Sample image with 100% crop.
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A second opinion on the Sony Zeiss FE 24-70mm f4 lens (by Stefan Grosjean)
We have all read the reviews. They all seem to agree that the Zeiss Zoom for Full-Frame E-mount Cameras is somewhat “disappointing”: (1) It’s not fast enough, (2) the corners are not sharp, (3) the distortion is heavy, and (4) it’s also too big, too heavy and too expensive.
The Sony Zeiss 55mm lens in contrast was received very well. Reviews agreed that it’s an “excellent” lens. With f1.8 it’s quite fast, it’s sharp across the entire frame even full open, and there’s almost no distortion to speak of (but it’s also rather expensive and not really small).
What’s interesting to me is the fact that both lenses have actually more or less the same low light ability although they do it very differently: The Prime has an aperture that is 2.3 stops brighter, the Zoom has an optical steady shot which is supposed to allow for 2-3 stops longer exposure times – which gives you about the same brightness. So let’s do a very quick and simple test and see how the “disappointing” zoom lens and the “excellent” prime lens perform under poor lighting conditions.
For this test the 55mm was full open at f1.8 with exposure time being 1/160sec. If there’s no steady shot I always chose 1/160 or faster to be sure most of my images turn out sharp (I guess my hands are pretty shaky). The 24-70mm was full open at f4 with an exposure time of 1/30 and 1/40. Steady shot was activated. Focal length was set to 55mm and all the other settings were also the same. The light source was a window on a rainy day. ISO speeds were at 800 (comparison 1) respectively 1600 (comparison 2). All photos were shot by hand without using a tripod. The autofocus field (size M) was set to the very corner because that’s where we have to expect the most significant differences. Photos are JPGs shot from my a7.
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