Review of Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

According provided by Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * lens many thanks the store ProFotoSalewhere you can find many new and used lenses for different systems, including similar lens Carl Zeiss.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z). increase.


  1. In short
  2. History
  3. Main Specifications
  4. Assembly
  5. Focusing
  6. Image quality
  7. Sample Photos
  8. My personal experience with the lens
  9. Lens prices
  10. All Sony E APS-C cameras
  11. All Sony E APS-C Lenses
  12. Results
  13. Additional materials on mirrorless systems
  14. User Comments
  15. Add your review or question on the lens

In this review, the lens Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z) I will abbreviate as Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA.

It's important: This lens also exists with a different name written near the front lens - Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8/24 ZA T*. There is no difference between the 'Zeiss' and 'Carl Zeiss' versions.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

In short

The Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA is a fast, medium wide-angle lens for mirrorless cropped cameras with Sony E mount. Unique in its kind. Has high optical characteristics, high-quality assembly and fast focusing. The very small minimum focusing distance should be mentioned separately.

There are only two lenses co-produced by Carl Zeiss and Sony (the so-called Sony ZA) for Sony E series NEX and Alpha mirrorless cropped cameras: this is the hero of this review and Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar E 4/16-70 ZA OSS T* (Sony SEL1670Z).

Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA is very convenient to use, it can act as a very good full-time fixed-lens for every day.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)


Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA was introduced in December 2011 years. It first lens Sony ZA for Sony E.

In 2006, Sony and Zeiss became partners in the production of lenses and released the first three joint lenses: Carl Zeiss 85 / 1.4, 135 / 1.8 and 16-80 / 3.5-4.5 for SLR cameras with Sony A / Minolta A mount. In the future, their cooperation continued and resulted in many other decisions.

Below shown list of all Sony ZA lenses:

E (APS-C):

  1. Carl Zeiss / Zeiss Sonar E 1.8 /24 ZA T* (Sony SEL24F18Z) [2011]
  2. Carl Zeiss / Zeiss Various-Tessar E 4 /16-70 ZA OSS T* (Sony SEL1670Z) [2013]

FE (Full Frame):

  1. Zeiss Distagon FE 1.4 /35 ZA T* (Sony SEL35F14Z) [2014]
  2. Carl Zeiss / Zeiss Sonar FE 2.8 /35 ZA T* (Sony SEL35F28Z) [2013]
  3. Zeiss planar FE 1.4 /50 ZA T* (Sony SEL50F14Z) [2016]
  4. Carl Zeiss / Zeiss Sonar FE 1.8 /55 ZA T* (Sony SEL55F18Z) [2013]
  5. Zeiss Various-Tessar FE 4 /16-35 ZA OSS T* (Sony SEL1635Z) [2014]
  6. Carl Zeiss / Zeiss Various-Tessar FE 4 /24-70 ZA OSS T* (Sony SEL2470Z) [2013]


  1. Carl Zeiss Various-Sonar DT 3.5-4.5 /16-80 ZA T*(Sony SAL1680Z) [2006]

A (full frame):

  1. Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/24 ZA T* SSM (Sony SAL24F20Z) [2010]
  2. Carl Zeiss planar 1.4 /50 ZA T* SSM (Sony SAL50F14Z) ​​[2012]
  3. Carl Zeiss planar 1.4 /85 ZA T*(Sony SAL85F14Z) ​​[2006]
  4. Carl Zeiss Sonar 1.8 /135 ZA T* (SAL135F18Z)[2006]
  5. Carl Zeiss Various-Sonar 2.8 /16-35 ZA T* SSM (Sony SAL1635Z) [2008]
  6. Zeiss Various-Sonar 2.8 /16-35 ZA SSM II T* (Sony SAL1635Z2) [2015]
  7. Carl Zeiss Various-Sonar 2.8 /24-70 ZA T* SSM (Sony SAL2470Z) [2008]
  8. Zeiss Various-Sonar 2.8 /24-70 ZA SSM II T* (Sony SAL2470Z2) [2015]

Maybe someone knows why some lenses have 'Carl Zeiss' in their name and some only 'Zeiss'. The names in the list are shown throughout as written on the lens near the front lens.

The debate about what is more in these lenses - 'Carl Zeiss' or 'Sony' continues to this day.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Main technical specifications of Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z):

Review Instance Name Near the front lens Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * Ø49 ′ + serial number

On '1,8 / 24 Sony E-mount Zeiss 0.16m / 0.52ft' body

ID plate 'SEL24F18Z Made in Japan'

Basic properties
  • E (E-mount) - Lens designed for Sony E-mount APS-C sensorless mirrorless cameras
  • SEL - Sony 'E' mount mirrorless lens. This lens has a short name and identifier 'Sony SEL24F18Z'
  • Internal Linear Motor - internal focus motor
  • T* - special coating for optics Carl Zeiss T *
  • ZA (ZEISS Alpha) - the lens has been tested by Zeiss to all the highest quality standards. The lens was developed by Sony in cooperation with Zeiss.
  • DMF (DDirectly Mannual Focus) - direct manual focus
  • Internal focus
  • Electronic focus ring
  • Aspherical elements in the optical circuit
  • Low dispersion elements in the optical circuit
  • Included hood
Front Filter Diameter 49 mm, plastic thread for light filters
Focal length 24 mm EGF for Sony cameras with APS-C sensor is 36 mm
Zoom ratio 1 x
Designed by for Sony NEX / Sony Alpha ILCE digital mirrorless cameras
Number of aperture blades 7 rounded petals
  • bayonet mount mark (white dot)
  • hood attachment mark (red dot)
Diaphragm F / 1.8 to F / 22
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 0.16 m, maximum magnification ratio is 1: 4 (0.25X)
The weight 221 grams, only the lens itself (measured)
Optical design 8 elements in 7 groups

Optical design Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)The circuit includes 2 aspherical elements and 1 low dispersion element.

Lens hood Bayonet, plastic, supplied, marked Sony ALC-SH114
Manufacturer country Made In Japan (made in Japan)
Period  From December 2011
Price The real cost of this lens can be seen, for example, here.

The f / 1.8 aperture is about 2/3 steps smaller than the f / 1.4 for aperture solutions. It is very strange that Sony does not produce a single lens with aperture above F/1.8 for their Sony E APS-C mirrorless cropped cameras. At the same time, other manufacturers with F / 1.4 have solutions for mirrorless crop, for example, Fujinon 23 / 1.4, Canon 32 / 1.4, Viltrox 23 / 1.4.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)


Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA manufactured in Japan. The touch is pleasant and reliable.

The lens uses a metal mount. The focusing ring is quite wide, not rubberized, pleasant to use.

There is a bayonet mount mark and a mark on the case for quick installation of the hood. The lens uses a plastic hood, which is fixed in special grooves located near the front lens of the lens.

Interesting: the grooves under the hood are between the filter and the frame of the housing. The hood must be inserted into this hollow, rotated and clicked. I find this solution very rarely, it allows you not to make the lens hood lens petals to the outer part of the frame and not spoil the overall smooth design. A trifle, but nice.

Interesting 2: the hood consists, as it were, of two parts, painted in dark gray and black. The dark gray front color matches the focus ring. And the usual glossy black color matches the overall color of the lens barrel. The color difference is clearly visible in bright light. It's a designer's little thing, but the attention to detail shapes the overall attitude to the lens.

The hood can be installed in the opposite direction for transportation. In this position, access to the focus ring becomes unavailable.

The diameter of the front filter is 49 mm; a lot of other Sony E lenses have a similar diameter, for example, 16mm f / 2.8 or 55-210mm f / 4.5-6.3 OSSthat facilitates and unifies the use of the system.

The diaphragm consists of 7 rounded petals that form a hole in the shape of a regular heptagon.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)


The lens uses a built-in focus motor... Most likely a 'linear' motor is used.

Auto focus speed high. The focusing speed will depend slightly on the camera used. For example, the Sony a3500, on which I tested this lens, uses automatic contrast focusing, which is sometimes slower than the hybrid focusing methods of subsequent generations of Sony Alpha. Auto focus is very quiet.

While working with the Sony a3500 camera, the focus accuracy was at a high level. With good lighting, there are practically no problems with accuracy, tenacity, and refocusing.

Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA uses electronic focus ring. Focus ring not rubberized, wide, in manual focus mode rotates approximately full turn. When extreme positions are reached, the ring does not abut, but continues to rotate. Manual focus is enough conveniently. The focus ring rotates very easily (with one finger). I did not observe delays when changing the direction of rotation. The electronic focus ring is more responsive to its speed of rotation than to a specific angle of rotation, which sometimes creates a tactile inconvenience.

Electronic focus ring makes function easy DMF (DDirectly Mannual Focus) direct manual focus.

During focusing, the front lens remains stationary, as the lens uses internal focus. Thus, it is possible to use any filters without problems, for example polarizing or gradient.

The minimum focusing distance is only 16 cm, while you can get the maximum magnification for macro photography 1: 4, which is very good. The working distance is about 7 cm (distance from the subject to the lens).

Other focusing features:

  • After the lens has lost accurate focusing, refocusing is fast enough.
  • The lens does not have a depth of field scale, focusing distance, and tags for working in the infrared spectrum.
  • Focus shift (shift-focus) was not noticed during operation and testing. At the same time, due to the features of the Sony mirrorless cameras, this ailment with these cameras is not terrible at all.
  • The focusing speed depends heavily on the illumination, the selected focusing mode in the camera menu, and the focusing logic of each individual camera.
  • During manual focusing, the focus distance bar appears on the display of some cameras.
  • The Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA has a small 'Focus Breathing' effect (changing the viewing angle during focusing). While focusing on MDF, the angle decreases slightly.
Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Image quality

Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA was introduced in 2011, when the camera with the highest pixel density was Sony NEX-5N (16 MP CMOS). But the lens is designed to easily digest both 24 and 32 MP APS-C sensors.

In general, the Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA has no complaints. It creates a very sharp image already with f / 1.8. The remaining optical characteristics are at a fairly comfortable level.


  • high sharpness in the center of the frame is already at f / 1.8
  • very high resolution over the entire field of the frame at F / 4-F / 11
  • slight drop in resolution at the corners of the image
  • good sharpness in the corners of the frame becomes in the area of ​​F / 4


  • there is a slight pincushion distortion
  • the nature of distortion is unified, easily corrected in the editor


  • vignetting is at a level typical for such lenses
  • at F / 1.8 vignetting is in the region of 1 1/3 - 1 2/3 stops
  • vignetting almost disappears at values ​​after f / 2.8
  • vignetting is easily fixable in the editor


  • the strongest chromatic aberration visible at the edges and corners of the image
  • the amount of chromatic aberration is at the level of other similar lenses
  • chromatic aberration poorly controlled by aperture
  • Sony's native EDIT 1.4 utility very well removes chromatic aberration from the original RAW files automatically ('Lens Correction' -> 'Chromatic Aberration Correction' function)


  • lens well tolerates side and back lightbut still in difficult conditions you can get tangible artifacts
  • aperture blades form a regular heptagon on virtually any hidden aperture value
  • on closed diaphragms you can get a pronounced effect of a 14-ray star (see examples of photos, this effect is shown there)

The Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA has a profile in most popular RAW converters such as ACR and Lightroom.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Sample Photos

All photos in the review are shown without processing. Camera used Sony a3500. All photos are on-camera JPEG. Sony a3500 cannot shoot exclusively in RAW format, but only in RAW + JPEG or JPEG. Picture control mode 'Standard 0/1/1'. Functions' Corr. ob .: Shading ',' Corr. about: Chrome. aberr. ' and 'Corr. rev .: Distortion 'have been disabled.

Original JPEG '.JPG' photos can be download from this link (47 photos, 300 MB).

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

My experience

The Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA is the best stock APS-C crop camera I have ever shot.

24 mm on the crop is a very, very convenient focal length, giving EGFequal to 36 mm. In fact, Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA on cropped cameras is a replacement for common full-frame solutions like 35 / 1.8.

To be completely happy in the Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA, I would like to see F / 1.4 instead of F / 1.8. For example, F / 1.4 is available for similar Fujinon 23 / 1.4 и Viltrox 23 / 1.4.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)


The real cost of this lens can be seen, for example, here.

All Sony E-mount cameras with APS-C sensor

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

All Sony E lenses for APS-C

Fix Lenses:

  1. Sony 11 mm f/1.8 (announcement) [2022, black, AliExpress price]
  2. Sony 15 mm f / 1.4 G (announcement) [2022, black, AliExpress price]
  3. Sony 16 mm f/2.8 (overview) [2010, silver, AliExpress price]
  4. Sony 20 mm f/2.8 (announcement) [2013, silver, AliExpress price]
  5. Sony 24 mm f / 1.8 ZEISS ZA (overview) [2011, black]
  6. Sony 30 mm f / 3.5 MACRO (overview) [2011, silver, AliExpress price]
  7. Sony 35 mm f / 1.8 OSS (announcement) [2012, black, AliExpress price]
  8. Sony 50 mm f / 1.8 OSS (announcement) [2011, black/silver, AliExpress price]

Zoom Lenses:

  1. Sony 10-18 mm f / 4 OSS (announcement) [2012, black, AliExpress price]
  2. Sony 10-20 mm f / 4 G PZ (announcement) [2022, black, AliExpress price]
  3. Sony 16-50 mm f / 3.5-5.6 PZ OSS (overview) [2012, black/silver, AliExpress price]
  4. Sony 16-55 mm f / 2.8 G (overview) [2019, black, AliExpress price]
  5. Sony 16-70 mm f / 4 OSS ZEISS ZA (overview) [2013, black, AliExpress price]
  6. Sony 18-50 mm f/4-5.6 (overview) [2014, black]
  7. Sony 18-55 mm f / 3.5-5.6 OSS (overview) [2010, black/silver]
  8. Sony 18-105 mm f / 4 G PZ OSS (overview) [2013, black, AliExpress price]
  9. Sony 18-110 mm f / 4 G PZ OSS (announcement) [2016, black]
  10. Sony 18-135 mm f / 3.5-5.6 OSS (overview) [2018, black, AliExpress price]
  11. Sony 18-200 mm f / 3.5-6.3 OSS (overview) [2010, silver, AliExpress price]
  12. Sony 18-200 mm f / 3.5-6.3 OSS LE (overview) [2012, black, AliExpress price]
  13. Sony 18-200 mm f / 3.5-6.3 PZ OSS (announcement) [2012, black]
  14. Sony 55-210 mm f / 4.5-6.3 OSS (announcement) [2011, black/silver, AliExpress price]
  15. Sony 70-350 mm f/4.5–6.3 G OSS (announcement) [2019, black, AliExpress price]

Third-party autofocus lenses for Sony E APS-C:

Many interesting manual solutions are provided by Chinese manufacturers and brands. 7Artisans, TTartisan, Meike, Neewer, PerGear, Kamlan, Brightin star, Mitakon Zhongyi, Venus laowaFujian, ARTRALABAstrHori other. Autofocus Speed ​​Boosters are also interesting Viltrox Canon EF -> Sony E 0.71X и Metabones Canon EF -> Sony E 0.71X... List of full-frame cameras and lenses Sony FE (Full Frame E) here

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)


Sony 24 / 1.8 ZA is a very high quality lens, very convenient for everyday use. But you have to pay well for quality and convenience.

10 main advantages:

  1. very convenient focal length when used on Sony E APS-C crop cameras
  2. light weight, compact enough dimensions, hood included
  3. focus type internal
  4. focus is very quiet and fast, optimized for photos and videos
  5. very small minimum focusing distance of only 16 cm
  6. convenient electronic focus ring
  7. aspherical and low dispersion elements in the optical scheme
  8. Zeiss quality control
  9. T * coating, which makes the lens high contrast and good color rendering
  10. high sharpness in the center, even at full aperture. Other optical indicators are at a fairly good level.

10 main disadvantages:

  1. a high price tag of around $ 1100 (e.g. Viltrox 23 / 1.4 costs 3-4 times less)
  2. no built-in image stabilizer (for example, it has Sony 35 / 1.8 OSS)
  3. no weather protection
  4. there is no focus mode switch (for example, Sony 16-55 / 2.8)
  5. only 7 aperture blades, heptagons in bokeh (e.g. Sony 16-55 / 2.8 9 petals are used)
  6. aperture F / 1.8, not F / 1.4. The Sony E APS-C system does not have a single lens with F / 1.4. For example, Fuji APS-C has a similar Fujinon 23 / 1.4
  7. there are no useful tags (e.g. Fujinon 23 / 1.4 very informative on tags)
  8. a small amount of chromatic aberration at the corners and edges of the image
  9. slight subsidence of sharpness at the corners and edges of the image
  10. glare in difficult lighting conditions

Materials on the topic

  1. Full frame mirrorless systems... Discussion, choice, recommendations.
  2. Cropped mirrorless systems... Discussion, choice, recommendations.
  3. Cropped mirrorless systems that have stopped or are no longer developing
  4. Digital SLR systems that have stopped or are no longer developing
  5. JVI or EVI (an important article that answers the question 'DSLR or mirrorless')
  6. About mirrorless batteries
  7. Simple and clear medium format
  8. High-speed solutions from Chinese brands
  9. All fastest autofocus zoom lenses
  10. All fastest AF prime lenses
  11. Mirrored full frame on mirrorless medium format
  12. Autofocus Speed ​​Boosters
  13. One lens to rule the world
  14. The impact of smartphones on the photography market
  15. What's next (smartphone supremacy)?
  16. All announcements and novelties of lenses and cameras

According provided by Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * lens many thanks the store ProFotoSalewhere you can find many new and used lenses for different systems, including similar lens Carl Zeiss.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment:



Comments: 20, on the topic: Review of Carl Zeiss Sonnar E 1,8 / 24 ZA T * (Sony SEL24F18Z)

  • Alex

    f / 11 on crop is very extreme.
    for an 18-megapixel matrix already at f / 8, diffraction noticeably sets the sharpness this way.

  • Rodion

    What is more here - Zeiss or Sony - that's okay. But the fact that the optical scheme is a derivative of a planar (two. Gauss), and not a zonnar, is clearly seen from the sketch.

    • Roman

      Yes, as it were, where are the zonnar oily glasses. They generally, such a feeling, simply play with old names, regardless of optical schemes.

      • Rodion

        Well, in general, yes. Therefore, they seem to refuse them already.

    • Michael

      Zeiss officially said that the names of his lenses (Sonnar, Distagon, etc.) are just the commercial name of the line and have nothing to do with the optical design.

  • alexey_laa

    About “Zeiss” - “Carl Zeiss” there was a note on (2013) with a link to the official Zeiss blog. “To create consistency when mentioning a brand” as it is known as “Zeiss” in many countries and languages.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thank you!

  • Oleg

    Arkady you are a workaholic. Every day review. Many thanks.

  • Roman

    If you don’t bump into the glass specifically and don’t pay attention to the nature of the blurring of lilac branches in the background, but take only what “you can shoot anything” and purely for utilitarian purposes ... I would take Touit 12 / 2.8 or my own 10 -18, this one is 24 mm, native fifty dollars or Touit 50 / 2.8 Macro and native 70-350. A slight discrepancy in filters, of course, but reduce everything to 67 with adapters and shoot whatever you want.

  • B. R. P.

    Not a day without Zeiss! Thanks to Arkady and ProFotoSale.

  • Eugen

    The name of the company was shortened several years ago. About this somewhere wrote Evtifeev.

  • Vsevolod

    About Sony Zeiss was in this video

  • Vitaly

    Compare it forehead with this
    Samyang AF 24 mm f / 2.8 FE

    • Rodion

      Still, 1.8 and 2.8 are very different things. On equal apertures, Samyang may not be worse - 7 elements, 3 of which are aspherical.

  • Alexey

    Thanks to Arkady for reviewing the rare glass for E mount.
    I had such a lens on the nex6 and then on the A6000.
    very well made and tactilely pleasant thing.
    I did not like the picture - on the open one it does not give razor sharpness, some kind of porridge comes out.
    To get a good picture, you need to close the hole decently.
    Although I note that this glass (which was to be expected) is significantly better than sel 35mm 1.8
    But noticeably inferior in picture and volume sel 50 1.8

  • Vlad

    It would be interesting to know the expert opinion on the use of this lens in comparison with the Zeiss Touit 1.8 / 32 E-mount as a tripod.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      30-35mm will be less comfortable anyway. I shot a lot with the Sigma 30 / 1.4 and Nikon 35 / 1.8 DX on a crop as a standard, 24mm is much more convenient.

  • Alexey K

    If we consider now him or Viltrox 23, is there any point in overpaying?
    Why I ask, I look at this lens in addition to the standard 16-70F4 zoom primarily because of its weight and compactness relative to Viltrox and, moreover, sigma. As an amateur, weight and dimensions are very important to me, but the price of even a BU bites noticeably. Still undecided, I'm interested in your expert opinion.
    True, there is an option that it might be better to take not him, but fifty kopecks, and this will be a more interesting connection for development and creativity with the current zoom.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Wiltrox just right

    • Dmitriy

      Have you taken Viltrox? How are the impressions?

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