Shooting with the Zeiss 24-70 f4 on the Sony A7: Initial Impressions

By the time I publish this article the Zeiss 24-70 f4 will be old news. Over the last year, Sony released the 24-70 f2.8 G-Master lens, which is arguably better, but also much more expensive. After shooting numerous portrait sessions and a wedding with prime lenses, I started to look around for a nice zoom that could make photographing a variety of jobs more efficient. I haven't owned a zoom lens in over a year, but when I saw a great deal on the Zeiss, I took the leap and hoped that it could hold up to my expectations.

Shot top-down of the A7 and Zeiss 24-70 f4 taken with the Leica Q.

Despite my pledge to shoot with prime lenses, I found myself in Creve Coeur Camera looking at the used Zeiss for my A7. It was priced right - $800 - and in perfect condition. Somehow this lens looked as if it sat in a museum rather than on a camera body. It was immaculate.

Shot of the Leica Q taken with the Sony A7 and Zeiss 24-70 f4.

I've shot with the lens for a little over a week at the time of writing this and when it comes to shooting with the Zeiss, there's still a lot to get used to. The lens is silent and offers quick auto focus, especially when compared to my cheap Sony 50mm f1.8. But then there's the bulk and heft of the lens, which makes the 50mm feel like a child's toy.

Initially I don't believe the Zeiss is incredibly sharp. The images are nice, but I ultimately feel that they could be sharper, especially when I'm trying for a shallow depth of field, because f4 seems to leave something to be desired. Despite this, the lens is overall a joy to use and it makes running around the city, or even portrait sessions with kids, a breeze.

I will be taking the lens with me to Wyoming and Chicago in the coming months. Hopefully then I can put the lens through its paces and see how it stacks up long term.