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Sony 24-70mm F/2.8 GM full review

Howdy folks, the first real post of of 2018 is ready, and I hope you'll enjoy it, even if you can't afford it.  I'm working on the comparison between this lens and the smaller 24-70mm F/4 version; that should be ready in a few days.

The Sony FE 24-70mm F/2.8 GM is a superb lens, the best zoom lens Sony has ever put out, and I've reviewed almost all Sony lenses going back to the Konica Minolta days before Sony bought them.  Impressive qualities include low light fall-off at all focal lengths, flare and ghosting are minimal, especially at wide apertures, color fringing is well controlled overall; build quality is excellent, although it is a large and heavy lens, but that's typical of other manufacturers similar lenses.  If you are looking for a smaller lens with the same focal range, check out the...

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Sony Zeiss 16-70mm F/4 update

The most asked question for both of my websites is if the Sony 16-70mm (B&H, Amazon, eBay), is a decent lens.  My conclusion was not two thumbs up, and I thought it was a bit pricey for the performance.

At the time of the review, (December 2013), on my old site, I couldn't post full size images, but I can here at photojottings, and I was able to find some of the original test shots with a 'set' at three different focal lengths, 16mm, 23mm and 70mm.

I've also updated the review here on this site.  Remember, all updates to anything originally posted to kurtmunger.com will only show up here. The old site has not been updated for a long time, and it will not be updated anymore.

For what it's worth, the resolution along the sides are not up to my standards, which are pretty high. However, there's more to life than resolution, and this lens does have other qualities that some folks may find important.

So judge for yourself the image quality from the full size samples below...

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Minolta AF 24mm F/2.8 update

Check out the full size samples for full frame and APS-C inside.

I reviewed this 'a' mount lens almost ten years ago when there were no newer Sony equivalents available. However, Sony eventually come up with a Carl Zeiss 24mm /2 wide angle lens; it was very expensive at the time, ($1400) and a pretty good lens; unfortunately, I was not able to give it two thumbs up, see the review here.

Now that I've re-visited the Minolta AF 24mm F/2.8, I can see that it is actually very sharp stopped down to F/5.6-8 using an APS-C camera, and F/8-11 with full frame.  It does suffer from a soft periphery at F/2.8-4, and soft extreme corners at F/5.6.  Fortunately, If you can live at F/5.6  to F/11, this lens is a very good value. Current eBay prices are around $150 for a good copy.

The Minolta AF 24mm is still a good solid choice for interior work, or landscapes at F/8-11 using a full frame camera. For those using APS-C, the focal length would be about 36mm (in 135 film format).

Unfortunately, as we creep into 2018, Sony still has not produced a 24mm focal length 'FE' lens.

If you have an APS-C camera and want excellent optical qualities in this focal length, get the superb Sony CZ 24/1.8.  If you're on a budget, check out the Sony pancake 16mm lens, which has the same coverage as a full frame 24mm lens.

This lens will auto focus with the all Sony mirrorless cameras using the...

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Re-visiting the Minolta Sony AF 20mm F/2.8

Check out the full size test shots inside.  I've also updated the review with the addition of the test photos and a more up to date conclusion.

The Minolta (later rebranded Sony) 20mm F/2.8 is another excellent and very affordable ultra wide angle lens that dates from the late 1980s; but don't let the three decade old design fool you into thinking it's just another cruddy old film lens.  Minolta built this lens out of metal, and added auto focusing capabilities, which was rare in the mid 1980s.  Optically, it's very sharp, and uses a 10 element, 9 group optical design.  No wonder it's still available today brand new, or used for around $250.  There are currently no auto focusing equivalent lenses in the Sony 'E' mount line-up; however, if you prefer a manual focusing modern equivalent, be prepared to pay $1500 for the Zeiss 21mm F/2.8---B&H Photo, Amazon, eBay, $800 for a Tokina Furin 20mm F/2---B&H Photo, Amazon, eBay), or $600 for a Rokinon 20mm F/1.8---B&H Photo, Amazon.  If you have the Sony 28/2, you can get the converter for an ultra wide angle 21mm.

The Minolta/Sony versions of this lens would be an affordable way to get an ultra wide angle lens for your Sony 'FE' camera using an adapter.  For the smaller Sony APS-C camera bodies, Sony makes a pretty good 20mm F/2.8 pancake type lens that I would recommend...

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Revised Sony/Minolta AF 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5 review

With the introduction of the Sony FE 24-105/4 lens, I was reminded that this is the second wide to medium zoom of that focal range for Sony; although the new one gets a new 'FE' mount, a constant F/4 aperture and OSS.  It also gets a hefty price tag of $1300!!

Our second re-visited and revised lens review is the 'a' mount oldie but goodie Minolta/Sony AF 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5 lens, (introduced in about 1999-2000), later to be relabeled 'Sony' in 2006, and discontinued in about 2008/9.  Current value on eBay seems to be $100-200 depending on condition, that's about a tenth of the price of the new lens.

The older Minolta/Sony 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5 worked very well back in the early days of digital, even though it was designed as a film lens; I used mine on the Sony A900 for several years as an everyday walk around lens, and still enjoy many of the pictures I took.  Unfortunately, I don't have the original test pictures from the review to show, however, I did come up with a selection from different focal lengths and apertures to give you a good idea about how it performs on a 24mp camera...

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Sigma 30mm F/1.4 DC DN Review

Sigma's website claims this lens 'cannot be bad, because it is the latest lens,' well, that's an odd way to put it, but they were right, at least in this case!

The Sigma 30mm F/1.4 DC DN is a fast 'normal' lens for your APS-C and micro four thirds cameras.  It's slightly on the wide side of 'normal' for APS-C users, about 45mm in 135 film format, and on the long side for MFT users, with an 'equivalent' focal length of 60mm in 135 (full frame) format.

The technical image quality is very high; F/1.4 is totally usable even for landscape photography in low light, and there is no noticeable coma in the far corners!  Other positives include low axial color fringing, (but not lateral), and a simple distortion pattern which is easy to correct in post processing when shooting RAW.  I should also mention the very reasonable price, especially for this kind of performance.

There are a couple of negatives for pixel peepers...

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