Quality of zoom lenses have improved considerably over the past few years. The earlier notion of considering anything beyond 5x zoom as untouchable is fading fast. The new-age super zoom lenses are emerging as hot favourites. Sony has introduced the FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens, which is a versatile solution to their E-mount cameras.
Design and Build Quality
The exterior of the Sony 24- 240mm lens is predominantly built from sturdy polycarbonate-metal combination. The zoom ring has a knurled rubber grip, while the focus ring has a knurled plastic grip. The lens mount is metal, while the filter thread is plastic. The lens does not have any lever or button and neither does it have a focus distance window. The lens extends during zooming, revealing two coaxial plastic inner barrels. In the extended state, the lens does not have any ‘play’, which is an endorsement for precision engineering. The lens has a dust and moisture resistant design.
The Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS lens is specially made for Sony E-mount (Mirrorless) cameras and hence it is not compatible with A-mount bodies. The lens features optical Steady Shot image stabilisation, and is constructed with 17 elements in 12 groups including five aspherical and one ED glass element. When mounted on Sony NEX cameras, this provides a 35mm equivalent focal-length of 36-360mm. Angle of view is 61 to 6 degrees and 50 minutes when mounted on cameras using APS-C sensors, while on bodies with 35mm sensors, the angle of view is 84 to 10 degree. Aperture ranges from f/3.5 to 22 at the wide-angle end and f/6.3 to 40 at the telephoto end. The lens has a circular aperture with a seven-bladed diaphragm. It focusses from 50cm to infinity at the wideangle end and from 80cm to infinity at the telephoto end. The 24-240mm lens provides a maximum magnification of 0.27x. It has a filter size of 72 mm.
Sony provides a petal shaped and bayonet type lens hood along with the lens. The lens has dimensions of approx. 80.5 (dia) x 118.5 mm and weighs 780g.
We tested the Sony 24-240mm OSS lens on an Alpha 7 II body and it itted nicely without any protrusion at the base. The lens was comfortable to handle on the Alpha 7 II. The zoom ring was a little over-damped, but we expect this to loosen up a bit with regular use. The broad zoom ring is at the front, while the thinner focus ring is placed at the back. We somehow felt that the focus ring should have been at the front for ease of manual focussing.
The zoom ring was a little over-damped, but we expect this to loosen up a bit with regular use.