I thought I’d compare these two lenses just for kicks. Of course the Sony 24-70mm F/2.8 GM is a zoom, and a very good one at that, however, I wasn’t expecting miracles from it, especially since the 55mm F/1.8 is a great prime lens (reviewed here). So do you wonder how they might compare directly in a landscape scene? Well wonder no more, below are some side-by-side crops at 55mm, from F/2.8 through F/11.
Sony A7R used for test images.
Sony 55/1.8 sets are along the top, and Sony 24-70/2.8 GM sets are on the bottom of image.
Here is the whole test scene and where the crops are taken from.
Left side Center Right side
Sony 55mm F/1.8 on the top, Sony 24-70mm F/2.8 GM on the bottom.
The prime is slightly sharper in the middle area, and along the right side, however, the left side is sharper on the zoom; wow!
The centers are about the same at F/4, but the prime is still a bit soft as compared to the zoom on the left side. The prime shows substantially more resolution on the right side.
Both lenses are about even at F/5.6 on the left side and center; the Sony 55mm is a little sharper on the right.
At F/8 the Sony 55/1.8 is maxed out. The Sony 24-70/2.8 GM is showing about the same resolution as the prime, except along the extreme right side.
Both lenses look almost the same here in color contrast and resolution. If you look very closely, you can see the zoom is always just a tiny bit soft on the extreme right side when compared to the prime. But big deal, this is great performance for a zoom lens!!
I’m very surprised at the outcome, especially at wide apertures, the zoom really holds its own. I thought the prime would blow the zoom away at least until F/5.6 or F/8, but no, the differnces are relatively minor from F/4.
That’s it for this interesting comp!