Sony 24-70 GM II Actual World Assessment

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It’s been some time since I’ve carried out a lens evaluation so I figured it was about time to do one once more, because the lengthy awaited replace of the 24-70 GM simply got here out a while in the past. Now in case you’re used to studying my articles you’ll know that I don’t hassle you an excessive amount of with the technical specs. For that, you’re welcome to learn the numerous of different articles on the web. In my article, you’ll discover actual world utilization and plenty of pictures from my current journeys to nations like Kyrgyzstan and Greenland. Let’s get began.

DISCLAIMER: I’m a Sony Alpha ambassador displaying my opinions and the way I exploit this lens within the discipline. You would suppose my opinions are ‘biased’ however I’m at all times trustworthy in my critiques. This isn’t a technical evaluation. I’m merely displaying what I exploit it for in an actual world setting throughout travels.

The Design

The replace is sort of what you’ll count on, and that’s good! As a result of each new lens Sony releases is lighter, and of higher high quality. This lens isn’t any exception. In case you’re used to the previous 24-70 GM, you’ll instantly discover this lens is lighter and far simpler to carry. It has a extra comfy grip because it’s additionally smaller than its predecessor.

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Dimension comparability between the previous 24-70 GM and the brand new 24-70 GM II

After we have a look at the design a bit extra there’s just a few issues that we instantly see:

  • The brand new 24-70 GM II is 16mm shorter than the previous model.

  • Clearly, it’s additionally lighter with 695 grams vs 886 gram on the previous model.

  • Briefly: Such as you’d count on the lens is ‘significantly better’ thane previous model by way of design and capabilities.
    ssif you employ screw in filters.

  • The zoom on each model extends out.

  • The brand new 24-70 GM II has a swap that allows you to management the zoom tightness.

  • The 24-70 GM II has an aperture ring, that may you may set to click on/clickless through a swap.

  • The previous one had 1 customized button on the lens. The brand new one has 2.

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Different necessary issues I take into account inside are : A quicker AF motor, 20 optical components vs 18, and the minimal focus distance is way shorter on the brand new one, which makes a giant distinction. Extra on that later.

Briefly: Such as you’d count on the lens is ‘significantly better’ than the previous model by way of design and capabilities.

Within the Subject

Curiously sufficient the 24-70 focal vary is a spread that I don’t even use that a lot. Whereas this focal vary is greatest ‘to begin out with’ (that’s why package lenses are round this vary), I’m a giant fan of utmost vast angle lenses just like the Sony 12-24 f/2.8 GM, but in addition lengthy telephoto lenses just like the Sony 100-400 GM. I used to make use of the 24-105 G lens that match completely in between these focal ranges. I used to be not an enormous fan of the previous 24-70 GM primarily due to the scale and weight.

However I used to be really ready for a alternative. Sure, the 24-105 G is a good lens. It’s very versatile. However on my Sony A7RIV I couldn’t assist however discover is was not so sharp as my GM lenses. It turns into extra obvious at greater resolutions. So I used to be ready for an replace, and right here it’s. And sure, I’ve to provide in on a tiny it of vary. 105mm vs 70mm on the lengthy finish. However that’s okay for me. I can at all times crop within the picture slightly bit on the A7RIV, and with the 70mm I get an aperture of f/2.8, and the load is just like that of the 24-105 G lens.

So when Sony launched the brand new model, I instantly took it with me on some journeys to see the way it carried out and if I might be okay to exchange my 24-105G with it. And the brief reply is ‘Sure’, I now favor to make use of this lens just because it’s sharper. Let’s have a look at some examples and issues I take into account necessary when utilizing this lens within the discipline.


As you’ll count on from a lens on this value vary the sharpness is nice throughout the body. Centre sharpness is great whereas corners maintain up rather well, particularly when stopping down. Listed below are some examples:

A boy herding sheep in Kyrgyzstan:

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Shot on A7RIV – 24mm – f/8 – 1/640s – ISO100 – hand-held

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Crop of the above picture with my pal Ibraim checking his cellphone whereas the ladies is maintaining a tally of the sheep 🙂

Right here’s an instance of utilizing the lens vast open hand-held. The benefit of the f/2.8 aperture with the Sony in-body stabilisation works very nicely with this mixture. On this mosque in Kyrgyzstan I didn’t actually need to draw an excessive amount of consideration so I didn’t use a tripod and used silent shutter. Even with a shutter pace of 1/40 I used to be in a position to take completely sharp pictures.

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Shot on A7RIV – 33mm – f/2.8 – 1/40s – ISO250 – hand-held

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Crop of the above picture, specializing in the lights exhibits all of the little particulars.

Right here’s one other instance of a portrait of an eagle hunter together with his eagle. I do like this composition however I later tried a a lot nearer crop that I additionally appreciated. With the 61 megapixels of the A7RIV the crop nonetheless has an honest decision left. And due to the sharpness of the lens, the cropped photograph nonetheless seems nice. This was shot vast open at 70mm:

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Shot on A7RIV – 70mm – f/2.8 – 1/1000s – ISO100 – hand-held

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Crop of the above picture. I actually like this crop to indicate the intimacy between the eagle hunter and his eagle. This man was looking with eagles his entire life and made a complete museum in a yurt displaying eagle looking from the early days and the way it developed. Stunning to see his actual ardour for his craft and his love for his eagles.

Right here’s one other photograph of an eagle hunter taken with the lens vast open within a yurt.. The sunshine wasn’t straightforward to work with. This with a better ISO with vast open aperture:

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Shot on A7RIV – 70mm – f/2.8 – 1/50s – ISO 1600 – hand-held


I might additionally like to say right here that the focusing of this lens is tremendous quick. It’s quicker than the earlier model, and quicker than all third get together lenses on this vary. It additionally focuses quick in low gentle whereas the main target could be very silent. I don’t shoot numerous video, however I feel videographers are going to like this lens. In these portraits the eye-af locked completely and I used it more often than not.

Bokeh & Shut Focus

I wished to place these 2 factors collectively as they relate. The good factor about this lens is that the minimal focus distance is MUCH shorter than that of the previous model. Nearly twice as a lot really. I’ve used the Tamron 28-75 prior to now and at all times loved the brief focus distance on that lens and was a bit disenchanted about the truth that that was not potential with the 24-70 GM. However now it’s. The minimal focus distance on the 24-70 GM II is simply 21 cm, which makes it potential to shoot near macro-like pictures, particularly with the likelihood to crop them in with the excessive megapixel Sony A7RIV or Sony A1.

Right here’s an instance of slightly Butterly I noticed whereas I used to be in Minorca. I used to be really taking pictures seascapes however instantly noticed these gentle crops with small butterflies flying round:

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Shot on A7RIV – 70mm – f/2.8 – 1/250s – ISO 160 – hand-held

Right here’s a crop:

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Be aware that this crop nonetheless has greater than 4000 pixels left on the lengthy finish and see the sharpness. Additionally, this can be a nice instance of displaying how gentle the bokeh of this lens is together with the sharpness. That is what the Sony GM lenses are identified for: Sharpness with gentle bokeh. And even when this lens has a brilliant customary 24-70 vary, it does it very nicely.

Right here’s one other easy instance of displaying the gentle bokeh. Right here we’re a bit additional away from the topic, not at minimal focus distance however nonetheless getting a pleasant falloff into the sunshine:

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Shot on A7RIV – 70mm – f/2.8 – 1/250s – ISO 160 – hand-held

And right here is shifting a bit ahead to get the minimal focus distance that I might obtain. As you may see, the bokeh could be very gentle and it virtually seems like a macro shot.

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Shot on A7RIV – 70mm – f/2.8 – 1/50s – ISO 100 – hand-held

Let’s proceed to speak concerning the bokeh slightly bit extra and present one other portrait setting. Right here’s my pal & captain Daniel in Greenland. I used to be guiding photograph excursions for just a few weeks there this summer season and on today we had an Indonesian group on board. They supplied to prepare dinner some tremendous good Indonesian meals. As you may see, captain Daniel was tremendous glad about it 🙂

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Shot on A1 – 70mm – f/2.8 – 1/250s – ISO 400 – hand-held

Right here’s a very good demonstration of the bokeh of this lens with portraits. Its good and gentle whereas the topic retains a very good sharpness.

I additionally sometimes use ‘foreground bokeh’ in my pictures to provide further depth. Whereas in Greenland I photographed various sled canines. As an animal lover, I fell in love with them. Listed below are some examples of utilizing the foreground plug to get some further depth:

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Shot on A1 – 56mm – f/2.8 – 1/2000s – ISO 200 – hand-held

I used the cotton flowers on this shot whereas utilizing the lens vast open to provide a pleasant foreground blur to the photograph. And right here’s one other instance of utilizing this lens tremendous low to the bottom, within the grass:

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Shot on A1 – 70mm – f/2.8 – 1/400s – ISO 200 – hand-held


Whereas I wouldn’t major use this lens for astrophotography, due to sharpness vast open and low quantity of CI and fringing, you possibly can undoubtedly use this lens for taking pictures the milky means if you wish to. Normally I deliver my 14mm f/1.8 GM or 24 f/1.4 GM for that, however if you wish to preserve a lightweight versatile package the 24-70 GM II undoubtedly works. I used to be utilizing it in Kyrgyzstan for some astro pictures.

Right here’s a shot of our tents whereas sleeping in a distant a part of Kyrgyzstan throughout one in every of my excursions. There’s principally zero gentle air pollution and you’ll see the milky means along with your bare eye. Some individuals had by no means seen the milky means with their eyes and had been shocked on the visibility. This photograph is a stack of 10 pictures to get much less noise (you may mix these with Starry Panorama Stacker), as I had to make use of ISO 12800. However as you may see, the celebrities and element is nice.

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Shot on A7RIV – 24mm – f/2.8 – 10s – ISO 12800 – tripod – 10 pictures stacked for noise discount.

For enjoyable, I additionally shot a detailed up of the core of the milky means at 70mm. I had to make use of a shutter pace of simply 4 seconds for this, in any other case the celebrities would path due to the earth’s rotation. Due to this fact I wanted to make use of an ISO of 25600. I shot a stack of 20 frames for noise discount.

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Shot on A7RIV – 70mm – f/2.8 – 4s – ISO 25600 – tripod – 20 pictures stacked for noise discount.

You’ll be able to see the celebrities are nonetheless tremendous sharp at 70mm vast open at f/2.8, additionally on the edges of the body.

Solar- and lightweight stars

And now that we’re speaking about stars anyway, let’s have a look at some completely different stars as properties as this lens: The sunstar and the celebrities when taking pictures evening lights. For my part, The solar star seems good. It’s nothing loopy, however the star seems sharp and good. Completely high quality to implement in pictures. Right here’s an instance:

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Shot on A7RIV – 32mm – f/14 – 1/400s – ISO 100 – tripod

Crop of the solar star:

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And right here’s an instance of taking pictures a cityscape with lights. This was shot at f/8. It was raining and slightly bit foggy so this might need affected the picture a bit, however it’s nonetheless a very good instance of how the celebrities look across the lights.

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Shot on A7RIV – 24mm – f8 – 10s – ISO 100 – tripod

Crop of some lights:

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This was at f/8. You’ll get the celebrities a bit sharper at extra narrowed apertures.

Closing phrases

So the entire above properties are issues I take into account necessary when utilizing a lens. In that regard: The Sony 24-70 GM II doesn’t disappoint. It’s merely good in every little thing it does. And that’s no shock actually. The lens is an all rounder that performs nicely for every kind of genres. Additionally be aware that plenty of pictures on this article are carried out hand-held. The very fact is that it simply works rather well with the Picture stabilisation of the Sony Alpha cameras. Even taking pictures at fairly gradual shutter speeds. This was particularly very helpful once I was taking pictures in Greenland from the boats, the place every little thing was at all times shifting.

In case you step into the Sony Mirrorless System, the 24-70 GM II is nice to get first, as an all rounder lens. And when you have the previous model, is it definitely worth the improve? Merely mentioned: In case you have the cash to spend, sure. This lens is best in each means. It’s lighter, sharper, has extra buttons and properties. It’s simply higher. However that doesn’t imply that the previous model is a nasty lens.

To summarise:

  • The Sony 24-70 GM II is a good all rounder lens that does every little thing nicely. It’s higher than its predecessor in each means: lighter, smaller, sharper, quicker AF and extra buttons.

  • Utilizing it with the Sony Alpha cameras feels very nice as an entire bundle. Good grip, not too heavy and simple to shoot good hand-held pictures with.

  • Good sharpness, additionally in corners. Centre sharpness at f/2.8 is great.

  • Good gentle bokeh at f/2.8

  • It has a pleasant brief shut focus distance, good for nearly macro-like pictures.

  • Filter measurement of 82mm, which is similar because the previous model.

  • Additionally respectable to shoot astrophotography pictures

  • Good sunstar (for my part).

  • Greatest lens in its vary, but in addition the most costly.

For me, this lens is the proper lens in its vary and it’ll substitute the 24-105G that I used on this vary earlier than. Just because it’s about the identical weight, has a f/2.8 aperture and it’s sharper on my A7RIV.

I hope you loved this actual world article and that I confirmed you the flexibility of this lens. Be at liberty to ask me any questions within the feedback. And I’ll depart you with a bunch of extra pattern pictures!

Thanks once more for studying.


Gear used on this article:

Sony A7RIV

Sony A1

Sony 24-70 GM II

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A7RIV – 50mm – f/7,1 – 1/1250s – ISO 100 – hand-held

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A7RIV – 50mm – f/8 – 1/50s – ISO 320 – hand-held

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A7RIV – 33mm – f/9 – 0,4s – ISO 100 – tripod

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A1 – 41mm – f/9 – 1/100s – ISO 200 – hand-held

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A1 – 24mm – f/8 – 1/60s – ISO 250 – hand-held

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A1 – 24mm – f/8 – 1/160s – ISO 320 – hand-held

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A1 – 68mm – f/5,6 – 1/80s – ISO 500 – hand-held

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A1 – 24mm – f/4 – 1/640s – ISO 800 – hand-held

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A7RIV – 63mm – f/14 – 1/80s – ISO 200 – tripod

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A7RIV – 24mm – f/9 – 2.5s – ISO 125 – tripod

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A7RIV – 35mm – f/9 – 0,4s – ISO 100 – tripod

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A7RIV – 48mm – f/8 – 1/4s – ISO 100 – tripod

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