more. I still use the E24Z and the newer E35 - as the latter one has OSS (video, low light).

So, in essence, the E24Z is still on an island by itself with no real alternatives. Even if using the LA-EA2 adapter, there is no good lens to choose from.

I do expect to start using the upcoming E20 lens, for compactness reason, perhaps coupled with the 1650P kit zoom lens, as this makes a fairly small setup. Maybe throw in the E35 for comfort, I will see.

I also see no AF 24mm E mount lens on any other manufacturer's roadmap. With a Nex-6, you can get e.g. a Voigtlander 21mm, or a Contax 28mm, as MF alternatives, with high IQ, but these are different IQs.

Or you can resort to not using the 24mm FL as a prime lens, and cover it with any of the zoom lenses. This way, it becomes a 'higher f-stop' FL, and you would use e.g. the E35 as a low light/shallow DOF lens.

I believe that there is room for a more modestly priced 24mm E mount lens. It should be f/2.0 with OSS, but it would compete head-on with the E24Z. The Sony Zeiss lens is very good at what it does, but comes with a price tag that is a bit unreasonable. At the time, one 'perfect' prime was highly desirable, and we are glad that Sony delivered this in the E24Z. But forcing everyone to add a $1k+ lens to a $500 camera is a bit of a stretch.

I have been comparing the E24Z with the Zeiss ZM 35, and the E24Z is really a very good lens. It shows in many different things, not only IQ. It is probably worth its price. But not having a second option is a hindrance, imo.

And as some have noticed, the E24Z is not good for stitching, as the 24mm FL has (natural for this FL) distortion near the edges.

The E24Z is best mated with the Nex-7. But a $300, or less, high IQ 24mm lens for a Nex-3N would be a nice-to-have option as well.

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Cheers,
Henry

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