Sony AF 24-105mm F3.5-4.5 A-mount lens review by Miranda F

reviewer#41967 date: Nov-30-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 50mm f1.7 RS
Minolta 24-50 f4
Minolta 35-70 f4 & f3.5
Minolta 28-80 f3.5-5.6
Minolta 28-85mm f3.5-4.5
Minolta 28-100mm f3.5-5.6
Minolta 35-105mm f4-5.6 N
Sony 30mm f2.8
Sony 35mm f1.8
Sony 50mm f1.8
Sony 18-55mm & 18-70mm f3.5-5.6
Sony 18-135mm (tried, not owned)
Sony 55-200mm f4-5.6
Sony 55-300mm f4.5-5.6
Soligor 60-300mm f4-5.6
Tamron 90mm f2.8
Sigma 28-200mm#
Sigma 28-105mm f2.8-4
Tamron 28-200mm aspheric
Various other wide angle and tele lenses plus MF primes & zooms.
price paid:£55
good focal range, esp on FF
negative:MF is slightly stiff
You really need a lens hood.
comment:I'm not going to repeat everything I said about the Minolta version because the lens is almost identical. My copy of the Sony seems sharper than the Minolta, especially in the corners, and the focus ring is noticeably less stiff.
On APS-C corners are not at all soft but 100% crops of distant small tree branches show a very small, amount of CA plus a reduciton in contrast at full aperture, throughout the focal length range; the corners sharpen up and get back their full contrast by f5.6, except at 105mm where they are better by f8, but under less unreasonable tests you'd be unlikely to notice anything wrong anywhere at any aperture.
Bowing of horizontals is obvious (but not especailly large) on buildings placed close to the top edge but not usually an issue.
On FF the dark corners at the wide end are very noticeable and there's a little more CA at 100% crops, but overall it seems slightly better and sharper than the Minolta version. In fact it seems to be about as sharp as the Sigma 28-105mm.
This will probably replace the Minolta version as my favourite 'normal' lens on FF as well as being a good choice on APS-C, though there you may beed to carry a wider-angle lens as well. It all depends on what range of focal lengths youa r elikely to be using. For myself, I normally have some idea what range is most important on any given trip and how many lenses I'm prepared to carry to cater for it. Sure, 24mm is not very wide on APS-C, but if you find 16mm isn't wide enough either, then you'll want a proper ultra-wide as well so the 24mm end isn't a problem.
On a film camera I love this lens but on the A7Rii I'm not so keen, usually preferring the FE kit zoom, but if I am using the LA-EA4 for a day I'm likely to take the Sigma 28-105mm f2.8-4 instead which has brighter corners and is a stop faster at the wide end for interiors.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 19
  • sharpness: 4.34
  • color: 4.47
  • build: 4.26
  • distortion: 4.05
  • flare control: 4.16
  • overall: 4.26 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania