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Sony 28-60mm f/4-5.6 vs FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 and others


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I have recently bought a Sony A7ii and a Sony mount adapter. For the time being, the full frame lenses I have are a Minolta 35-70 f/3.5-4.5 zoom (not bad and reasonably sharp from f/5.6 and upwards until f/11, which I have to focus manually), a Tamron Adaptall-2 35-70 f/3.5 (reasonably sharp from f/5.6 and upwards as well, and totally manual), and for a shorter focal length a Sony 28mm f/2.8 (A mount), and for a longer focal length a Sony 85mm f/2.8 (A mount, which I can use with AF or in manual focusing). Also a Minota 50mm f/1.7, and a Tamron Adaptall-2 80-210mm, but this one has nothing to do with the subject I’m bringing up.

I’m thinking of maybe buying a more up to date walk-around zoom lens. Something not expensive that I can afford. It called my eye the Sony 28-60mm f/4-5.6. There are not much reviews about it. One on Dyxum, I found and extensive one on digitalcameralens.com, and maybe two serious reviews on YouTube. DxO mark has no review of it yet and neither has Kurtmunger. For what I have read or heard (not much), it seems it delivers an excellent sharpness at the centre of images and quite good or acceptable sharpness at the edges and corners. It seems (or so I read), much better and sharper than the Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS. The former has a shorter range of focal lengths and is smaller (maybe this being an advantage for carrying it around) than the latter.

I have also been reading about the Sony Vario Tessar FE 24-70mm F4 OSS which is a bit more expensive, but of which I have read in this very forum that there are many people having problems with it, and which sharpness measurements did not impress me.

I am not looking at maybe better Tamron or Sigma lenses because for some reason (reasons that probably have to do with import taxation and/or Sony commercial policies), here in my country, Sony products are more accessible than others. For example, here, the Tamron FE 28-75 f/2.8 costs more than what I paid for the camera, plus a vertical grip, plus the lens mount adapter, plus a spare battery, and three times more than what the Sony 28-60mm f/4-5.6 costs. Maybe it is three times better (?).

I can buy a new Sony 28-60mm f/4-5.6 for the equivalent of about 350 US dollars, but my doubts are:
Is this lens really much better than the Sony 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS (of which I have read only regular to bad reviews)?
Is the Sony 28-60mm f/4-5.6 worth it, or I’d better stick with the equipment I already have till being able to buy a premium zoom lens?

Has anybody tried the Sony 28-60mm f/4-5.6 and can compare it (in terms of sharpness, CA, etc.) to any of the other zoom lenses I have mentioned? Or does anybody have a different suggestion regarding the matter?

Edited by Alejandro
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Dustin Abbot reviewed the 28-60 and compared it to the 28-70 here:

https://dustinabbott.net/2020/11/sony-fe-28-60mm-f4-5-6-review/

As for the Tamron 28-75: as a rule of thumb, the price of current generation lenses doubles for every extra f-stop it provides. In that sense 3 times the price sounds fair, given that it's 2-3 stops faster than the 28-60. Optically it's also much better than the Sony. If the difference is worth the premium is entirely up to you to decide. The Sigma 28-70 f/2.8 is optically of similar quality as the Tamron 28-75. There's a version II of the Tamron coming later this year so used prices on the first version of that lens may plummet.

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11 hours ago, Pieter said:

Dustin Abbot reviewed the 28-60 and compared it to the 28-70

Thank you Pieter, I have just read Dustin Abbott’s review. It coincides with the few others I read before or listened to.

I think I am tempted to buy this zoom lens. It is small and lightweight, and mounted on the A7ii would make a quite portable combo. Sometimes I don’t take out with me a camera (but my Sony rx100) because together with the lenses I have, they make a bulky equipment to carry around if not specifically going out to shoot photos. Everybody is saying it is sharp from wide open whilst most other kind of kit lenses need to be stopped down to get sharp, and one ends up shooting them from f/5.6 upwards anyway. They also say it handles CA and fringing very well. I might miss the 60mm to 70mm range (I have checked that I have taken lots of photos within the 45mm to 50mm range with an APS-C sensor camera, that traduced to angles of view for a full-frame equivalent to the ones given by focal distances of about 67.5mm to 75mm), but I think I can perfectly adapt to restrain myself to the focal distance range of the 28-60mm. There was I time (long ago) when all my shots were done with a 50mm lens. Anyway, I think that in some future I will aim for a 20mm prime lens. And finally, I can afford the 28-60mm.
 

11 hours ago, Pieter said:

..... as a rule of thumb, the price of current generation lenses doubles for every extra f-stop it provides.

I didn’t know that. It is a lot of money for every additional stop.
Anyway, I was thinking that when needing or wanting to use a wider aperture, I can always count on my 28mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.7, and 85mm f/2.8 lenses.

Edited by Alejandro
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PS. I read that the Sony 28-60mm shows no or little optical distortion, except at 28mm, at which focal length there is a more marked barrel distortion. But I process my raw files with DxO PhotoLab which has a profile for this lens. I managed to download a raw file of a photo taken with this lens from the web, and PhotoLab made the expected correction, so this is something that does not have to worry me.

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DXO Mark rates 28-70 as near equal to the Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70 at 1/3rd the price. 

https://www.dxomark.com/sony-fe-28-70mm-f3-5-5-6-oss-serious-contender-to-the-zeiss/

A kit lens is a kit lens is a kit lens.  If I was buying an A7C camera and the 28-60 came with it at a low cost addition, I would consider buying the camera kit but as a stand alone purchase, no.

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If I were in the market for such a lens, I'd certainly try to buy a used copy. Many people start off with a kit lens but upgrade to something better after a while. Therefore used kit lenses can often be found cheap and in good condition. The 28-60 is fairly new so there may not be too many used copies for sale, but if you're not in a hurry I'm sure you can catch a nice deal.

As for the Zeiss 24-70, it is infamous for its mediocrity so definately not worth the premium over the 28-70.

Edited by Pieter
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16 hours ago, tadwil said:

DXO Mark rates 28-70 as near equal to the Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70......

I read the DxO Mark rates for the 28-70 which I saw were good, but I also read reviews and saw some measurements done buy somebody else, from which one might infer that it is not that good. Most people reviewing it at Dyxum gave it a 4 for sharpness (10 out of 14, and 4 gave it a 4,5). I suppose that DxO ought to be more trustable. Therefore, I will nevertheless take into account your recommendation.

 

15 hours ago, Pieter said:

As for the Zeiss 24-70, it is infamous for its mediocrity so definately not worth the premium over the 28-70.

I’m discarding the Zeiss 24-70 though. I saw some measurement that did not impress me and many people are complaining about it. Also, it is more expensive than the other two (and here, they are asking for it also more, even when being second hand).

 

16 hours ago, tadwil said:

DXO Mark rates 28-70 as near equal to the Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70 at 1/3rd the price. 

 

15 hours ago, Pieter said:

Therefore used kit lenses can often be found cheap and in good condition.

The Sony 28-60mm is being sold here by Sony at about 350 US dollars (new). Again, here, there are a few 28-70mm being sold through the web, and they are asking around 200 US dollars (second hand) for them.

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On 9/15/2021 at 1:45 PM, Alejandro said:

I read the DxO Mark rates for the 28-70 which I saw were good, but I also read reviews and saw some measurements done buy somebody else, from which one might infer that it is not that good. Most people reviewing it at Dyxum gave it a 4 for sharpness (10 out of 14, and 4 gave it a 4,5). I suppose that DxO ought to be more trustable. Therefore, I will nevertheless take into account your recommendation.

 

I’m discarding the Zeiss 24-70 though. I saw some measurement that did not impress me and many people are complaining about it. Also, it is more expensive than the other two (and here, they are asking for it also more, even when being second hand).

 

 

The Sony 28-60mm is being sold here by Sony at about 350 US dollars (new). Again, here, there are a few 28-70mm being sold through the web, and they are asking around 200 US dollars (second hand) for them.

 

Edited by tadwil
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I am not recommending either of the kit lens, the reviews on the web suggest 28-60 is a good lens how much better than 28-70 can't be seen without someone doing a head to head comparison.

If you are buying your first native FE lens on a budget, the 28-60 seem like a good option and the price you have quoted for it, I am not seeing it in North America.  I have the 28-70, it was part of an A7II kit (very lightly used) with 3 oem batteries and an oem charger for basically the price of the body on consignment at a local camera store.  I don't use it much but it's always handy to have a native AF lens to grab for quick snapshots when needed.

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Here, in my country, our economy has always been very peculiar, unstable, and full of ups and downs. Nowadays, the official rate of exchange for the US dollar is 1 dollar = 103 AR pesos ($). This is also the rate that applies to importers. People in general are allowed to buy 200 dollars per month at this rate if they go to a Bank, but no more. But the unofficial dollar rate (what we call de “Blue dollar”) is 1 dollar = 182 AR $. This is what they give you if you go to a currency exchange house (not a Bank) and sell a dollar that you have. These are the rates for today, the 16th of September.

Sony, here in my country, is saying that they are selling at the same prices as in the USA. So, at the official exchange rate, this would be, for the 28-60 lens, something as: 500 x 103 = 51.500 AR $. Sony is here selling the 28-60 for 59.000 AR $. Then, 59.000 AR $ / 182 AR $  = 324 US dollars. Therefore, if I sell 324 US dollars that I had saved, they give me 59.000 AR $ with which I can buy the lens.

On the other hand, most people that are selling second hand stuff, are willing to recover part of what they paid for a product when the exchange was different and not favourable for buying imported things. Therefore, second hand stuff is not cheap in relation to new stuff nowadays (for how long, nobody knows).

Sony, here, is no longer selling the 28-70 lens (at least, not for the time being).

Things have not always been the same, and they might change how knows when, so this might be the right time to buy new Sony stuff (if having some savings).

These are the reasons why you can’t find in North America the Sony lens at the same amount of money than me, at this particular moment.

I know, difficult to understand, it is madness, and can’t last, but for the time being........
So maybe I should buy the Sony 28-60mm lens and have a native AF lens as you say, specially as they are saying it is a good kit lens.

Thanks

Edited by Alejandro
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