Is the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM the standard zoom lens Alpha 7-series users have been waiting for? Michael Topham finds out
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM – Our verdict
When we first heard news of the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, we knew it was a lens that had great promise. After extensive testing, both in the field and the lab, I’m pleased to report it’s exceptionally sharp and has been optimised by Sony’s engineers to resolve sensational detail in combination with Alpha 7-series full-frame cameras. What’s more, the AF performance is hasty and it goes about its business in a fast and silent manner.
Optically, the lens delivers some really impressive results. It behaves much as we’d expect from a premium 24-70mm zoom, with super-sharp results in the centre at wideangle and only slightly softer results at full telephoto. The corners of images do appear softer at large apertures and to achieve optimum sharpness between the centre and edge, users will want to work between the lens’s sweet spot, which is typically found between f/5.6-f/8 across the focal length range.
The sharpness produced by the lens is stunning, but the trade-off for this impressive image quality is size and weight. With no form of optical stabilisation in the lens, it’s a better match with the A7 II, A7S II and A7R II than it is with the original A7 and A7R, which don’t feature Sony’s impressive 5-axis in-body stabilisation system. Users of this lens will find themselves turning to Sony’s in-body stabilisation to prevent handshake that could result from handholding such a heavy optic.
Although it’s not a lens that complements the compact aesthetics of the Alpha 7 series, those who view image quality as a priority ahead of practicality aren’t likely to give its size and weight a second thought. If Sony’s other G-Master lenses are anywhere near as good as this one, the future seems very bright for Alpha 7-series users and the appeal of the system continues to go from strength to strength.