Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sony NEX 7 with Zeiss 24mm f1.8

I had a chance to try the new Sony NEX 7 with the Zeiss 24mm f1.8 lens. Both the lens and camera are pre-production. I'm not sure how useful this posting is, since they are early versions and the photos are kinda lousy.... and I mean user error or what is often called poor photography. LOL.

The lens is bigger than you might want. Much bigger than the 16mm pancake that came out with the original NEX5. It's about the same size as the 18-55 kit lens and the new 50mm portrait lens.

This is the perfect length if you believe that every photo ever taken would have been better if it was taken with a 35mm (35mm on full frame, 24mm on APS). If you believe this, you might like a posting a few weeks back about shooting everything with the 35mm.

Some people are going to want to buy the NEX 7 just for this lens. Those who consider themselves street photographers, those that shoot travel shots and those who love buildings.

Compared to the Fuji X100 with 24mm lens, the NEX is a larger package. Both cameras are interesting and worth considering but the NEX has way more flexibility since the lens comes off. The OLED viewfinder works very well and the camera is enjoyable to use. The Fuji does have the classic look working for it.

Even as a pre-production lens, I found it very sharp. I'm a huge Zeiss fan and willing to admit it. I've had Zeiss on both the Blad system and Rollei gear in the past, and my retail store was the first store in Canada to carry the Zeiss gear in the Leica M-mount.... and now the Nikon/Canon mount. So I love Zeiss glass.

I think this lens will be very worthy of the name. It's sharp, has great contrast and great flare control. Sony believes they have a great camera with the NEX7, plus they make a great sensor, now they have a top drawer lens to add to the combo.

The lens comes in the black finish. The only other lens in the line-up that's black is the NEX 7 18-55 kit lens. I like the black look better than the silver. The lens is heavy, I guess it has a lot of glass in it. Who would have thought. LOL.

I had to give the camera back. There are only two in Canada and my turn was up. I still have the lens and will try and get a few shots with the NEX5N.

At the concert I shot at ISO 400, leaning on the speaker. The focal length is a little short for this situation, but I was also shooting with a dSLR that night.
It's hard to see how great a lens is, when the picture has blur, but it was all I could find.
Again with the blurry shots. Sorry. Blur, pan with flash fill. Nothing to see here folks.... keep moving.
I really will try and get something useful next time out.

In the meantime why not order a Zeiss 35mm f2 for your Leica M camera. I have black and silver in stock at the store.

Rob Skeoch

My retail store for traditional photo supplies is
My retail store for rangefinder gear and Zeiss lenses is


  1. What about the AF speed ?

    Thank you.

  2. I thought it was fine. Hard to tell with a 24mm since the focus doesn't change all that much.
    I had to give the NEX 7 back but will try the NEX5N with the 55-210 which will be a better test. Unless I can get the 7 again.

  3. Do you have a payment plan?? LOL

  4. It's a good question. I don't sell the Sony gear, just large format and rangefinders.

    Getting paid does seem to be the challenge these days. LOL

  5. Very interested to see your 5N with 55-210 tests. Will you try shooting sports with that combo? Also do you have the 18-200 to compare it to?

  6. Does the 24mm E lens have the 3D pop like other zeiss lenses?