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

Started Aug 26, 2015 | Discussions
texascbx Contributing Member • Posts: 649
Re: FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x
1

You could simply do like I did and get the excellent Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 and the LAEA3.

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Robgo2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,042
Re: FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x
1

Alpha Photo wrote:

"... Dust doesn't show up unless you are shooting at F16 or F22.."

I think that is false. Dust sits on the sensor and therefor is independent of lens f-stop. What you are thinking about is dust between the lens elements. All other points I agree. Dust does not worry me (and I live in the desert).

Right.  When I have had dust on my sensor, it was visible against solid backgrounds at most apertures, though more so at small apertures.

Rob

PBR Streetgang Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x
1

MoreGooderPhotos wrote:

Wow. So many great replies! Thanks everyone.

I really like the idea of practicing changing a lens while standing over a bed. I will definitely do that. Regarding dust: I have lens cleaning down pretty well already. The biggest cause of me having to clean a lens is when I accidently touch the lens face or lens filter with a finger. I can't tell you how many times I've done that on my RX10. With an ILC when I swap a lens I have three surfaces to worry about touching (assuming I remember to leave the front lens cap on). The rear glass from two lenses, and the surface of the sensor. Dust, in hindsight, appears to be the least of my issues. That's where practice comes in I suppose. I imagine that the bigger and heavier lenses are more difficult to swap.

The sample photos posted in this thread are amazing! Thanks very much for posting them.

I did a quick study in LR where I used the metadata filter to show me what focal lengths I've used. For 2041, 1192 out of 5172 frames where shot at 8.8mm, which for an RX10 is a 24mm equivalent focal length for full frame. The next highest quantity, 842, was at the full zoom of 78.3mm, which is a 200mm equivalent focal length. The next biggest hump in the data was 246 photos at 12.83mm (35mm equivalent). And then, 189 photos at 18.21 (50mm equivalent). The rest of the photos were pretty evenly scattered, with more heavily weighted towards the shorter focal lengths. There were a relatively small number of photos at focal lengths between 25.71 (70mm) and 73.3 (200). If I had more time I'd throw all of my focal length metadata into Excel and create a distribution chart. Focal lengths scattered between these data humps could easily have been different if I had zoomed with my feet instead of with the lens.

This is telling me that I favor wide angle to normal focal lengths, with the occasional telephoto. Most of those telephotos were taken to snap an ID photo of a bird in a tree and not serious attempts at composing a shot. I can tell you that with great certainty lugging around a long telephoto full frame lens on a hiking trek is just not likely to happen.

So, I think that I'll go with the 16-35 and 55 combo. The fact that 24mm is my most commonly used focal length tells me that I'd probably appreciate going even wider than 24, and that's just not possible with the 24-70.

Thanks everyone!

Now, I'm off to find some money hidden in the couch cushions.

MGP

You are coming to the same conclusion I did after reports of the 24-70mm's weak performance. Although I know I am primarily a wide shooter, the standard zoom always found a place in my bag. And to be sure, my Nikon 24-70 2.8 is a great lens (with some issues). I just could not pull the trigger on the FE 24-70. With 24-70's I find myself at either 24mm or 70mm and rarely in between. This suggests strongly that I just don't need the lens.  Instead, I decided on the FE 16-35, FE 55 and, eventually, the Batis 85. This kit will have great image quality and be portable.  Based on the data you provided, I think you are definitely on the right track.

Camley Senior Member • Posts: 1,775
Re: The FE24-70 is as good as ------>
2

AdamT wrote:

The FE24-70 is as good as the best canon F4Ls and a damn sight better than any of the F4 and slower Nikon 24-XX/XXX zooms and the old canon 24-70L F2,8 Mk1 - I`ve pixel peeped it on a 36Mp A7R wideopen and it`d take the Nikon 24-70 F2.8 or the canon 24-70L F2.8 Mk2 to beat it (or the 24-105L to match it) even at the edges, of course the Oly 12-40 F2.8 beats it to a pulp but not suprising given that large lenses for tiny sensors are far easier to make

I'm sure you know that without the software correction that is applied before you see the images (even in RAW with most editing programs), the Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 ED Pro was measured to have 6.3% barrel distortion at its wide end. So it isn't exactly perfect!

This makes the lens IMO fully usable as a working pro lens (as the 24-105L is)

I agree, the 24-70 is a very usable lens. I use mine a lot.

What the FE24-70 is NOT is a stellar lens capable of matching the best F2.8 stuff (canon 24-70L Mk1 and Olympus 12-40 mainly) or worthy of the Zeiss Label . it`s not the worst lens bearing that label by any means, Sony have stuck it on some right coke bottles over the years ..

I expect we will see an f/2.8 version before long but if it is as large as I expect, I will stick with the f/4 version.

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AdamT
AdamT Forum Pro • Posts: 58,944
Re: The FE24-70 is as good as ------>

I'm sure you know that without the software correction that is applied before you see the images (even in RAW with most editing programs), the Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 ED Pro was measured to have 6.3% barrel distortion at its wide end. So it isn't exactly perfect!

I have the lens and use it like that - the distortion isn`t as bad as Photozone's figure suggests - still pin sharp edge to edge at F2.8 across the whole zoom range - as I said, it`s far easier to make a decent zoom for a tiny sensor - makes me wonder why Sony can`t make a single decent 16-XX/18-XX for APS-C

I expect we will see an f/2.8 version before long but if it is as large as I expect, I will stick with the f/4 version.

Me to, even with the grip on , I don`t fancy an F2.8 beer barrel stuck on the A7, may as well lug the 1DS-III .. the only way they`ll get it smaller is to compromise, it`ll either be rubbish or have out of control whacky distortion like the SEL 18-105

As I said, my 24-70 stands up to pixel peeping at F4 at 36Mp, Sharpness isn`t an issue even at the edges - the CA and especially Bokeh are the least attractive "features" of the lens for me - by far its most outstanding is colour, it takes a very expensive L prime like the 35 F1.4L to match it

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EdwardWestonNYC Contributing Member • Posts: 519
Re: The FE24-70 is as good as ------>

Love how a good deal of people think DXO marks are the gold standard of measurement. For these people - here is a comparison between the Sony 24-70 and Canon 24-105 F4:

RavenSight Regular Member • Posts: 178
Re: The FE24-70 is as good as ------>
2

EdwardWestonNYC wrote:

Love how a good deal of people think DXO marks are the gold standard of measurement. For these people - here is a comparison between the Sony 24-70 and Canon 24-105 F4:

comparing A7r (36mb ) to 5D III (24mb) is an unfair comparison.

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,961
Re: FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x

"... Instead, I decided on the FE 16-35, FE 55 and, eventually, the Batis 85...."

Did you consider Batis 25 instead 16-35? Anything wider than 25mm is a "specialty look" in my opinion, and for that rare situation, the Voigtlander 15mm III appears to be the way to go. I myself am still in the thinking/choosing/wanting/ thinking-some-more stage.

Also, the Nikon 14-24 is very very attractive (except for size and weight), but if I were to routinely go below 25mm, I probably would choose the Nikon.

AdamT
AdamT Forum Pro • Posts: 58,944
Re: The FE24-70 is as good as ------>

EdwardWestonNYC wrote:

Love how a good deal of people think DXO marks are the gold standard of measurement. For these people - here is a comparison between the Sony 24-70 and Canon 24-105 F4:

Well I don`t - for a start, they`re subject to bad samples the same as everyone - I cherrypicked my 24-105L from 5 in a shop (the dealer was happy to , I`d just bought a 1DS-II from them) when it came out and still have it, it`s actually sharp at 105mm at F4 (s lot weren`t)

My FE4-70 is a good`un too

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JT26 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,235
Re: FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x
1

Robgo2 wrote:

Alpha Photo wrote:

"... Dust doesn't show up unless you are shooting at F16 or F22.."

I think that is false. Dust sits on the sensor and therefor is independent of lens f-stop. What you are thinking about is dust between the lens elements. All other points I agree. Dust does not worry me (and I live in the desert).

Right. When I have had dust on my sensor, it was visible against solid backgrounds at most apertures, though more so at small apertures.

Rob

Yes this may be the case. Depends on the structure of the sensor and most importantly the glass in fron of it. Dust doesnt sit on the sensor it sits on the glass in front... Mine doesnt show up at F11 and larger. Only 16 and 22.

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ovlov Senior Member • Posts: 1,439
Re: The FE24-70 is as good as ------>

I own both the Canon 24-70 f2.8 II L and Canon 24-105 L.  If I ever have the free time I'd like to compare the two of them to Sony's 24-70 CZ on an A7R.  I feel my copy of the 24-105 is pretty good even wide open.  24mm is a real weakness of the 24-105 though.

In my completely unscientific testing, I would say the Canon 24-70 f2.8 II L is in a very different league than the CZ 24-70.

PBR Streetgang Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x

Alpha Photo wrote:

"... Instead, I decided on the FE 16-35, FE 55 and, eventually, the Batis 85...."

Did you consider Batis 25 instead 16-35? Anything wider than 25mm is a "specialty look" in my opinion, and for that rare situation, the Voigtlander 15mm III appears to be the way to go. I myself am still in the thinking/choosing/wanting/ thinking-some-more stage.

Also, the Nikon 14-24 is very very attractive (except for size and weight), but if I were to routinely go below 25mm, I probably would choose the Nikon.

I don't think I would get much use out of the 25mm.  It's a brilliant lens, I'm sure, but I typically like to go wider.  The 14-24 is a great lens, but it is massive.  I just would not carry it around.  I try to keep my kit small, light and versatile, so the 16-35 is useful in that respect.

EdwardWestonNYC Contributing Member • Posts: 519
Re: FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x

The only problem I have with at home tests is that most people haven't microadjusted their lenses with a calibrator. All lenses perform different on a different bodies (including the same lens on two different bodies - even if they are the same model body). A non-sharp lens on one body can be tack sharp on another - and this is very very common. Why don't people see it as much? 1 might not be looking but 2 the smaller the F/stop the greater the hyperfocal distance. So if you focus on something at F8 and your AF is off calibration with that lens you most likely wouldn't notice it. But the same picture at F2 you might.

Robgo2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,042
Re: FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x
1

EdwardWestonNYC wrote:

The only problem I have with at home tests is that most people haven't microadjusted their lenses with a calibrator. All lenses perform different on a different bodies (including the same lens on two different bodies - even if they are the same model body). A non-sharp lens on one body can be tack sharp on another - and this is very very common. Why don't people see it as much? 1 might not be looking but 2 the smaller the F/stop the greater the hyperfocal distance. So if you focus on something at F8 and your AF is off calibration with that lens you most likely wouldn't notice it. But the same picture at F2 you might.

I'm not sure what you are getting at here. With mirrorless cameras, focusing is done right off the sensor, so there is no need to calibrate lenses, as there is with DSLRs. This is true even with non-native lenses used with adapters. Did I miss your point somehow?

Rob

Robgo2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,042
Re: FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x

My experience with the FE 24-70 is that I did not like how my images looked, so I returned it. It was not just a matter of soft corners. However, I know some very talented and artistic photographers who use the lens quite often, so I don't think that it should be ruled out strictly on the basis of negative talk. I would suggest renting one, so that you can test it for yourself.

Rob

EdwardWestonNYC Contributing Member • Posts: 519
Re: FE 24-70 f/4: Holding me back from going to A7x

Robgo2 wrote:

EdwardWestonNYC wrote:

The only problem I have with at home tests is that most people haven't microadjusted their lenses with a calibrator. All lenses perform different on a different bodies (including the same lens on two different bodies - even if they are the same model body). A non-sharp lens on one body can be tack sharp on another - and this is very very common. Why don't people see it as much? 1 might not be looking but 2 the smaller the F/stop the greater the hyperfocal distance. So if you focus on something at F8 and your AF is off calibration with that lens you most likely wouldn't notice it. But the same picture at F2 you might.

I'm not sure what you are getting at here. With mirrorless cameras, focusing is done right off the sensor, so there is no need to calibrate lenses, as there is with DSLRs. This is true even with non-native lenses used with adapters. Did I miss your point somehow?

Rob

Rob, this is a big misconception - even mirrorless systems (since focus is done by software) should be calibrated. Sony has included the option to micro adjust focus on all the A7 series cameras for this reason. It's especially useful when using non-native FE lenses. Sony designed a camera to work with their lenses. Throw in all kinds of adapters, lenses, third party systems and you have so many variables - so even more reason to have micro-adjust.

But like I said - when shooting stopped down it's less issue - you'll mostly see differences at wider apertures.

But my original statement is that most people who test at home - don't bother to check this. What did we learn in Science growing up? In a study- control all the variables that you can control.

So I'm really pointed out that the same lens focused on one body, put the same lens on the a different body (whether it be two A7R's or one A7R and one Canon) and you're throwing in room for error on uncalibrated systems that can throw the results.

I'm not a big pixel peeper like a lot of testers, but I do want a test to be conducted so it has validity.

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,961
Re: microfocus adjust
2

As far as I know, the Sony microfocus adjust is exclusively for lenses used with their LAEA4 lens adapter (which has its own "mirror box" and therefore same calibration needs as DSLR). For all others, focus is measured directly on the sensor and therefore no micro adjust needed. Just think abou it: if picture is perfectly in focus on the sensor, what else would you want to calibrate???

EdwardWestonNYC Contributing Member • Posts: 519
Re: microfocus adjust

Have you ever had focus peaking on (both AF and Manual) at wider apertures, shows marching ants and then used the magnify zoom or DMF to enlarge or and find the image is not really in focus?

Just for clarification - it's not the Mirror in a DSLR that causes lenses to be out of calibration. So its not really any different if the autofocus system is using the sensor to focus with if the autofocus system and lens combination is out of tune. Its not that the camera mis-focuses - to the camera's brain (mirrorless or dslr) the software "thinks" the image is in focus.

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,961
Re: microfocus adjust

I never use focus peaking, I always use the magnifier - gives me EXACT focus where I want it. Direct sensor read-out.

Are you saying the microfocus adjust is to adjust the focus peaking function? Do you have info on this?

"... Just for clarification - it's not the Mirror in a DSLR that causes lenses to be out of calibration...."

As far as I know it is (at least that's the way it was on my Canon 5D years ago): the light rays used for the camera autofocus function take a different path than the light rays hitting the sensor. I had a very hard time with my legacy manual focus lenses on that Canon body.

Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 37,300
Re: microfocus adjust

EdwardWestonNYC wrote:

Have you ever had focus peaking on (both AF and Manual) at wider apertures, shows marching ants and then used the magnify zoom or DMF to enlarge or and find the image is not really in focus?

Just for clarification - it's not the Mirror in a DSLR that causes lenses to be out of calibration. So its not really any different if the autofocus system is using the sensor to focus with if the autofocus system and lens combination is out of tune. Its not that the camera mis-focuses - to the camera's brain (mirrorless or dslr) the software "thinks" the image is in focus.

I'm not up to speed on what these sensors do in that regard, and which lenses utilize PDAF and all that (haven't had a need to know as of yet, mainly). But I think Alpha is suggesting CDAF doesn't need calibration, but PDAF may. If there are exceptions with the Sony FF's, then those should be noted for clarification.

I can't make sense of what you were saying, to be honest. I understood it, but haven't heard of CDAF needing calibration, except maybe in one-off circumstances calling for dealer service.   And as for FP, it's just generally not up to the task for wider angle usage, afaik.

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