Sony unveils three new E-mount lenses, including the first G-series lens (18-105mm f/4) for NEX cameras
posted Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
Sony today announced a trio of new E-mount lenses for the company's popular NEX line of cameras: a mid-range zoom from Carl Zeiss, a long-range zoom lens (and first-ever G-series E-mount lens) and a cosmetic update to its fast 50mm prime lens. With these three new lenses, the stable of Sony E-mount glass has grown to a healthy count of 15 different models.
Carl Zeiss E-mount 16-70mm f/4
First up is the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS, which like the name indicates is a high-end Zeiss lens that features a constant f/4 aperture and Sony's Optical SteadyShot stabilization technology, making this lens ideal for video as well as stills. Like all other Sony E-mount lenses, the 16-70mm lens is designed for APS-C sensors, and its 4.4x zoom range provides a 35mm-equivalence of 24-105mm, making this lens a very versatile piece for your camera bag. The Zeiss lens features the company's T* optical coating, which is designed to reduce glare and ghosting for natural color rendition and enhanced clarity. The constant f/4 aperture is a nice feature, allowing for faster shutter speeds and lower ISO levels when shooting at longer focal lengths. Desite having an all-metal exterior, the weight of the lens has been minimized thanks to what Sony calls an "advanced aspherical" lens design that incorporates four aspherical elements with one ED (extra-low dispersion) glass element.
Sony E-mount 18-105mm f/4
The second lens announced is a long-range zoom lens and the very first G-series lens for E-mount cameras: the Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Power Zoom Lens. Like Zeiss lenses, Sony categorizes the G-series lenses as a premium lens, and this new E-mount G lens is no exception. The 18-105mm features a constant f/4 aperture throughout the zoom range and an optical construction comprising of two ED glass elements and three aspherical elements to help control aberrations and distortion, while improving clarity.
Coupled with Sony's Power Zoom electronic zooming feature and Optical SteadyShot stabilzation, this 5.8x zoom lens looks particularly tempting for NEX video shooters. The 18-105mm's Power Zoom feature is controlled by a lever on the side of the barrel allowing for both fixed- and variable-speed electronic zooming, much like you would on a camcorder. Sony says the Power Zoom features provides "remarkably smooth and quiet" zooming, which should be very beneficial for minimizing zoom motor noise during video recording.
Sony E-mount 50mm f/1.8 (Black)
Finally, Sony is giving its popular 50mm f/1.8 portrait lens a makeover with a new black finish in response to user demand. Optically, the lens is identical to its silvery sibling with a fast f/1.8 aperture for better low-light performance and a very shallow depth of field. It also features Optical SteadyShot image stabilization technology. The new black Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens is scheduled for release in late September and should retail for around $298 (Pre-order now: B&H, Adorama).
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