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Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM

Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM

Get Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM at B&H Photo.

Is this 24-70mm f/2.8 GM the nail in the coffin for Canon and Nikon in terms of mainstream shooters? CaNikon still offers no meaningful mirrorless anything and the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS-1D X Mark II being niche cameras, the Sony onslaught continues. The 'game' approaches the 4th quarter.

With the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM and Sony 35mm f/1.4 and Zeiss Batis and Zeiss Loxia and Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM, the vast majority of shooting scenarios are now covered for wedding and portrait photographers, most landscape shooting, and all other common and mainstream uses.

Still lacking are high quality wide angle lenses (11-18mm range), high grade 50mm and 135mm primes, and super teles. But with a high-grade 24-70/2.8 and a high-grade 85/1.4, the bread is now buttered.

I’ll be testing the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM as soon as B&H receives them. The optical specifications look good, assuming the lens is built with quality control that avoids symmetry issues.

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • One XA Element, Two Aspherical Elements
  • One ED Element, One Super ED Element
  • Nano AR Coating
  • Direct Drive SSM Focus System
  • Internal Focus Design
  • Focus Hold Button, AF/MF Switch
  • Dust and Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Nine-Blade Circular Diaphragm

A fast standard zoom favored for its versatility, the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM is a wide-angle to short telephoto lens designed for E-mount mirrorless cameras. Featuring a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture, this lens maintains consistent performance throughout the zoom range and benefits working in low-light conditions and with selective focus techniques.

Complementing the apt light-gathering capabilities is an equally impressive optical design, which incorporates three aspherical elements and two extra-low dispersion elements. One of the aspherical elements features an XA (extreme aspherical) designation, ensuring its refined surface precision and notable ability to minimize spherical aberrations throughout the zoom range. Additionally, a Nano AR Coating has been applied to individual elements to significantly minimize lens flare and ghosting for increased contrast and color neutrality. Pairing a sophisticated optical design and versatile speed, this standard zoom is well-suited for use in a wide array of environments and lighting conditions.

Beyond the attributes of the lens system itself, this 24-70mm is also characterized by a Direct Drive SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) system that provides fast, quiet AF performance as well as responsive manual focus handling. The lens is also dust- and moisture-sealed, to permit working in inclement weather conditions, and nuanced details, such as a focus hold button and rubberized control dials, further the intuitiveness in handling.

  • As part of Sony's esteemed G Master series, this lens is designed to achieve notably high resolution and sharpness through the correction of a wide variety of spherical and chromatic aberrations. Additionally, these lenses feature robust and intuitive-to-handle physical designs to benefit both photography and cine applications.
  • Covering wide-angle to portrait-length perspectives, this standard 24-70mm zoom is designed for full-frame E-mount mirrorless cameras and is also compatible with APS-C models, where it will provide a 36-105mm equivalent focal length range.
  • Constant f/2.8 maximum aperture maintains consistent performance from wide-angle to telephoto focal length positions and also contributes to greater selective focus control.
  • Of the three aspherical elements incorporated in the lens design, one is an XA element with superior surface precision to effectively reduce astigmatism, field curvature, coma, and other monochromatic aberrations from imagery.
  • One extra-low dispersion element and one Super ED element are featured in the lens design, too, and help to control chromatic aberrations and reduce color fringing for increased clarity and color fidelity.
  • A Nano AR Coating has been applied to reduce surface reflections, flare, and ghosting for increased contrast and color rendering in strong lighting conditions.
  • A rounded nine-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing bokeh quality when employing shallow depth of field techniques.
  • A Direct Drive SSM system and internal focus mechanism provides quick, quiet, and precise autofocus performance and also contributes to more natural, intuitive manual focus control.
  • A dust- and moisture-sealed design better permits working in inclement conditions and rubberized control rings benefit handling in colder temperatures

Jason W writes:

The 24-70mm GM is great, but it's a drop in the bucket. They could re-brand Canon L glass at this point and sell it 20% off and it wouldn't ameliorate brand trust or lack of a credible service department.

And while Sony dominates sensors, I'm not seeing the dent in Canon or Nikon camera sales, even with their lack of entry into the pro mirrorless segment.

A recent Japanese report showed that Sony, previously #1 in mirrorless, was beaten by Olympus last year. What's going on out there?

DIGLLOYD: the “drop in the bucket” comment is not credible: the lens lineup on Sony now covers 95% of common shooting. As for Sony service and support, that is indeed a very weak area, but Sony does have a Sony Pro Service Program.

As for my own subscription business, interest in Canon and Nikon and Zeiss has dropped off a cliff even as interest in Sony mirrorless has surged. The interest in mirrorless is confined to Sony (Olympus interest is just about zero, Fujifilm slightly better). Of course, my business is at the high-end, but as for Canon and Nikon sales, a large number of APS-C models languished for six months at deep discounts and full-frame models were slow sellers too. The Canon 5DS/5DS R came into stock quickly and stayed there. These realities conflict with the viewpoint expressed above, at least in the USA. Finally, Sony claims a 40% year-over-year increase, which is might impressive when DSLR sales are down.

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