FE 24-70 Versus FE 55 & FE 35 - Real World Comparision With A7R

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PaulR
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FE 24-70 Versus FE 55 & FE 35 - Real World Comparision With A7R
4 months ago

I recently returned from a trip to Europe and my first stop was Turkey.  Naturally I lugged along as much photo equipment as I could carry including my A7R, FE 24-70mm, FE 55mm and FE 35mm as well as a NEX-7 for backup.  For the first few days I carried the A7R with all three lenses but each night when I came back I couldn't see any improvement shooting with the primes and eventually I settled on the A7R with the FE 24-70mm in a small case with a couple of extra batteries as my normal kit.  I worried that I must be missing something pixel peeping the images on my laptop but my back argued strongly for the minimal kit and that is what I settled on.

Now that I'm home, I've had a chance to closely examine the images on a color corrected 30" monitor and I am hard pressed to tell the difference between the FE 24-70mm and the FE 35mm and 55mm primes.  I have written in the past about how pleased I was with my copy of the FE 24-70mm but this was my first in depth, real world chance to use the lens in a wide range of conditions and I continue to be delighted with it.

What has really astonished me about the FE 24-70mm is how difficult it is for me to see any shortcomings relative to the primes.  Clearly, I got a very good copy of the lens but I also think it has been unfairly maligned.  If you normally shoot at F5.6 or F8 the zoom seems to be about 95+% as good as the already very good FE 35mm and FE 55mm lenses.  The FE 35mm has slightly better color and is a little more transparent for lack of a better word and the FE 55mm is a tad sharper but I only see the differences looking closely at 100%.

Images are attached and I am looking forward to your comments.  The camera was tripod mounted and remotely triggered with center focus.  JPEGs are SOOC.

Sony A7R - FE 35mm at F5.6

Sony A7R - FE 24-70mm shot at 34mm and F5.6

Sony A7R - FE 55mm at F5.6

Sony A7R - FE 24-70mm at 55mm and F5.6

Having shot over 20000 frames with the A7R it is clear that the camera is capable of great image quality and the lenses are fantastic but the Auto Focus system is really weak.  The camera frequently doesn't focus on anything even in good light and it often focuses on the wrong thing.  So far that is my single biggest complaint and warning to any potential buyer.

 PaulR's gear list:PaulR's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Nikon D600 Sony Alpha 7R Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN +1 more
Sony Alpha 7R Sony Alpha NEX-7
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