Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G Review


Introduction

The Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G (SEL2450G) is a compact, lightweight and fast standard zoom lens for Sony Alpha full-frame E-mount mirrorless cameras.

It will also work with APS-C sensor cameras with an effective increase in focal length to 36-75mm due to the 1.5x crop factor. 

The optical construction features 16 elements in 13 groups including two ED (extra-low dispersion) elements and four standard aspherical elements.

It has a near-circular 11-blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image,

This dust and moisture resistant lens also has a fluorine coating on the front lens element to help prevent fingerprints and other contaminants.

It offer a minimum focusing distance of 19cm / 0.62ft with a maximum magnification of 0.33x and incorporates two linear motors for fast and quiet autofocusing.

The Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G lens will be available in April 2024 priced at £1150 / €1300 in the UK and Europe, respectively. It is made in Vietnam.

Ease of Use

Weighing in at just 440g /15.5 oz. and measuring 9.23cm in length, the hybrid metal and plastic bodied Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G is very light and compact for a standard zoom lens.

It proved to be a perfectly balanced partner for the the Alpha A7 IV camera that we tested it with, as shown in the photos below.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

It’s significantly lighter than all of its main rivals, which include amongst others the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II (695g), the Sony FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS (663g), and the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art (830g).

The recent Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G (488g) is only slightly heavier whilst offering a larger focal range, but it has a slower maximum aperture.

Only the much shorter Tamron 20-40mm F/2.8 Di III VXD (365g) and the quite old Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS (426g) weigh less.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

It’s important to note that his new lens does extend by an additional 2cms when zoomed from the maximum 50mm focal length to the 24mm focal length.

The overall build quality is very good, which is something of a relief given the high price-tag, with this very modern lens utilizing a hybrid metal and plastic construction.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

This lens has a sealed dust and moisture resistant design utilising silicon seals around all the buttons and switches and a rubber gasket around the lens mount, which makes it well-suited to life in both the field and the studio.

There’s also a a fluorine coating on the front lens element to help repel water, oil, and any other contaminants, as well as making it easier to clean.

It has a metal lens mount and accepts 67mm filters via metal threads.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

The Sony FE 24-50mm f/2.8 GM has a round Focus Hold Button which by default 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.

An alternative function can also be assigned to this button through the camera’s custom settings.

There is a ridged focus ring at the end of the lens. Manual focusing is possible by using the dedicated AF/MF switch to toggle between AF and MF.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

There are no hard stops at the ends of the range, making it harder to set focus at infinity. Polariser users should be pleased that the 67mm filter thread doesn’t rotate on focus.

The lens utilizes two Linear Motors for satisfyingly fast, smooth and precise auto-focusing, and it’s very quiet in operation making it well-suited to shooting video.

An internal focusing design ensures that the overall lens length remains constant during focusing.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

When it comes to auto-focusing, this lens is a quick performer, taking around 0.15 second to lock onto the subject when mounted on the Sony Alpha A7 IV that we tested it with.

We didn’t experience any “hunting” at all, either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing virtually all of the time.

It’s also a very quiet performer, which makes this lens equally well-suited to both video recording and more candid stills shooting.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

This lens has a dedicated aperture ring with 1/3EV stops ranging from F2.8 to F22.

It can be switched between smooth and notched rotation using the dedicated Click On/Off switch on the bottom of the lens barrel.

There’s also an A (Auto) setting if you want to let the camera take control of the aperture.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

The zoom ring sits in the middle of the aperture and focusing rings and rotates through approximately 80 degrees. It has four different focal length markings – 24, 28, 35, and 50 mm.

This lens does not feature optical image stabilisation, so it relies on the camera body’s own built-in stabilisation, which is fine unless you’re an owner of an early Sony Alpha camera.

The Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G lens is supplied with a plastic petal-shaped lens hood (ALC-SH178) which rotates through 90 degrees then snaps into place (there’s no lock button as on some more premium hoods). There’s no case included with this lens.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

Focal Range

The 24mm focal length provides an angle of view of 84 degrees.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

24mm

The 50mm focal length provides an angle of view of 46 degrees.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

50mm

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not a problem for the Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G lens, even in areas of very high contrast.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

24mm

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

50mm

Vignetting

With the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/2.8, there is some light fall-off in the corners, requiring you to stop down by at least 3 f-stops to completely prevent it.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

24mm / JPEG

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

24mm / RAW

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

50mm / JPEG

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

50mm / RAW

Distortion

The Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G exhibits some barrel and pincushion distortion in the JPEG files, as you can see in the photos below, which will you need to correct in post-processing.

Note that Distortion Compensation is always set to Auto in-camera – the menu option is permanently disabled.

This is a good thing given the huge amount of distortion that is present if you open the RAW files in software that doesn’t have the correct lens profile, especially at the wide end of the zoom range.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

24mm / JPEG

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

24mm / RAW

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

50mm / JPEG

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

50mm / RAW

Macro

The Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G offers very good close-up performance for a standard zoom lens, with a close focus point of 19cm / 0.62ft from the sensor plane at 24mm and 30cm / 0.98ft at 50mm. It offers a maximum magnification of 0.30x when auto-focusing and 0.33x when manual focusing.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

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.

Sony have paid close attention to this aspect of lens use, employing an 11-segment diaphragm with rounded blades for more pleasing bokeh.

In our view, their efforts have been successful for a standard zoom lens – see the examples below to judge for yourself.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp the Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.



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