Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Review

July 2, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | |

Introduction

The Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS is a new super-zoom lens for the Sony full-frame E-mount compact system cameras. It features Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation, has 17 elements in 12 groups including 5 aspherical elements and 1 ED glass element, is dust- and moisture-resistant, and has a minimum focusing distance of 50cm with a maximum magnification of 0.27x. It has a near-circular 7 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image, while an internal focusing mechanism means the lens barrel doesn’t move. The Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens is available for £929 / $999 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

Weighing in at 780grams, the mainly plastic-bodied Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS is not too heavy for a 10x zoom lens. Its overall size does rather dwarf a full-frame body like the Sony A7S body that we tested it with, as shown in the photos below. Note that the length of the lens changes dramatically as you zoom from 24mm to 240mm.

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSThe Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens mounted on a Sony A7S

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSThe Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens mounted on a Sony A7S, set at 24mm

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSThe Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens mounted on a Sony A7S, set at 240mm

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSThe Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens mounted on a Sony A7S, set at 24mm

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSThe Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens mounted on a Sony A7S, set at 240mm

Build quality is pretty good, although not as well-built as the high price-tag might suggest. The Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS has a sealed dust and moisture resistant design.

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSThe Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens alongside the Sony A7S

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSSide of the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSSide of the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens, extended to 240mm

The Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens boasts built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation to help ensure clearer, sharper handheld shots. This is important as the A7-series bodies don't have a built-in image stabilisation system. In practice we found that the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS reliably offered around 3-stops of compensation.

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSFront of the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSRear of the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens

The wide and ridged zoom ring and the narrower manual focus ring are the only external controls of note. Manual focusing is possible via the textured focus ring when set on the specific camera body. The lens utilizes a linear motor to produce quiet and smooth focusing, making it well-suited to shooting video.

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSSide of the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSSideof the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens

The Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens has a metal lens mount. It accepts 72mm filters via plastic threads.

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSThe Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens in-hand

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSThe Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens with the ALC-SH136 lens hood fitted

The Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens is supplied with a fairly good quality plastic petal-shaped lens hood.

Focal Range

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

 Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSField of view at 24mm

At the 240mm focal length the angle of view is 10 degrees.

 Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSField of view at 240mm

Focusing

The Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens has quite a wide focus ring. There are no hard stops at either end of the range, making it a little more difficult to set focus at infinity. Polariser users should be pleased that the 72mm filter thread doesn't rotate on focus.

When it comes to auto-focusing, the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS zoom is a quiet and fairly quick performer on the Sony A7S that we tested it with, taking about 0.25 seconds to lock onto the subject.

We didn't experience much "hunting", either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time, and it's also a quiet performer thanks to the linear motor driven internal focusing, making it ideal for movie shooting.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as blue or purple fringes along contrasty edges, were not very apparent in our test shots, only in high contrast areas. The example below shows the worst-case scenario.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED

Light Fall-off and Distortion

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

There's quite a lot of barrel distortion evident at 24mm in the RAW files - the Sony A7S automatically and successfully apply corrections to the JPG files. At 240mm there's some pin-cushioning in the RAW files, which is again corrected when shooting JPGs.

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSLight fall-off at 24mm

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSLight fall-off at 240mm

Macro

The Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS isn't claimed to be a macro lens, offering a minimum focusing distance of 50cm at 24mm and 80cm at 240mm, with a maximum magnification of 0.27x. The following example demonstrates how close you can get to your subject at 240mm, in this case a Compact Flash memory card.

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSSClose-up performance

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 FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens, Sony employed an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades, which has resulted in quite appealing bokeh in our view. We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we've included several 100% crops for your perusal.

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS
   
Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS

Sharpness

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

Entry Tags

review, samples, test, sample images, lens, compact system camera, mirrorless, csc, jpg, jpgs, super-zoom, full frame, sample, full-frame, super zoom, 35mm, sony a7r, superzoom, a7, sony a7, a7r, Sony, a7s, 35mm full frame, sony fe, 10x, sony a7s, FE 24-240mm, Sony FE 24-240mm f3.5-6.3 OSS

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