Sony 24-105mm f/4

FE G OSS Full-Frame E-Mount (2017-)

Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specs    Performance

Compared   Usage   Recommendations

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Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS (covers full-frame and APS-C, metal 77mm filter thread, 23.4 oz./662g, 1.25'/0.38m close focus, about $1,298). bigger. I'd get mine at Adorama, at Amazon, at B&H or at Crutchfield.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to my personally-approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Sony does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used lens. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

 

December 2017   Sony   Sony Lenses   Zeiss   Nikon   Canon   Fuji   LEICA   All Reviews

 

Sample Images

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Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

Islands Burgers ENC

Islands, 12:53 P.M., 19 December 2017. Sony A7R III with Sony 24-105mm f/4 G at 105mm at f/5.6 at 1/250 at Auto ISO 100, as shot. bigger or camera-original © JPG.

 

Fanco's Flowers ENC

Franco's Flowers, 1:42 P.M., 19 December 2017. Sony A7R III with Sony 24-105mm f/4 G at 26mm at f/8 hand-held at 1/30 at Auto ISO 100, as shot. bigger or camera-original © JPG.

 

Kona Coffee, Oceanside

Kona Coffee, 4:56 P.M., 18 December 2017. Sony A7R III with Sony 24-105mm f/4 G at 54mm at f/4 at 1/50 hand-held at Auto ISO 100, exactly as shot. bigger or camera-original © JPG.

 

Chevron

Chevron by Mimi's, 9 P.M., 15 December 2017. Sony A7R III with Sony 24-105mm f/4 G at 24mm at f/4 at 1/15 hand-held at Auto ISO 400, Perfectly Clear. bigger, full-resolution file or camera-original © JPG.

 

Ryan and his snowman

Ryan and the snowman he made at his school Christmas party, 12:13 P.M., 21 December 2017. Sony A7R III with Sony 24-105mm f/4 G at 65mm at f/4 at 1/125 at Auto ISO 800, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution file.

Super-sharp and great bokeh under any conditions!

 

Check in at orthodontist

Ryan and his MacBook Air, 1:35 P.M., 17 December 2017. Sony A7R III with Sony 24-105mm f/4 G at 78mm at f/4 at 1/125 at Auto ISO 3,200, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution © file.

Check in at orthodontist

Crop from above. bigger or full-resolution © file.

 

Introduction

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Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

Good   Bad   Missing

Adorama Pays Top Dollar for Used Gear

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

I buy only from these approved sources. I can't vouch for ads below.

This Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS is the world's best midrange zoom. It offers spectacular optical performance as well as first-rate mechanical construction at half the price of similar lenses, and it's smaller, lighter and has better ergonomics than the more expensive lenses. It is a superb lens at a reasonable price, a weather-resistant baby version of the huge 24-70mm f/2.8 GM.

This is a professional lens at a consumer price!

In fact, it's a better lens than the older and similar-looking 24-70mm f/2.8 GM because this lens is just as tough and weather-resistant, adds 50% more zoom range and optical stabilization, and does it in a smaller, lighter package with less flare and tighter macro focusing for half the price. Bravo!

While f/2.8 was helpful when shooting film back in the 1980s, digital has such great high-ISO performance that f/4 is more than fast enough for hand-holding in any light, and bokeh is very similar between f/4 and f/2.8 — while the size, weight, zoom range, stabilization and price difference is huge.

The Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS is ultra sharp, much sharper than the dinky ZEISS FE 24-70mm f/4 OSS at 24mm in the corners and sharper than the ZEISS 16-35mm from 24~35mm. We may safely forget those old Zeiss lenses from earlier this decade.

This Sony is also smaller, lighter and easier to use than the Canon 24-105/4 L II, and once-great Nikon doesn't even make a 24-105mm lens.

Bravissimo, Sony!

 

Good

Ultrasharp at every setting, especially wide-open at f/4.

Excellent bokeh.

Constant f/4 at all focal lengths.

Very fast and silent autofocus.

Focus lock button.

Metal filter thread.

Unusually solid and precise construction.

Bargain price for this level of optical and mechanical performance.

 

Bad

Nothing.

 

Missing

No focus or depth-of-field scales.

 

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G. bigger.

 

Format

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

This is a full-frame lens and I'm reviewing it as such.

It works great on APS-C cameras and you may make the usual inferences for them. I never suggest using full frame normal zooms on APS-C; you pay a huge premium in size and money for a full frame lens, and most of its image is simply wasted with the cropped sensors of APS-C cameras. For APS-C cameras, use an APS-C lens like the ZEISS 16-70/4 which offers a more appropriate zoom range in a smaller package for less money. Heck, for APS-C consider the 16-50mm PZ for the small size and weight for which you went mirrorless in the first place.

 

Compatibility

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Compatibility   Specifications

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This works on all Sony E-mount cameras, full-frame and APS-C crop-sensor. This includes all the variations of NEX, A9-, A7-, A6xxx and A5xxx series cameras.

It will not work on any Sony A-mount DSLR or any Minolta MAXXUM 35mm SLR of any kind. Those use the old A mount which was actually the Minolta MAXXUM mount from 1987.

 

Specifications

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Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

 

Name

Sony calls this the FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS:

    FE: Full-frame coverage, E-mount.

    G: means Sony's nearly best, but not quite as physically tough as the GM "G Master" lenses — but this lens seems identical mechanically to the 24-70/2.8 GM.

    OSS: "Optical Steady Shot" Image Stabilization.

 

Optics

Sony 24-105mm f/4 Lens Construction

Sony 24-105/4 construction. ED, Advanced Aspherical and Aspherical elements. bigger.

17 elements in 14 groups.

4 aspherical elements, two of which Sony calls "Advanced Aspherical."

3 extra low dispersion elements.

Schmutz-resistant fluorine coated front element.

 

Diaphragm

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

Sony 24-105mm f/4. bigger.

9 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/22.

 

Focal Length

24-105mm.

When used on APS-C, it sees the same angle of view as a 35-150mm lens sees when used on a full-frame camera.

See also Crop Factor.

 

Angle of View

84º ~ 23º diagonal on full-frame.

61° ~ 15° diagonal on APS-C.

 

Autofocus

Internal focus.

No external movement as focussed, so no air or dust is sucked in.

Sony claims a Direct Drive Super Sonic Motor (DDSSM) system.

 

Close Focus

1.25 feet (0.38 meters).

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

1:3.2 (0.31 ×).

 

Stabilizer

Yes.

 

Filters

Metal 77mm filter thread.

 

Hood

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

Sony ALC-SH152 hood for 24-105mm f/4. bigger.

ALC-SH152 hood included.

 

Case

Case included.

 

Size

3.28" maximum diameter × 4.46" extension from flange.

83.4mm maximum diameter × 113.3mm extension from flange.

 

Weight

23.350 oz. (662.0 g) actual measured weight.

Rated 23.4 oz. (663 g).

 

Included

Lens (SEL24105G).

ALC-F77S front and ALC-R1EM rear cap.

ALC-SH152 hood.

Case & strap.

 

Announced

Wednesday, 25 October 2017.

 

Shipping since

Mid-December 2017.

 

Sony Model Number

SEL24105G.

 

Price, USA

$1,298, October ~ December 2017.

 

 

Performance

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

 

Overall   Autofocus   Breathing   Bokeh   Distortion

Ergonomics   Falloff   Filters   Flare & Ghosts

Lateral Color Fringes   Macro   Mechanics

Sharpness   Spherochromatism

Stabilization   Sunstars

 

Overall

Performance          top

This Sony 24-105 4 is the most practical high-quality zoom you can get for your Sony. Everything works great and all my pictures are super-sharp and well exposed.

 

Autofocus

Performance          top

Autofocus is fast and completely silent.

There is a single focus lock button that's a Godsend; hold it to lock focus.

The diaphragm operation is also completely silent.

 

Manual Focus

performance          top

Manual focus is electronic; the focus ring is only connected to the camera's computers.

Slide the switch to MF and you're in Manual Focus.

On most Sony cameras, set "DMF" as the focus mode (usually via your Fn button) and you'll have instant manual override just by turning the ring in what otherwise works like the AFS mode.

 

Focus Breathing

Performance          top

Focus breathing is the image changing size as focused in and out. It's important to cinematographers because it looks funny if the image changes size as focus gets pulled back and forth between actors. If the lens does this, the image "breathes" by growing and contracting slightly as the dialog goes back and forth.

I don't see any breathing, making this ideal for movies — if you can get around the odd electronic focus ring. I doubt you'll get good results with a pro follow-focus rig since the ring isn't actually connected to the focus mechanism and therefore won't reproduce the same focus as you return the ring to the same spot.

 

Bokeh

Performance          top

Bokeh, the feel or quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to how far out of focus they are, is excellent. Backgrounds just melt away.

Here are samples at headshot distance:

Sony 24-105 2.8 Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station and bee, 8:50AM, 19 December 2017. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolutions images properly).

 

Sony 24-105 2.8 Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station, 8:50AM, 19 December 2017. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolutions images properly).

 

Distortion

Performance          top

The Sony 24-105/4 G has no visible distortion as shot on Sony cameras which correct it by default. My A7R III won't let me turn off the distortion correction.

For ultra-critical uses you can correct the tiny amount of residual distortion with these values in Photoshop's lens distortion filter.

These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

On Full-Frame

Correction factor as shot on A7R III with its Correction ON

24mm
+0.50
35mm
-0.80
50mm
-0.80
70mm
-0.50
105mm
-0.50

© 2017 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Ergonomics

Performance          top

This is an easy lens to hold and shoot.

Zooming is perfect. It can be zoomed with a strong finger, and it's easy with two fingers. It's smooth and well damped.

There's no creep, and it's almost as easy to zoom when pointed straight up or down.

Zooming is well spaced; it's easy to set precise framing anyplace in the range.

Focus is an electronic encoder ring. It turns freely, and what it does depends on how you have your camera set.

The switches fall right under my thumb.

Bravo!

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

Sony 24-105mm f/4 at 24mm. bigger.
Sony 24-105mm f/4 at 105mm. bigger.

 

Falloff

Performance          top

Falloff is invisible with the camera's default "Shading Correction" ON.

 

Filters, use with

performance          top

There's no need for thin filters.

Go ahead and use your standard rotating polarizer and grad filters.

I can use fat 77mm filter and get no vignetting at 24mm on full-frame, and I can stack filters at longer settings on full frame.

Avoid polarizers at the 24mm setting with any lens; the sky's natural polarization may appear as a dark band across the sky.

 

Flare & Ghosts

Performance          top

There is no flare or ghosting to speak of; it's much less than the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM

 

Lateral Color Fringes

Performance          top

There are no color fringes as shot on Sony cameras, most of which by default correct for any that may be there.

 

Macro

Performance          top

It gets even tighter than the 24-70/2.8 GM!

Macro performance is very good; it gets very close and is very sharp:

 

Sony 24-105mm f/4 Sample Image

Kienzle Flieger Automat 800/2843, 21 December 2017. Sony A7II, Sony 24-105mm f/4 G at 105mm at f/8 at 1/320 at Auto ISO 100. bigger or camera-original © file.

Here's a crop:

Sony 24-105mm f/4 Sample Image

1,200 x 900 pixel crop from above. bigger or camera-original © file.

If this is about 6" (15cm) wide on your screen, the complete image would print at 26 × 40" (67 × 100 cm) at this same high magnification. If this is about 12" (30cm) wide on your screen, the complete image would print at 53 × 80" (4.5 × 6 feet or 1.3 × 2 meters) at this same high magnification.

 

Wide-open at f/4

Spherochromatism appears wide-open:

Sony 24-105mm f/4 Sample Image

Kienzle Flieger Automat 800/2843, 21 December 2017. Sony A7II, Sony 24-105mm f/4 G at 105mm at f/4 at 1/1,250 at Auto ISO 100. bigger or camera-original © file.

And a crop:

Sony 24-105mm f/4 Sample Image

1,200 x 900 pixel crop from above. bigger or camera-original © file.

If this is about 6" (15cm) wide on your screen, the complete image would print at 26 × 40" (67 × 100 cm) at this same high magnification. If this is about 12" (30cm) wide on your screen, the complete image would print at 53 × 80" (4.5 × 6 feet or 1.3 × 2 meters) at this same high magnification.

 

Mechanical Quality

Performance          top

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

Sony 24-105mm f/4. bigger.

This Sony 24-105 is made very well, much better than other lenses for the same price. It's made as well as the $2,200 24-70/2.8 GM, with lots of metal all over.

 

Front Bumper

None.

 

Filter Threads

Metal.

 

Hood Bayonet Mount

Metal.

 

Front Barrel

Metal.

 

Focus Ring

Rubber-covered solid metal.

 

Mid Barrel

Section with focus lock buttons: plastic.

 

Zoom Ring

Rubber-covered metal.

 

Rear Barrel

Plastic.

 

Identity

Little raised silver-lettered plate glued to top of barrel.

Dark gray paint on bottom rear of barrel.

 

Internals

Seems like mostly metal, with metal cams.

 

Moisture Seal at Mount

Yes.

 

Mount

Dull chromed metal.

 

Markings

Focal-length settings are engraved into the metal and filled with paint on the zoom ring, while other markings are painted.

 

Serial Number

A sticker glued to the bottom of the barrel - not an acceptable way to serialize any product that sells for more than $10, but the $2,200 24-70/2.8 GM does it the same way.

 

Date Code

None found.

 

Noises When Shaken

Very mild clunking.

 

Made in

China.

 

Sharpness

Performance          top

This 24-105 is ultra sharp at every setting everywhere in the image. Yes, it's better than the ZEISS lenses.

It is just a hair softer in the far corners wide-open, but only slightly. You won't see this anywhere but in the lab. What you will see is softening if you aren't in focus in the real world where nothing is flat. The only limitations will be your skill as a photographer.

Here are Sony's MTF charts at f/4 and f/8 at 10 cyc/mm (heavy) and 30 cyc/mm (thin), radial (solid) and tangential (dotted):

Sony 24-105/2.8 MTF
Sony 24-105/2.8 MTF
MTF at 24mm.
MTF at 105mm

 

Spherochromatism

Performance          top

Spherochromatism, also called "color bokeh" by laymen, can cause colored fringes on out-of-focus highlights, usually seen as green fringes on backgrounds and magenta fringes on foregrounds with fast, long lenses shot wide open.

It is an advanced form of chromatic aberration in a different dimension than lateral color. Spherochromatism is most commonly seen in fast lenses of moderate focal length when shooting contrasty items at full aperture. It goes away as stopped down.

Sony 24-105mm f/4 Spherochromatism

Sony 24-105mm f/4 Spherochromatism. The watch is tilted so the right side is farther away than the left. Sony A7II, Sony 24-105mm f/4 G at 70mm at f/4 at 1/250 at Auto ISO 100. bigger or camera-original © file.

 

Sony 24-105mm f/4 Spherochromatism

1,200 x 900 pixel crop from above. See how the white hands (closer) have red fringes and other markings (farther away) have blue fringes? bigger or camera-original © file.

This Sony has a relatively minor dose of cyan/reddish-orange spherochromatism. This is great for portraits since it helps smooth blue and green backgrounds of sky and foliage, but bad for cinematography since it can lead to weird green fringes on out-of-focus bright areas and points of light.

 

Image Stabilization

Performance          top

Image stabilization works fine. I seem to be able to hand hold it under any conditions I need.

 

Sunstars

Performance          top

Due to its rounded diaphragm blades, this 24-105 makes softer sunstars on brilliant points of light, and only at the smaller apertures.

It does make some decent sunstars, but only under ideal conditions.

 

Compared

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Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

 

Versus the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM

The 24-70mm f/2.8 GM is an older lens that's twice as expensive, weighs 50% more, can't zoom as far and lacks stabilization. Both of these lenses are made just as well and are as sharp as each other.

The f/2.8 lens is a stop faster, but I don't find that important with digital cameras and the insane ISOs at which they still make great pictures.

This 24-105mm lens is much easier to carry all day and zooms much more easily, makes tighter macro shots, has less flare, adds optical stabilization and zooms 50% longer — and costs half as much.

I have no idea why some people get excited about lenses that only go to 70mm; 105mm is far more useful.

I'd forget about the f/2.8, unless you are the sort of guy who likes to flaunt his fancy lenses more than he likes to show off great photos. The 2.8 might be a hair sharper in the corners at 2.8 in the lab, but the real-world photos of the 24-105 are at least as good when you add stabilization and the better zoom range.

The 2.8 is more for sports and action pros who need 2.8 for fast shutter speeds even in the dark, and may appreciate its possibly even faster focussing. For day to day shooting, I prefer this 24-105.

 

Versus the 24-240mm OSS

The 24-240mm OSS is a less expensive, lighter-duty lens that weighs a little more, and has over double the zoom range.

These are different lenses; get the 24-240 if you don't want to carry a separate tele, and get this 24-105mm if you want a higher-quality lens to cover only to 105mm.

 

Versus the ZEISS FE 24-70/4

The ZEISS FE 24-70/4 is a smaller, older, lighter weight and lighter duty lens. It doesn't zoom as far, macro isn't as close and it isn't as sharp at wide angles.

The ZEISS is a mostly plastic lens inside a thin metal vanity shell; this Sony is a much tougher lens.

This Sony is significantly sharper in the corners wide-open at 24mm than the ZEISS.

This Sony has a focus lock button, the f/4 ZEISS does not.

Again, I have no idea why some people get excited about lenses that only go to 70mm; 105mm is far more useful.

I'd pass on the Zeiss unless you're willing to forgo a lot of zoom range and performance to save 8.4 oz. (237g) around your neck.

 

Versus Canon

This is a dumb comparison, since the best lens to use is the one that fits your camera. Don't waste time with adapters since all they do is mess things up. For Sony, use this Sony lens.

The Canon 24-105/4 L II is a marvelous professional L lens, but it's also much heavier (4.6 oz./133g) than the Sony 24-105.

They perform as well optically; each is superb.

On a Sony camera, the Canon 24-105 will distort much more since the camera can't compensate for it, and only the Sony lens' optical stabilizer will work.

The Sony's ergonomics are much better; it's easy to zoom while the Canon has a very stiff zoom ring which is a pain to move after a day of shooting.

This Sony only has electronic manual focus-by-wire, while the Canon has a real direct-connected manual focus ring with instant manual override — no menus or digital foolishness needed as with this Sony.

This Sony has one focus lock button, absent on the Canon.

 

Usage

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Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS

Sony 24-105mm f/4. bigger.

 

AF/MF

Leave the slide switch at AF (autofocus). Use MF, Manual Focus, only if you want to disable autofocus.

On most Sony cameras, set "DMF" as the focus mode (usually via your Fn button) and you'll have instant manual override just by turning the ring in what otherwise works like the AFS mode.

 

OPTICAL STEADY SHOT

Leave this ON.

I'd only turn it off if I was on a very sturdy tripod, and then only if I was making long exposures. Otherwise the stabilizer often can help reduce vibration from the tripod.

 

Recommendations

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Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

 

Overall

I love this lens. it's the best midrange zoom available for full-frame Sony cameras if you live in the real world where you have to carry your own gear all day. This 24-105mm is a pro-level lens at a consumer price! Someone at Sony is starting to take the photography market seriously, bravo!

The 24-70/2.8 GM is more of a showboat lens for people who don't actually use it (or who shoot pro sports and action all day and night), and the 24-240mm is a lighter-duty lens with longer range but less optical performance and durability.

 

Protective Filter

I use a clear (UV) protective filter instead of a cap. I only use a cap sometimes when I throw this in my bag, otherwise I leave a clear filter on my lens at all times and that's it.

The best protective filter is the 77mm Hoya multicoated HD3 UV which uses hardened glass and repels dirt and fingerprints.

For less money, the B+W 77mm 010 is an excellent filter, as is the multicoated version and the basic multicoated Hoya filters or the 77mm Nikon Clear (NC - UV), but the Hoya HD3 is the toughest and the best.

Filters last a lifetime, so you may as well get the best since the Hoya HD3 stays cleaner than the others and will outlast this lens — and maybe you!

 

Where I'd get mine

I'd get my Sony 24-105 at Adorama, at Amazon, at B&H or at Crutchfield.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Sony does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used lens. I use the stores I do because they ship from secure remote warehouses where no one gets to touch your new lens before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken, Mrs. Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

 

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21 December 2017