I have been shooting with the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens for a bit now so I thought it was a good time to put together a lens review post about this lens. Spoiler: I’m very happy with this lens!
I recently switched my full frame kit from Nikon to Sony and so far I have been happy with that decision. One of the nice things about switching is that I had the freedom to rethink my landscape photography kit. I don’t like to have a lot of gear with me when I’m out in the field because this gear can be heavy. (The whole idea that you switch to mirrorless for size and weight saving is not true since the full frame lenses are for the most part just as big and heavy as DSLR lenses.) When I’m out taking photos whether just around my home, or out on the road, I like to have just three lenses with me. A wide angle zoom, a standard zoom, and a telephoto zoom can pretty much all the shots I will want.
In my Nikon days, I would have the 24-70 f/2.8 as the standard zoom in my kit. No matter the brand, the 24-70 f/2.8 is a great lens that you can’t go wrong with, but it’s big and heavy. Now that I’m shooting Sony, however, I decided to see what else is out there for my standard zoom option. I know other Sony landscape photographers have been very happy with the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens. So I decided that was the lens to keep in my landscape bag.
Here are some of my thoughts about using this lens. As always with my gear reviews, these are just real world observations that I gathered by actually using the lens on landscape photography outings. If you want MTF charts and all that, I would refer you to Google since there are some great gear reviewers out there who go through all that.
Here are my thoughts on this lens from real-world experience.
Things I Love About the Sony 24-105 Lens
Very useful Focal Range
This lens covers a large focal range, which is really nice when you are out in the field. The wide end of this lens is 24mm, which is right on the edge of the ultra wide angle range. So that means you can get work in some fairly extreme foreground interest. On the long end, this lens will reach out to 105mm. That’s pretty good if you want to get reasonably close to your subjects or to achieve some good compression. With the 24-105, you won’t have to change lenses as often. That’s pretty nice if you are out in the elements where landscape photographers often find ourselves.
This lens is resistant to weather and dust. In my opinion, all lenses should be weather resistant. That isn’t the case so it’s really nice that this lens has weather sealing. It’s extra peace of mind when I’m out in the rain or next to a very angry Lake Michigan.
One of the things I love the most about the 24-105 is how compact it is compared to the 24-70 f/2.8 GM. I consider the 24-70 f/2.8 GM to be the direct alternative to this lens for me because it is the24-70 that I would have in my bag if not for the 24-105. This lens is almost 0.5 lbs lighter (1.5 lb or 663 grams compared to 1.95 lb or 886 grams)! That may not sound like a lot, but it’s nice to have any savings in weight when lugging full frame gear around.
It’s also physically smaller than the 24-70 so that leaves room in your bag for other accessories.
Sorry, no pictures of brick walls or focus charts will be in this review because that isn’t a realistic photo I would ever take. In my usage of this lens in real world scenarios, this lens is sharp at all focal lengths.
Optical SteadyShot (VR, OS)
As a landscape photographer, my camera is usually on a tripod. So this switch is flipped to the off position almost 100% of the time. However, it’s nice to have the extra stabilization if/when I do need it.
The 24-105 has a maximum aperture of f/4 which is the reason why this lens is able to be so compact. That is just fine for most landscape photographers since we are usually at closed down apertures anyways.
As I type this, the Sony 24-105 lens is priced at $1,198. That’s a lot of money, don’t get me wrong, but for a really useful lens that’s really good, it’s a very reasonable price.
Things I Don’t Love About The Sony 24-105 Lens
Honestly, there’s not much about this lens that I don’t like.
The f/4 max aperture is kind of a pro and a con of this lens. It’s definitely more of a pro because of the compact size allowed by the smaller max aperture. However, that means that this lens isn’t the greatest for low light situations such as night or nightscape photography. So if I was expecting to do some of that type of photography, I would probably throw my 24-70 in my bag rather than this lens. This isn’t a big deal at all since I have both lenses, but it’s something to consider if you are looking for just one.
Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens Review
With the useful focal range and the very good image quality, you’ll be able to easily get a wide variety of shots with the Sony 24-105mm lens. If I were to choose only one lens for a day trip, or even for a multi day trip, this would be the lens I would choose for my Sony kit. If you decide, like I did, that this is the right lens for you, you won’t be disappointed.