Sony has been on a mission to fill in their lens lineup with faster and wider zooms, and today the new 16-35 f/2.8 GM and FE 12-24 f/4 GM lenses are here. The 16-35 f/4 version is very good. I’ve used it on several projects with stunning results. Now we have a faster f/2.8 version to go alongside the company’s 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 G-Master offerings, completing a lineup that’s incredibly popular with many pro shooters.
Sony FE 16-35 f/2.8 GM
This is Sony’s first wide-angle G-Master model. It is also lightweight at 1.5lb (680g).
The optical design includes five aspherical elements, two of which are Sony’s XA (extreme aspherical) elements that reduce aberrations.
The front XA element on the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM is the largest XA element Sony has produced. Additionally, two ED (Extra-low-Dispersion) glass elements to try and keep chromatic aberration to a minimum while maximizing resolution. Sony’s Nano AR coating is used, in order to try and suppress internal reflections for improved contrast and clarity in your images.
The lens features a near circular aperture shape at all settings and an 11-blade aperture design will create some nice bokeh.
It also has two DDSSMs (Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motors) that make up a floating focusing system. These make AF acquisition fast and quiet, although their use means this will probably be another focus-by-wire lens.
The FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM is dust and moisture resistant, and has a fluorine coating on the front lens that helps to prevent dust and grease marks. There is also a customizable focus hold button and a hood release button.
The new FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Wide-angle Zoom Lens will ship this August and will be sold for about $2,200 US. That’s in the same ballpark as Canon’s relatively recent 16-35 f/2.8L III, which sells for around $2,000 US.
FE 12-24mm f/4 GM: Sony goes wide
The new ultrawide FE 12-24mm f/4 G lens is also a compact, lightweight design, coming in at approximately 20 oz. It’s Sony’s widest full-frame E-mount lens.
The lens features four aspherical elements to assist in corner to corner sharpness and resolution. The lens has three ED glass elements and one Super ED glass element to minimize chromatic aberration, and also includes Sony’s Nano AR coating.
The new FE 12-24mm f/4 G lens includes a DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) for fast, quiet and precise AF performance, plus a customizable focus hold button and focus mode switch. It is also dust and moisture resistant.
The new FE 12-24mm f/4 G Ultra wide-angle Zoom Lens will ship this July, for about $1,700 US.
What’s your verdict?
Sony’s been missing fast wideangle zooms from its lineup until now – will you be tempted to add them to your kit or is it to little too late? Let us know below…