Full-frame models continue to dominate our rankings for image quality, but they have price tickets to match. Sony’s Zeiss branded 24-70mm f2.8 and 16-35mm f2.8 ZA models perform well, as you might expect from modern designs of this pedigree but there are some more accessibly priced third-party offerings that perform very well.

Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM 15991915
Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] Sony4991612
Sony Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM 15991611
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC HSM Sony570168
Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di USD Sony1299159
Sony Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA7501410
Konica Minolta AF 28-75mm f/2.8 (D)400149
Sony DT 18-70mm F3.5-5.61691210
Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM200119
 

The Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f2.8 achieves a good DxOMark score of 16 points and at just $499 is in ranked second in this category. Surprisingly, the newer full-frame Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 doesn’t perform as well as the earlier iteration. At any given aperture or focal length it’s simply not as sharp or as homogenous across the field.

In fourth place the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 (26-77mm equivalent) has a good overall DxOMark score and is well corrected but it has slightly disappointing sharpness – the lowest measured of this group.  If lens speed isn’t critical, the APS-C format Sony Zeiss DT 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 offers good all-round image quality and a versatile range but that comes at a price.