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I am proud of the photos on this blog. I am also proud to say that I have personally taken nearly all of the 3200+ pictures that I’ve run.
Many of you have told me you follow the blog because of
the great writing my photography, so I like to update you on photography news that I think is important interesting from time to time, especially when I acquire some new gear. Hopefully that’s ok for those of you who follow me more for the travel 🙂
With that said, I got a new lens. A nice new lens. And….it. is. a. MONSTER.
I currently have two camera bodies: one with a full frame sensor (Sony a7rII) and the other with a crop sensor (Sony a6300). I have four lenses: a 16-35mm f4 wide-angle zoom, a 55mm f1.8 prime, 90mm f2.8 macro, and a 70-200 f4 telephoto zoom. Recently I had the honor of covering two very somber events for a local news organization. While preparing I found that I had a bit of a hole in my focal lengths, the crucial 24-70mm range. Being able to go from a fairly wide shot to a short telephoto shot in a matter of a wrist turn is essential for a photojournalism assignment. To mitigate this, I rented the Sony 24-70mm f4 for the occasion and affixed it to my a7rII (the 70-200 went on my a6300, giving me an effective range of 105-300mm). I really enjoyed the flexibility the 24-70 gave me! It also got me thinking: could I just bring one lens in my travel bag and leave the 16-35, 55, and 90mm at home? Hmmmm…
Sony recently announced their G Master series of prime and zoom lenses and the world took notice. The world also speculated the lenses were being designed for an up and coming super pro-level camera that’s even better than the a7 series. These lenses would get away from the smaller and lighter design themes of the early FE mount lenses and make no compromises. Blah blah marketingspeak, I said to myself.
I started seeing some reviews of the Sony 24-70 f2.8 G Master lens, and words like “masterpiece” and “so sharp it literally cut my arm off (ok that’s not a quote)” made me take a really close look. After my experience with the 24-70 lens that I rented, I started looking very closely at the 24-70 G Master. Maintaining a constant f2.8 aperture throughout the focal length range was important for me because I shoot some sports stuff indoors where there is very little available light. I also place a huge premium on sharpness. After a few good months selling some prints and doing some freelance work, I made the jump and purchased the lens last week!
When I say Sony made no compromises on things like size and weight, I mean it. This thing is a TANK.
Weighing in at just under two pounds (31.25oz) and 5.3″ long (136mm), this lens feels sturdy, strong, and of premium quality. The zoom and focus rings are rubberized and easy to grip. As you see above, just below the G emblem, there’s a focus lock button on the left side of the lens. What I love about Sony cameras are the endless customization options, and as such you can even map this button to activate Eye Autofocus, one of the best features of the Sony Alpha cameras.
There really isn’t much more to the lens on the outside, other than a switch to go from autofocus to manual focus and a switch to lock the zooming mechanism. On the inside, though, it’s pretty impressive. 18 lens elements arranged in 13 groups align to make some beautiful images and 9 circular aperture blades are designed for very pleasant bokeh.
The front element is truly massive, requiring an 82mm thread filter for things like polarizers and ND filters. My filters are all for a 77mm thread, so dang it I’ll have to get new ones (those were probably due for an upgrade anyway honestly).
Is the Sony 24-70 G Master too big?
It’s a heavy lens, no doubt, but it didn’t feel out of place on my a7rII. It definitely felt too big on my a6300, but that’s a tiny camera body so of course it did. When they announced the specs of the lens many wondered if it was too big to put on a tripod with one of these smaller cameras like the a6300 and honestly yeah I think it could be. I didn’t hesitate for a second putting my a7rII on a tripod with the GM lens attached, but I would worry about putting that much stress on the lens mount of my a6300. As far as handholding goes, the lens is definitely weighty but it balances surprisingly well on the a7rII. The a6300’s body is so light that I really just felt like I was holding the lens itself.
Well that’s great, where are some image samples?!
You’ll have to wait until the next post, this post was just to whet your whistle a bit 🙂