Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G review: a downsized delight or does it come up short?

The Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G aims to shrink the size of a ‘trinity’ standard zoom but something has to give and there’s a compromise in telephoto reach.

Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

I like that the Sony FE 24-50mm F2.8 G is relatively compact and lightweight for an f/2.8 constant-aperture standard zoom lens, and I’m impressed that it shoehorns in some smart features and handling finery. But I can’t help feeling shortchanged by the maximum zoom length, compared with a 24-70mm lens.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent sharpness and clarity

  • +

    Constant f/2.8 aperture rating

  • +

    Click/de-click aperture ring

  • +

    Customizable AF-hold button

Cons

  • -

    Limited zoom range

  • -

    Relies on auto distortion correction

  • -

    Pretty pricey

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Sony has been going about its full-frame mirrorless business for more than ten years now and has racked up 73 E-mount lenses along the way. New for 2024, the FE 24-50mm F2.8 G standard zoom and simultaneously released FE 16-25mm F2.8 G wide-angle zoom aim to be the most compact and lightweight options, in the class of full-frame compatible constant-aperture f/2.8 zooms.

So-called ‘trinity’ wide-angle, standard and telephoto zooms with a constant f/2.8 aperture are highly popular the world over, but I find they’re often bulky, heavy lenses that can feel a bit cumbersome. I often prefer zoom lenses with slower f/4 aperture, especially for shooting with slinky mirrorless cameras rather than chunky DSLRs, as they’re generally more compact and lightweight, as well as being cheaper to buy. The downside is that they’re less ideal for freezing motion under dull lighting conditions and can’t deliver such a tight depth of field when I want it.

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Mount optionsSony E (FE)
Lens construction16 elements in 13 groups
Angle of view84-47 degrees
Diaphragm blades11
Minimum aperturef/22
Minimum focus distance0.19-0.3m (0.18-0.29m MF)
Maximum magnification0.3x (0.33x MF)
Filter size67mm
Dimensions75x92mm
Weight440g
Tamron 20-40mm F2.8 Di III VXD

The Tamron 20-40mm F2.8 Di III VXD is cheaper to buy and even smaller and lighter. It’s a better fit if you want greater wide-angle coverage and don’t mind the shorter maximum focal length.

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD G2

A ‘trinity’ standard zoom with a slightly different range, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD G2 is exceptional value and not much bigger or heavier, weighing in at 540g.

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