Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#45615 date: Nov-30-2020
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own 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 24-70 F4 ZA OSS
Sigma 28-70 F2.8 DG DN C
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:1100 USD (new)
positive:Rubber grips
Fairly Parfocal
Minimal breathing
Very quiet focusing
Dust and moisture-resistant
Lens Compensation
Size & weight
Heavy extending zoom
MF and OSS switches
Corner and midfield issues
Lateral CA
Forced distortion compensation
comment:I wanted a good normal zoom wider than 28 mm. This seems to be the most often recommended one. It is currently the best standard zoom recommendation at DPReview and also their alternative travel zoom recommendation. Sony announced this lens in 2017 for $1300. It has been on sale for $1100 for about a month now. My Greentoe offer for $1000 was not accepted. They sent me an email warning that "items are selling out quicker than usual." A local camera shop had no copies in stock. The sales person recommended adapting the Sigma 24-105 F4 Art lens instead.

This was the most up-to-date FE normal zoom until the compact 28-60 was released. Unlike that lens it does not support the Aperture Drive feature, but it does support 30 FPS burst tracking which all third-party lenses and the older Sony 28-70 OSS and 24-70 ZA OSS do not support.

It looks and feels cheaper than Sony's A-mount zooms or Minolta's mid-range zooms. The rear plastic barrel flexes under moderate pressure like the FE 50 F1.8 and Tamron OSD primes. I appreciate the rubber control grips and absence of alloy veneer. The end trim of the lens and filter threads are alloy. "Made in Thailand"

The optics performs closer to the old film zooms than I expected. It is generally sharper outside the center of the frame, but it does have edge issues in the middle of its range. This copy has a minor issue with the right side being softer.
The wide end is not as wide as the old 24-x zooms, but it is wider than the FE 2/28. The long end of the zoom is significantly longer at close focus than the old internal focus x-105mm zooms but wider than the original 35-105. There is basically zero focus breathing.

Corners are somewhat worse than the 28-70 OSS and 24-70 ZA in the middle of their shared ranges. Sony seems to have optimized this zoom for the zoom ends. Those do tend to the only range used by most people. The corners at the wide end of the middle range clean up stopped down but the corners at 50 to 70mm remain soft. It is not competitive with the cheap primes.

Like the 2/28, 24-70 ZA, and 28-70 Sony doesn't allow the Distortion Compensation to be disabled when this lens is mounted. And live-view also gets the correction applied. My rating reflects the raw optical distortion not the digital corrections. It has a bit less distortion than the 24-70 ZA.

The worst part of the body design are the switches. These feel as cheaply made as possible. Hopefully they are sealed. There is no way to disable either switch from unintentionally overriding the desired camera settings. The kit zooms and older 24-70 F4 ZA OSS lack these liabilities.

Overall a bulky, compromised, but decent standard zoom. It works really well for social events. The extended range and constant aperture are the main advantages over the 28-70 OSS for the tradeoffs of cost and handling. It is probably more consistent than the older 24-70 F4 ZA. I prefer the materials of the 24-105, but I prefer the size and weight of the ZA. Maybe there will be a smaller FE G OSS normal zoom eventually.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 13
  • sharpness: 4.69
  • color: 4.85
  • build: 4.69
  • distortion: 4.15
  • flare control: 4.62
  • overall: 4.60 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania