Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5–5.6 OSS E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44180 date: Nov-24-2018
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Canon EF 22-55 F4-5.6 USM
Sigma 24-70 F2.8 DG DN Art
Sony 24-70 F4 ZA OSS
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
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
price paid:100 USD (A7II kit)
positive:Flat focus plane
Internal focus
Slight focus breathing
Extends very little with zoom
Very quiet
Smooth zoom and precise focus
Matte rubber and plastic feel great
Dust and moisture-resistant
Lens Compensation
negative:Somewhat bulky
Variable relative aperture
Limited zoom range
Focus shift stopped down
Forced distortion compensation
comment:I picked the first copy up at my local camera store as part of Sony A7II retail kit for $100 more than the body-only sale price. The second copy came with a A7III retail kit. The original list price was $500, but it seems to have been permanently reduced to $400 last year after briefly being on sale for $350. It normally costs $200 extra in a camera kit. "Made in Thailand"

On the A7 bodies this lens is equivalent to a 18-50mm F2.3-3.7 zoom on APS-C--comparable to Fuji's XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 or a 14-35mm F1.8-2.8 zoom on Four-Thirds. It is considerably larger than the APS-C E-mount kit lenses but about the same size as the little Minolta AF 35-70 F4 on an adapter.

The rear element is very recessed. The optical design looks like it could have been used on an SLR. It would have been a tiny SLR zoom lens. The most retracted focal length is around 48 mm like the Minolta 28-80 D and 28-100 D zooms, but it extends much less at the extremes than either of those zooms.

The 70 mm end is much tighter than the Minolta 35-70 F4 and even a bit tighter than the Tamron 28-75 F2.8. The newer FE 28-60 is much wider at the long end.

The exterior is mostly smooth matte black plastic and rubber. It does have an alloy cosmetic front ring ahead of the focus control. It is nicer to touch than the metallic surfaces other Sony lenses. It is the best handling of the FE normal zooms.

The plastic petal hood uses a similar two lobe bayonet like the Sony DT 35 F1.8 and 85 F2.8 SAM lenses and will mount on those lenses.

This is yet another underrated E-mount lens. Image quality across the frame is very good throughout its range, though it is a bit soft in the center especially at the long end.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 15
  • sharpness: 4.17
  • color: 4.40
  • build: 4.27
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 4.07
  • overall: 4.18 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania