Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G SEL1224G

 
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12-24mm $1,698
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Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G Review -- Hands-On

by Jaron Schneider | 05/17/2017

The Sony 12-24mm f/4 may not carry the G-Master moniker, but that doesn't mean it isn't Sony's best effort or worthy of professional use. It's light, compact, durable, and has some impressive performance in less-than-ideal environments. In speaking with Sony representatives, they seem confident pitting this lens against Canon's 11-24mm f/4L, which is notable given that it is not a G-Master-series optic. In a limited time with the lens, I don't see any evidence to dispute their confidence.

Autofocus

Though it's pretty expected for lenses this wide to land focus (a benefit of the angle), the 12-24mm does so quickly, silently, and from what I could tell, reliably on both the A7R II and the new A9. What's more, the autofocus is incredibly quiet; it is basically near-silent.

Image Quality

The Sony FE 12-24mm produces what I would consider more than adequate sharpness, especially considering its focal length. At its widest, I was very happy with how crisp and clean images were. At 24mm, from what I can see in my images, I felt like this was just a bit sharper and cleaner than what you see at the wider end. I don't think this is unexpected, and the amount of difference is very slight.

Sony claims the lens to have excellent corner to corner sharpness, and in limited testing I haven't found anything that would lead me to disagree. In a few images where the entire frame is in focus, from one corner to the next the quality of that sharpness appears relatively consistent.

Though not quite zero distortion, from what I can tell it does an outstanding job keeping any under control. In sample architecture images Sony provides (as I had no opportunity to test this myself with my few hours with the lens), there is next to no distortion visible.

I found flare control on the lens to be decent, though flare can be visible in shots, and even reflected flare can show itself in some angles. It's not perfect, but it's admirable.

Overall

The Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 appears to be a very capable lens, and may even rival the quality of the Canon L series glass that many adore. It was certainly a joy with which to shoot, and I'm more than satisfied with the results I obtained.

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All images copyright © 2017 by The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.

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Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G Overview

(From Sony lens literature) Sony's widest full-frame E-mount zoom can give you fresh, dynamic ways of seeing a wide range of subjects. Its ultra-wide 12-24mm optics feature cutting-edge refinements for stunning corner-to-corner G Lens resolution at all apertures, while quiet, fast, precise autofocus make it ideal for movies as well as stills. It is an excellent choice for landscapes and architecture, and is compact, lightweight, and mobile so it can go wherever the great shots are without slowing you down.

  • Outstanding resolution at ultra-wide angles
  • Lightweight and compact for go-anywhere mobility
  • Fast, quiet autofocus for stills and movies
  • Smooth, customizable control and dust/moisture resistance*

* Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.

Advanced optics capture stunning ultra-wide imagery

Achieving ideal performance at wide angles can be difficult, but innovative Sony optical technology has the answers. Aspherical elements contribute to outstanding resolution from the center of the image right out to the periphery, while ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and Super ED glass elements effectively suppress chromatic aberration. Sony's acclaimed Nano AR Coating adds another level of quality by suppressing flare and ghosting even in challenging lighting conditions. A constant F4 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range is also an advantage for movies and stills. No matter what the shooting situation, this lens consistently delivers outstanding performance that has made the G Lens series a first choice for discerning photographers everywhere.

Maximum E-mount mobility advantage

Compact, lightweight mobility is part of the E-mount system's appeal, and this lens has been designed to complement and maximize that advantage. Its state-of-the-art optical design simultaneously achieves outstanding optical performance while reducing both the overall length of the lens and the diameter of the front element. You gain mobility and manageability with no compromise in image quality or operation.

Professional focus mechanism

An inner focus mechanism not only contributes to fast autofocus operation, but also keeps lens barrel length constant during focusing for stable handling. Focus drive is handled by an advanced direct drive SSM (DDSSM) system that delivers ample power for smooth focus lens group control. Autofocus is quiet, fast, and precise when shooting stills or movies.

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