24-70 F4 blows away my kit lens

Started Mar 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
Dandrewk Senior Member • Posts: 1,094
My own tests, including the 55 1.8

FWIW, I have the kit lens, the 24-70 and the FE 55.

It's a bit difficult nailing a precise focal length with a  zoom lens, but I was able to get repeatable results that were uniform amongst lenses and f stops.  I tested at 24, 28, 55 and 70 mm, all at wide open and at f8.  Obviously I didn't test a focal length if the lens wasn't capable of it.

I'll post the photos a bit later when I have time, but for now my conclusions:

  • All did quite well in the center, but the 55mm was sharper.
  • I may have gotten a "good" 24-70.  Sharpness at the corners at 24mm was only a tiny bit softer wide open compared with f8.  Barely noticeable, but MUCH improved when compared to the kit lens.
  • Comparing the three lenses at 55mm at the corners/edges, the 55mm was the clear winner, which is to be expected.  Wide open, if I'd rate the 55mm as a 10, then the 24-70 is an 8 and the kit lens about a 4.  Stopping down, all lenses improve by the same margin.

I did this test for my own purposes, basically trying to decide if I want to keep the 24-70 or use the kit lens.  Figuring I can sell the kit lens for at least $350, that's an $850 choice.  After my test, I'm keeping the 24-70, at least until Sony releases a quality 20mm or 24mm FE prime lens.  Besides the very useful wider focal length and build quality, it's a significantly sharper lens. I didn't buy a great camera body to make compromises on lens quality.

The 55mm is still a good deal sharper across the frame, but less versatile.  I'll carry it along with the 24-70 and be happy.  All that's needed now is to wait for mid April and the FE 70-200.  Hopefully, it will be up to the high standards we've come to expect from Zeiss.

 Dandrewk's gear list:Dandrewk's gear list
Sony RX1R II Sony Alpha a7R II Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro +7 more
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