Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens Review
With excellent build quality, impressive image quality, a great general purpose focal length range and OSS (Optical SteadyShot) along with a modest size, weight and price, this is arguably the most versatile lens available for photographers using Sony’s highly regarded full-frame a-series cameras. If you could pack only one lens along with your camera for an anything-might-happen photo adventure, this would likely be your best option.
Focal Length Range
While subject framing can be adjusted by moving closer or farther away from the subject, it is far better to select subject distance based on the ideal perspective it provides and that means the focal length is used to create the final subject framing. The versatility to quickly adjust that framing is the big advantage that a zoom lens provides. Still, having the right focal lengths available in a zoom lens remains paramount.
While super zoom lenses tend to rule in this regard, designers must make sacrifices to include extreme focal length ranges in a single lens and those sacrifices typically negatively impact image quality. The 24-105mm focal length is not considered extreme by most, but it is relatively long (over 4x). Though this focal length range still traverses the designer-challenging wide angle through telephoto range, the image quality capabilities of this range have, historically speaking, remained excellent.
While having a long range of focal lengths is helpful, what those focal lengths are is even more important, situationally more important at least. This lens’ 24-105mm range covers a solid superset of the heart of the general purpose focal length range, which is roughly 28-70mm for a full frame camera.
As the “general purpose” term indicates, the usefulness of the 24-105mm range is exceedingly high and the complete list of uses for this range is beyond my compilation abilities
This lens is an ideal choice for landscape photography and landscape photographers will find compositions ideally captured using every focal length available in this lens. It is not difficult to create compelling landscape compositions using the 24mm perspective, while still providing emphasis on a foreground subject against an in-focus background with the viewer feeling a sense of presence in the scene. At the other end of the range, 105mm works great for modestly-compressed landscapes featuring distant subjects such as mountains.
This is a great focal length range for photographing people and it is ideal for studio portraiture, weddings, parties, events, documentaries, interviews, lifestyle, fashion, some sports, candids and group and environmental portraits. Use the longer end of the range for tightly-framed portraits and the shorter end for groups and environmental imagery.
This lens is a great choice for photojournalistic needs, it is ready to capture a wide range of product images and it is well-suited for commercial photography in general.
Do you travel? If so, this lens (especially with its small size and light weight) is perfectly suited for documenting your travels and capturing images that will look great adorning your walls. This lens is ready to capture interior and exterior architecture, cities, countrysides, etc.
Those on the APS-C (1.5x FOVCF) format will see an angle of view equivalent to 36-157.5mm on a full frame camera. This range is somewhat lacking from a wide angle perspective, but it has a very attractive long end. If your focal length needs gravitate toward the long end, a 24-105mm lens on an APS-C body will be very useful to you.
Here is an example of what this focal length range looks like:
At 24mm, the snowy scene appears to have great depth and at 105mm, the trees appear compressed.
The f/4 in the lens name refers to the lens’ max aperture opening, the relationship of lens opening to focal length. The lower the number, the more light the lens will allow to reach the sensor. Each “stop” in aperture change (examples: f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8, etc.) increases or reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor by a factor of 2x (a big deal).
An f/4 lens is one stop slower than what is typically found in the fastest zoom lenses covering the general purpose focal length range (and 1 stop wider at many focal lengths than typical APS-C format variable aperture kit lenses covering a similar range). However, a 1-stop narrower max aperture means that less glass is needed, resulting in lighter weight, smaller size and lower cost. A 1-stop narrower max aperture also means that there may be better options for stopping action in low light, such as the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens. I emphasize “action” as this lens’ image optical stabilization system (discussed soon) makes this lens even better suited to handheld low light non-action photography than a non-stabilized f/2.8 option. Of course, the subject speed and how rapidly that subject is crossing pixels in the frame makes low light capabilities situational.
The 105mm f/4 combination along with a relatively close subject and distant background is able to produce great subject separation by blurring away the background. Can you tell what is in this photo?
I didn’t think so. That is an example of the maximum background blur this lens can produce. That looks nice to me.
In a zoom lens, the max aperture will sometimes be stated as a range, indicating that the max aperture narrows as the focal length increases. This is not the case with the Sony FE 24-105 G OSS, as it features a constant f/4 max aperture. Manually-set wide open exposures can be retained and counted on throughout the entire zoom range.
Sony marketing touts their cameras as having IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization), but many of their lenses also feature OSS (Optical SteadyShot). While perhaps not immediately clear, these two stabilization systems are complementary: “5-axis image stabilization becomes available when used with α series bodies that feature built-in image stabilization.” [Sony] And, clear imagery is what this combo stabilization system delivers.
While moderately wide apertures may not be optimal under low light conditions, this lens’ optical image stabilization system can save the day in such conditions, significantly increasing the versatility of this lens, improving usability and, in many situations, considerably improving the image quality delivered.
A number of stops of assistance rating is often provided by a manufacturer, but in this case, Sony does not specify one for this lens. Shooting handheld, elbows not resting on my body, under ideal conditions (indoors on concrete), using a Sony a7R III, most of my 24mm images were sharp at 1/3 second. The keeper rate trailed off through .5 seconds with an occassional sharp image captured at 1 second. A longer focal length magnifies motion more, and the keeper rate at 105mm was decent at 1/6 second, moderate at 1/8 and very few sharp images were captured at longer exposures.
Those results tell me that this system does its job quite well as the numbers are far better than I could obtain without stabilization assistance. Photographing outside, perhaps in the wind or on unstable footing? Expect to need faster exposures than those I reported. But, also expect a similar amount of assistance from OSS as it is still similarly and significantly compensating for shake.
While OSS is great for reducing camera shake-caused blur in images, it is also very helpful for precise framing of subjects in the viewfinder. While OSS is active, drifting of framing is not an issue with the viewfinder view remaining well-controlled, not jumping at startup/shutdown and subject reframing being quite easily accomplished.
This OSS system is barely audible with only a faint whir heard with my ear nearly against the lens. Handheld video recording is nicely assisted by OSS and the stabilized composition also provides a still subject to the camera’s AF system, permitting it to do its job better.
Note that Sony recommends turning OSS off when using a tripod.
That this lens’ focal length range was going to be a big hit was immediately recognizable and the moderately wide, constant-max aperture was surely going to be quite useful, but a premium grade lens requires stellar image quality for success in the marketplace. As I hinted before, designing a lens that provides a focal length range starting at a wide angle and ranging into telephoto territory is challenging and this lens’ focal length range is especially so. So, I of course was highly interested to see if this 24-105mm f/4 lens would meet or exceed my expectations. The good news is that I really like what I see.
Overall, this lens is impressively sharp from full frame corner to full frame corner. If peripheral shading is excluded from the conversation, image quality from this lens gains little by being stopped down and, fortunately, gain is not needed. The corners are not perfect due to abberations that I’ll describe soon (most zoom lenses have these) and the long end corners are a mild exception to the sharpness description. While reasonably sharp wide open, 105mm corners do show some improvement at narrower apertures.
In addition to our standard lab tests, I like to share some real world examples. The images below are 100% resolution crops captured in RAW format using a Sony a7R III. These images were captured in uncompressed RAW format and processed in Capture One for Sony. Capture One processing settings include a natural creative style with a sharpness setting of “30” and no lens corrections. The a7R III RAW images were processed to 16-bit TIFF, cropped to show 100% resolution and output to 70-quality JPG images. The following examples are from the center of the frame.
This lens is turning in very sharp center-of-the-frame image quality and stopping down shows little benefit in that regard. Obviously, I shared two sets of 105mm results. That is because the longest focal lengths of a 24-105mm lens typically show a drop-off in sharpness and I wanted to prove to myself that this lens was really as good as I thought it was.
This lens appears to be mostly free of focus shift, where the plane of sharp focus moves forward or rearward as the aperture narrows, even when using manual focus and changing apertures after focusing at f/4. I see a slight focus shift rearward at 24mm, but the foreground still comes into modestly sharper focus at narrower apertures and especially so at f/11.
Next I’ll share some extreme full frame corner examples captured and processed similarly to the prior ones. These are top-right corner crops with the exception of the second 24mm f/4 crop being from the top left. Keep in mind that I am not able to focus the Sony a7R III in the extreme corners, so I am counting on a flat plane of focus.
In the corners at 24mm and 50mm f/4, I see very good (especially for a zoom lens) resolution with contrast improving at narrower apertures as vignetting is reduced. The 105mm results are not quite as impressive with lateral CA and vignetting combining to put a hurt on the f/4 results.
Vignetting captured by a camera with an imaging sensor sized to use the full lens-provided image circle is to be expected. Expect to see the strongest corner shading at the two focal length extremities, with, at f/4, about 3 stops at 24mm and 2 stops at 105mm, dropping to about 1.5 stops in the middle. At 24mm, as the aperture is narrowed, we see vignetting pushing deep into the corners, but remaining rather strong, appearing to be slight mechanical vignetting. For the balance of the focal length range, f/5.6 brings a roughly-1-stop of corner shading and f/8.0 brings a seldom-noticeable about-0.7 stops at 35mm down to about-0.5 stops at 105mm. Expect to see little change in this regard at f/11.0.
APS-C format imaging sensors will see essentially no corner shading.
As I have repeated many times, if lens elements refracted all visible wavelengths of light identically, a lens designer’s job would be a lot easier. Because they do not, we get aberrations caused by various wavelengths of light being magnified and focused differently.
Lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration) is an imperfection I readily notice. This shows as different colors of the spectrum being magnified differently with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing color fringing along lines of strong contrast running tangential (meridional, right angles to radii), where the greatest difference in the magnification of wavelengths exists. While lateral CA is usually easily corrected with software (often in the camera) by radially shifting the colors to coincide, it is of course better to not have it in the first place.
Let’s look at a worst-case example (100% crop from an extreme corner of an ultra-high resolution a7R III frame). These images are showing the top left corner.
There should be only black and white colors in these images and the additional colors are showing lateral CA. Here we see moderately-strong color fringing at 24mm, that diminishes substantially through the mid focal length range. At some point, the colors of the fringing reverse with the amount once again becoming more noticeable at 105mm. The amount of color fringing at the focal length extremes will be noticeable in some scenarios, but the amount is not great in comparison to similar lenses.
A relatively common lens aberration is axial (longitudinal, bokeh) CA, which causes non-coinciding focal planes of the various wavelengths of light, or more simply, different colors of light are focused to different depths. Spherical aberration along with spherochromatism, or a change in the amount of spherical aberration with respect to color (looks quite similar to axial chromatic aberration but is hazier) are other common lens aberrations to look for. Axial CA remains at least somewhat persistent when stopping down with the color misalignment effect increasing with defocusing while the spherical aberration color halo shows little size change as the lens is defocused and stopping down one to two stops generally removes this aberration.
In the real world, lens defects do not exist in isolation with spherical aberration and spherochromatism generally found, at least to some degree, along with axial CA. These combine to create a less sharp, hazy-appearing image quality at the widest apertures.
Here is a look at 100% crops captured with an a7R III at the wide, mid and long focal lengths.
What I’m looking for are fringing color differences seen in the out of focus areas of the foreground and background. At 24mm, I see some difference, but the amount is not strong. The difference is more obvious in the 50mm sample and even more so in the 105mm crop where a modest amount of this defect is showing.
A lens with many elements (this one has 17 in 14 groups) is likely to show some flare with a bright light in the frame. Especially with narrow apertures in use, this one does show noticeable flare effects, though thanks in part to Sony’s Nano AR Coating, the amount is not unusually large. Flare effects can be embraced, avoided or removal can be attempted. If not embraced, flare effects can be destructive to image quality and it is sometimes extremely difficult to remove these effects in post processing.
Coma is generally recognized by sharp contrast towards the center of an image and long, soft contrast transition toward the image periphery. Coma becomes quite visible mid-frame and in the corners of images captured at wide apertures and significantly resolves when the lens is stopped down. Astigmatism is another lens image quality attribute that is apparent in the corners and the pin-point stars in the night sky are a subject that makes these aberrations, along with some others, easily recognizable to me. Here are a trio of top-left corner crops.
In the 24mm sample, we see the brightest stars being stretched outward noticeably. The 50mm results are quite round and the 105mm results are not so good.
This lens has barrel distortion at the wide end that transitions into negligible distortion and on into pincushion distortion through the long end. That line can describe all of the current normal zoom lenses available including this one. The barrel distortion at 24mm is quite strong. By 35mm, mild pincushion is showing and by 50mm it is strong. The pincushion distortion increases further at 70mm but drops back to 50mm levels at 105mm. Linear distortion may be this lens’ biggest weakness.
Geometric distortion makes framing a scene with a straight horizon, such as the ocean, challenging as there are no lines parallel to the edges of the viewfinder or viewfinder gridlines. Cameras with electronic levels have a big advantage in overcoming this issue. Most modern lenses have lens correction profiles available for the popular image processing software and distortion can be easily removed using these, but distortion correction is destructive at the pixel level and this technique is seldom as good as using a distortion-free lens in the first place.
A general purpose zoom lens with a moderately wide f/4 max aperture is not going to be the best at blurring the background away. However, with a close subject and a distant background, telephoto compression can enable a rather serious background blur at 105mm. And, the quality of that blur appears relatively nice. Here are some f/11 (forcing aperture blade interaction) examples showing out of focus specular highlights.
In the first two examples, we see the nicely-rounded specular highlights with the background blur being smoother with less-noticeable concentric rings on the borders than the foreground blur. These are 50mm examples, but they are representative of the lens as a whole with the wide focal length results being somewhat harsher, though getting much blur at 24mm f/11 is not easy. The 24mm example shows what is possible.
This lens has an odd-numbered aperture blade count and thus, distant point light sources captured with a narrow aperture and showing a star-like effect will have 18 points – double the blade count. Each blade is responsible, via diffraction, for creating two points of the star effect. If the blades are arranged opposite of each other (an even blade count), the points on the stars will equal the blade count as two blades share in creating a single pair of points. The blades of an odd blade count aperture are not opposing and the result is that each blade creates its own two points. Nine blades times two points each create 18-point star effects and this lens creates these effects nicely.
Overall, from an optics perspective, this is a very strong-performing lens. While the linear distortion profile is strong and the hard vignetting in the corners at 24mm is slightly annoying, the sharpness this lens delivers is especially impressive.
The 24-105mm f/4 G lens’ AF system utilizes Sony’s Direct Drive SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor), which, mostly, I like a lot. It focuses accurately with very high consistency, it is quiet and focusing is internal.
Also, this lens can focus very fast. Unfortunately in this case, the speed of focusing is in part controlled by the camera and perhaps the only downside to this AF system is that, in AF-S mode, the Sony a7R III (it and the Sony a9 are best-available at review time) de-focuses the lens slightly before focusing on the subject, even if focusing at the same distance with the same subject, for an overall mediocre focus speed. Still, the overall focus speed is adequate for most uses and I would not hesitate to choose this lens for my most important uses.
Unique to a lens of this type is Sony’s inclusion of an AF hold button. While this feature is common on large telephoto lenses, Sony includes them on shorter focal length lenses as well and that is a very positive feature. While in continuous focus mode, this button can be pressed to lock focus at the currently selected focus distance, permitting a focus and recompose technique. This button also acts as a custom button (C5) and can be programmed to another function using the camera’s menu. Note that the owner’s manual indicates that “the focus hold button of this lens does not function with some camera models.” It fails to mention which cameras are not compatible, but … one would expect that the latest models support this feature.
FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is supported via Sony’s DMF (Direct Manual Focus) AF mode.
The manual focus ring is in my preferred position, forward of the zoom ring. This ring is nicely sized, it is very smooth and is ideally dampened with the 193° rotation amount adequate for precise manual focusing at all distances and focal lengths. There is little change in subject size as focus is adjusted even to full extents, an attribute especially valued for photographers intending to use focus stacking techniques, videographers pulling focus and anyone very-critically framing a scene.
While a distance window is not provided on the lens, a focus distance meter shows in the lower portion of Sony’s MILC (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera) electronic viewfinders during manual focusing.
While the parfocal attribute can be an individual-lens-specific attribute, the lens I evaluated was close to (if not) parfocal, with subjects appearing to remain in sharp focus as the lens was zoomed in and out.
With a 15.0″ (380mm) minimum focus distance and the related 0.31x maximum magnification, the Sony 24-105 G leads the class pack (and most of the other non-macro lenses) in its close-focusing capabilities.
ModelMFDMM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens17.7″(450mm)0.24x Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens15.7″(400mm)0.30x Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR Lens19.2″(488mm)0.21x Nikon 24-120mm f/4G AF-S VR Lens17.7″(450mm)0.24x Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM Art Lens17.7″(450mm)0.22x Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens15.0″(380mm)0.24x Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens15.7″(400mm)0.20x Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens15.0″(380mm)0.31x
Having a strong close-focusing capability is a great feature for this lens. Here is an example showing the maximum magnification this lens is capable of and, while I was capturing this sample image, I included an aperture comparison as well.
An about 4.25″ (108mm) subject fills the width of the frame at minimum focus distance. While the approximately 2″ (5 cm) diameter rose falls short, it does fill a substantial part of the image. Tons of small subjects await capture from this lens.
To reduce the minimum focus distance and thereby increase the maximum magnification, mount an extension tube behind this lens. Understand that infinity and long distance focusing are sacrificed with an ET in use, but the difference in minimum focus distance is substantial.
This lens is not compatible with Sony teleconverters.
Build Quality & Features
It is not hard to recognize this lens’ family resemblance.
In the comparison above, the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens is positioned to the right of the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens. Shrink the 24-70 and you see the 24-105.
The FE 24-105 f/4 G OSS lens has the Sony-characteristically-narrow mount with a substantial diameter increase not far into the lens. A slight bump in diameter occurs at the zoom ring, making it especially easy to find. Another smaller diameter increase happens at the focus ring, making it also easy to find and this lens reaches its widest diameter at the objective end.
Like all other 24-105mm lenses available at review time, the FE 24-105 f/4 OSS extends as the focal length is increased with a significant overall length increase realized at 105mm.
The zoom and focus rings are both very smooth and they are ideally positioned. With the zoom ring positioned in the back, closer to the mount, the left hand balances the lens while conveniently gripping this ring. The zoom ring rotates in the same direction as Nikon lenses, opposite of Canon lenses. Reverse that for the focus ring rotation direction.
The outer lens barrel covers are constructed of engineering plastic and a slight flex can be felt when firmly squeezing these features. Very nice is that the switches are flush-mounted. That the switches are only slightly raised from the lens barrel means that inadvertent changes are not easy to make, but using this lens with gloves on can be slightly challenging. Unusual for lenses in general (but similar to the Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GM) is that the serial number for this lens is on a thick plastic label under the mount end.
This lens is weather sealed including a mount gasket seal as seen below.
That said, Sony says “This lens is not water-proof, although designed with dust-proofness and splash-proofness in mind. If using in the rain etc., keep water drops away from the lens.”
Unlike the Sony 24-70 GM, no zoom lock switch is provided on this lens. The reviewed lens has no issue with gravity-caused extension such as when being carried or retraction, an issue when photographing upward, even when shaken.
The relatively smooth design of this lens makes it very comfortable in the hand. Those with med-large hands will not find the right hand resting as comfortably on the camera body with this lens mounted. The small grip on Sony’s current E-mount cameras mean that the first joint of the second and third fingers uncomfortably press into the rear of this lens and most other similar Sony FE lenses.
Very comfortable is the size and weight of this lens. This is a very easy-to-take-with-you lens that does not become a burden even after long periods of use.
The Sony 24-105 f/4 G lens is the lightest of the 24-105/120mm f/4 class lenses … but the differences are not big aside from the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 Art Lens comparison.
ModelWeightDimensions w/o HoodFilterYear Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens28.1 oz(795g)3.3 x 4.6″(83.5 x 118.0mm)77mm2016 Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens18.5 oz(525g)3.3 x 4.1″(83.4 x 104.0mm)77mm2014 Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR Lens20.3 oz(575g)3.0 x 3.7″(76.2 x 93.98mm)72mm2003 Nikon 24-120mm f/4G AF-S VR Lens23.7 oz(670g)3.3 x 4.1″(84.0 x 103.0mm)77mm2010 Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM Art Lens31.2 oz(885g)3.5 x 4.3″(88.6 x 109.4mm)82mm2013 Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens31.3 oz(886g)3.4 x 5.4″(87.6 x 136.0mm)82mm2016 Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens15.2 oz(430g)2.9 x 3.7″(73.0 x 94.5mm)67mm2014 Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens23.4 oz(663g)3.3 x 4.5″(83.4 x 113.3mm)77mm2017
For many more comparisons, review the complete Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens Specifications using the site’s Lens Spec tool.
Let’s take some of the entrants from the size and weight table and put them into a visual. Note that these lenses are base-aligned on their mounts – not their lens caps, which vary in size.
Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:
Nikon 24-120mm f/4G AF-S VR Lens Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM Art Lens Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens
The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.
Use the site’s product image comparison tool to visually compare the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens to other lenses.
The Sony 24-105mm f/4 G utilizes the ultra-common 77mm-sized threaded filters. While this filter size is not especially small, that this size is likely shared among multiple lenses in your kit means that fewer filters may be needed in some scenarios and fewer in this case means less space and lower cost. After reading the vignetting description for this lens, it likely comes as no surprise to hear that a standard thickness UV or Clear Lens Protection Filter will cause slightly increased vignetting at 24mm, even stopped down. This issue is even more pronounced with circular polarizer filters as they are thicker than protective filters. Definitely get slim filters such as those in the B+W XS-Pro line for this lens.
You always use a lens hood, right? The Sony ALC-SH152 lens hood is included in the box and your habit should be to put it in place whenever the lens cap is removed. This is a modestly-sized rigid-plastic hood that adds front element protection from flare-causing light and very potentially from impact. This hood remains compact when reversed for storage.
Sony includes a felt-lined vinyl pouch with this lens. For better impact protection, check out Lowepro’s Lens Cases.
Price and Value
In this regard, at review time, the bottom line is that the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens is the most expensive lens available covering the 24-105mm focal length range at f/4. While that is a hard fact, value is more subjective and that is where this lens competes strongly. With features that make it likely to be one of the most-used lenses in a kit, the value proposition becomes a very strong one.
As an “FE” lens, the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens is compatible with all Sony E-mount cameras, including both full frame and APS-C sensor format models. Sony provides a 1-year limited warranty.
The reviewed Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens was online/retail-sourced.
Alternatives to the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens
My first-choice alternative to this lens is the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens. The f/2.8 GM is a superb lens that drops the OSS feature and part of the telephoto focal length range, but it adds a very significant 1-stop wider aperture.
In the image quality comparison, these two lenses are more similar than different. At f/4, the 24-70 has less vignetting, but the two lenses equalize at narrower apertures, aside from the 24-105’s hard shading in the extreme corners. The 24-70 has considerably less linear distortion at 24mm and moderately less at 70mm. The 24-105 has a higher maximum magnification (0.31x vs. 0.24x). The f/2.8 is moderately larger, considerably heavier and very considerably more expensive.
If you are interested in the FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens, then you are minimally interested in Sony cameras as it does not mount on any other brand. And, as of review time, no other manufacturer offers a lens in the native Sony mount that covers a similar focal length range and aperture. That means all other brand options require an adapter and that AF performance will see at least some degradation. That said, there are adaptable options.
The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens is one of those adaptable options. The Sony vs. Canon image quality comparison shows Sony owners little reason to buy the Canon lens. While the two are not greatly different in this regard, the Sony is sharper in some comparisons. The Canon has less of the 24mm hard corner shading issue and has considerably less linear distortion.
The Canon is less expensive until the adapter cost is factored in. The Sony’s 0.31x max magnification is noticeably higher than the Canon’s 0.24x. Overall, this Canon lens is more of an equivalent to the Sony lens and I see it making the most sense being in a Sony kit if one already owns it.
That means the remaining primary competitor is the Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM Art Lens. This lens also requires an adapter, but it becomes a more compelling alternative for a couple of reasons. The first is that the Sigma costs considerably less than the Sony and a second is that Sigma makes their own Canon EF to Sony FE mount adapter, the MC-11.
In the Sony vs. Sigma image quality comparison, I give the edge to the Sony, though the two are not dramatically different. The Sigma has less of the 24mm hard corner shading issue and has considerably less linear distortion. The Sigma is noticeably heavier (31.2 vs. 23.4 oz / 885 vs 663 g) and a bit wider. The Sony’s 0.31x max magnification is noticeably higher than the Sigma’s 0.22x. Overall, these two lenses are rather similar overall. The Sigma’s price tag being considerably lower will raise some eyebrows, but the overall price including the adapter still leaves the Sony as the better option in my eyes.
I liked this lens right out of the box and the longer I evaluated it, the more I liked it. This is a great little lens that, aside from strong linear distortion and some hard corner vignetting at 24mm, delivers impressive image quality, especially for this focal length range.
From a usefulness perspective, this lens is hard to beat. It will beautifully capture your family life. It is an excellent choice for capturing landscapes and it is great for travel and street photography along with other walk-around uses. It works well for product and commercial photography and it easily tackles many other needs including general purpose use.
Just get it – the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens will likely become one of your most-used lenses.
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