Sony Carl Zeiss FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS Vario-Tessar T* E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#45647 date: Feb-19-2021
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Canon EF 22-55 F4-5.6 USM
Sigma 24-70 F2.8 DG DN Art
Canon EF 24-85 F3.5-4.5 USM
Minolta AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5 & RS
Minolta AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D
Tamron SP 24-135 F3.5-5.6
Minolta AF 24-50 F4
Sony FE 24-105 F4 G OSS
Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD
Sony 28-75 F2.8 SAM
Tamron SP 28-75mm F2.8 XR Di
Tokina 28-80 F2.8 AT-X Pro
Sigma AF 28-105 F2.8-4
Sony FE 28-70 F3.5-5.6 OSS
Minolta AF 28-80 F3.5-5.6 D
Minolta AF 28-85 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 28-100 F3.5-5.6 D
Canon EF 28-105 F3.5-4.5 USM II
Minolta AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5 & RS & Xi
Tamron 28-300 F3.5-6.3 XR & Di
Tamron 28-200 F3.8-5.6 LD
Minolta AF 28-135 F4-4.5
Minolta AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5/New
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 35-70 F4
Minolta AF 35-80 F4-5.6 II
Tokina AF 35-200 F4-5.6 SD
Minolta AF 35-200 F4.5-5.6 Xi
price paid:413 USD (used)
Internal focus
Fairly parfocal
Minimal breathing
Lack of switches
Dust and moisture-resistant
Lens Compensation
negative:Blue badge
Lateral CA at wide end
Color shifts off-center at wide end
Extending zoom
Forced distortion compensation
Metal surfaces
comment:Purchased through a winning bid on an individual eBay seller listing. Listed as used once with full-packaging and retail box. In retrospect I should have viewed that as a red flag.

This lens was announced with the original digital Alpha 7 but wasn't available until the following year. The original retail price was $1200. Sony lowered the price to $900 in 2018, and it is regularly reduced to $700 during sales. "Made in Thailand"

This copy has a misalignment that is visible in the middle of the frame as a directional glow that gets larger at the long end of the zoom range. It has some edge issues at the wide end, but those are a bit better than the old Minolta and Canon zooms. The corners are much better at 35mm and up. It has just as much pincushion distortion as the 28-70, but the forced correction hides it effectively.

I prefer the size, weight, and lack of switches to the 24-105 G, but I don't like the metal surfaces. The FE kit zooms are sharper, but this lens does go wider and is more optimized for video. Like the 28-70 OSS it doesn't not support AF-C in stills bursts above 15 FPS.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 23
  • sharpness: 4.43
  • color: 4.78
  • build: 4.78
  • distortion: 3.96
  • flare control: 4.70
  • overall: 4.53 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania