First Look at The Sony 24-50mm f/2.8 G Lens

First Look at The Sony 24-50mm f/2.8 G Lens

Sony just announced the new 24-50mm f/2.8 G lens, and I’ve been able to use it for a few weeks now. Does this unique focal range deserve a space in your camera bag?

When I first heard about the 24-50mm f/2.8 G lens in a Sony press briefing, I was honestly a little underwhelmed. Since Sony already has an absolutely amazing, light, and fully capable 24-70mm f/2.8 G-Master lens in their lineup, it seemed like a small step back to release a lens that loses 20mm on the telephoto end. But after some use and contemplation, I do think this lens could be the perfect companion for a lot of photographers. 

But before we dive into what I think this lens is ideal for, let's take a look at the overall design. As a whole, this is the first constant f/2.8 aperture lens that falls outside of the G-Master lineup. As a G lens, though, it still has all the components you would want in a professional lens. Things like a dedicated aperture ring, AF/MF switch, and a customizable button. The lens is also up to the latest high-end camera standards and can keep up with 120 fps for both still and 4k video. The only part of the overall design I am not a fan of is that the lens extends when zooming. Not a huge deal, and I understand why this decision was made, but I do always prefer an internal zoom when possible.

Which brings us to the main advantages of this lens: the size and weight. Coming in at mere four inches tall and under 450 grams, so while you lose 20mm in comparison to the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens, you gain a much more compact form factor. This makes this lens perfect for people who prefer lighter and smaller setups. The lens also still covers some of the most widely used focal lengths of 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm.

One way I used this lens was for work documenting events and weddings. The small form factor made it great for run-and-gun documentary work, and the featherlight weight made carrying it around all day much more manageable. There were only a few instances where I wished I had more light-gathering ability than the f/2.8 would give me; this would have been the case with almost any other lens.

But where I feel this lens truly shines is with the travel photographer and those looking for that ideal everyday carry (EDC) lens, especially paired with one of the new compact bodies Sony has on offer. For me, having this lens paired with my Sony a7CR was a dream setup to take everywhere I went. And after use, I truly enjoyed the obscure focal range more than I initially thought I would. Add in that the lens is dust- and moisture-resistant, and this could be a solid setup that can just live strapped to your shoulder.

What I Liked

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Covers some of the most popular focal ranges of 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm
  • All the high-end controls you expect in a GM lens in a cheaper G package

What I Didn't Like

  • Barrel extension when zooming, though this was most likely needed to maintain the compact size. 

At the end of the day, this lens was not designed to replace or even compete with the 24-70mm GM. Instead, the 24-50mm f/2.8 G lens fills a much-needed role for the photographer wanting a compact setup that is still fully capable. So, while this lens will feel right at home on any E-mount body, I think the perfect combination is this lens paired with the Sony a7C II or a7C R. And priced at $1,098, it won't even break the bank for what it has to offer. 

Jason Vinson's picture

Jason Vinson is a wedding and portrait photographer for Vinson Images based out of Bentonville, Arkansas. Ranked one of the Top 100 Wedding photographers in the World, he has a passion for educating and sharing his craft.

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Interesting little lens - almost like the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8, but made for full frame.

Looks like a sweet compact package of a zoom. Looks similar to the 16-35 PZ lens. No mention of lens corrections being performed by the camera. Sony has placed increasing dependence on the use of in-camera software to correct aberrations. In the general sense, what difference should it make if you let the camera do its thing or have the profile? Except zoom lenses are more complicated to correct for distortion and the owner of the lens will always be dependent on the camera to perform the correction, or the software and profile.