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Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA E-mount Prime Lens

4.5 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews
| 42 answered questions

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  • Employs the legendary "Sonnar" optical design for standout image dimensionality and presence
  • Seven aperture blades form a near circle, which results in a pleasing defocused effect on the background of your image when the aperture is set wide open
  • Allows for 1/4 macro shooting with accurate focus as close as 6.2 inches (16cm)
  • Direct Manual Focus (DMF) allows for direct manual focusing after autofocus lock-on without having to switch modes
  • Lens operation is fast but at the same time smooth and quiet, minimizing noise and image jitter when shooting movies
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This item: Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA E-mount Prime Lens
Customer Rating 4 out of 5 stars (82) 4 out of 5 stars (159) 4 out of 5 stars (29) 5 out of 5 stars (59)
Price $1,098.00 $448.00 $599.99 $448.00
Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By Amazon.com Amazon.com UTM Inc Amazon.com
Compatible Mountings Sony E (NEX) Sony E (NEX) Information not provided Sony E (NEX)
Dimensions 2.48 inches x 2.58 inches x 2.48 inches 2.48 inches x 1.77 inches x 2.48 inches 7 inches x 7 inches x 7 inches 2.52 inches x 2.36 inches x 2.52 inches
Item Weight 0.49 pounds 0.34 pounds 0.44 pounds 0.44 pounds
Lens Prime lens Prime lens 32mm f/1.8 Prime lens
Maximum Aperture 1.8 1.8 1.8 2 f
Max Focal Length 24 mm 35 mm 32 mm 28 mm
Min Aperture 22 22 1.8 f 22
Min Focal Length 24 mm 35 mm 32 mm 28 mm
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Product Description

Product Description

This is the first Carl Zeiss lens to be released in the Sony E-mount lineup, employing the legendary “Sonnar” optical design for standout image dimensionality and presence. A spherical lenses located on either side of the aperture effectively compensate for distortion, while an ED element suppresses chromatic aberration. The overall result is excellent corner-to-corner sharpness even with the aperture wide open, for impressive overall resolution.

From the Manufacturer

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Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Wide-Angle Prime Lens

This high-performance Carl Zeiss wide-angle prime lens delivers superior corner-to-corner sharpness even at the maximum F1.8 aperture. It also focuses as close as 16cm providing an unusual combination of close focus and wide-angle perspective. The 24mm focal length is an excellent choice for general shooting.

Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Wide-Angle Prime Lens

Technology

Circular Aperture
ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass
Aspherical lens elements

Circular Aperture

When changing your aperture to defocus the background, the light sources appear blurred. This ‘bokeh’ effect of the blurred background can be enhanced with circular aperture blades used in this lens. Conventional aperture blades have flat sides creating unappealing polygonal shaped defocussed points of light. α lenses overcome this problem through a unique design that keeps the aperture almost perfectly circular from its wide-open setting to when it is closed by 2 stops. Smoother, more natural defocusing can be obtained as a result.

ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass

As focal lengths get longer, lenses built with conventional optical glass have difficulties with chromatic aberration, and as a result images suffer from lower contrast, lower color quality, and lower resolution. ED glass dramatically reduces chromatic aberration at telephoto ranges, and provides superior contrast across the entire image, even at large aperture settings. Super ED glass provides enhanced compensation for chromatic aberration.

Aspherical lens elements

Aspherical lens design dramatically reduces spherical aberration while also reducing lens size and weight. Spherical aberration is a slight misalignment of the light rays projected on the image plane. This is caused by differences in refraction at different points on conventional spherical lenses which degrade image quality in large-aperture lenses. Specially shaped “aspherical” elements near the diaphragm restore alignment of light rays at the image plane, maintaining high sharpness and contrast even at maximum aperture and can also be used at other points in the optical path to reduce distortion. Well-designed aspherical elements can reduce the total number of elements required in the lens, thus reducing overall size and weight. Advanced Aspherical (AA) elements are an evolved variant, featuring an extremely high thickness ratio between the center and periphery. AA elements are exceedingly difficult to produce, relying on the most advanced molding technology to consistently and precisely achieve the required shape and surface accuracy, resulting in significantly improved image accuracy and quality.

Carl Zeiss T* (T-star) coating

Carl Zeiss T* (T-star) coating

Coated optics were pioneered by Carl Zeiss - and this superb lens features the Carl Zeiss T* (T-Star) coating that virtually eliminates lens flare, internal reflection and light scattering that can otherwise occur at glass-to-air surfaces. The T* coating contributes to outstanding image quality, with high contrast and uniformly excellent resolution right out to the image edges. Not simply applied to any lens - the T* symbol only appears on multi-element lenses in which the required performance has been achieved throughout the entire optical path, therefore guaranteeing the highest quality.

Additional Features

Internal focusing

Only the middle groups of the optical system move to achieve focus, so the overall length of the lens does not change. Other important benefits include fast autofocusing and a short minimum focusing distance. Also, the filter thread at the front of the lens does not rotate, which is convenient if you’re using a polarizing filter.

Sony make . believe

2011 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sony is not responsible for typographic and photographic errors. Features and specifications are subject to change without notice. Sony and Optical SteadyShot are trademarks of Sony. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.


Product Information

Product Dimensions 2.6 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches
Item Weight 7.8 ounces
Shipping Weight 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
ASIN B005IHAI8O
Item model number SEL24F18Z
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #331 in Camera & Photo > Lenses > Camera Lenses > Digital Camera Lenses
Date first available at Amazon.com August 23, 2011

Technical Specification

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I pre-ordered this Zeiss lens very early on in August 2011. Getting this lens over a week ago, I wondered whether my implicit trust in Zeiss as implemented in a Sony E-mount is justified. I have used several excellent Zeiss lenses with my Nikon dSLR and wanted to give an auto-focusing version of one of its proven design a try with the Sony NEX-5N.

It is early days yet I am already inclined to give this lens a 5-star on account of its very good performance wide-open and even more, when stopped down to f/2.5 onward. The center is sharp wide-open and the corners improves visibly by f/2.8. Color, contrast and detail are all superb, while vignetting is minimal wide-open. This lens is very well-balanced and it is difficult to exaggerate how well this lens draws and renders an image. Clarity and acuity are immediately noticeable when transitioning from one of the Sony lenses to this lens.

The lens comes in a soft black bag and also comes with a hood that can be reversed into the lens for a compact carry. It takes a 49mm filter. Is the lens expensive? Do I want this lens to be priced less? Definitely. But as an owner of several Zeiss lens and knowing full well what these lenses can deliver, I cannot in good point claim that this lens is expensive. If anything, I would consider this lens as very good value. I could actually go farther in my praise of this lens but in this time of economic dislocation, it would be imprudent for me to say this so I will leave this praise where it is now.

If I am forced to look for a weakness in this lens, I would say that it exist in two areas. The first is that this lens is nowhere as small or as light as the Sony 16mm f/2.8. It is a fairly big lens and substantially increases the size of the NEX-5N when mounted.
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This is an optical masterpiece for NEX shooters. It stands tall above all the other currently available E-mount AF offerings in just about every category. It's priced accordingly, of course. But even if you're having reservations about spending $1k on a prime lens, consider the fact that this particular gem has the optical quality of modern Leica aspherical lenses that cost 3-4 times more. The all-metal construction and smoothness of the focusing ring exudes quality and remind me of precision-built pieces of jewelry from Leica, except this one will also auto-focus on an NEX body!

I am also a Nikon DSLR and Leica M9 shooter so my expectations were already sky high when it came to camera lens quality. This lens truly delivers. If you have an NEX-5N or C3 with the brilliant 16mp sensor or the resolution monster that is the NEX-7, your camera deserves this lens. Depending on what type of shooting you do, it may be the only lens you'll ever need. Ever since I received mine, it has not left my NEX-5N and when I finally get my grubby hands on an NEX-7, it will likely live in that body almost permanently as well. On the APS-C sensor, it is at the ideal "normal" focal length of 36mm for almost every type of photography. One can do landscapes, close-ups, portraiture, get nice bokeh, and improvise just to get about any type of shot with just this lens. If you don't mind the extra weight and size, it's the ideal walk-around lens for the NEX camera and even has an impressive close-focus distance of half a foot for a very welcome semi-macro capability. Lets face it, just about any quality lens will look and feel out-of-place in the very compact NEX bodies, so this is a small price to pay to get the amazing images it will deliver.
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I'll start this by saying that there is not much to choose from as far as lenses go for the Sony NEX line. The Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 fills the void of a great walk around street shooting lens. From the minute you unpack the box you start to see why you just spent $1,000 on a prime lens for a NEX camera. It comes with a soft leather Sony pouch. The lens hood is a high quality metal and plastic combo. The hood can be reverse fitted but will obstruct the manual focus ring though. The lens itself is built like a tank. All metal construction with an excellent large, smooth, manual focus ring.

Now on to the photo quality. Very sharp at 1.8 and tack sharp stepped down at 2.8-4. The lens produces wonderful images. It has a certain look to the photos similar to what you find in Leica photos and the Fuji x100 and other rangefinders. The boheh is silky smooth. Easily as good if not better than bright Canon L primes. One additional feature of this lens is that it has surprisingly good macro capability. Very uncommon for short prime lenses. Can focus from about 6 inches away. Perfect for flowers and even insects if you can get in close.

The focus is ok. While it is fairly accurate, there is some hunting and misfocusing in low light but I expected this and its not much of an issue with the great manual focus ring. This is also more to do with the NEX cameras using contrast detection versus Phase detection.

The only other gripe I could have would be the size. This lens is fairly large and heavy for a short prime but does not feel off balance when you are holding it. It is significantly larger than the 16mm 2.8 pancake lens, but it is far superior in photo quality to any lens I have tried on a Sony NEX 7. This is a perfect partner for this camera or any NEX camera.
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