This is a quick newsflash related to the Alpha mount community.
Sony has finally phased out the 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5 and the DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lenses. None appear anymore in the US SonyStyle site.
This means that if you were considering of buying any of those lenses, you can't do so now through authorized dealers or the SonyStyle sites, you'll have to resort to gray market (eBay and that kind of dubious places...).
There had been the persistent rumour that Sony was making a new 24-105mm lens, G class with SSM and what not, there were even photos of the manual around, but so far it hasn't happened.
Maybe Sony was waiting for all the stock on the 24-105mm to clear before releasing the new one or maybe it was just a rumour that turned out to be false.
The replacement for those lenses are the 28-75mm f/2.8 SAM lens and the DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.
The new 18-55mm lens has been receiving a lot of good reviews, putting it ahead of the 18-70mm in every way possible, although some criticism has been given to the SAM motor which apparently doesn't make things smoother or quieter or easier.
The 28-75mm has yet to be tested since it hasn't been released yet. It will be paired with the new A850 as a kit or be sold separately.
My only gripe is that if you're shooting full frame and zoom lenses with long reach are your thing, you'll have to hunt for the 24-105mm someplace else. Now the official option is the 28-75mm lens, which may be a bit short for some of you. Of course it all depends on what kind of photography you exactly do. And isn't that bad either, if you get a 70-300mm or 75-300mm telephoto lens, that one carries on where the 28-75mm left off.
Still, its better to have options no?
The kit replacement was inevitable, those are replaced more frequently than other lenses. The good thing is that the new one its better than its predecessor. Even though the focal length has been reduced, I think its a fair trade off if you're getting better optical quality. Head over at www.kurtmunger.com to read reviews of these and other Alpha mount lenses.
Over and out.