What Sony's new 24-70mm lens can do
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What Sony's new 24-70mm lens can do

David Lee
Zurich, on 27.04.2022

Less weight, silent autofocus, stepless aperture ring, better closest focusing distance: the update of the G-Master lens FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is similar to last year's telephoto lens.

Sony is releasing version II of the G-Master lens with a focal length of 24-70 millimeters. It is expected to be available from June 2022; the previous version from 2016 will remain available.

FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, Full Frame E-Mount
Showroom
1649.–
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, Full Frame E-Mount
52
FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM II
2499.–
Sony FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM II
3

For the all-around upgrade, Sony has done the same as it did last year with the 70-200mm telephoto lens. Accordingly, the benefits are very similar compared to the older lens.

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    Sonys neues 70-200mm: Leise, leicht und leider teuer

Size and weight

The GM II has become lighter and more compact. Sony puts the weight at 695 grams, almost 200 grams less than the 885 grams of the previous model. The length is 120 millimeters, compared to 136 on the old lens. Nevertheless, the image quality is also said to have been further improved compared to the previous model.

Focus and video features

The new lens is equipped with 4 XD linear motors. They enable very fast and virtually silent autofocus. This is one of the reasons why the new 24-70mm is well suited for video shooting. Another reason is the reduced Focus Breathing: the image section hardly changes when focusing.

The GM II has an aperture ring whose click stops you can turn off for shooting video. This makes smooth aperture transitions possible. When focusing manually, the same rotation always causes the same focus change, regardless of the rotation speed. This is also an advantage for videos. With the zoom ring, a switch lets you choose whether it should go slightly or rather strictly.

Close-ups

The closest focusing distance is 21 to 30 centimeters, depending on the focal length. With the predecessor lens, it is 38 centimeters. The magnification factor thus improves from 0.24 to 0.32.

Diese schätzungsweise 7–8 cm grosse Blüte lässt sich formatfüllend abbilden.
Diese schätzungsweise 7–8 cm grosse Blüte lässt sich formatfüllend abbilden.

The subject becomes largest at a focal length of 70 millimeters. Purely in terms of magnification, it doesn't help that you can get as close as 21 centimeters at wide angle. However, it does allow for new image compositions with a very close object in the foreground.

Bokeh

Eleven curved blades form a circular aperture and thus a bokeh with round points of light. In addition, the onion ring effect of bokeh is said to have been largely eliminated.

Dieses Bild wurde mit f/5 aufgenommen.
Dieses Bild wurde mit f/5 aufgenommen.

Initial assessment

I've only tried the lens for a few hours so far. The first impression is very good: I haven't noticed anything negative at all. Whether the upgrade is worth it compared to the cheaper GM I depends - besides the current prices - mainly on whether you also use the camera for videos. Then the version II is a must. For photography, the older 24-70 will do in most cases, even though I find the shortening of the closest focusing distance very practical.

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My interest in IT and writing landed me in tech journalism early on (2000). I want to know how we can use technology without being used. Outside of the office, I’m a keen musician who makes up for lacking talent with excessive enthusiasm.


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