After releasing the new Sony 70-200 f/2.8 ii, Sony is at it again with the lighter, smaller, and faster Sony 24-70 2.8 GM ii.
The Sony 24-70mm 2.8 is definitely ahead of Sigma and Tamron in terms of sharpness, build quality, and autofocus. However, I’m not sure the price per performance can justify a reason to upgrade.
Why you should consider the Sony 24-70 2.8 GM ii
If you’re a pro photographer, and you shoot sports, weddings, or fast action photography, the Sony 24-70 2.8 ii may be the lens you’ve been waiting for.
It’s especially useful for photographers who shoot with the Sony A1, A9ii or A7iv. These camera bodies will focus slightly faster with native Sony lenses, and that means more photos in focus than 3rd party lenses.
If you’re using the A7iv, you’ll also notice less focus breathing, but hopefully that feature will come soon to the Sony A9. Another reason to upgrade is if you’re coming from the previous Sony 24-70 2.8. This older lens isn’t bad, but it has an older AF motor, and isn’t nearly as sharp as most other 24-70 lenses on the market (ie Canon, Nikon, Tamron, Sigma).
If you’re a professional and using one of these camera bodies, it might be worth it to upgrade.
The Tamron 28-70 2.8 G2 still wins the weight competition at 1.2 lbs, but the Tamron also isn’t quite the same focal length as the 24-70 2.8. You’ll lose 4mm at the wide end, but if weight and price is a greater priority, this is the lens you’ll want.
I enjoy the 24mm focal length, but when I’m shooting weddings I usually shoot more at telephoto focal length. I understand 24mm is great for group shots, but you can usually get the shot if you take a few steps back.
|Lens||Length x Width||Weight|
|Sony 24-70 2.8 GM||3.5 x 4.7″ / 87.8 x 119.9 mm||1.5 lb / 695 g|
|Sigma 24-70 2.8 DN||3.46 x 4.84″ / 87.8 x 122.9 mm||1.84 lb / 835 g|
|Tamron 28-75 G2||3 x 4.6″ / 76 x 118 mm||1.18 lb / 538 g|
|Sony 24-70 2.8 (previous version)||3.4 x 5.4″ / 87.6 x 136 mm||1.9 lb / 886 g|
|Sony 24-70 2.8 GM ii||$2298|
|Sigma 24-70 2.8 DN||$1099|
|Tamron 28-75 G2||$899|
|Sony 24-70 2.8 (previous version)||$1999|
Image quality and sharpness
If you need the sharpness lens, you won’t be disappointed with the new Sony 24-70. This lens is sharper than any other 24-70 2.8 lens available. It’s not sharper by leaps and bounds, but it’s quite crisp, even at the corners with minimal vignetting.
Chromatic aberrations are also quite minimal but they still exist. Nothing too concerning, but then again I’m not bothered by chromatic aberrations.
For astrophotography, all three of these lenses would do quite well, but if I had to choose one, I’d go for the sigma 24-70.
As with all Sony lenses, the build quality is top notch, and I think the size, ergonomics, and comfort are great. I also like the build quality of Sigma’s 24-70, but I still think Sony takes the win.
I’ve heard rumors of dust creeping into the Sigma 24-70, but this isn’t usually a major concern for image quality, and I’ve heard others say they don’t have this issue.
The previous Sony 24-70 also had great build quality but suffered from being front heavy. This is often problematic for gimbal users.
The Sony 24-70 2.8 ii also has new XD linear motors that have increased AF performance. I think the AF speed is slightly better than the previous model, and especially noticeable in video.
It’s also quieter, but this isn’t an issue with similar lenses in its class.
Since the release of the Sony A1, Sony’s autofocus is one of the best in class, but its improvement over Sigma and Tamron is incremental.
Most 24-70mm shooters aren’t too concerned about distortion, but if you’re shooting architecture or straight lines, all 3 lenses are great, but Sony still out performs in this category.
Is it worth it?
If you’re the type of person who needs the best of the best, yes the Sony 24-70 2.8 ii is the best overall 24-70mm 2.8 lens. I just don’t think it’s worth the price.
I personally don’t shoot with the 24-70 focal length, and if I did, I would go for the Tamron 28-75 G2. I like that it’s lighter, smaller, has excellent build quality, exceptional AF, and more than half the price.
Although it has slightly worse AF and sharpness than the Sony, it’s not a big enough concern for me to care.
The Sony 24-70 2.8 GM ii is a great lens for anyone who can afford it. If I had to choose between this lens and the Sony 70-20 2.8 ii, I’d choose the 70-200 in a heartbeat.
I think the 70-200 version 2 was a much bigger change than the previous generation lens, and I wish Sony had added image stabilization to the 24-70 2.8 to help this lens stand out more.
Well, I hope this review was helpful. Be sure to check out my other article on the 70-200 version 2, and don’t forget to subscribe below.