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

reviewer#9409 date: Sep-12-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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 24-105
Minolta 24-85
CZ 24-70
price paid:150 GBP (used)
negative:Soft wide open (slightly)
Minor optical flaws
comment:This is a lens which I think is much under-rated.

It is not perfect by any means but it can give excellent quality if intelligently used. In "the old days" we never shot wide open unless the glass was Zeiss or Leitz and always shut down a stop or two to get optimum quality. The widest aperture was provided as a means of making focusing easier (no AF then!) and shooting wide open was for emergencies only. Consequently, this lens should always be stopped down by a stop or more.

That said, I would love it if Sony could make a better quality (wide open and distortion wise) version of this lens.

I am not a fan of the bulkyness of modern optics, I love the better quality of lenses such as the CZ24-70 or CZ 16-35 (I reserve these lenses for commercial work) but when shooting weddings or doing something where I need to hold my camera for long periods (CZ 24-70 + A900 + time hand-held = ouch!), I prefer a smaller, lighter lens and this is where this lens comes to life for me.

There are distortion issues but I have not found these flaws too bad for the purposes I use this lens. This is not an acceptable lens for architectural work for example but I don't think it was ever intended for such work.

So, my recommendation? If you want a lens for weddings, portraits and as a convenient walk-around lens, you could be more than happy with this one. If you are hankering after ultimate quality, you will need to spend a lot more and get something like the CZ 24-70 (ultimately, you only get what you pay for).

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