Sony A7r and 35mm lens comparisons

Comparison between Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Minolta 24-105mm, Minolta 35-70mm and Sony 28-70mm at 35mm ISO 100, f/4.5 and f/9. I set the zooms to 35mm. These are OOC jpgs.

You can download the full size 100% versions of these at Google Drive HERE.

There are some clear differences here. And at different apertures the lenses perform differently. The Sigma is clearly ahead at both but the others change positions.

In terms of sharpness at f/4.5 the order is
1. Sigma 35mm
2. Sony 28-70mm
3. Minolta 35-70mm
4. Minolta 24-105mm

In terms of sharpness at f/9 the order is
1. Sigma 35mm
2. Minolta 24-105mm
3. Sony 28-70mm
4. Minolta 35-70mm


Since I'm much more likely to shoot at f/9 than f/4.5 with the Minolta 24-105mm this is good news and the results at that narrower aperture are very good indeed. The 28-70mm performance is in line with results that I obtained earlier. It seems it performs reasonably well at wider apertures and poorer than would be normally be expected to be the case in most zooms of this type at narrower settings. The ultra-cheap 35-70mm turns in a respectable performance though and I'm quite looking forward to giving it a run out.

The Sigma however is clearly in a class of it's own compared to these zooms. And really that should be no surprise. If it wasn't I'd certainly want to know why. 

It is interesting to note however that 20 year old 35mm film camera zoom lenses can still hold their own against their contemporary equivalents. I suppose in many ways that's quite a depressing statement. This is obviously not a huge sample but I would have liked to see the 28-70mm perform better. It has IS yes, and it performs really well for hand-held video but Fuji, Panasonic, Nikon and Olympus can make a decent 'kit zoom' but it seems Sony struggle with this. And in the light of the fact that this 28-70mm has just become available on it's own in the UK for just under £450 which is far from cheap, I think we have the right to ask Sony some serious questions about what exactly they are doing in their lens division. Should an old Minolta zoom lens fitted via an adapter really perform better than a modern Sony one? Unfortunately it's the same old Sony story it seems. Great cameras, shame about the lenses.

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