Sony FE 24mm F2.8 G Lens Review

Sony FE 24mm F2.8 G Lens

The Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G is an ultra-compact prime lens that features an extremely light weight despite its rugged metal exterior construction. The 24mm focal length has great utility, and the f/2.8 aperture is ready to tackle the low light venues and, with a close subject, create a nicely blurred background. The price of this aesthetically beautiful lens is especially attractive.

In a single announcement, Sony introduced three compact, lightweight prime lenses that appeared to differ externally by only the numbers etched on the side.

Sony FE G Compact Prime Lenses

These three lenses are highly complementary, providing a nice range of focal lengths while sharing the same filter size and consuming the same storage footprint. Attractive from a video perspective are the same dimensions and weight that minimize or eliminate gimbal rebalancing, and the geared rings are additionally beneficial for movie capture.

This review focuses on the 24mm version. Still, the non-optical attributes of these lenses are practically identical, and, aside from the angle of view coverage, the optical ones differ little.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Angle View

Focal Length

The focal length (or the focal length range for a zoom lens) is a primary consideration for a lens purchase or selection for use. Focal length matters because it drives subject distance choices with perspective determined by those distances.

Somewhat surprising is that as popular as the 24mm focal length is, this is only Sony's second FE 24mm prime lens.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Landscape Sample Picture

Landscape photography is a perfect use for a 24mm lens. This focal length is quite wide and can allow an entire scene to remain in focus, but 24mm is not so wide that it complicates composition and not so wide that it makes distant details (such as mountains) tiny. A very high percentage of my landscape images are captured at 24mm.

Architectural photography, large product photography, interior photography, and birthday parties are just a few uses for 24mm. This focal length is a nice one to leave mounted for documenting life in general.

Wedding and event photography often utilize a wide-angle lens for capturing the large scene, for environmental-type portraits, and for group portraits, including in tight spaces. Even groups of your largest subjects will fit in the frame.

Photojournalist's needs are often similar to those of a wedding photographer and often include 24mm. Videographers often find the 24mm focal length to be just right for their needs.

While telephoto lenses are more frequently used for sports, a 24mm angle of view allows a very different perspective at these events. This focal length can be used to capture the big picture of the venue, overhead shots of the athletes and their coaches being interviewed after the game, and, when access permits, full-body environmental action sports photos showing a large amount of venue in the background. Note that when used for action sports with a close and rapidly approaching subject, the subject changes size in the frame fast, and a 24mm angle of view makes the capture of the perfect pose at the perfect framing distance challenging.

Here are a couple of comparisons showing the 24mm angle of view fitting into the neighboring range.

Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens Focal Length Range Example

17mm | 20mm | 24mm | 28mm
16mm | 20mm | 24mm | 28mm | 35mm

APS-C sensor format cameras utilize a smaller portion of the image circle, and that means a scene is framed more tightly, with 1.5x being the angle of view multiplier for Sony's lineup. The 36mm full-frame angle of view realized on APS-C cameras shifts the uses of this lens toward portraiture and documentary use, though the same photographers typically want both angles of view in their bags.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Front View

Max Aperture

The lower the aperture number, the wider the opening, and the more light the lens will allow to reach the imaging sensor. Each "stop" in aperture change (full stop examples: f/1.4, f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0) increases or decreases the amount of light reaching the sensor by a factor of 2x (a substantial factor).

When you buy a prime lens instead of a zoom, you expect at least one strong advantage to offset the loss of zoom range versatility. Common prime lens advantages include smaller size, lighter weight, lower price, better image quality, or a wider aperture. The lens checks those boxes, with that last advantage being a marginal one.

The three simultaneously-announced Sony compact primes feature similar aperture openings with the 24mm option slightly darker at f/2.8 vs. f/2.5. An f/2.8 max aperture is relatively wide. At review time, no Sony zoom lenses have a wider aperture at 24mm, though some match this opening. Kit zoom lenses typically have considerably narrower apertures at 24mm.

While there are many 24mm prime lenses, few have a narrower max aperture (and most of these are other brand tilt-shift lenses). So, this lens opens very wide relative to zoom lenses and not very wide relative to prime lenses.

Use a wider aperture to stop action in less light and enable handholding in similarly lower light levels. Increasing the amount of light reaching the imaging sensor improves low light AF performance. In addition to allowing more light to reach the sensor, permitting faster shutter speeds or lower ISO settings, increasing the aperture opening permits a stronger subject-isolating background blur at this focal length.

Wide-angle lenses cannot blur the background like telephoto lenses, and with many 24mm options having a 2-stop-wider aperture available, this lens cannot blur the background as well as some other 24mm prime lens options. Still, with a close subject, this lens creates a strong background blur.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Aperture Comparison Example

The f/2.8 example above illustrates the maximum blur this lens can create.

Narrow aperture advantages are typically related to reduced lens element size that permits smaller overall lens size, lighter weight, and lower cost. We all can appreciate those factors, and this lens was designed for those advantages. The f/2.8 max aperture is part of the formula required for the ultra-light weight and tiny size of this lens.

When recording video, only 1/60 second shutter speeds (twice the framerate) are typically needed (assuming you're not capturing high framerate slow-motion video), and wide apertures are not often required for 1/60 second rates in normally encountered ambient lighting.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Click Switch

As usual for Sony FE GM and G prime lenses, the FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens features an aperture ring, permitting a manually chosen aperture to be selected. With the ring in the A (Auto) position, the camera controls the aperture setting. All other settings electronically force the aperture to the chosen opening. A 2-position switch on the bottom right side of the lens toggles the aperture ring between 1/3 stop clicks and smooth, quiet, non-clicked adjustments, ideal for video recording. Note that this switch's orientation is rotated 90° from Sony's full-size lens design, better utilizing the limited space.

Aside from a slightly more complicated design, I find inadvertent aperture changes the primary disadvantage of an aperture ring (especially when photographing in the dark). Incorporating a lock for this ring would eliminate that issue, and learning not to grasp the aperture ring when mounting to the camera reduces the issue.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens on Tripod

Image Stabilization

The shorter the focal length, the smaller subject details (captured at the same distance) are rendered, and the less still the camera must be held to avoid subject details crossing imaging sensor pixels, the source of motion blur. Still, image stabilization remains a valuable feature in any lens. Sony has been omitting image stabilization, OSS (Optical SteadyShot) in their recent wide-aperture prime lenses, and not surprising is that this little lens also lacks OSS.

Sony addresses that omission with Steady Shot IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) in their mirrorless cameras. In addition to reducing camera shake, the stabilized imaging sensor provides a still viewfinder image, enabling careful composition. Sensor-based AF takes advantage of the stabilized view for improved accuracy.

With no IS switch on the lens, the camera menu must be used to enable or disable IBIS, a slight impediment to working quickly, going from tripod to handholding, for example.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Top View

Image Quality

We all care about image quality, and image sharpness is at the top of most of our lists of requirements. Sony's MTF charts set the initial expectation, and I liked the expectations the charts for the three compact prime lenses promise.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens MTF Chart

24mm | 40mm | 50mm

MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) describes how well a lens can reproduce fine details, measured as the degree of contrast achieved between finely spaced lines.
[1] Contrast (%) [2] Distance from optical center of lens (mm)
[3] Max. aperture [4] F8 aperture [5] Spatial frequency
[6] 10 lines pairs / mm [7] 30 line pairs / mm
[8] Radial values [9] Tangential values

Select your aperture for reasons other than contrast and resolution because this lens is sharp wide open at f/2.8. In the center of the frame, little sharpness improvement is realized by using a narrower aperture.

In general, lenses are not as sharp in the periphery, where light rays are refracted to a stronger angle than in the center. While this lens's corner performance is not quite as impressive as the center of the frame performance, the extreme image corners are rendered remarkably sharp at f/2.8. The improvements realized by stopping down are primarily related to reduced peripheral shading.

Taking the testing outdoors, we next look at a series of center-of-the-frame 100% resolution crop examples. These images were captured in RAW format using an Sony Alpha a1 and processed in Capture One using the Natural Clarity method with the sharpening amount set to only "30" on a 0-1000 scale. Note that images from most cameras require some level of sharpening, but too-high sharpness settings are destructive to image details and hide the deficiencies of a lens.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Sharpness Comparison Example

f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0

These results look very nice.

If present, focus shift, the plane of sharp focus moving forward or backward as the aperture is narrowed (residual spherical aberration or RSA), is often made apparent in such a comparison. Many modern lenses automatically correct for focus shift by adjusting the focus distance (this is made visible by focus breathing in aperture brackets), and a focus shift issue is not exhibited by this lens.

Next, we'll look at a comparison showing 100% corner crops captured and processed identically to the above center-of-the-frame images. The lens was manually focused in the corner of the frame to capture these images. The first two rows of examples are from the top left of the frame, and the third row is from the bottom left.

The secondary set of examples in each row illustrate distortion correction. We'll talk more about distortion later in the review, but this lens's barrel distortion is extreme, warranting correction for most uses.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Corner Sharpness Comparison Example

Samples taken from the outer extreme of the image circle, full-frame corners, can be counted on to show a lens's weakest performance, but these examples again show the excellent performance delivered by this lens. The corners have sufficient resolution to accommodate the strong distortion correction, with final results sharper than many lenses deliver without correction.

Corner sharpness does not always matter, but it does matter for many disciplines, including landscape photography. This lens is landscape-ready.

When used on a camera that utilizes a lens's entire image circle, peripheral shading can be expected at the widest aperture settings. Wide-angle, wide-aperture lenses tend to show strong peripheral shading wide open, and this lens's nearly four stops of corner shading at f/2.8 is usually noticeable. As usual, the amount of shading is reduced as the aperture is narrowed. However, the reduction is likely not as strong as you hoped. At f/4, over three stops of corner shading remains, and at f/5.6, the amount is nearly three stops. Shading continues to decrease through very narrow apertures, but the about two stops of shading at f/16 remain often noticeable.

APS-C format cameras using lenses projecting a full-frame-sized image circle avoid most vignetting problems. In this case, the just over one stop of shading showing at f/2.8 may be visible in some images, especially those with a solid color (such as a blue sky) showing in the corners.

One-stop of shading is often used as the visibility number, though subject details provide a widely varying amount of vignetting discernibility. Vignetting is correctable during post-processing with increased noise in the brightened areas being the penalty, or it can be embraced, using the effect to draw the viewer's eye to the center of the frame. Study the pattern showing in our vignetting test tool to determine how your images will be affected.

Lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration) refers to colors of the spectrum being magnified differently. Lateral CA shows as color fringing along lines of strong contrast running tangential (meridional, right angles to radii) with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing the most significant amount as this is where the most significant difference in the magnification of wavelengths typically exists.

With the right lens profile and software, lateral CA is often easily correctable (often in the camera) by radially shifting the colors to coincide. However, it is always better to avoid this aberration in the first place.

Color misalignment can easily be seen in the site's image quality tool, but let's also look at a worst-case example. The image below is a 100% crop from the extreme top left corner of a Sony a1 frame showing diagonal black and white lines.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Lateral Chromatic Aberration Example

There should only be black and white colors in these images, with the additional colors in this sample indicating a rather strong amount of lateral CA, especially for a prime lens.

A relatively common lens aberration is axial (longitudinal, bokeh) CA, which causes non-coinciding focal planes of the various wavelengths of light. 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 observe. Axial CA remains somewhat persistent when stopping down, with the color misalignment effect increasing with defocusing. 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.

The examples below look at the defocused specular highlights' fringing colors in the foreground vs. the background. The lens has introduced any fringing color differences from the neutrally-colored subjects.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Spherical and Axial Aberration Example

The results at f/2.8 show moderate color fringing, but most of that color separation is gone by f/5.6.

Bright light reflecting off of lens elements' surfaces may cause flare and ghosting, resulting in reduced contrast and sometimes interesting, usually destructive visual artifacts. The shape, intensity, and position of the flare in an image are variable, dependant on the position and nature of the light source (or sources), selected aperture, shape of the aperture blades, and quantity and quality of the lens elements and their coatings. Aided especially by the low 8-element count, this lens produced practically no flare effects even at narrow apertures in our standard sun in the corner of the frame flare test, reflecting excellent performance.

Flare effects can be embraced or avoided, or removal can be attempted. Removal is sometimes very challenging, and in some cases, flare effects can be quite destructive to image quality. High flare resistance is a welcomed trait of this lens.

Two lens aberrations are particularly evident when shooting images of stars, mainly because bright points of light against a dark background make them easier to see. Coma occurs when light rays from a point of light spread out from that point instead of being refocused as a point on the sensor. Coma is absent in the center of the frame, gets worse toward the edges/corners, and generally appears as a comet-like or triangular tail of light which can be oriented either away from the center of the frame (external coma) or toward the center of the frame (internal coma). Coma clears as the aperture is narrowed. Astigmatism is seen as points of light spreading into a line, either sagittal (radiating from the center of the image) or meridional (tangential, perpendicular to sagittal). Remember that Lateral CA is another aberration apparent in the corners.

The image below is a 100% crop taken from the top-left corner of an a1 frame.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Coma

While the stars are not perfect pin points, they look great relative to most lenses.

When this lens is mounted, the camera forces geometric distortion correction for the EVF and LCD, regardless of the lens aberration settings (except in the Alpha a1's zoomed view, which is likely a bug). As mentioned earlier in the review, this lens has very strong barrel distortion, approaching that of a fisheye lens. When the test images are processed, the lens aberration correction is disabled, sometimes resulting in off-standard framing.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Distortion Example

Most modern lenses have lens correction profiles available (including in-camera), and distortion can easily be removed using these. Still, distortion correction is destructive at the pixel level as some portion of the image must be stretched or the overall dimensions reduced. That said, the corrected corner examples shared above appear nice.

As seen earlier in the review, the amount of blur a lens can produce is easy to illustrate, and wide-angle lenses are disadvantaged in this regard. Assessing the bokeh quality is more challenging due to the infinite number of variables present among all available scenes. Here are some f/8 (for diaphragm blade interaction) examples.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Bokeh Example

f/8 | f/8 | f/8

The first example is a 100% crop showing defocused highlights. These are relatively smoothly filled, though the shape is more polygonal vs. circular. The other two examples are full images reduced in size and looking nice.

Except for a small number of specialty lenses, the wide aperture bokeh in the frame's corner does not produce round defocused highlights, with these effects taking on a cat's eye shape due to a form of mechanical vignetting. If you look through a tube at an angle, similar to the light reaching the frame's corner, the shape is not round, and that is the shape seen here. The examples below are upper left quadrants.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Cat's Eye Bokeh Example

This lens shows relatively strong truncation of the specular highlights, even stopped down a couple of stops.

With a 7-blade count diaphragm, point light sources captured with a narrow aperture setting and showing a sunstar effect will have 14 points. In general, the more a lens is stopped down, the larger and better-shaped the sunstars tend to be. Wide aperture lenses tend to have an advantage in this regard, and this lens is capable of producing beautiful stars.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Sunstar Effect Example

The example above was captured at f/16.

The design of this lens is illustrated below in a comparison featuring the sibling compact primes.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Design

24mm | 40mm | 50mm

[1] Aspherical lens [2] ED (extra-low dispersion) glass

"Impeccable Sony G Lens design emphasizes a graceful balance between high resolution and gorgeous background bokeh that can enhance the artist’s vision." [Sony]

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Angle View with Hood

When this lens is mounted, expect distortion, peripheral shading, and lateral CA corrections to be desired. While I usually avoid lenses requiring most of those corrections, this lens delivers beautiful imagery lens with aberration corrections enabled.

Focusing

"Two linear motors deliver fast, precise AF with superb tracking performance that maximizes camera body performance to capture vital moments in street snaps and the like. The fast, precise and quiet AF with superb tracking performance is ideal for shooting movies as well as stills." [Sony]

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Dual Linear AF

While Sony is not promoting the use of the "XD" version of their linear motors, this lens has very small elements to move. The Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens focuses internally, essentially silently, and with good speed.

The AF accuracy from this lens has been excellent (like the rest of the FE lenses), and low light AF performance from this f/2.8 lens is also excellent.

Normal is for the scene to change size in the frame as the focus is pulled from one extent to the other, referred to as focus breathing, a change in focal length resulting from a change in focus distance. Focus breathing negatively impacts photographers intending to use focus stacking techniques, videographers pulling focus, and anyone very critically framing while adjusting focus. This lens produces a moderate change in subject size through full extent focus distance adjustment.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Focus Magnification Example

Despite the tiny size of this lens, a customizable AFL button is provided. 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, perhaps to grab a quick pano. This button also acts as a custom button and can be programmed to another function using the camera's menu.

FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is supported via Sony's DMF (Direct Manual Focus) AF mode.

This lens has an AF/MF switch, allowing this frequently used camera setting to be changed without using the menu system. Different is that this switch is rotated 90° of the usual orientation, better-utilizing space on the small lens barrel.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Side View with Hood

The all-metal exterior construction of this lens extends to the focus ring. The gear-like focus ring is easy to grasp, including by follow focus rigs. However, the small size of this lens, along with the other included features, permits only a slim focus ring size. In addition to its small size, the focus ring is positioned close to the similarly ribbed aperture ring, adding slight complication to finding the focus ring. Find the end of the lens or back of the lens hood to find this focus ring tactilely.

Electronic focusing (vs. gear driven) AF can enable a variable rate of focus adjustment based on the focus ring rotation speed. However, this feature must be properly tuned to avoid frustration when rocking the ring back and forth to obtain a precise focus setting, and the variable rate can be problematic when pulling focus during video capture. Those issues do not apply to this lens, featuring a linear focusing system, my preference.

This ring is very smooth, has an ideal amount of resistance, and the 155° of MF rotation linearly adjusts focusing at an ideal rate, allowing precise manual focusing even at close distances.

Manual focusing provides a minimum focus distance of 7.1" (180mm), with a reasonable 0.19x maximum magnification. That spec appears nice until placed beside the Sigma and Tamron models having exceptional 0.50x numbers. If using AF, this lens's minimum focus distance increases slightly to 9.4" (240mm), with the maximum magnification spec dropping to a rather low 0.13x.

ModelMFDMM
Sigma 24mm f/3.5 DG DN Contemporary Lens4.3"(108mm)0.50x
Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens9.4"(240mm)0.17x
Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens7.1"(180mm)0.19x
Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens11.4"(290mm)0.13x
Sony FE 40mm f/2.5 G Lens9.8"(250mm)0.23x
Sony FE 50mm f/2.5 G Lens12.2"(310mm)0.21x
Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens4.3"(109mm)0.50x
Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens4.7"(119mm)0.50x
Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens5.9"(149mm)0.50x

A subject measuring approximately 6.8 x 4.5" (173 x 115mm) fills a full-frame imaging sensor at this lens's minimum focus distance (MF).

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Maximum Magnification Example

Need a shorter minimum focus distance and higher magnification? An extension tube mounted behind this lens should provide a very significant decrease and increase, respectively. Extension tubes are hollow lens barrels that shift a lens farther from the camera, allowing shorter focusing distances at the expense of long-distance focusing. Electronic connections in extension tubes permit the lens and camera to communicate and otherwise function as normal. As of review time, Sony does not publish extension tube specs, nor do they manufacture these items, but third-party Sony compatible extension tubes are available.

This lens is not compatible with Sony teleconverters.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Side View

Build Quality & Features

"The metal (aluminum) exterior finish of the lens body and hood contributes to reliability through increased strength and durability." [Sony]

Sony FE G Compact Prime Lenses Metal Build

The little Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens's design is unlike any FE lenses before it. The appearance, including etched letters and numbers, is classy. The all-metal construction coupled with this design provides a high-grade feel.

Sony FE G Compact Prime Lenses with Hoods

Here is a closer look at the 24mm f/2.8 G lens.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Product Images

MFD |    w/ Hood:  MFD |    Rotated        Compare »

With a focus ring, aperture ring, click switch, AF/MF switch, and AF stop button, this small lens barrel has a lot going on. However, these controls are useful, and I especially appreciate the AF/MF switch remaining present. With the cameras able to perform that function, this AF/MF switch becomes an omit-able feature.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Weather Sealing

This lens features dust and moisture resistance, including a slim mount gasket.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Mount

There are few lenses smaller or lighter than this one. This lens can easily be carried all day, and it consumes little space in the case. Notice the size and nearly identical weight of the trio of Sony compact prime lenses. Swap these lenses in cases or on a gimbal with little or no reconfiguration.

ModelWeight oz(g)Dimensions w/o Hood "(mm)FilterYear 
Sigma 24mm f/3.5 DG DN Contemporary Lens7.9(225)2.5 x 2.0(64.0 x 50.8)552020
Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Lens11.5(325)2.8 x 2.7(70.0 x 67.4)582020
Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens15.7(445)3.0 x 3.6(75.4 x 92.4)672018
Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens5.7(162)2.7 x 1.8(68.0 x 45.0)492021
Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens7.1(200)2.5 x 2.4(64.0 x 59.9)492015
Sony FE 40mm f/2.5 G Lens6.1(173)2.7 x 1.8(68.0 x 45.0)492021
Sony FE 50mm f/2.5 G Lens6.1(174)2.7 x 1.8(68.0 x 45.0)492021
Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens7.8(221)2.9 x 2.5(73.0 x 63.5)672019
Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens7.6(215)2.9 x 2.5(73.0 x 63.5)672019
Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens7.4(210)2.9 x 2.5(73.0 x 63.5)672019

For many more comparisons, review the complete Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Specifications using the site's lens specifications tool.

This little lens provides adequate finger clearance on the Sony Alpha a7 III, a7R III, a7 IV, and similarly designed cameras.

Here is a visual comparison:

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Compared to Similar Lenses

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens
Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens

Note that these lenses are vertically aligned on their mounts. The Tamron lens has a taller lens cap.

The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Compared to Similar Lenses with Hoods

Use the site's product image comparison tool to visually compare the Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens to other lenses. That link contains another comparison you may find interesting.

All three simultaneously introduced Sony compact prime lenses utilize relatively small and inexpensive 49mm filters. While this size is not especially common, seven current Sony FE lenses feature 49mm filter threads. With the three compact primes functioning especially well as a kit, their shared size is especially welcomed.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G ALC-SH165 Lens Hood

A plastic lens hood on a lens featuring an all-metal exterior would not be right, and the Sony engineers behind this lens design knew that. The Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens's round-shaped aluminum ALC-SH165 hood is compact like the lens. The compactness limits protection from impact and bright lights, but this hood is still helpful.

Note that the FE 24 G and FE 40mm G hoods fit on both lenses — remember that 40mm lens logically gets the narrower hood.

A lens case is not included in the box, but finding somewhere to stow this lens's small footprint should not be challenging.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Cap

Price, Value, Wrap Up

The FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens is one of the most affordable Sony FE lenses. This lens is a great value for the price with the as-expected good image and build qualities.

As an "FE" lens, the Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens is compatible with all Sony E-mount cameras, including full-frame and APS-C sensor format models. Sony provides a 1-year limited warranty.

I purchased the Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G review lens online-retail.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Front View on Camera

Alternatives to the Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens

The first lens I want to compare is the Sigma counterpart lens, the 24mm f/3.5 DG DN Contemporary Lens.

The Sigma lens is optically a strong performer, and in that regard, I doubt there will be a significant difference between these two models with wide-open apertures. However, the Sony lens has a substantially wider aperture, a nice advantage.

In the image quality comparison with wide-open apertures, the two lenses are similarly sharp. The Sony lens has a slight center of the frame advantage at f/4. Visible in that comparison is the Sony lens's severe barrel distortion disadvantage.

The Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens vs. Sigma 24mm f/3.5 DG DN Contemporary Lens comparison shows the Sony lens slightly shorter and lighter. Those differences are not decision-making grade, but the trio of Sony compact primes having a matching size and weight is an advantage. The Sony lens uses 49mm filters vs 55mm. The Sigma lens's 0.50x maximum magnification far exceeds the Sony lens's 0.19x figure, and the Sony lens's price modestly exceeds the Sigma lens's price — by approximately 10%.

At review time, Tamron has a trio of same-sized compact prime lenses, covering 20mm, 24mm, and 35mm. The Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens is the relevant model to this review.

In the image quality comparison at f/2.8, the Sony lens is modestly sharper across the frame. By f/4, the differences are essentially gone. Correction of the Tamron lens's strong barrel distortion is usually required, but the Sony lens has even stronger distortion. The Tamron lens has slightly less peripheral distortion at narrow apertures.

The Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens vs. Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 Lens comparison shows the Tamron lens modestly larger and slightly heavier. The Tamron compact prime trio uses 67mm filters vs. 49mm, and the Tamron lens's 0.50x maximum magnification far exceeds the Sony lens's 0.19x figure. The Sony lens offers a variety of switches, including an AF/MF switch, and a manual aperture ring. The big equalizer: the Tamron lens is much less expensive.

The other two Sony compact prime lenses, the FE 40mm f/2.5 G and FE 50mm f/2.5 G could be compared. However, these lenses are basically equals aside from their focal length, and that is the factor that should be used in the decision between these three lenses. These lenses are complementary, with the longer two lenses offering a slightly wider aperture and a slightly higher maximum magnification.

What about a zoom lens for comparison? The Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens offers the 24mm f/2.8 focal length and aperture combination along with the versatility of a long range of focal lengths.

In the image quality comparison, the prime lens shows itself the sharper 24mm option. The prime lens shows less flare and more peripheral shading. The zoom lens has moderate barrel distortion at 24mm, but the amount is dramatically less than the prime lens's barrel distortion amount.

The Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens vs. Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens comparison shows another dramatic difference between these lenses: size and weight. Add the filter size to those differences — 49mm is far smaller than 82mm. The three compact primes combined weigh only 2/3 of the zoom lens's weight. The in-the-hand weight difference between one prime and the zoom lens is huge, especially after a long period of use. Of course, if the shot is missed because the right focal length was not mounted, all the prime lens advantages are gone.

The zoom lens has a higher maximum magnification, 0.24x vs. 0.19x. If the zoom lens is on sale, the three Sony compact prime lenses combine to match the zoom lens price.

Use the site's comparison tools to create additional comparisons.

Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G Lens Top View with Hood

Summary

As I said at the beginning of this review, the Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G lens is a highly attractive, ultra-compact prime lens that features an extremely light weight and a rugged metal exterior construction. The 24mm focal length is useful, and the f/2.8 aperture is ready to tackle the low light venues and create a nicely blurred background. That this is one of the most affordable Sony FE lenses will aid its popularity.

Image quality-related downsides are extreme barrel distortion, strong peripheral shading, and obvious lateral CA, all calling for correction. Despite these issues, the excellent image sharpness produced by this lens warrants accepting corrections applied for those aberrations. Especially for the size, weight, and price, the image quality this lens produces is excellent.

Create a kit of the three simultaneously announced compact prime lenses for convenient coverage of a wide range of needs.

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