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.
I’m not sure if the auto lens corrections on newer Sony camera bodies supports this lens; if so, most of the issues in the review like color fringing, distortion and light fall-off will be greatly diminished.
In the gallery are 12 full size images for you to check out, each 6048×4032. These were taken in Jpeg format, so no RAW files or conversions here. Most of the images are pretty sharp, even using a wide aperture, however, it looks like F/11 results in maximum resolution for landscape type shots. I do see some soft edges on the right side of my particular sample, (mostly noticeable with a wide aperture), I’m not sure if there are variations in sample quality or not, I only had one that I purchased on eBay.
Click yellow tabs Below to download the full size images.
Overall, I think the old lens would suit me just fine, it worked well back then on a 24mp camera, and the current crop of cameras are still between 24mp, or 42mp. If you don’t have a whole lot of money, and just want a good lens with a nice zoom range like this, I would definitely recommend it.
Check out my original Minolta/Sony 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5 review from 2007. I’ve updated it with the new photo gallery and full size samples. Note: always go to Photojottings when checking out anything from kurtmunger.com because I only update from Photojottings. Everything from the old site is frozen in time!
While I have no doubt the new Sony 24-105/4 will be an optical marvel, it’s also very expensive, and is significantly larger and heavier than the old Minolta/Sony lens. Heck, even when figuring on the large auto focusing adapter for using ‘a’ mount lenses to ‘e’ mount cameras, the little Minolta/Sony lens is still a smaller and lighter package!
Check out the Minolta/Sony 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5 lens on eBay and help support the site, thanks!