Sony offers Carl Zeiss standard zoom for full frame E-mount – Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS. There are several reasons why it is chosen by users over 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 “kit” lens. To name most common ones: constant aperture, 24mm at wide end, Zeiss glass/coatings etc. Instead of doing one large test of this lens I’ll be posting separate parts for each standard focal length. For now we will check how it performs at 24mm to see how it compares to recenlty tested 24mm primes.
Vignetting is strong to medium but fortunately not very dark. To my surprise it remains no matter what aperture value is set. It is strongest at F4 and partially vanishes at F5.6. It is strong again at F8, a bit smaller at F11 and then stronger again at F11, F16 and F22. Not very good performance, but keep in mind it is a zoom lens, not prime. Color rendition is nice, no casts or tints but contrast is visibly lower than on Panagor 24mm (which in my opinion has best color rendition and contrast of all lenses tested so far).
Sharpness at F4 is very good across entire frame. Extreme corners are minimally softer but still sharp enough to say they’re very good too. When stopped down to F5.6 or more sharpness is excellent, including extreme corners. Top notch performance. There is quite strong barrel distortion. I was surprised that distortion correction is not available for this lens on my A7 mark II but Photoshop can fix it easily too.
Like Samyang AF 24mm F2.8 FE this lens is a top performer when it comes to sharpness but lacks better vignette control and could have smaller distortions. Let me remind you that we are testing it at 24mm only and it may behave differently on other focal lengths. To sum up: if you don’t need F2.8 light then in my opinion you can skip buying 24mm prime if you already have Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F4.