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24-70/4, 16-35/4 or both?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by EstimatedEyes, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. EstimatedEyes

    EstimatedEyes New to TalkEmount

    3
    Feb 9, 2016
    Dennis
    Hey all -- I am thinking seriously of making the jump to the A7ii after 30+years shooting Pentax, mostly to go FF without increasing size/weight over my K3 APS-C kit -- particularly for travel. Unfortunately, the ability to use my pentax glass on the A7 appears to be limited to MF and M or AP, so I am looking for some new native glass, and debating whether to get the 24-70 or 16-35 for an upcoming trip or bite the bullet and grab both. I tend to shoot wide (on a recent trip 75% of my shots were in the 22.5-70 FF range, 15 APS being the widest I had), so I am pretty sure I would use both, but not sure the expense is worth it for the added 16-23 range ... if there was a quality 15/2 or similar I would get that and be done with it.

    SO, looking for some advise for those of you who have carried both the 24-70/4 and the 16-35/4 (The 24-70/2.8 is not in the running, mostly due to size and also cost) -- how would you compare quality between the two? What's your usage pattern between the two when you are carrying both? If you could only pick one which would it be?

    Thanks all for your help!
     
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I have both the FE 24-70/4 and 16-35/4 and so far I'm keeping both. I'm not much of a traveller but I do go out regularly with a slingbag filled with the A7 and the FE 16-35/4, 24-70/4 and 70-200/4. It's about the maximum weight I can tolerate for some hours on end. I've been thinking to get the Loxia 21mm instead of the 16-35mm but I don't think that's going to happen because I usually don't go below 24mm all that much, I often stay in the range of 22 to 30mm. So far I even haven't made one single meaningful picture at 16mm, I just don't take to super wide-angle perspective very much. I know a lot of 16-35mm owners use it predominantly at 16mm, sometimes stating that "you don't buy such a lens to use it at 35mm". Rubbish, it's there so I use it and while the lens is weakest at 35mm, stopping down to f/8 yields high-quality imagery in my experience.

    The FE 24-70/4 is quite good between about 30mm and 60mm for landscape shots but its corners are unsharp at 24mm, even at smaller apertures, so in practice they complement each other nicely; I tend to switch between them at 30mm if I have the time. Apart from landscape work I use the 24-70 for snapshots all the time, unsharp corners aren't a concern then and it's a wonderfully flexible lens for that, also because of its OSS and good performance wide-open except at 70mm where stopping down to f/5.6 is adviseable. All this relates to my sample; unfortunately there is quite some sample variation for this lens so make sure you try a copy before committing to it. Like you I don't see myself getting the announced FE 24-70/2.8; too big, heavy and expensive and I just don't need the extra stop.

    If I had to give up one of the two, it would be the 16-35mm simply because the 24-70mm is on my camera most of the time; I could live with adapted lenses for my landscape wide-angle needs if I had to.
     
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  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I had the 24-70, and still have (and enjoy) the 16-35. Once the 24-240 came out the 24-70 became redundant for me. That said, I got a lot of keepers from it. So if you don't often need the extra reach, the 16-35 and 24-70 could complement each other nicely.
     
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  4. EstimatedEyes

    EstimatedEyes New to TalkEmount

    3
    Feb 9, 2016
    Dennis
    Thanks. The info re the IQ at overlap was very helpful Ad. I hadn't considered that and I can see how there would be less redundancy given that.

    I think for extra reach I will get an adapter and use my pentax 135/2.8 ... I don't see myself lugging the 28-200 around very much. I suppose I should consider the 24-240 as an alternative to the 24-70, but my experience with superzooms has been that in the end the loss of IQ is too much to pay for the added convenience. How would you compare the IQ between the two David?
     
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  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I'm no pixel peeper, and I wasn't able to do any side-by-side testing. But in reviewing my older 24-70 photos, I found the difference to be inconsequential. My suspicion is that the 24-70 would beat the 24-240 in a rigorous test. But the 24-240 is a very good superzoom. And it blows the 24-70 out of the water at any focal length beyond 70mm. :p
     
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  6. Xterra

    Xterra TalkEmount Regular

    93
    Feb 8, 2016
    Strasbourg, France
    David
    Personally I gave up on the 24-70 f/4 and replaced it with a Loxia 50mm f/2 for portrait work. I like the 16-35 at all its focal length and better than the 24-70 was. JMO
     
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  7. EstimatedEyes

    EstimatedEyes New to TalkEmount

    3
    Feb 9, 2016
    Dennis
    The lack of 24-70 love has me thinking the 28-70/3.5-5.6 may be a better place to start (with the 16-35). Reviews are decent, I've got some nice pentax 50 glass (1.4 and 1.7), and the $800 I save can help me add the 35/1.4 or 85/1.4 down the road if the need arises.
     
  8. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB TalkEmount Regular

    145
    Feb 9, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    Bob
    FWIW.. I've had two brand new 28-70 kit lenses and their results were the same, way too soft on the edges. To me they were not worthy of a FF camera and didn't better the RX100 by much if any. I got the 24-70 and it was a definite, worthwhile improvement. My use is primarily fast moving travel/landscape and the 24-70 rarely leaves the camera. There are pics in my motorcycle travel thread down in scenic/arch/landscape forum. I will say this, you have my wheels turning on whether the 16-35 might serve me better as the majority of my pics are at 24mm - the 16-35 is prob the better lens at 24. I have one available to me and might just use it for BikeWeek this yr...

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  9. robbie36

    robbie36 TalkEmount Veteran

    488
    Nov 21, 2014
    When I travel I have 16-35 on one camera and 70-200 on another. I take a 55 for the times I desperately need I between. I have the 24-70 but it only gets use in studio.


    Sent from my iPad using TalkEmount mobile app
     
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  10. nidza

    nidza TalkEmount Regular

    120
    Nov 1, 2013
    Serbia
    Exactly.

    24-something is very boring range, usually with boring results. It is also very expensive. I keep cheapest kit 28-70, which I got with a7ii, just to let it be, but never use it.

    UWA is much more interesting, but also more difficult to take quality photos. Probably most difficult lenses to compose properly are UWA. I would go with UWA and tele, with 1-2 primes in between. 70-200 is on shooting people replaceable with fast 85+ prime.
     
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  11. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Too true, I make most of my boring pictures with the FE 24-70mm. Yawn. :D
     
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  12. nidza

    nidza TalkEmount Regular

    120
    Nov 1, 2013
    Serbia
    :D

    Go for UWA definetely, it will give you much more fun, maybe 28/2 if you don't have it yet (this is a must have lens for A7ii) with 21mm convertor. I don't know whether you have considered this possibility.
     
  13. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I have the FE 16-35mm as well. Was just kidding a bit, there are people who can make exciting work with a "boring" lens. I think Henri Cartier-Bresson didn't have trouble confining himself to focal lengths that are well within 24 to 70mm. On a more serious note, a long time ago I tried a 20mm on my Minolta SR-T 303b and fell in love with it on the spot, shot a whole film within half an hour. These days I tend to use more "normal" focal lengths, somewhere between 30 and 50mm. When I want to travel light, it's just the A7 and an Olympus OM Zuiko 40/2.
     
  14. Xterra

    Xterra TalkEmount Regular

    93
    Feb 8, 2016
    Strasbourg, France
    David
    How boring UWA can be :) 16mm
    fabd8ce63303ca6f2d61b44d18232604.
     
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  15. nidza

    nidza TalkEmount Regular

    120
    Nov 1, 2013
    Serbia
    Perfect UWA composition. This one should be in UWA know-how. :)

    What is missing is some interesting clouds, but this is not up to you, but this guy up there.