Heavy, expensive, and very very good – a classic Zeiss zoom, but missing greatness by a little

Started Dec 30, 2016 | User reviews
Douglas F Watt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,784
Heavy, expensive, and very very good – a classic Zeiss zoom, but missing greatness by a little
4

This is a classic Zeiss lens – big, heavy, expensive, and with great build quality, and with a very smooth and substantial feeling zoom mechanism.  It’s been very recently updated, perhaps in anticipation of the release of the new Sony A99II, and its predecessor, version 1 was a classic with good reason.

So why only four stars? Well, if I could give 4.5/5 that would be the more accurate rating in my opinion, but it loses a half star only because of its cost and the fact that it is not the best 24-70 2.8 on the market – that honor belongs to the Canon 24-70 L2. It does have some minor issues, and there is actually some evidence on DxO that it may not be quite as sharp as the prior edition, from which it differs only in terms of an updated SSM motor that is a bit quicker and autofocus, and some revision in optical coatings. The difference between what DxO measured on V1 versus V2 of the Zeiss 24-70 2.8 probably isn’t worth worrying about (the lens optical formulas are identical, and the acutance maps almost identical so what DxO measured from V1 to V2 might even just be basic sample variation - or perhaps the impact of different coatings on resolution).

But the lens (just like its predecessor) has some modest issues keeping it from being consistently superb, where, for example, at 35 mm it never gets critically sharp in the corners, even stopped down, and wide-open at 50mm, it’s even worse in terms of corner sharpness, and with somewhat reduced central sharpness as well. At 50mm, by f4, things dramatically sharpen up, and at 70 mm (where a lot of 3x zooms are starting to fall apart) the lens is a bit soft wide open but sharpens up nicely by f4. At f4-5.6, the lens is pretty close to critically sharp corner to corner at all focal lengths, except at 35mm where the corners never quite get tack sharp.

Is this lens your best overall walk-around zoom option for full frame in Alpha Mount? Yes – and it’s hard to argue that there is a better lens for Alpha mount in this highly popular zoom range. Is it your best value option in that range? Probably not, as I believe the best value is probably the Tamron 24-70 2.8, unless you’re all bent out of shape about losing hybrid autofocus on the A99II (hybrid autofocus not supported outside of Sony lenses). As an even cheaper great value option, I might even suggest the Minolta legend – the Secret Handshake – 28-135 f4-4.5. It's got some funky features (like a crazy MFD of almost 5 feet), is not a sharp particularly at the wide end as either the Tamron or the Zeiss, doesn't go to the highly useful 24mm at the wide end, but . . it's got a lot more reach, and at middle and long focal lengths can be very sharp if stopped down to f5.6-8. It's also got a neat manual focus macro feature of the wide end and, you can get one of those for ~$200.

So that's the spectrum of walk around zoom options – at the top of the food chain and by far the priciest, there's the Zeiss, then the Tamron, then the Secret Handshake along with perhaps some other legacy zooms (but none with the range of the SH). In terms of colors, and more qualitative/subjective issues, the SH might be as good as anything.

If the Zeiss 24-70 V2 were slightly lighter, somewhat less expensive, or if it was fully the equal of the Canon L2 in terms of optical performance, then I think it would be a five star lens. It’s close to a home run, but just not quite. Very good, and still a classic with good reason.

Anything with that blue badge is likely to be – at worst – very good, but this lens doesn’t quite get to the “best in class” status of some other Zeiss Alpha lenses, such as their stellar primes, the ZA 85 1.4, and especially the ZA 135 1.8, which is simply and unquestionably the best lens of its type. In that sense this lens is a little bit like the ZA 16-35 2.8 – another expensive and heavy Zeiss zoom lens. Very, very good, but falling just shy of great. Perhaps version 3 will be the homerun.

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Sony A99ii-A77ii-RX10III-RX100III
Sigma: 8-16 f4.5-5.6, 500 F4.5 EX DG APO
Tamron: 70-200 f2.8 USD
Sony: 16-50 f2.8, CZ 24 f2 , CZ 24-70 2.8 II, 100 f2.8M, 70-400 f4-5.6 G2,
Minolta: 600 f4, 70-210 f4 ('Beercan'), 28-135 f4-4.5 ('SH')
DFW

 Douglas F Watt's gear list:Douglas F Watt's gear list
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Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II
Telephoto zoom lens • Sony/Minolta Alpha • SAL2470Z2
Announced: Apr 23, 2015
Douglas F Watt's score
4.5
Average community score
4.5
Sony 24-70mm F2.8 II
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steelhead3 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,975
Re: Heavy, expensive, and very very good – a classic Zeiss zoom, but missing greatness by a little

Nice rundown Doug...as an aside the old Minolta 28/75 in its various Tamron/Sony models should also be in the mix especially if stopping down is normal.  It was rated better than the ZA on Kurt Munger's site.

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OP Douglas F Watt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,784
Re: Heavy, expensive, and very very good – a classic Zeiss zoom, but missing greatness by a little

steelhead3 wrote:

Nice rundown Doug...as an aside the old Minolta 28/75 in its various Tamron/Sony models should also be in the mix especially if stopping down is normal. It was rated better than the ZA on Kurt Munger's site.

Yeah, I probably should've mentioned several of the Minolta classic walkaround legacy zooms. The 3570, the 2875, just didn't have the time to dig out all the reviews. It's pretty clear that Dyxum is an amazing resource on all those classic legacy lenses. I'm still toying with the idea of getting one of those because they're so much smaller and lighter than the Zeiss which really is a beast. In fact it's heavier than the secret handshake which gets slammed for its weight. But thanks for the feedback . . .

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Sony A99ii-A77ii-RX10III-RX100III
Sigma: 8-16 f4.5-5.6, 500 F4.5 EX DG APO
Tamron: 70-200 f2.8 USD
Sony: 16-50 f2.8, CZ 24 f2 , CZ 24-70 2.8 II, 100 f2.8M, 70-400 f4-5.6 G2,
Minolta: 600 f4, 70-210 f4 ('Beercan'), 28-135 f4-4.5 ('SH')
DFW

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Tequila MockingjayBird
Tequila MockingjayBird Veteran Member • Posts: 4,212
walk-around zoom ?

Naaah....

I'd rather go for the Sigma 24-105 Art.

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Marco Cinnirella
Marco Cinnirella Veteran Member • Posts: 8,154
Re: Heavy, expensive, and very very good – a classic Zeiss zoom, but missing greatness by a little

Well-written review Douglas ! Is your comparison with the Canon based on personal experience or reviews like the DXO one? My own experience with the Sony on my a99ii is a bit more positive, leading me to speculate there is sample variation. My copy seems capable of extreme sharpness at f2.8 in the centres which is almost prime-like. The corners gave proven better than expected. And I am a bit of a pixel peeper. What I would say is that   I haven't yet fully nailed what MFA is the best setting on my a99ii for this lens and that getting the focus exactly where you want it to is critical when shooting at 2.8. So far it is consistently sharper than my tamron 24-70 but more fussy in terms of focus. If you want my opinion on whether your copy is noticeably worse than mine I'd happily look at some samples. Happy shooting !

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m.holmes Regular Member • Posts: 456
Re: walk-around zoom ?

Good point, but honestly, it's very hard to tell.

I'm using the Sigma 24-105, and I cannot say I'm dissatisfied, but every single time I made a direct comparison Sigma/Zeiss, I always found I preferred the latter, in some cases despite of all the reviews (e.g. 50mm ART vs CZ 50mm, or 17-70C vs CZ 16-80). However I admit Sigma prices are generally more in line with what I'm willing to invest in a lens (not sure about other countries, but here a used CZ 24-70 v1 costs more than a new 24-105 ART).

OP Douglas F Watt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,784
Re: walk-around zoom ?

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Naaah....

I'd rather go for the Sigma 24-105 Art.

Someone was just barking at me about recommending that lens, and complaining that if Sony didn't make one, it meant they weren't serious about A mount.   . And of course, no H-AF if that floats your boat. And I have to confess, I've seen some funky AF quirks with Sigma on A Mount over the years.

You know it's just not as sharp as the CZ at their shared FL and apertures? At least according to IR testing.  The DxO testing for that lens was so radically different from the IR testing that I just didn't know what to believe.  See here for DxO comparo and here for IR testing.  Curious what you make of the gross disparity between those two sets of data.  Yes, different measurement units (who knows what blur units or perceptual MP really mean??) but to get such radically different looking pictures is very hard to explain away.  Sample variation?  Even that seems a stretch, unless the IR copy was a dog, and the DxO copy a world beater.

Yup, it's longer, and there are a lot of times when I wish the CZ went to even just 70. But we know what that lens would weigh and cost? Two arms and a leg??

It's all tradeoffs . . .

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Sony A99ii-A77ii-RX10III-RX100III
Sigma: 8-16 f4.5-5.6, 500 F4.5 EX DG APO
Tamron: 70-200 f2.8 USD
Sony: 16-50 f2.8, CZ 24 f2 , CZ 24-70 2.8 II, 100 f2.8M, 70-400 f4-5.6 G2,
Minolta: 600 f4, 70-210 f4 ('Beercan'), 28-135 f4-4.5 ('SH')
DFW

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Tequila MockingjayBird
Tequila MockingjayBird Veteran Member • Posts: 4,212
Re: walk-around zoom ?

Douglas F Watt wrote:

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Naaah....

I'd rather go for the Sigma 24-105 Art.

Someone was just barking at me about recommending that lens, and complaining that if Sony didn't make one, it meant they weren't serious about A mount. . And of course, no H-AF if that floats your boat. And I have to confess, I've seen some funky AF quirks with Sigma on A Mount over the years.

You know it's just not as sharp as the CZ at their shared FL and apertures? At least according to IR testing. The DxO testing for that lens was so radically different from the IR testing that I just didn't know what to believe. See here for DxO comparo and here for IR testing. Curious what you make of the gross disparity between those two sets of data. Yes, different measurement units (who knows what blur units or perceptual MP really mean??) but to get such radically different looking pictures is very hard to explain away. Sample variation? Even that seems a stretch, unless the IR copy was a dog, and the DxO copy a world beater.

Yup, it's longer, and there are a lot of times when I wish the CZ went to even just 70. But we know what that lens would weigh and cost? Two arms and a leg??

It's all tradeoffs . . .

yup. in that tradeoff as a walkaround or travel FF lens, i picked the Sigma. The CZ 24-70 is just a bit too heavy (not that the sigma is light) but the balance is not great as a walk about. From a performance perspective, it is grrreat, and i will recommend that in a professional setting.

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 Tequila MockingjayBird's gear list:Tequila MockingjayBird's gear list
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OP Douglas F Watt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,784
Re: walk-around zoom ?

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Douglas F Watt wrote:

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Naaah....

I'd rather go for the Sigma 24-105 Art.

Someone was just barking at me about recommending that lens, and complaining that if Sony didn't make one, it meant they weren't serious about A mount. . And of course, no H-AF if that floats your boat. And I have to confess, I've seen some funky AF quirks with Sigma on A Mount over the years.

You know it's just not as sharp as the CZ at their shared FL and apertures? At least according to IR testing. The DxO testing for that lens was so radically different from the IR testing that I just didn't know what to believe. See here for DxO comparo and here for IR testing. Curious what you make of the gross disparity between those two sets of data. Yes, different measurement units (who knows what blur units or perceptual MP really mean??) but to get such radically different looking pictures is very hard to explain away. Sample variation? Even that seems a stretch, unless the IR copy was a dog, and the DxO copy a world beater.

Yup, it's longer, and there are a lot of times when I wish the CZ went to even just 70. But we know what that lens would weigh and cost? Two arms and a leg??

It's all tradeoffs . . .

yup. in that tradeoff as a walkaround or travel FF lens, i picked the Sigma. The CZ 24-70 is just a bit too heavy (not that the sigma is light) but the balance is not great as a walk about. From a performance perspective, it is grrreat, and i will recommend that in a professional setting.

Wish I could borrow one just to see whether the IR testing or the DxO testing is really more on the mark.

-- hide signature --

Sony A99ii-A77ii-RX10III-RX100III
Sigma: 8-16 f4.5-5.6, 500 F4.5 EX DG APO
Tamron: 70-200 f2.8 USD
Sony: 16-50 f2.8, CZ 24 f2 , CZ 24-70 2.8 II, 100 f2.8M, 70-400 f4-5.6 G2,
Minolta: 600 f4, 70-210 f4 ('Beercan'), 28-135 f4-4.5 ('SH')
DFW

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Jabez02 Contributing Member • Posts: 658
Re: walk-around zoom ?

I never updated to the CZ 24-70 as I still have the older Minolta 28-70 / 3.5 G and I picked up a KM labelled Tamron 28-75 for my second kit at a local fire sale when KM sold to Sony.

Just didn't see any point in updating to a heavy and expensive lens that is far from my most used. The same could be said in that I still have my old Minolta 80-200 / 2.8 APO HS.

The truth be told, I use my Minolta 28-135 most of the time instead. Now a new non PZ 28-135 is some thing I would be prepared to spend some money on.

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Tequila MockingjayBird
Tequila MockingjayBird Veteran Member • Posts: 4,212
Re: walk-around zoom ?

Douglas F Watt wrote:

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Douglas F Watt wrote:

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Naaah....

I'd rather go for the Sigma 24-105 Art.

Someone was just barking at me about recommending that lens, and complaining that if Sony didn't make one, it meant they weren't serious about A mount. . And of course, no H-AF if that floats your boat. And I have to confess, I've seen some funky AF quirks with Sigma on A Mount over the years.

You know it's just not as sharp as the CZ at their shared FL and apertures? At least according to IR testing. The DxO testing for that lens was so radically different from the IR testing that I just didn't know what to believe. See here for DxO comparo and here for IR testing. Curious what you make of the gross disparity between those two sets of data. Yes, different measurement units (who knows what blur units or perceptual MP really mean??) but to get such radically different looking pictures is very hard to explain away. Sample variation? Even that seems a stretch, unless the IR copy was a dog, and the DxO copy a world beater.

Yup, it's longer, and there are a lot of times when I wish the CZ went to even just 70. But we know what that lens would weigh and cost? Two arms and a leg??

It's all tradeoffs . . .

yup. in that tradeoff as a walkaround or travel FF lens, i picked the Sigma. The CZ 24-70 is just a bit too heavy (not that the sigma is light) but the balance is not great as a walk about. From a performance perspective, it is grrreat, and i will recommend that in a professional setting.

Wish I could borrow one just to see whether the IR testing or the DxO testing is really more on the mark.

and what if it is comparable to the Sigma? It might be a good idea to go down the used path. Keep it if you like it or return it if it does not measure up. There are a couple used on amazon.com, and none on ebay. Yes - I just checked - for you. I wish i vould offer mine to you but as of now the Sigma is my workhorse.

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 Tequila MockingjayBird's gear list:Tequila MockingjayBird's gear list
Sony SLT-A65 Sony a77 II Sony a99 II Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 85mm F1.4 ZA Carl Zeiss Planar T* +1 more
Tequila MockingjayBird
Tequila MockingjayBird Veteran Member • Posts: 4,212
Re: walk-around zoom ?

Jabez02 wrote:

I never updated to the CZ 24-70 as I still have the older Minolta 28-70 / 3.5 G and I picked up a KM labelled Tamron 28-75 for my second kit at a local fire sale when KM sold to Sony.

Just didn't see any point in updating to a heavy and expensive lens that is far from my most used. The same could be said in that I still have my old Minolta 80-200 / 2.8 APO HS.

The truth be told, I use my Minolta 28-135 most of the time instead. Now a new non PZ 28-135 is some thing I would be prepared to spend some money on.

it would be amazing if Sony made the 18-135 in FF. It is one of the most well balanced - physically as well as performance wise - lens i have used.

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 Tequila MockingjayBird's gear list:Tequila MockingjayBird's gear list
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Lensmate
Lensmate Veteran Member • Posts: 8,021
Re: Heavy, expensive, and very very good – a classic Zeiss zoom, but missing greatness by a little
1

Douglas F Watt wrote:

This is a classic Zeiss lens – big, heavy, expensive, and with great build quality, and with a very smooth and substantial feeling zoom mechanism. It’s been very recently updated, perhaps in anticipation of the release of the new Sony A99II, and its predecessor, version 1 was a classic with good reason.

So why only four stars? Well, if I could give 4.5/5 that would be the more accurate rating in my opinion, but it loses a half star only because of its cost and the fact that it is not the best 24-70 2.8 on the market – that honor belongs to the Canon 24-70 L2. It does have some minor issues, and there is actually some evidence on DxO that it may not be quite as sharp as the prior edition, from which it differs only in terms of an updated SSM motor that is a bit quicker and autofocus, and some revision in optical coatings. The difference between what DxO measured on V1 versus V2 of the Zeiss 24-70 2.8 probably isn’t worth worrying about (the lens optical formulas are identical, and the acutance maps almost identical so what DxO measured from V1 to V2 might even just be basic sample variation - or perhaps the impact of different coatings on resolution).

But the lens (just like its predecessor) has some modest issues keeping it from being consistently superb, where, for example, at 35 mm it never gets critically sharp in the corners, even stopped down, and wide-open at 50mm, it’s even worse in terms of corner sharpness, and with somewhat reduced central sharpness as well. At 50mm, by f4, things dramatically sharpen up, and at 70 mm (where a lot of 3x zooms are starting to fall apart) the lens is a bit soft wide open but sharpens up nicely by f4. At f4-5.6, the lens is pretty close to critically sharp corner to corner at all focal lengths, except at 35mm where the corners never quite get tack sharp.

Is this lens your best overall walk-around zoom option for full frame in Alpha Mount? Yes – and it’s hard to argue that there is a better lens for Alpha mount in this highly popular zoom range. Is it your best value option in that range? Probably not, as I believe the best value is probably the Tamron 24-70 2.8, unless you’re all bent out of shape about losing hybrid autofocus on the A99II (hybrid autofocus not supported outside of Sony lenses). As an even cheaper great value option, I might even suggest the Minolta legend – the Secret Handshake – 28-135 f4-4.5. It's got some funky features (like a crazy MFD of almost 5 feet), is not a sharp particularly at the wide end as either the Tamron or the Zeiss, doesn't go to the highly useful 24mm at the wide end, but . . it's got a lot more reach, and at middle and long focal lengths can be very sharp if stopped down to f5.6-8. It's also got a neat manual focus macro feature of the wide end and, you can get one of those for ~$200.

So that's the spectrum of walk around zoom options – at the top of the food chain and by far the priciest, there's the Zeiss, then the Tamron, then the Secret Handshake along with perhaps some other legacy zooms (but none with the range of the SH). In terms of colors, and more qualitative/subjective issues, the SH might be as good as anything.

If the Zeiss 24-70 V2 were slightly lighter, somewhat less expensive, or if it was fully the equal of the Canon L2 in terms of optical performance, then I think it would be a five star lens. It’s close to a home run, but just not quite. Very good, and still a classic with good reason.

Anything with that blue badge is likely to be – at worst – very good, but this lens doesn’t quite get to the “best in class” status of some other Zeiss Alpha lenses, such as their stellar primes, the ZA 85 1.4, and especially the ZA 135 1.8, which is simply and unquestionably the best lens of its type. In that sense this lens is a little bit like the ZA 16-35 2.8 – another expensive and heavy Zeiss zoom lens. Very, very good, but falling just shy of great. Perhaps version 3 will be the homerun.

Maybe some folks here have already read this article from 5 years back, but for those that haven't, it may be of some interest in regard to cameras and lenses....

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/7333489584/variation-facts-and-fallacies

-Martin P

https://www.flickr.com/photos/photosauraus_rex/

Steve Cohan Senior Member • Posts: 1,839
Are you going to post some images?
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Ralf B
Ralf B Veteran Member • Posts: 8,728
How Photozone sees the Sigma 24-105
1

Douglas F Watt wrote:

You know it's just not as sharp as the CZ at their shared FL and apertures? At least according to IR testing. The DxO testing for that lens was so radically different from the IR testing that I just didn't know what to believe. See here for DxO comparo and here for IR testing. Curious what you make of the gross disparity between those two sets of data.

Maybe the review on Nikon FF over at Photozone helps - at least it is a third source of data, and looks quite good over there.

FWIW, I follow PZ since they started and found their results reliable (until they ran into their Nex 7 sensor bump WRT IQ in image corners) and definitely more in line with IR testing than with DxO.

Cheers,
Ralf

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Timothy S Broadley
Timothy S Broadley Senior Member • Posts: 2,403
Re: walk-around zoom ?

I have both and the both have their uses. I use the Sigma 24-105 as a walk around lens. At close distances there is some focus breathing at the 105 end. That said it is sharp, it is versatile and it balances well on my a99.

The Zeiss...well, it has a different rendition which I believe is a function of two things: the Zeiss t* coating and the Zeiss treating of micro contrast. It just seems to have that little extra pop that the Sigma doesn't.

In some ways, I characterize the difference as the Sigma being clinical whereas the Zeiss "glows"
I adore the Zeiss in the studio especially for portrait and product photography

Now if precision camera will just send it back😔
Tim

OP Douglas F Watt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,784
Re: walk-around zoom ?

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Douglas F Watt wrote:

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Douglas F Watt wrote:

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Naaah....

I'd rather go for the Sigma 24-105 Art.

Someone was just barking at me about recommending that lens, and complaining that if Sony didn't make one, it meant they weren't serious about A mount. . And of course, no H-AF if that floats your boat. And I have to confess, I've seen some funky AF quirks with Sigma on A Mount over the years.

You know it's just not as sharp as the CZ at their shared FL and apertures? At least according to IR testing. The DxO testing for that lens was so radically different from the IR testing that I just didn't know what to believe. See here for DxO comparo and here for IR testing. Curious what you make of the gross disparity between those two sets of data. Yes, different measurement units (who knows what blur units or perceptual MP really mean??) but to get such radically different looking pictures is very hard to explain away. Sample variation? Even that seems a stretch, unless the IR copy was a dog, and the DxO copy a world beater.

Yup, it's longer, and there are a lot of times when I wish the CZ went to even just 70. But we know what that lens would weigh and cost? Two arms and a leg??

It's all tradeoffs . . .

yup. in that tradeoff as a walkaround or travel FF lens, i picked the Sigma. The CZ 24-70 is just a bit too heavy (not that the sigma is light) but the balance is not great as a walk about. From a performance perspective, it is grrreat, and i will recommend that in a professional setting.

Wish I could borrow one just to see whether the IR testing or the DxO testing is really more on the mark.

and what if it is comparable to the Sigma? It might be a good idea to go down the used path. Keep it if you like it or return it if it does not measure up. There are a couple used on amazon.com, and none on ebay. Yes - I just checked - for you. I wish i vould offer mine to you but as of now the Sigma is my workhorse.

I'm confused by your post?  If what is comparable to the Sigma??  I was talking about whether the SIgma 24-104 Art was more like the IR testing (fairly good but not great) or the DxO testing - which was almost too good to be true, particularly at f4.  I buy virtually all my lenses used . . . .would think about it, but returning a lens because it is 'underperforming' doesn't endear you to the seller.

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Sony A99ii-A77ii-RX10III-RX100III
Sigma: 8-16 f4.5-5.6, 500 F4.5 EX DG APO
Tamron: 70-200 f2.8 USD
Sony: 16-50 f2.8, CZ 24 f2 , CZ 24-70 2.8 II, 100 f2.8M, 70-400 f4-5.6 G2,
Minolta: 600 f4, 70-210 f4 ('Beercan'), 28-135 f4-4.5 ('SH')
DFW

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Tequila MockingjayBird
Tequila MockingjayBird Veteran Member • Posts: 4,212
Re: walk-around zoom ?

Douglas F Watt wrote:

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Douglas F Watt wrote:

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Douglas F Watt wrote:

Tequila MockingjayBird wrote:

Naaah....

I'd rather go for the Sigma 24-105 Art.

Someone was just barking at me about recommending that lens, and complaining that if Sony didn't make one, it meant they weren't serious about A mount. . And of course, no H-AF if that floats your boat. And I have to confess, I've seen some funky AF quirks with Sigma on A Mount over the years.

You know it's just not as sharp as the CZ at their shared FL and apertures? At least according to IR testing. The DxO testing for that lens was so radically different from the IR testing that I just didn't know what to believe. See here for DxO comparo and here for IR testing. Curious what you make of the gross disparity between those two sets of data. Yes, different measurement units (who knows what blur units or perceptual MP really mean??) but to get such radically different looking pictures is very hard to explain away. Sample variation? Even that seems a stretch, unless the IR copy was a dog, and the DxO copy a world beater.

Yup, it's longer, and there are a lot of times when I wish the CZ went to even just 70. But we know what that lens would weigh and cost? Two arms and a leg??

It's all tradeoffs . . .

yup. in that tradeoff as a walkaround or travel FF lens, i picked the Sigma. The CZ 24-70 is just a bit too heavy (not that the sigma is light) but the balance is not great as a walk about. From a performance perspective, it is grrreat, and i will recommend that in a professional setting.

Wish I could borrow one just to see whether the IR testing or the DxO testing is really more on the mark.

and what if it is comparable to the Sigma? It might be a good idea to go down the used path. Keep it if you like it or return it if it does not measure up. There are a couple used on amazon.com, and none on ebay. Yes - I just checked - for you. I wish i vould offer mine to you but as of now the Sigma is my workhorse.

I'm confused by your post? If what is comparable to the Sigma??

I meant if the Sigma 24-105 was comparable to the Zeiss 24-70

I was talking about whether the SIgma 24-104 Art was more like the IR testing (fairly good but not great) or the DxO testing - which was almost too good to be true, particularly at f4. I buy virtually all my lenses used . . . .would think about it, but returning a lens because it is 'underperforming' doesn't endear you to the seller.

Which is why I did not ask you to buy new. That would be unfair for everyone. Used. Not so. It has already lost its NEW price tag. If the lens is as good as DxO states, you would keep it. Wouldnt you?

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Tequila MockingjayBird
Tequila MockingjayBird Veteran Member • Posts: 4,212
Re: walk-around zoom ?

Timothy S Broadley wrote:

I have both and the both have their uses. I use the Sigma 24-105 as a walk around lens. At close distances there is some focus breathing at the 105 end. That said it is sharp, it is versatile and it balances well on my a99.

Exactly my experience!

The Zeiss...well, it has a different rendition which I believe is a function of two things: the Zeiss t* coating and the Zeiss treating of micro contrast. It just seems to have that little extra pop that the Sigma doesn't.

Sigma provides a more diffused dreamy rendition, great for outdoor flattering natural light portrait photography. I think it is due to The 82mm front element design. The Zeiss is a lot more contrast.

In some ways, I characterize the difference as the Sigma being clinical whereas the Zeiss "glows"
I adore the Zeiss in the studio especially for portrait and product photography

Yup. Great for professional studio work.

Now if precision camera will just send it back😔
Tim

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 Tequila MockingjayBird's gear list:Tequila MockingjayBird's gear list
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OP Douglas F Watt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,784
Re: How Photozone sees the Sigma 24-105

Ralf B wrote:

Douglas F Watt wrote:

You know it's just not as sharp as the CZ at their shared FL and apertures? At least according to IR testing. The DxO testing for that lens was so radically different from the IR testing that I just didn't know what to believe. See here for DxO comparo and here for IR testing. Curious what you make of the gross disparity between those two sets of data.

Maybe the review on Nikon FF over at Photozone helps - at least it is a third source of data, and looks quite good over there.

FWIW, I follow PZ since they started and found their results reliable (until they ran into their Nex 7 sensor bump WRT IQ in image corners) and definitely more in line with IR testing than with DxO.

Cheers,
Ralf

Yes, it does look good.  Not as ridiculously and unbelievably good as the DxO data (like tack sharp in the corners wide open?? - come on DxO!!)

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Tamron: 70-200 f2.8 USD
Sony: 16-50 f2.8, CZ 24 f2 , CZ 24-70 2.8 II, 100 f2.8M, 70-400 f4-5.6 G2,
Minolta: 600 f4, 70-210 f4 ('Beercan'), 28-135 f4-4.5 ('SH')
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