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Just Posted: Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA / NEX-7 samples

By dpreview staff on Sep 16, 2011 at 09:00 GMT
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Just Posted: Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA preview samples gallery. At the press launch we've had a chance to shoot with Sony's latest E-mount prime lens: the Zeiss-branded 36mm equivalent 24mm F1.8 ZA. We've been shooting the lens on a pre-production NEX-7 to show its performance in front of a 24MP sensor. As usual we've tried to shoot the lens in a variety of conditions and at a variety of apertures to give an idea about how it behaves.

Samples gallery

There are 20 images in the samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.

Sony E 24mm F1.8 ZA Preview Samples - Posted 14th September 2011
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Total comments: 153
clarence hk
By clarence hk (Sep 16, 2011)

pretty disappointed with the IQ especially when the Nex7 + ZA Lens price is taken into consideration.

i would shift to X1 or GXR M-mount then.

M Jesper
By M Jesper (Sep 16, 2011)

What are you talking about man, the results are fantastic. We're judging the lens here, not the sensor. Sure at 24MP the tiniest flaws are visible but ANY lens will have those. And these are not RAWs, i believe JPGs from a pre-production camera so half of it is just Sony's flawed JPG renderer. If you'd just look at these at normal sizes you'll see that it has superb microcontrast, delicious bokeh, sharp where it should be even at 24MP, and and as far as i can tell with the JPGs it lets through all the colors perfectly. There's no weird fringing effects other than in expected extreme conditions, or flaring, just a generally very very well performing lens well okay for the high Zeiss standards ...

And yes obviously it's expensive it's a brand new product, and so for far i don't see any other Canikon or whatever with a remotely similar alternative.

Harry Lane
By Harry Lane (Sep 16, 2011)

Clarence is trying to say that these pictures just don't have any pizzazz or pop to them, they just don't jump out at you to give that 3d look

1 upvote
By WhatNex (Sep 16, 2011)

the pictures just dont have the pop factor in it...felt that the colours just look "normal" but the microcontrast is there with lots of detail...just look at the picture with the elephant trunk...maybe the pre-production jpeg could another factor but felt that problem lies more with the lens and not the camera...just my thoughts...

magneto shot
By magneto shot (Sep 16, 2011)

GXR-M, well that must be an excellent choice...

1 upvote
By tompabes2 (Sep 16, 2011)

That old story of the 3D look...
The quality is awesome, and it is a compact camera!
The "pop factor"? Just boost saturation and curves and here it is. But in a serious camera the output must be neutral, leaving this choice to the photographer.
I find these picture rather impressive.

M Jesper
By M Jesper (Sep 16, 2011)

How much more pop can you expect ? It seems to me that this is just a combination of sensor performance, jpg processing, default settings, environmental, and lighting conditions that lead to these results. I seriously doubt that if you'd put worlds most poppy lens on it the results would be any different.

I think the only way to get more pop would be with full-frame, and that new Zeiss ZF/ZE/ZA 35mm F1.4.

M Jesper
By M Jesper (Sep 16, 2011)

It's actually a true story tho tompabes2.

Sensor size makes the biggest difference, even with a bad lens the transition from m4/3 to aps-c makes a huge difference. And i'm not just talking about depth of field. To use another word Adobe Lightroom calls it 'clarity', and a good lens+sensor just has a lot more of it by default, without having to fake it in post.

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Sep 16, 2011)

And 'vibrance' also.

clarence hk
By clarence hk (Sep 16, 2011)

> M Jesper

Think you must be blind to OOC jpegs or you are Sony's promoter. Who & why ever mention that "pop" or "3D" factor to cover up the NEX7 & ZA combo inadequacy ? If "neutral" is the criteria to judge a lens / camera body, why on earth do we need better prime lens & new camera developments to attain the ever better IQ ???

GXR M-mount :

X1 :

By h00ligan (Sep 16, 2011)

I don't think it has anything to do with '3d' I just think the shots seem very average. Maybe because they are jpg..but at the price for the combo I would expect more tbh.

By MichaelSpotts (Sep 16, 2011)

Some of them look great, such as the first wine glass! Others reveal the weakness of the sensor to resolve all that the lens is capable of. The splotchiness of the second rider's jersey comes to mind.

By TrojMacReady (Sep 16, 2011)

Sensor or *jpeg engine*....?

By mpix345 (Sep 16, 2011)

These samples look pretty good to me. Bokeh is nice. Sharpness, for SOOC JPEGs seems adequate.

By Mongolian (Sep 16, 2011)

really nice pics

1 upvote
By Hannu108 (Sep 16, 2011)

Hey Guys,

Did you find any high ISO shot? They all seem to be in ISO 100-200 range :(

Jim Evidon
By Jim Evidon (Sep 16, 2011)

It would be best if you limited your jpeg only test photos to low end jpeg point and shoot cameras. We buy higher end cameras to shoot mostly raw images and pre release photos can only result in what may be unjustified criticism of a good product before it is even released in the marketplace. I've read a lot of negative comments from forum members based on these photos that may not be justified once the camera becomes available for complete testing.
Good photographers are a patient bunch and I think we can wait for the complete evaluation of both raw and jpeg.

By marike6 (Sep 17, 2011)

Seems like these shots (and many of the DPReview) are taken in the least interesting light, 12-3 PM. To present samples of a fast lens, and not take any low-light shots makes no sense at all.

By Weistling (Sep 18, 2011)

For the love of God, just tell me what the black out time is like on the nex-7 viewfinder. Is it like the a55's ? I was shooting the a55 today and had a really hard to time shooting people going through a doorway , trying to get a perfect silhouette and that damn black-out between shots was unbearable. PLEASE ! is there a black out between shots??

By G1Houston (Sep 19, 2011)

Why are people SO negative about these pictures considering the fact that these are JPEGs from a pre-production camera? Compare to other pre-production images, these are very good, in particular the smoothness of the bokeh. Some people here complained that the bokeh is bad — show me bokeh from another 24mm lens that are better than these!

Total comments: 153