Sony Carl Zeiss 24mm F1.8 ZA Sonnar T* E-mount lens review by Aavo

reviewer#11417 date: Oct-31-2013
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:A-mount 35/1,8SAM with adapter EA-1. As both are APS-C lenses, I prefer 24/1,8Zeiss focal length (36mm equiv) much more than 35/1,8SAM focal length (52 mm equiv). Both are sharp, but 24/1,8Zeiss is better at F1,8 ... F2,8.
price paid:850 EUR
positive:Great sharpness at F2,8...5,6
Great centre area and enough good overal sharpness at F1,8
Great colors
Well protected with the hood
Good AF speed with NEX-7
Good for MF use
negative:No OSS
Expensive for tenous use
comment:This prime has been in my kit over year and is still the best for e-mount aps-c cameras IMO. But I really miss OSS, because shooting with 1/10 ... 1/30s hand-held is very important for me. NEX-7 & 24/1,8 combo is very light and even 1/30s is risky speed, so I keep 1/50s as minimum. More than 50% mounted on my NEX-7.
The only serious competitor can arise from Sony 18-135/3.4-5.6 OSS now about 1/2 year, because I feel I have finally zoom I like more than previous models step by step sold and replaced. After next few year I will probably add comment, that 24/1,8 is 50% mounted, 18-135 about 40% mounted and 20/2,8 5% mounted. I am very much convinced, that 24/1,8 will lead the rancing up to the end.
I decided after few years patient waiting to buy 35/1,8 OSS, as my feeling was, that there will be no 24/1,8 lens with OSS for aps-c and IBIS on aps-c body. After few weeks experiens I just can say, that, compared to my modest 35/1,8 OSS copy, 24/1,8 CZ OSS can be incredible value. This lens can be your only prime, even your only lens.

Added in June 2017:
a6500 & 24/1,8 are excellent combo. No better normal to wide prime for me to mount on a6500.

Added in Oct 2018:
This lens has been in use more than 6 years now and looks totally new, despite it is mounted about 50% of all my lenses. The main reasons I have it, are sharpness, great colors and small/light shape. It is probably the only lens I will never sell or replace, till I stay with e-mount aps-c.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 7
  • sharpness: 4.86
  • color: 4.86
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 4.71
  • flare control: 4.86
  • overall: 4.86 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania