Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS lens review: Good value?

By Kevin Carter - Friday March 07 2014

Lens Review
Introduction | Sony FE Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS mounted on Sony A7R: Mid-range score for FF zoom | Sony FE Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS vs Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 ZA vs Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA mounted on Sony A7R: Respectable performance overall | Sony FE Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS versus competition | Conclusion
Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS lens review: Good value?

As the first zoom offered for the new full frame A7r and A7 the mid-range moderate speed Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70mm f4 is a key lens for Sony. Read on to find out how well it performs on the 36-Mpix Sony A7R.

Sony’s full-frame mirrorless 36-Mpix A7R and 24-Mpix A7 models have the potential for high image quality but that’s only half of the imaging chain – they require high-grade lenses to deliver on that promise. The bodies are of course much smaller than a full-frame DSLR and Sony has designed the lenses to match.

As a stabilized model, the mid-range, moderate speed Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70mm f4 ZA OSS is relatively compact at 2.87 x 3.72" (73 x 94.5 mm) but at 15.17 oz (430 g) it’s a fair weight.

With a $1,199 price tag it’s squarely aimed at enthusiasts and has a complex optical formula consisting of a total of 12 elements arranged in 10 groups and features an internal zoom mechanism and a minimum focusing distance of 1.31' (40 cm). Of those 12 elements, 5 are aspherical to minimize various aberrations and maintain the lens’ compact dimensions, while a single low dispersion glass element is used to further reduce chromatic aberrations.

It employs a linear ‘stepper’ motor for silent AF – useful for video capture and the all-metal construction has a dust and moisture resistant design. Naturally as a FE-mount model it’s also compatible with the firm’s earlier APS-C format NEX models (and current Alpha mirrorless models) where it’s the equivalent to a 35-105mm. The lens is available now, albeit in limited quantities.

Sony FE Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS mounted on Sony A7R: Mid-range score for FF zoom

Sony FE Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS vs Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 ZA vs Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA mounted on Sony A7R: Respectable performance overall

Sony FE Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS versus competition

Conclusion