Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS Review

January 15, 2018 | Mark Goldstein | |
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Introduction

The Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS is a wide-angle to short-telephoto zoom lens for the Sony full-frame E-mount compact system camera range. It can be also used with APS-C sensor cameras, such as the Sony A6500, where it provides a 36-157.5mm equivalent focal range. It features 17 elements in 14 groups including four aspherical elements, two of which are advanced aspherical elements, and three extra-low dispersion elements. It has a near-circular 9 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image, Sony's Nano AR Coating to reduce flare and ghosting, 0.38m minimum focusing distance, and it's also dust and moisture resistant. The Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens is available for £1199 / $1299 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

Weighing in at 663g and measuring just over 11cm in length, the aluminium alloy bodied Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS is some 225g lighter and 2cms shorter than the faster Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens. so if you'd need such a fast maximum aperture, the f/4 24-105mm is a lot more compact. Note that it does extend further by almost 4.5cms, though, when it's set to the 105mm focal length.

Build quality is excellent. The Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS has a sealed dust and moisture resistant design and a fluorine-coated front element, which makes it well-suited to life in both the field and the studio. The lens has a metal lens mount. It accepts 77mm filters via metal threads.

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSThe Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens mounted on a Sony A7R III

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSThe Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens mounted on a Sony A7R III

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSThe Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens mounted on a Sony A7R III

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSThe Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens mounted on a Sony A7R III

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSThe Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens mounted on a Sony A7R III

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSThe Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens alongside a Sony A7R III

The Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS has a round Focus Hold Button which keeps the lens locked to the current focusing distance, useful if you're auto-focusing and don't want the lens to try and find focus again. The preview function can also be assigned to this button through the camera's custom settings.

The Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS has a fairly narrow, ridged focus ring. Manual focusing is possible by using the dedicated AF/MF switch to toggle between AF and MF. There are hard stops at both ends of the focal range, making it easier to set focus at infinity. Polariser users should be pleased that the 77mm filter thread doesn't rotate on focus.

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSSide of the Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSSide of the Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSSide of the Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens, extended to 105mm

The Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS zoom lens utilizes a Direct Drive Super Sonic wave AF motor for smooth auto-focusing. It's a very quick performer on the Sony A7R III that we tested it with, taking about 0.2 seconds to lock onto the subject. We hardly experienced any "hunting", either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time. It is also a virtually silent lens when auto-focusing, making it perfect for movie shooting or for more candid use.

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSSide of the Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSSide of the Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens, extended to 105mm

The Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS features optical image stabilisation via a switch on the side of the lens barrel, and it can also pair up with the camera body's own built-in stabilisation system to even greater effect.

The Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens is commendably supplied with both a soft case and a good quality plastic round lens hood (ALC-SH152), although that wasn't supplied with our review sample, so we're unable to comment on its effectiveness.

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSFront of the Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSRear of the Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSThe Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens in-hand

Focal Range

At the 24mm focal length the angle of view is 84 degrees.

 Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSField of view at 24mm

At the 105mm focal length the angle of view is 23 degrees.

 Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSSField of view at 105mm

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as blue or purple fringes along contrasty edges, were not very apparent in our test shots, only appearing in very high contrast areas.

Light Fall-off and Distortion

With the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/4, there is some obvious light fall-off in the corners, requiring you to stop down by at least 2 f-stops to prevent it.

There's very little barrel distortion and virtually no pin-cushion distortion evident.

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS24mm

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS105mm

Macro

The Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS offers a minimum focusing distance of 38cm, with a maximum magnification of 0.31x. The following example demonstrates how close you can get to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash memory card.

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens, Sony employed an iris diaphragm with 9 rounded blades, which has resulted in very appealing bokeh. We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we've included several 100% crops for your perusal.

Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS
105mm @ f/4
 
Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS
105mm @ f/5.6
 
Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS
105mm @ f/8
 
Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS
105mm @ f/16
 
Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS
105mm @ f/22

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.