Sony Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II Vario-Sonnar T* A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 2   
reviewer#43010 date: Feb-9-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-75 f2.8, Minolta 24-105
price paid:£1419 new
positive:The usual silky heavy build quality, lovely operation of controls. Fast, accurate AF. Lovely colour rendition and a realistic representation - not fake-looking. Good '3D' effect. Weather sealing.
negative:Virtually nothing but see comments
comment:OK it's probably only 99% as good as the pro equivalents from Canon and Nikon but, if you're an A mounter, it's the best
reviewer#36807 date: Mar-30-2017
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma Art 25-105 f4
Tamron 24-70 f2.8 SP
Minolta 28-135 f4-4.5
price paid:$1650
positive:1) Great build quality, and undeniable cache value in that blue badge. Substantial and nicely damped zoom mechanism.
2) Decent performance and sharpness, particularly if you stop down to f4. Very strong from f4-8.
3) Prime like performance at 40mm, which is its best FL.
4) Weather sealed and dust resistant.
5) More speed than the Sigma Art (but both lenses are very close at f4)
negative:1) No updated coatings to reduce CA at wider end - which is still rather significant. Not much of an update?
2) Weight - this thing is a 'chunky monkey' of a lens.
3) Short on reach at the long end. Not enough for portraiture unless you are on top of your subject.
4) Bokeh is somewhat disappointing at 70mm and 2.8. Not bad but not great.
5) Might be overpriced for what it offers - both Tamron and Sigma might offer better values if not better lenses for less $.
comment:This is a classic Zeiss lens – big, heavy, expensive, and with great build quality, and with a very smooth and substantial feeling zoom mechanism. It’s been very recently updated, likely in anticipation of the release of the new Sony A99II, and its predecessor, version 1 was a classic with good reason. But the updating included only a slightly faster SSM and not better coatings. No changes in the optical formula whatsoever.

But this lens (just like its predecessor) has some modest issues keeping it from being consistently superb, where, for example, at 35 mm it never gets critically sharp in the corners, even stopped down, and wide-open at 50mm, it’s even worse in terms of corner sharpness, and with somewhat reduced central sharpness as well. At 50mm, by f4, things dramatically sharpen up, and at 70 mm (where a lot of 3x zooms are starting to fall apart) the lens is a bit soft wide open but sharpens up nicely by f4. At f4-5.6, the lens is pretty close to critically sharp corner to corner at all focal lengths, except at 35mm where the corners never quite get tack sharp.

Is this lens your best overall walk-around zoom option for full frame in Alpha Mount? No – but it's a finalist in that competition, with the Sigma Art 25-105 and the Tamron 24-70 SP.

If the Zeiss 24-70 V2 were slightly lighter, somewhat less expensive, or if it was fully the equal of the Canon L2 in terms of optical performance, then I think it would be a five star lens. It’s close to a home run, but just not quite. Very good, and still a classic with good reason.

Anything with that blue badge is likely to be – at worst – very good, but this lens doesn’t quite get to the “best in class” status of some other Zeiss Alpha lenses, such as their stellar primes, the ZA 85 1.4, and especially the ZA 135 1.8, which is simply and unquestionably the best lens of its type. In that sense this lens is a little bit like the ZA 16-35 2.8 – another expensive and heavy Zeiss zoom lens, which could be sharper. Very good, but falling shy of great. Perhaps version 3 will be the homerun.
reviews found: 2   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 2
  • sharpness: 4.75
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 5.00
  • overall: 4.95

to add your review
you need to login

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania

Find us on Google+