Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
Bman70 Junior Member • Posts: 46
Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

This lens came close to turning me off of Sony for good. It never once worked well on my a7 body... yes I know it's an older camera but it's a supported E-mount, and works flawlessly with my 100-400GM. The 24mm is like a toy compared to that lens. 
First, the pulsing focus... it cannot acquire focus in AF-C mode. I can hold the shutter halfway down forever and the image in the viewfinder just bounces in and out until I let go. This is in good light, mostly at apertures above f7. 
Also it just doesn't seem that extraordinarily sharp. Here are two images I managed to take where focus was acquired (using AF-S mode). They're OK but I've had $50 lenses that seemed sharper. My 100-400GM seems sharper and it's a zoom (it also works in AF-C on the a7).
Never returned a $1500 (after tax) purchase to Amazon, but just don't see any alternatives. Sony said it sounded highly abnormal and to send it in for service, but I don't like it enough to do that. If you Google Sony 24mm focus pulsing, there are quite a few reports of this, so it seems like a feature that may be addressed sometime in firmware.

Mainly posting to see if anyone else thought the lens was a total hype bubble.

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24IS Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

I examined the images that you posted at 100% resolution, and there does seem to be a loss of detail in "natural features" such as trees, and blades of grass in the foreground.  However, other aspects of the image are very crisp.  Automobiles, people, roads:  All very sharp and detailed.

I appreciate that you are frustrated that the camera is failing to settle on a focus point in continuous focus mode.  But with a stopped down 24mm lens, how important is this, really?  If AF-C poses a problem, use it in AF-S, or select manual focus.  Stopped down, the 24mm is as close as you can get to focus-free... Everything is in focus.  Don't worry about it.

TRIODEROB
TRIODEROB Veteran Member • Posts: 4,553
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4
2

those images look like crap

put the camera and lens on a tripod and do a series of proper tests

if you bought it for landscapes only - return it and get a manual focus Zeiss lens - you will love it

OP Bman70 Junior Member • Posts: 46
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

TRIODEROB wrote:

those images look like crap

put the camera and lens on a tripod and do a series of proper tests

if you bought it for landscapes only - return it and get a manual focus Zeiss lens - you will love it

Lol thanks, I thought so too.. with that high of shutter speed for the focal length stability shouldn't be a huge issue. And I've had a $50 Sigma that seemed sharper at f/9  handheld. The Zeiss idea sounds good. 
I've found a significant number of focus pulse reports, even several videos of it on Youtube. However it seems too small a percentage of copies for Sony to bother about it.
The images are a bit dark but I didn't process them at all so people could see out of camera.

 Bman70's gear list:Bman70's gear list
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OP Bman70 Junior Member • Posts: 46
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

Compare to this guy's image at only f/4, it's razor sharp on an a6300. Mine at f/9 is mush in large swaths of the image. I also have an a6300 and the 24mm images look bad on that too. If I have the stomach to take some I'll post for full size perusal.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mimura1018/44613200550

 Bman70's gear list:Bman70's gear list
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TRIODEROB
TRIODEROB Veteran Member • Posts: 4,553
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

how come his landscape image is tack sharp with vibrant colors ?

OP Bman70 Junior Member • Posts: 46
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

TRIODEROB wrote:

how come his landscape image is tack sharp with vibrant colors ?

Maybe I'm not doing enough post processing, I could boost saturation and use the 'sharpen more' filter..

 Bman70's gear list:Bman70's gear list
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OP Bman70 Junior Member • Posts: 46
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

Here's the same a7 body with my 100-400GM, at f/8, no processing. Granted it has image stabilization in the lens. But I was using over 1/200 shutter on the 24 at f9, which should be plenty of speed. Also not a single shot has been sharp with it, out of about a dozen. I thought primes were sharper than zooms.

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24IS Senior Member • Posts: 1,489
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4
1

The images that you posted that were made with the 24mm lens are superior to this image in every way.  This image is not sharper, and high frequency details, such as power lines and fence posts are deeply compromised by aberrations.

The image is also off-axis.  That is neither here nor there, but I'm surprised that you offered it as an example.

Also:  The image that you posted that was made by another photographer is not as sharp as the two images that you presented in your first post.  Detail is smeared throughout.

OP Bman70 Junior Member • Posts: 46
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

24IS wrote:

The images that you posted that were made with the 24mm lens are superior to this image in every way. This image is not sharper, and high frequency details, such as power lines and fence posts are deeply compromised by aberrations.

The image is also off-axis. That is neither here nor there, but I'm surprised that you offered it as an example.

Also: The image that you posted that was made by another photographer is not as sharp as the two images that you presented in your first post. Detail is smeared throughout.

Maybe his is a bad copy as well. I thought my 100-400 image, while not incredible, is nice for a zoom lens. This one from the 24mm has weird sharp areas in the foreground, but my focus spot was on the distant hospital building in upper right center. It's strange how the billboards to the left foreground of it are so horrendously blurry. While the  grass by my feet is decently sharp.

 Bman70's gear list:Bman70's gear list
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Leswick II Senior Member • Posts: 1,681
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

I'd abstain from using the sky, at least for some tests.  Also, try using good light and not the mid-day nightmare, if you get my drift.  Good support will always help too.

techjedi
techjedi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,002
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4
1

Bman70 wrote:

24IS wrote:

The images that you posted that were made with the 24mm lens are superior to this image in every way. This image is not sharper, and high frequency details, such as power lines and fence posts are deeply compromised by aberrations.

The image is also off-axis. That is neither here nor there, but I'm surprised that you offered it as an example.

Also: The image that you posted that was made by another photographer is not as sharp as the two images that you presented in your first post. Detail is smeared throughout.

Maybe his is a bad copy as well. I thought my 100-400 image, while not incredible, is nice for a zoom lens. This one from the 24mm has weird sharp areas in the foreground, but my focus spot was on the distant hospital building in upper right center. It's strange how the billboards to the left foreground of it are so horrendously blurry. While the grass by my feet is decently sharp.

It sounds like the camera missed focus. This image is clearly focused on the foreground at f/6.3. The distant scene is not soft, its just not within the depth of field of your front focused scene. I would hope the original a7 AF would do better, but we have no idea what type of AF point you used or where it was placed.

That said, this thread seems to be railing on the lens, but I see a focus issue. Maybe its the camera's AF, maybe its your lens copy's sharpness or maybe its the operator's choice of AF settings. Until you do a proper test in MF with the lens, you wont be able to tell if its a focus issue or a lens sharpness issue.

Take some photos on a tripod using focus zoom to ensure you have your desired focus point somewhere just beyond middle of the depth of the scene in order to test the sharpness of your copy.

Use this tool to estimate where your focus should be for full coverage: https://dofsimulator.net/en/

If the copy is sharp, but you cannot get the camera AF to pick the right focus point, then maybe it just doesn't work well with the original a7 and you might need to return it.

With respect, I would never use AF for landscape photography. It is trivial to use manual focus on a tripod for landscapes and there is no advantage to AF in that scenario.

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OP Bman70 Junior Member • Posts: 46
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

techjedi wrote:

Bman70 wrote:

24IS wrote:

The images that you posted that were made with the 24mm lens are superior to this image in every way. This image is not sharper, and high frequency details, such as power lines and fence posts are deeply compromised by aberrations.

The image is also off-axis. That is neither here nor there, but I'm surprised that you offered it as an example.

Also: The image that you posted that was made by another photographer is not as sharp as the two images that you presented in your first post. Detail is smeared throughout.

Maybe his is a bad copy as well. I thought my 100-400 image, while not incredible, is nice for a zoom lens. This one from the 24mm has weird sharp areas in the foreground, but my focus spot was on the distant hospital building in upper right center. It's strange how the billboards to the left foreground of it are so horrendously blurry. While the grass by my feet is decently sharp.

It sounds like the camera missed focus. This image is clearly focused on the foreground at f/6.3. The distant scene is not soft, its just not within the depth of field of your front focused scene. I would hope the original a7 AF would do better, but we have no idea what type of AF point you used or where it was placed.

That said, this thread seems to be railing on the lens, but I see a focus issue. Maybe its the camera's AF, maybe its your lens copy's sharpness or maybe its the operator's choice of AF settings. Until you do a proper test in MF with the lens, you wont be able to tell if its a focus issue or a lens sharpness issue.

Take some photos on a tripod using focus zoom to ensure you have your desired focus point somewhere just beyond middle of the depth of the scene in order to test the sharpness of your copy.

Use this tool to estimate where your focus should be for full coverage: https://dofsimulator.net/en/

If the copy is sharp, but you cannot get the camera AF to pick the right focus point, then maybe it just doesn't work well with the original a7 and you might need to return it.

With respect, I would never use AF for landscape photography. It is trivial to use manual focus on a tripod for landscapes and there is no advantage to AF in that scenario.

Thanks for the tips. Yes the post is a rant since I had looked forward so much to the lens for so long Lol. But also I've since read quite a lot of reports of pulsing issues with only this GM model. So it seems too consistent to be user errors. But too small a sample to concern Sony. I did a focus test with a ruler and it seemed to be decently within range, maybe a hair front focused. There are parts of my images where sharpness seems good. Indoors at wide apertures it seems nice enough (image below). I'm probably going to exchange it and if there's no improvement in the new one send them back.

 Bman70's gear list:Bman70's gear list
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lowerCamelCase Regular Member • Posts: 347
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4
1

I am sorry it did not turn out as you wished, but I must admit, I do not quite get your conclusion.

You bought something that did not work as expected, contacted the manufacturer,  they offered a replacement, you refused it and instead are put off by the manufacturer,  with whom you were happy with other products until than.

Sounds not like a Sony issue to me.

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OP Bman70 Junior Member • Posts: 46
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

Well, they said send it in for repair, but it's brand new so an exchange from Amazon  makes more sense. And, yes, a lens where it's a crap shoot whether you get a good 'version' or not of a $1500 item is a Sony issue.

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Holger Bargen Veteran Member • Posts: 4,485
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

24IS wrote:

I examined the images that you posted at 100% resolution, and there does seem to be a loss of detail in "natural features" such as trees, and blades of grass in the foreground. However, other aspects of the image are very crisp. Automobiles, people, roads: All very sharp and detailed.

Could it be a consequence of sharpening procedures inside the camera that fail in situations where it is almost impossible to train AI routines for.

I appreciate that you are frustrated that the camera is failing to settle on a focus point in continuous focus mode. But with a stopped down 24mm lens, how important is this, really? If AF-C poses a problem, use it in AF-S, or select manual focus. Stopped down, the 24mm is as close as you can get to focus-free... Everything is in focus. Don't worry about it.

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techjedi
techjedi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,002
Re: Returning Sony 24mm 1.4

Bman70 wrote:

techjedi wrote:

Bman70 wrote:

24IS wrote:

The images that you posted that were made with the 24mm lens are superior to this image in every way. This image is not sharper, and high frequency details, such as power lines and fence posts are deeply compromised by aberrations.

The image is also off-axis. That is neither here nor there, but I'm surprised that you offered it as an example.

Also: The image that you posted that was made by another photographer is not as sharp as the two images that you presented in your first post. Detail is smeared throughout.

Maybe his is a bad copy as well. I thought my 100-400 image, while not incredible, is nice for a zoom lens. This one from the 24mm has weird sharp areas in the foreground, but my focus spot was on the distant hospital building in upper right center. It's strange how the billboards to the left foreground of it are so horrendously blurry. While the grass by my feet is decently sharp.

It sounds like the camera missed focus. This image is clearly focused on the foreground at f/6.3. The distant scene is not soft, its just not within the depth of field of your front focused scene. I would hope the original a7 AF would do better, but we have no idea what type of AF point you used or where it was placed.

That said, this thread seems to be railing on the lens, but I see a focus issue. Maybe its the camera's AF, maybe its your lens copy's sharpness or maybe its the operator's choice of AF settings. Until you do a proper test in MF with the lens, you wont be able to tell if its a focus issue or a lens sharpness issue.

Take some photos on a tripod using focus zoom to ensure you have your desired focus point somewhere just beyond middle of the depth of the scene in order to test the sharpness of your copy.

Use this tool to estimate where your focus should be for full coverage: https://dofsimulator.net/en/

If the copy is sharp, but you cannot get the camera AF to pick the right focus point, then maybe it just doesn't work well with the original a7 and you might need to return it.

With respect, I would never use AF for landscape photography. It is trivial to use manual focus on a tripod for landscapes and there is no advantage to AF in that scenario.

Thanks for the tips. Yes the post is a rant since I had looked forward so much to the lens for so long Lol. But also I've since read quite a lot of reports of pulsing issues with only this GM model. So it seems too consistent to be user errors. But too small a sample to concern Sony. I did a focus test with a ruler and it seemed to be decently within range, maybe a hair front focused. There are parts of my images where sharpness seems good. Indoors at wide apertures it seems nice enough (image below). I'm probably going to exchange it and if there's no improvement in the new one send them back.

Sounds like a good plan. For what its worth, I have seen the pulsing AF behavior on various occasions with different mirror less lenses and bodies. Its been rare to me and seems to depend on the scene. I think it happens more often at narrow apertures where the camera must focus stopped down to do continuous AF.

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Sony a7R III Sony FE 70-200 F4 Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Sony RX100 Sony RX100 VA +21 more
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