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Author Topic: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?  (Read 15565 times)

deanwork

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Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« on: October 06, 2015, 02:48:21 pm »

I've been printing for a client who just bought the new Sony A7rII. She purchased two lenses, one the 50mm Sony Zeiss which was excellent and also a 24-70 zoom also sony zeiss that is terrible. I have never seen such barrel distortion on a 24 inch lens before. It's crazy. This lens is also not very sharp. I am going to suggest she return it and buy something decent, even if that is an adapter for her much bulkier but better Canon zoom.

This Sony zoom is very small and lightweight, but to me it looks like junk. I wish I had the model number with me but I won't find out until I see it tomorrow afternoon. Certainly Sony must have better 24-70 zooms than this. Otherwise this new lens is totally defective. I don't know what she paid for it either.

I'm going to look for some reviews now. Obviously with this nice sensor you want something that does it justice.

John
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Telecaster

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2015, 04:01:15 pm »

Certainly Sony must have better 24-70 zooms than this. Otherwise this new lens is totally defective.

Sounds like a defective sample to me. The 24–70/4 isn't a great lens but it's hardly terrible.

-Dave-
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deanwork

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2015, 04:23:08 pm »

That distortion is not good at all. Compared to my Nikon 24-70 it is day and night bad and this lens is just not very sharp.

This was the first review I found on it and they state the same exact feelings that I have. Way too expensive for what it is.

Verdict

Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-...
   
Price ..
1098.00US$
The Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 OSS ZA didn't really convince us completely - not at this price point for sure. While it is a joy to use the lens thanks to its high quality finish and super smooth controls, the optical characteristics aren't quite as impressive. Sony/Zeiss seems to follow the ugly trend of under-designing lenses based on the assumption that digital correction will fix the flaws. This may be an acceptable compromise when decreasing weight, size ... and price. However, the Zeiss lens isn't really a hell of a lot more compact than e.g. the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 USM L IS. Thus why is it necessary to design a lens with such massive distortions ? Now distortions aren't really a primary concern for most users but the lens is also not all that sharp - at least at the extreme ends of the zoom range. The corners are generally soft at 24mm and it's not all that hot at 70mm @ f/4 either - even with activated (lossy) distortion correction. This is rather surprising given the moderate max. aperture which should make things comparatively easy for the lens designers. The CAs are well corrected except in the corners at 24mm. The vignetting characteristic is rather typical for a full format lens in this class. However, another downside is the quite rough bokeh. Combined with the high price point, this offering leaves a couple of question marks. For sure it proves again that it isn't trivial to design a really good standard zoom lens for mirrorless cameras.
Optical Quality:    (in auto-corrected mode)   2 stars out of 5
Mechanical Quality:   4 stars
Price/Performance:   2 stars
         
http://www.photozone.de/sonyalphaff/867-zeiss2470f4oss?start=2







Sounds like a defective sample to me. The 24–70/4 isn't a great lens but it's hardly terrible.

-Dave-
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deanwork

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2015, 04:42:14 pm »

Is it really enough better than the Sony 16-80 to cost $1,000.00 more? or even $500.00 more?

http://www.kurtmunger.com/sony_carl_zeiss_16_80mm_lens_id98.html
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rainer_v

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2015, 05:46:44 pm »

i needed as well a good and especially a sharp zoom for an aereal shooting. I compared the Zeiss 24-70 with two samples of the sigma art 24-105 and the canon 24-70/4. By far the canon was the best lense, its really good. The Sigma wasnt bad too, but especially at the wide end not as sharp in the corners than the canon. The Zeiss was indiscutable bad, i would say unusuable if you want or need sharp corners. Af speed is very good with the metabones mark4 with fw 0.44.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 05:51:45 pm by rainer_v »
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rainer viertlböck
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deanwork

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2015, 07:32:42 pm »

Yea, I'm going to tell her to return it and use the Canon 24-70/4 she already has. I'm telling you it makes no sense to have an amazing sensor like this and produce work that just isn't sharp.

I've been printing some files from this brand new Sony set up at 16x20 today on semi-gloss paper. They were shot at F9 at 1/250th of a second ISO 400 etc, and there is just nothing that is sharp about the files even with careful post sharpening. I do this kind of print work all the time with Nikon and Canson dls cameras and their 24-70 zooms.  All this Sonny zoom landscape work with varied F stops as ISO combinations looks like it was shot from any mediocre lens on any cheap mediocre dsl. The same camera with the Sony Zeiss 50 is excellent. I'm going to advise her to buy a good 24mm prime, keep the 50 and use her Canon zoom with the adapter if she needs a walk around zoom. Personally I'd just use primes on this camera. It's so damn good when you stick with them. It's kinda sad because this Sony zoom is constructed so well and feels so solid.


i needed as well a good and especially a sharp zoom for an aereal shooting. I compared the Zeiss 24-70 with two samples of the sigma art 24-105 and the canon 24-70/4. By far the canon was the best lense, its really good. The Sigma wasnt bad too, but especially at the wide end not as sharp in the corners than the canon. The Zeiss was indiscutable bad, i would say unusuable if you want or need sharp corners. Af speed is very good with the metabones mark4 with fw 0.44.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2015, 03:54:57 am »

Sony chose to make a compromise on software correction for distortion, to have a smaller lens. The Canon 24-70 f4 has a 77mm filter thread, the Sony has 67mm.

The Canon 24-70 f2.8 MKII has an 82mm filter thread, and weighs a ton. Same for the new Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 MKII. The Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II is stellar but a lot bigger and heavier.

So the Sony is a reasonably compromise, even though it is not the best lens to shoot landscapes for critical sharpness in the corners. But it is a good lens to shoot travel and events, as it is small and light, compared to other offers.

Sony have already publicly stated that they are coming out with f2.8 zooms for the Alpha 7 system.

deanwork

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2015, 09:08:21 am »

It seems to be a compromise alright. The problem for me with that degree of distortion at the wide angle, which landscape photographers like me shoot with a lot, is that sure, you can correct it in post but you end up cropping into the top or bottom of the frame to such a degree that it is just unworkable unless you waste a third of the frame with buffer space. To me the point of having this amazing sensor is to produce exceptional frames, and the results I am seeing from this combination is not close to the output of the Canon M2 or M3 or the Nikon D800 with their 24-70 zooms. I'll have to look into heavier Sony, but in that case she might as well stick with the Canon she has. It isn't that much bigger.

john



Sony chose to make a compromise on software correction for distortion, to have a smaller lens. The Canon 24-70 f4 has a 77mm filter thread, the Sony has 67mm.

The Canon 24-70 f2.8 MKII has an 82mm filter thread, and weighs a ton. Same for the new Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 MKII. The Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II is stellar but a lot bigger and heavier.

So the Sony is a reasonably compromise, even though it is not the best lens to shoot landscapes for critical sharpness in the corners. But it is a good lens to shoot travel and events, as it is small and light, compared to other offers.

Sony have already publicly stated that they are coming out with f2.8 zooms for the Alpha 7 system.
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AlterEgo

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2015, 11:07:12 am »

So the Sony is a reasonably compromise
unfortunately the compromise does not end with software corrections for geometric distortions - it also way too bad with all other parameters for f4 lens...

just compare :

uncompromised Canon 24-70/4 = $900 @ B&H, 77mm filter, 600g weight, 83.4 diameter x 93 length mm size vs compromised Sony 24-70/4 = $1200 @ B&H, 67mm filter, 430g weight, 73 diameter x 94.5 length mm  size...

so 67mm vs 77mm filter for 10mm lesser lens body diameter and 200g less weight for $300 more dollars and simply horrible optical performance ? no wonder that 10mm less and 200g less do not entice nobody in sane mind to buy that junk... unless somebody is in general turisto-zoom-10...20x category anyways.
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shadowblade

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2015, 01:10:37 pm »

The best standard zoom for the A7rII is probably the Canon 24-70L II - it autofocuses well, is very sharp and has minimal aberrations and has an odd number of aperture blades (for better sunstars). I'm not sure if the new Nikon will be better, but its AF performance (with Nikon adapters that allow AF) has yet to be seen.

I'm not sold on most of Sony's E-mount lenses - IMO they've gone too far down the 'small at any cost' route (good for casual users) and don't have enough fast, uncompromised lenses for high-end, discriminating users. While every lens lineup needs small lenses for weight-conscious or budget users, Sony, unlike Canon and Nikon, has not produced a line of fast and uncompromised lenses for its E-mount, which, these days, probably represents its premier line of cameras (more so than A-mount).
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NancyP

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2015, 03:31:03 pm »

The obvious "small at any cost lens" is a slightly wide or normal prime with modest aperture. The Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM is a darn good lens for the money, almost as good as the Sigma Art 35 at 1/8 the size and weight, at the landscape smaller apertures. I don't know if it can work on the adapted Sonys, though. Lens manual focus is focus-by-wire, and the lens must be powered (engage meter before focusing manually).
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Telecaster

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2015, 04:53:48 pm »

My experience with the 24–70/4 isn't at all as is being described here. Sample variation perhaps…assuming all commenters actually own or have used one, that is.

-Dave-
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deanwork

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ? Update
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2015, 09:44:00 pm »

Ok you guys who have the Sony 24-70 I want to apologize for creating this thread in the first place.

After I made some enlargements from this lens that shocked me, we took the brand new lens back to where it was purchased.
The salesman took some shots with it and some with the 55 and immediately agreed that she got a defective lens. You didn't have to open it in Lightroom to see that.  They gave her a new one and I tested it, and to me the resolution looked fine,  and stopped down to F8 even the edges looked ok to me, though I obviously haven't done any serious focal testing comparative to the Canon and Nikon zooms ( that are much bulkier).

This is the F4 unit, not the 2.8, and it costs her I think $1,100.00.  So..... considering it's small size and the versatility of it, as long as it keeps functioning the way it is does now, for this client, who mostly does landscapes and portraits it should be fine on the A7RII. I was very surprised that such a seemingly durable design was so screwed up in this unit, but I guess that can happen with Canon or Nikon as well, a bad apple.

Now if it were me owning this camera I couldn't stand the distortion near the edges of the frame, especially since I shoot architecture a lot. But for this client where size and versatility is a factor, it is ok for what she paid for it. You would pay twice as much for a good Zeiss 24 alone.

John




My experience with the 24–70/4 isn't at all as is being described here. Sample variation perhaps…assuming all commenters actually own or have used one, that is.

-Dave-
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deanwork

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ? Update
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2015, 09:45:42 pm »

Ok you guys who have the Sony 24-70 I want to apologize for creating this thread in the first place.

After I made some enlargements from this lens that shocked me, we took the brand new lens back to where it was purchased.
The salesman took some shots with it and some with the 55 and immediately agreed that she got a defective lens. You didn't have to open it in Lightroom to see that.  They gave her a new one and I tested it, and to me the resolution looked fine,  and stopped down to F8 even the edges looked ok to me, though I obviously haven't done any serious focal testing comparative to the Canon and Nikon zooms ( that are much bulkier).

This is the F4 unit, not the 2.8, and it costs her I think $1,100.00.  So..... considering it's small size and the versatility of it, as long as it keeps functioning the way it is does now, for this client, who mostly does landscapes and portraits it should be fine on the A7RII. I was very surprised that such a seemingly durable design was so screwed up in this unit, but I guess that can happen with Canon or Nikon as well, a bad apple.

Now if it were me owning this camera I couldn't stand the distortion near the edges of the frame, especially since I shoot architecture a lot. But for this client where size and versatility is a factor, it is ok for what she paid for it. You would pay twice as much for a good Zeiss 24 alone.

John




My experience with the 24–70/4 isn't at all as is being described here. Sample variation perhaps…assuming all commenters actually own or have used one, that is.

-Dave-
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2015, 04:30:10 am »

The best standard zoom for the A7rII is probably the Canon 24-70L II - it autofocuses well, is very sharp and has minimal aberrations and has an odd number of aperture blades (for better sunstars). I'm not sure if the new Nikon will be better, but its AF performance (with Nikon adapters that allow AF) has yet to be seen.

I'm not sold on most of Sony's E-mount lenses - IMO they've gone too far down the 'small at any cost' route (good for casual users) and don't have enough fast, uncompromised lenses for high-end, discriminating users. While every lens lineup needs small lenses for weight-conscious or budget users, Sony, unlike Canon and Nikon, has not produced a line of fast and uncompromised lenses for its E-mount, which, these days, probably represents its premier line of cameras (more so than A-mount).

The Canon 24-70 f2.8 MKII is arguably one of the best, as I said above. But so is the Sony Zeiss equivalent SAL lens. Since both require adapters, you choose.

If by fast and uncompromised you mean zooms, Sony already mentioned that they will release f2.8 zooms for the E mount. So lets wait and see. If you mean prime lenses, you are obviously wrong, as attested by the FE 35 f1.4, FE 90 macro, and the Zeiss Batis line.

shadowblade

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ?
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2015, 05:17:55 am »

The Canon 24-70 f2.8 MKII is arguably one of the best, as I said above. But so is the Sony Zeiss equivalent SAL lens. Since both require adapters, you choose.

If by fast and uncompromised you mean zooms, Sony already mentioned that they will release f2.8 zooms for the E mount. So lets wait and see. If you mean prime lenses, you are obviously wrong, as attested by the FE 35 f1.4, FE 90 macro, and the Zeiss Batis line.

They have a few (the 90mm macro being probably the best out there). But not nearly enough for a comprehensive lens lineup, unless you only shoot a few specific types of subjects at a few specific focal lengths. 14-24 (or other UWA zoom), 24-70, 70-200 are all missing. So are any long lenses, and f/1.4 primes in general (apart from the 35mm). Tilt-shifts are also missing, but less of an issue since you can adapt them and are manual-focus anyway.

I consider the Batis lenses to be compromised options - sure, they're nice, but they're far from Zeiss's best optically (optical quality having being sacrificed to make them more compact and cheaper) and are slower than top-of-the-line lenses in similar focal lengths by other manufacturers.

The other thing is that third-party manufacturers such as Sigma have also been slow in releasing top-of-the-line lenses in E-mount, instead releasing them in the increasingly-irrelevant A-mount and only releasing small/light/cheap lenses in E-mount.

It's almost as if they think it's still 2010. E-mount may have started with cheap, small-sensor NEX cameras, but, with the A7 series, has found a lot of (non-action) professional users who are held back by the lack of full-capability lenses to match those of SLR systems. Many of the E-mount options are slower, not as sharp, not as well-built or all three, optical capability and build quality having been sacrificed to make them cheaper and lighter for the consumer market.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 05:26:33 am by shadowblade »
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Telecaster

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ? Update
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2015, 04:53:28 pm »

Ok you guys who have the Sony 24-70 I want to apologize for creating this thread in the first place.

No need to apologize. You figured out what the issue was and reported it…that's a Good Thing.  :)

-Dave-
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ? Update
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2015, 01:24:40 pm »

Ok you guys who have the Sony 24-70 I want to apologize for creating this thread in the first place.
I think there is some sloppy quality control going on these days and it's particularly important to test zoom lenses (make sure you buy them from a retailer who will take the lens back if dissatisfied). This was a good thread reinforcing this approach!

Alan
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deanwork

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ? Update
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2015, 05:51:38 pm »

It's true. We need to support more local vendors for photo supplies, and everything really. Yea, you pay sales tax but it's a drag when something is defective and you have to send it back and hope you'll get a good one. If you buy it locally you can try it out right in the store or have a replacement often immediately if you need one.

We used to have four really good camera supply stores in Atlanta that you could depend on, with a sizable staff who knew their stuff. Now we have one. Also the rental places are only a shadow of what they once were, same with the great music stores we used to have, all gone to chains, and even they aren't doing well. Everything is online now, and personal service is quickly becoming ancient history. Pretty soon there will only be two stores in America for everything, Amazon and Walmart. Then Amazon will buy Walmart and they will be the only store left in the world and can charge whatever they want and do whatever they want.

john



I think there is some sloppy quality control going on these days and it's particularly important to test zoom lenses (make sure you buy them from a retailer who will take the lens back if dissatisfied). This was a good thread reinforcing this approach!

Alan
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Tony Jay

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Re: Good Zoom for Sony A7RII ? Update
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2015, 06:29:52 pm »

It's true. We need to support more local vendors for photo supplies, and everything really. Yea, you pay sales tax but it's a drag when something is defective and you have to send it back and hope you'll get a good one. If you buy it locally you can try it out right in the store or have a replacement often immediately if you need one.

We used to have four really good camera supply stores in Atlanta that you could depend on, with a sizable staff who knew their stuff. Now we have one. Also the rental places are only a shadow of what they once were, same with the great music stores we used to have, all gone to chains, and even they aren't doing well. Everything is online now, and personal service is quickly becoming ancient history. Pretty soon there will only be two stores in America for everything, Amazon and Walmart. Then Amazon will buy Walmart and they will be the only store left in the world and can charge whatever they want and do whatever they want.

john
Similar story here in Brisbane (Australia).
The remaining stores, luckily have quite good sales staff who are very helpful when they are able.
My biggest bugbear is the manufacturers and suppliers who refuse in many cases to allow demo models (especially camera bodies). How in the world one is supposed to make a buying decision merely off a spec sheet is beyond me. Particularly since camera bodies and lenses are not cheap items.
My understanding, in the USA anyway, is that one can order several different models, try them out and then return the one's not wanted with a full refund within thirty days.
One cannot do this in Australia with current laws.
So, many manufacturers and suppliers refusing to allow a hands on demo of their products seems churlish and counterproductive to me.
There is no one size fits all solution (literally) to photographic equipment.
A spec sheet is not  the final arbitrator.
I know many people who will not shoot with the Sony A7 series cameras (image quality notwithstanding) because, for them, it is an impractical camera. Luckily, they are experienced enough to know this without having to waste their money first.
(I am not bashing Sony BTW - I own two Sony A7 series bodies. And I like them a lot.)
I also think that many people who might otherwise buy these bodies are put off by the fact that they cannot play with the cameras to see whether they might actually suit their their approach to shooting.

I find this inexplicable in an era where the competition for market share is becoming sharper by the minute. Cameras are not wide-screen TV's and current DSLR/mirrorless consumers are not the types to be starstruck just by spec sheets. Generally, those that are use smartphones for their photography. It just seems to me that both retailers and manufacturers are missing a trick in their approach to marketing to a more sophisticated crowd. The point-and-shoot brigade have all migrated to the smartphone.

I think that the winner in the battle will not necessarily be the maker with the best technology but those that market the best (not counting spec sheets and press releases).

my $0.02 worth

Tony Jay
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