Today part II in the review of the Sony 24-240.
Part I can be found here.
In the previous review I took you guys to the beachcombers museum and we looked at how the lens performed in a museum like visit, today we’re gonna see how well it performed outside while walking around, something I think most people will do while on a trip or vacation.
One of the things I find very important in a lens is the overal image quality, now with most cheap lenses or other super zooms you will always have a tradeoff, this is very easy to explain of course, you pay a lot less money or you get a lot more zoom so that will cost you quality. The question is “how much of this quality are you willing to sacrifice?”
In all honesty I didn’t expect the world of this lens, I wanted to test it for the simple reason that you always hope for something spectacular but I expected it to go back to Sony with the idea of “It was a nice lens to look at but… not my thing” however during the test I grew actually very fond of the lens. One of the things I’m very picky about is sharpness, I didn’t expect the same sharpness as the 24-75 Zeiss but the 24-240 actually surprised me (a lot), even wide open the images only need a little bit of sharpening to give you sharp images on the wide end and fair sharp images on the long end. The image stabilization helps with the longer shutter speeds and on the long end, also focussing the lens becomes a lot easier because it’s an optical stabilizer and not the in body stabilizer that some Sony cameras use, meaning you can actually SEE the stabilizer work, making it easier to “focus” on your subject. I’m “always” using center focus point and keeping that on your subject if it moves is just that much easier with an optically stabilized lens.
The contrast of the images is very good and so are the colors.
There is some distortion and chromatic aberration but in “the modern workflow” with todays RAW convertors everything is actually easily/automaticly fixed, actually when using DxO optics 10 you can see the images “popping” in to the correct look. The one thing I did notice on a lot of shots is some shading from the lens hood so I would actually advise you to remove this when shooting wide (also mentioned in yesterdays blogpost).
The perfect walk around lens?
Walking around with a lens with 10x optical zoom makes you much more flexible, I know there are a lot of people out there that will claim that primes are much sharper/faster etc. and indeed they are 100% right, I also have and use primes. However when walking the streets of for example New York (or Emmeloord) a prime is a lens I find very limiting for myself, and I know this is a personal matter, I know a lot of people that love the fixed lens cameras and they can’t all be wrong of course, for me however I love to switch between closeups and wide shots. As mentioned in yesterdays review I used the Minolta 35-200 a lot on my A99 but I always found that lens a bit limiting in the wide segment I sometimes just wanted a little bit more wide options, with the Sony 24-240 it really hits the sweet spot, the 24 is what I would normally label as “I don’t need to go wider in most cases” and the 240 is just awesome to have for bringing in details or shooting someones portrait without coming to close. When I want wider I can always switch for the Sigma 12-24 (which I love) and when I need longer I’m often in situations where I will probably only use a longer lens (for example when shooting birds or wild life).
During our trip in Texel I found that I never really wanted to go wider, I also only once switched to the 70-400 and that was in a wild life reserve where I wanted to get it all just a little bit closer, for most tourists, day trip people etc. I can hardly imagine however that you would ever want to switch lenses during normal daytime shooting. For me the 24-240 grew on me and at the moment I’m really fond of the lens and would love to take it out on the streets in a city like New York, there are so many options to shoot there and this range would just give me endless oppertunities.
And indeed a prime is much faster and much sharper… but in the end it’s all about one thing that matters…. getting the shot and with a 10x zoom you have many options to shoot the same scene, and that’s something I really love.
Tomorrow part III with some bird shots… and the not so nice review about the 24-240. Hey after 2 positives I can be negative for once right 😀