Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM II Hands On Review // Quality Without Compromise
So this is the new sony. 24, 70 millimeter, f, 2.8 g master 2, which lets be honest, is probably a lens that almost everybody is going to want right now and thats, because just like this sony, 7200 gm2, we checked out a couple of months ago. I got it right up there on the shelf. I use it all the time sony has managed to drastically reduce the weight on this lens, while simultaneously throwing in a ton of new features that honestly, i didnt expect at all to see on this lens. My wife sally and i will be posting a ton of new images as well from this, as well as bts over on our ig account, so in case youre not following us. There yet definitely go check that out. Hit me up in the comments with your thoughts on this lens and, if theres, a comparison that you want to see but lets break down: sonys newest 24 to 70, f, 2.8. Zoom lens all right. So this is the new lens. Oh wow, can you tell the difference? Oh my gosh, yes, its much smaller, its more lightweight, oh, its smoother aperture, dial on there locking mechanism. Oh, try that focus smooth yeah, so you can do smooth or tight, and obviously i want to keep it on smooth because im zooming constantly. This is amazing, its super small. So when i first got this in, i definitely expected it to be lighter, based on the numbers that i had seen, but it is smaller to the point where it almost feels more, like tamrons, 28 to 75 millimeter and literally its within two millimeters from that lens.
Although it does keep the 82 millimeter front, filter thread from sonys other lenses, its a good amount smaller than the 24 to 70., but whats crazy – is that there is so much extra hardware in this sony that isnt in the tamron. So i honestly have no idea how sony managed to cram so much in this lens without making it longer and heavier than it is so. The numbers are this: it is 22 lighter. It goes from 886 grams on the old sony 24 to 70 to 695. On the new one and thats, a third of a pound lighter, which is really noticeable theres, also four xd linear motors 11 circular aperture blades, and combine that with linear response manual focus. So one feature i did expect to see was this: aperture ring weve seen it on so many of sonys lenses. It is fully de clickable as well, if you want to with a switch plus, if you dont use it all that much which honestly i dont you can actually lock it into place. You dont have to worry about accidentally shifting it at all. You do have two custom buttons that you can program inside the camera itself. Now something i did not expect to see was this. This basically allows you its a switch that goes between tight and smooth, and it allows you to adjust the tension on the zoom ring to make it easier to zoom. So from my experience, if you set it to tight, it actually more closely resembles like the old 24 to 70, maybe a little bit tighter a little bit weightier feeling.
However, if you rotate it too smooth or switch that to smooth it is so easy to actually move and not so much that, like gravity is going to do anything, you have to actually change this or physically pull on it or something like that. Something to note, though, is if youre using nd filters. I was kind of worried that if, by just rotating those variable nd filters, i would zoom it does not. You have to actually kind of pull or push on it to make that happen, so you can switch it either way, but actually on the gimbals. I really liked having it to that smooth function, because every time im trying to zoom, i dont want to put a lot of torque on the gimbal itself, so it made it much easier to rotate that and even sally said that even for photos she liked it. Like that, so i really actually appreciated having that functionality on this lens way more than i thought Music. Now this isnt a macro lens, but it does close focus quite a bit more than the last generation. So it actually goes from point two four times magnification, which is pretty bad up to point three two times. This is a pretty big difference and it might make some decent improvements if youre using this for anything close, focusing now, if youre using this for video, especially if you shoot like handheld or gimbal. This was actually a pretty big upgrade to me.
So what i first started noticing is that yeah, a third of a pound thats a pretty big weight reduction, but it also helps a lot with the center of gravity when you have this on the camera, so as im zooming, especially on a gimbal, i am not Making that adjustment as much so i found that i could basically balance the like 35 millimeters and zoom as much as i wanted and really not affect that balance as much as i was on like this old version, which is much heavier so check this out. This is the old 24 to 70 and i am right now balanced at 24 millimeters. If i throw on this new lens right here, it is way off bound, even if im at 70 millimeters its still camera heavy thatll, show you how much less weight this has an impact when youre actually using this on a gimbal. I have to move this forward. A lot to even balance it out, and this is at 70 millimeters if i go to 24, its a massive massive difference before you get that center of gravity shift, and especially with that new smooth zoom. That made a big difference for me in practicality. Focus breathing is also extremely minimal on this lens, and this is without the new, like focus. Breathing compensation feature turned on so, if youre actually shooting video with this lens, it is probably a pretty big upgrade for you compared to a lot of other lenses on the market.
So talking about the image quality first thing you probably notice is going to be sharpness. We definitely shot with this pretty much wide open the entire time and you will not have any issues doing that because it is tack sharp, like you, can see the individual threads on the lamborghinis seat, stitching from like six feet away kind of sharp. So if youre pixel peeping, though and youre doing that, like crazy in the center im going to say compared to the old one im, not really seeing a huge improvement over the last one, the corners do seem a bit better, but in real life. This lens is plenty sharp, wide open, even with high resolution cameras like the sony a1 that we were using in these tests. Now, if you do want to also check out like that background, bokeh area, you have an 11 blade aperture, which is producing some really really soft. Circular bokeh. You can also see vignetting at f 2.8, but its par for the course and seems to go away by f4. Now, if youve ever seen sally – and i shoot you know that we love shooting into the sun – and i know thats – not everybodys cup – of tea there. But thats how we love to do it, and this handles flare really really well its one of the better lenses that ive tested. You still get enough to get that kind of softer look, which is what we really like shooting, but you dont have any of those crazy, artifacts or color shifts.
Contrast still looks really good, so yeah, while this is probably one of the best quality 24 to 70 lenses on the market, its mostly a small improvement from some other really good lenses like the old 24 to 70 and thats, mostly because these old generation lenses were Just really really good, so i wanted to jump in here and give a little bit of a photographers perspective from a real world shooting situation, and you guys obviously know i love to shoot outside in rough lighting conditions. I love harsh sunlight and i love shooting backlit, and this is where you would notice a bad lens would exhibit you know less contrast, more chromatic aberration and where would create that bad bokeh and honestly, this lens performed really really well. I went back. I looked at my images, you know. As i was editing and honestly, i saw zero chromatic aberration. I had plenty of contrast in the image and i had no artifacting, which is incredible. The bokeh was beautiful. It was soft im loving that 11 blade aperture. That sony threw in here and typically thats, not a strong suit of a zoom lens, and this lens just proved that you can do it its beautiful boca. I love it was super super smooth. Another thing i noticed is that less distortion, you know im a wedding photographer. I shoot a lot of family portraits at 24 millimeters and you have you know, uncle bob and aunt betty on the ends and typically you cannotice that they are distorted, and this lens i tried to look for it.
I was editing and i did not find it at all. It was incredible, so another thing i wanted to mention was the autofocus performance of this lens, obviously its a sony. I say in pretty much every sony, video that you know they do an incredible job with autofocus i was shooting with the a1, which i love and i was shooting you know obviously, 30 frames per. Second, i had the model walking towards me fairly quickly. I had her do some spins and not one frame was out of focus, nothing missed. That is extremely impressive for me, so obviously, sony has thrown in some pretty big autofocus upgrades into this. It is using four of the xd linear motors, which are pretty much silent to my ears and yeah. It was absolutely smooth, especially in video, where it matters a bit more. I never had any weird jitters and its just lightning fast and again completely silent, but then again it wasnt, like i had any big issues with the last generation lens. So i did a few rack focus tests to see if i could notice like a speed difference between them, so that rack focus took almost half a second on this and was 30 40 faster on this its not that this isnt better. It is definitely better, but if you cant focus on either one of these lenses, its probably user error. So the question is: should you consider buying this lens and if you already have like a 24 to 70, especially like the old g master lens, which is already really good? I mean the image quality, its definitely better, but i think were reaching the point where its pretty marginable and tougher to justify same kind of thing with autofocus, where its definitely improved and smoother and silent.
But again its not like. I really had issues with the old land so kind of hard to justify for that. There are a few things that stood out to me, though the more i used it and yeah the size and the weight is gon na, be one of them, and maybe sony knows that theres, just only so much they can do with the quality since their other Lenses are already so good, so theyve been focusing on size and weight with these new zooms. Like this one and the 7200 i mean the difference is enough to really notice on a full day shoot, especially if its on a gimbal, if youre holding this thing a lot of the time – and i ended up – really liking this smooth zoom function. Plus you have the better close, focusing and a lot of improved features on this. So no, i wouldnt upgrade this lens just for the quality, but the usability on this lens meant that i really wanted to use it so much more and it meant i wasnt wanting lenses like the tamron 28 to 75, just for the smaller size. In fact, if you have that lens, this is now going to be a great upgrade to that lens right here. But let me know what you guys think on this lens.