Lens review

Sony FE 24-105 mm f/4 G OSS

11 January 2023
Maciej Lata³³o

4. Image resolution

Our resolution test (resolution meaning the MTF50 function values) of Sony FE lenses is based on RAW files from the 42.4 Mpix sensor of the Sony A7R II or the Sony A7R III camera. In the case of this kind of detector the decency level we set about 39-41 lpmm and the best fixed focal lenses have been able to reach a level of 75-80 lpmm. Record-breaking lenses are able to exceed 80 lpmm and so far, our list of these record-breakers features the Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 50 mm f/2 E (81.0 lpmm), the Sigma C 65 mm f/2 DG DN (82.7 lpmm), and the Sony FE 20 mm f/1.8G (83.7 lpmm).

Let's check how the Sony FE 24-105 mm f/4G OSS compares – first we are going to deal with its result in the frame centre at 24, 40, 70, and 105 mm focal lengths which are presented by a graph below.

Sony FE 24-105 mm f/4 G OSS - Image resolution

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In the 24-70 mm range the lens performs very evenly, with results similar to each other. Already at the maximum relative aperture they reach a very good level of 60 lpmm and on stopping down the aperture by 1 EV they even improve a bit more. Then diffraction comes into play and MTFs have to drop.

The longest focal length fares the weakest, as its maximum relative aperture lags visibly behind, but even there the lens is able to get to almost 44 lpmm so noticeably above the decency level. As you can see, there are no slip-ups in the frame centre.

What about the edge of the frame? First, let's check the performance near the end of the APS-C sensor by looking at a graph below.

Sony FE 24-105 mm f/4 G OSS - Image resolution

In this case the spread is greater. The shortest focal length got the most of care and attention, quite understandable in this type of equipment, and here we have no reservations whatsoever. What's interesting, the 70 mm focal length takes the second place as the lens's resolution performance is also blameless there.

Weak spots can be found at the maximum relative aperture of 40 and 105 mm focal lengths where resolution got to less than 36 lpmm so below the decency level. Fortunately the increase of aperture value by 1 EV is able to eliminate that problem and from that point the lens produces images of good quality no matter what focal length you apply.

Now let's check the situation on the edge of full frame.

Sony FE 24-105 mm f/4 G OSS - Image resolution

This time you practically cannot praise the tested lens at all. At the shortest focal length the graph is surprisingly flat and it crawls along the decency level, fortunately never descending below it. At longer focal lengths you can observe more classic performances – the weakest results they achieve by f/4.0 and then they improve on slight stopping down. Still there's one problem: the maximum relative aperture is useless in the whole range from 40 to 105 mm; it improves only after stopping down the aperture by 1 EV.

To sum up the Sony FE 24-105 MM F/4 G OSS fares decently well for a universal lens with a significantly large focal range. It does exactly what you expect from such a device but nothing more. There are certainly no fireworks; instead you could find many things that should be improved.

At the end of this chapter, traditionally, we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart which were saved as JPEG files along the RAW files, used for the analysis above.

Sony A7R III, JPEG, 40 mm, f/5.6
Sony FE 24-105 mm f/4 G OSS - Image resolution
Sony A7R III, JPEG, 105 mm, f/4.0
Sony FE 24-105 mm f/4 G OSS - Image resolution