SONY A7R + Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

While not as stunning as the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART lens, the 24-85mm Nikon zoom puts in an excellent performance on the Sony A7r.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Here are some samples with 100% blow-ups.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

Sony A7r, Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S.

As you can see, nice crisp results. 

For a run down on this lens I'll refer you to the capable hands of Ken Rockwell, who likes it (I think!!) The link is HERE

Certainly it's a very good lens on my Nikon Df and on that camera and the Sony A7r it produces images with corner to corner sharpness. Now unfortunately this is something that neither of the 'Standard' zooms of the FE range seem to achieve. Both the 28-70mm which I had and the Zeiss 24-70mm seem to suffer from some corner softness. Now the Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G doesn't show that even wide open and while using it on my A7r has much the same 'fiddling about' turn off as the Sigma 50mm, I can't help wondering why Sony couldn't do the same. 

The Sony FE 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 OSS Lens isn't as fast, wide or long as the, now no longer made, Nikon. I bought mine S/H from a dealer via Amazon and compared with the somewhat disappointing Sony offerings it was a bargain. So what might be the reason for this?

Well my theory has always been that Sony have inherited some of the Minolta deficiencies. I know Minolta has it's fans but I've always thought Minolta zooms were plagued with this corner softness problem. I bought a few of them when I got the A7r and A7, since they were incredibly cheap on ebay and they were all the same. really sharp in the centre but with a significant fall off towards the edges and corners. And looking at the resulting files, they produced virtually identical images to the Sony FE 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 OSS Lens. 

I obviously can't say whether Sony are still adapting Minolta designs, but somethings going on. The Sony E10-18mm f4 OSS Lens is excellent though, as are the Sony FE 35mm f2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* and Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* Lenses. The zoom on my RX10 is also very good indeed. But it does seem that Sony struggle with a decent 'standard' zoom for 35mm.

Going back to the Nikon, it's a lens I probably won't use much on the A7r, but it was interesting to see what it was like. To be honest I'm still struggling to find a lens I can leave on the A7r most of the time. And to be honest there's nothing announced at Photokina that fills me with much anticipation either.

  • 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS
  • 28mm f/2 with dedicated lens converters
  • 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss lens
  • 90mm f/2.8 macro

The zoom will be huge and the primes aren't anything I haven't got covered anyway. So I guess I'll have to continue with my 'mix and match' approach., simply because the A7r produces such amazing files with that 36MP sensor. My lens 'solutions' aren't ideal, but they will do for the time being. After all it's only recently that this idea of a corporate, complete brand identity kit became the thing. In the old days somebody made the cameras, somebody else made the lenses and photographers seemed to manage then so I don't see why I can'y manage now.