Sony FE 24mm F2.8 G Review
The Sony FE 24mm F2.8 G is a tiny, lightweight wide-angle prime lens with a premium finish and feel. Its main selling points are undoubtedly its excellent build quality, retro feel, tiny size and weight, and fast auto-focusing.
A traditional aperture ring is a feature that we love on any lens, and Sony's implementation of it on the 24mm F2.8 G is nigh on perfect.
It has a lovely action, positive movements between the 1/3rd aperture stops, and a pronounced gap between f/22 and the Auto setting that requires more pressure to move so that you can't inadvertently select it.
It also gets one up on the Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN by offering a dedicated switch on the lens barrel that allows you to de-click the aperture ring for video use, making it more suited to movie-making than the Sigma alternative.
The Sony also beats the Sigma when it comes to auto-focusing, with a dual motor linear auto-focus system that is silent, very quick, and virtually 100% reliable.
It doesn't offer the same macro capabilities as the Sigma 24mm F3.5, though, which can shoot at 1:2 magnification at just 11cms away from your subject - the Sony FE 24mm is much more modest in this regard.
This lens is a great performer optically, being pin-sharp throughout virtually all of the frame, even when shooting wide-open at f/2.8.
Vignetting is a little heavy wide-open, but chromatic aberrations and the bokeh is nice enough for what is after all only a f/2.8 maximum aperture lens.
Unfortunately this lens has one big optical flaw, notably very, very obvious barrel distortion when shooting Raw files. The JPEGs are fine as the camera body automatically applies corrections, but Raw shooters need to be prepared to do a lot of post-processing to remove it.
This lens' most obvious rival, the Sigma 24mm F3.5, has the main advantages of offering even better build quality, closer macro focusing, and it's significantly cheaper, too, especially in the UK.
On the other hand, the Sony 24mm F2.8 is smaller and lighter than the Sigma, offers a faster maximum aperture, faster and quieter auto-focusing, a better designed lens hood, and extra features like the declickable aperture ring and the focus hold button. It also doesn't suffer from the same high levels of barrel distortion in the RAW files as the Sony.
Both are excellent lenses with their own particular strengths - the Sigma is better for macro, the Sony is better for video, the Sigma is even better built, the Sony is even more compact, the Sigma is cheaper, the Sony has more features.
At first glance it may seem like a carbon copy of the Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN, but the Sony FE 24mm F2.8 G offers enough differences to justify being considered on its own terms as a small, compact, high-performing wide-angle prime lens that's perfect as a walkaround option for every-day and all-day use.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||3.5|