FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x

Started Aug 26, 2015 | Discussions thread
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MoreGooderPhotos Contributing Member • Posts: 882
FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x

I'm a hiker and hobbyist photographer that likes to shoot landscape/waterfalls/interesting rocks/insect and so on. My RX10 serves me well for the most part except for it's low light capabilities. Dynamic range and low light ISO performance is becoming more important to me because I find myself increasingly out on the trail at the crack of dawn to capture the sunrise.

I'm skipping micro 4/3's and APS-C and moving right to FF for my next camera.

But, with the issue is lens choice. I was excited to read about the 24-70 as it would fit my needs. I'd prefer not to take lenses off on a dusty trail, thus a zoom with my typical focal lengths make sense. What's holding me back, though, is the mixed reviews of the lens.

I read an expression here recently that I thought was interesting and telling: You marry your lenses but you date your cameras. I don't want to marry the 24-70 f/4 FE because of the poor reputation. I have to think about the lens as an investment, not only because of the high price, but because it will hold its value far longer than a camera body. I also want better image quality than what I can get from my RX10 (otherwise what's the point?)

A few questions then:

  1. Does sharpening in PP mitigate the softness in the corners enough to make this issue a non-issue?
  2. At 24mm, does the distortion correction mean a noticeable image compromise in the pro's opinion?
  3. If I saved up and got the A7Rii, does the higher pixel count make the softness even more problematic? Or does the extra pixel density really mean that prints look sharper despite the lens performance at 100%?
  4. Are there other hikers/camera enthusiast like me out there? Did you wind up getting the 24-70 f/4 FE and deciding it's good enough when PP'd?

I'm temped to buy the 16-35 f/4 and a 55 f/1.8 for my needs but then there's the worry about dust on the sensor and my clumsy fingers.

I've printed one very nice 12 x 18 photo and a few smaller ones from my RX10, but I can really see that there's a quality trade-off, especially in darker areas. Granted, the mood and experience is still captured by the image, but I just can't help but long for even more image quality.

I also struggle with avoiding blown highlights on the RX10. I find myself exposing to the left rather than to the right to avoid blown out clouds and reflections off of water. Putting a polarizer on the camera means I loose too much light, and now I'm out on a trail without a tripod trying to handhold with a long shutter speed just to keep the iso <400.

Any helpful advice, especially regarding the worry about changing a lens, would be helpful.  Surely I'm not the only person out there that has gone through this thought experiment.

Thanks!

MGP

 MoreGooderPhotos's gear list:MoreGooderPhotos's gear list
Sony RX10 IV Sony Alpha a7 II Sony FE 24-70mm F4 OSS Zeiss Batis 25mm F2
Nikon 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR Nikon 24mm F1.8G ED Sony Alpha a7 Sony Alpha a7R Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
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