Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G Review

February 21, 2024 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


Sony's first significant new announcement for 2024 is - wait for it - yet another standard zoom, with the FE 24-50mm F2.8 G (SEL2450G) joining the increasingly crowded roster of such lenses.

This is officially the most compact and lightest Sony standard zoom with a fast maximum aperture of F2.8, though, so it does at least have a unique selling point that warrants its release.

Nay-sayers may quickly point out that 50mm is a pretty short maximum focal length for a so-called standard zoom, but it does at least start at a wider-than-usual 24mm, and therefore covers the four classic prime focal lengths of 24mm, 28mm, 35mm and 50mm in a single fast lens.

It produces some very nice bokeh effects thanks to the almost circular 11-blade iris diaphragm, vignetting is not too obvious and chromatic aberrations are almost non-existent. Even the close-up performance is pretty good, especially at the telephoto end, which adds even more to the lens' versatility.

There is one caveat with the image quality, though, namely the amount of distortion correction that is being applied in-camera to remove barrel distortion at 24mm in particular. If you shoot JPEG, you won't notice this at all as you can't actually turn off the distortion correction setting, but it's all too apparent when you open a RAW file in any software that doesn't have the correct lens profile in place.

Auto-focusing proved to be satisfyingly quick on the Sony Alpha A7 IV that we tested the lens with, and it offers a near silent experience that will suit movie shooters and candid street photographers alike.

Build quality is very good, despite the lightweight hybrid plastic and metal design, and this lens is also very usefully weather-proof thanks to seals around all the buttons and switches and a rubber gasket around the lens mount.

The aperture ring is a very welcome inclusion, especially as it can be de-clicked for video and also locked into place, and with a focus hold button and an AF/MF switch, this is a well featured lens.

Between them, Sony and the other third-party lens manufactures offer a bewildering choice of E-mount standard zoom lenses. Almost none of them can rival the diminutive size of this new optic, though, with the notable exception of the considerably lighter Tamron 20-40mm F/2.8 Di III VXD, which admittedly offers an even shorter telephoto reach.

A new standard zoom may not have been the lens that everyone was waiting for, but at least this one offers something notably different to the norm, rather than being an updated version of an existing lens.

If you're prepared to trade some telephoto reach in exchange for a fast F2.8 aperture in a compact and lightweight design, then the new FE 24-50mm F2.8 G is well worth considering.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 4