I'm Returning My FE24-70. Here's Why:

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
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Dandrewk
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I'm Returning My FE24-70. Here's Why:
6 months ago

After couple of weeks of ownership, and some head banging soul searching, I am returning my FE24-70 to B&H.

First and foremost, this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the quality of the lens, which IMHO is outstanding.  I see little of the edge softness (or other issues), or at least I  don't notice it.  If indeed there are production differences, then perhaps I got a "good one".

Returning a lens, or returning ANYTHING, is something I VERY rarely do.  I research the hell out of stuff I buy, so asking for an RMA is a failure on my part.  So then why am I doing this?

Short answer: The lens is being replaced by the FE35 and FE55 combo.  The FE55 I already own, the FE35 arrives tomorrow.  This guarantees that I will be needing something wider, perhaps a 24mm or 20mm.  I have already pre-ordered the FE70-200.  Those four lenses will comprise my Sony stable for quite some time (I'm keeping my Nikon 105mm for macro).

Long answer, including a small bit of personal history:  Two reasons.  The first will be obvious to anyone who owns the FE55.  As good as the 24-70 is, the 55 is remarkably better.  It's more than "well, it should be".  It's dimensionally better.  The images explode off the screen.  It may very well be legendary.  It's a "WOW!" type lens.  I don't expect the FE35 to be its equal, but I'm betting it comes real close.

Plus, the 35/55 combo is much smaller and faster than the zoom lens (on camera).  I realize this means carrying two lenses, necessitating lens swaps.  Not so much an issue for what I do, and besides for "walk around", the FE35 will carry the significant work load unless I am shoot people.

The other reason deals with a shift in photographic vision.  I have been into photography since age 12 when I got a Pentax H3V.  This dates me. I shot professionally for awhile and had by own studio.  Now I am back to being a serious amateur.

There was a time when you couldn't pay me to carry a zoom lens.  But as their quality improved, I relented and moved towards them for convenience.  Like some who shoot with zooms, I noticed a trend towards laziness.  Don't think about the shot, just zoom to what looks nice and fine tune the composure later.  It took something away from the experience... the "challenge" of translating what I was feeling into the image.  Having a fixed focal length really makes me THINK about what I am looking for and forces me to SEE the shot before I even lift the camera to my eye.  I want more of that.

After a few outings with only my 55mm, that excitement returned.   And it showed in the images.  I'm looking forward to seeing what challenges and results shooting with primes (again) will bring.  Like the "good old days", except the camera bag will be a lot lighter.

 Dandrewk's gear list:Dandrewk's gear list
Sony Alpha 7 Sony a6000 Sony FE 35mm F2.8 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 70-200 F4 +14 more
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3
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