Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM SEL14F18GM

 
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Updates:
06/04/2021: Field Test & Gallery Images added

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Field Test

Is this bright and light lens the best ultra-wide prime for Sony photographers?

by Jeremy Gray | Posted 06/04/2021

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/13s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 G Master lens is both Sony's widest full-frame prime and their brightest ultra-wide full-frame lens. It is the Japanese company's 64th E-mount lens, and its 14th lens in the high-end G Master series. The 14mm f/1.8 GM joins a long list of very impressive Sony lenses. Yet, through a combination of impressive design and performance, the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM manages to stand out from the crowd.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/8, 1/3s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

We'll get to the lens's excellent optical performance, but before that, it's worth taking a moment to appreciate just how compact and lightweight the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM lens is. At only 99.8mm (3.9") long and weighing 460g (about a pound), the 14mm f/1.8 GM is much smaller than the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens for Sony E mount which weighs 1,170g (2.6 lb.). Unlike the Sigma lens, Sony's new prime lens has been designed from the ground up for its mirrorless system, allowing Sony's engineers to accomplish something special with the 14mm f/1.8 GM's design.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/400s, ISO 100.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The mirrorless lens packs a total of 14 lens elements into its small form, including several exotic elements, such as a pair of XA (extreme aspherical) elements. One of the XA elements is an extremely curved optic at the front of the lens. It's a sophisticated design, and it pays massive dividends in terms of image quality. Not to bury the lede, but the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM is one of the best wide-angle lenses I've used. Without further ado, let's dive in.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Key Features and Specs

  • Fast-aperture ultra-wide angle prime lens for full-frame Sony E mount
  • 114-degree field of view
  • 25cm (9.8") minimum focus distance
  • 0.1x maximum magnification
  • 14 elements in 11 groups
  • Includes 2 XA elements, 2 ED elements and 1 Super ED element
  • Nano AR II and fluorine coatings
  • 9-bladed rounded aperture diaphragm
  • XD Linear Motor AF, internal focusing
  • Weather-resistant construction
  • Physical aperture ring with de-click switch
  • Focus hold button
  • Rear filter holder for cut gel filters
  • Integrated petal-shaped lens hood
  • Weighs 460g (1 lb.); D x L: 83 x 99.8mm (3.3" x 3.9")
  • $1,600 USD
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 10s, ISO 2000.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Lens design and handling: An extremely compact and lightweight ultra-wide lens

While the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM's optical performance is impressive, so is its build quality and design. Being a G Master lens, the overall design is excellent and built to professional standards. The lens includes a dedicated aperture control ring, which can be de-clicked via a switch on the side of the lens barrel. I like using it clicked, personally, but for videographers, a smooth aperture ring may prove the better option. Ultimately, it's nice to have the choice. The aperture ring has markings at f/1.8, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11 and 16, with one-third stop increments along the way. The aperture ring has a ridged surface and offers a nice grip.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Product Image
The Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM is a surprisingly compact lens for its focal length and maximum aperture. It features impressive G Master build quality and styling.

Near the front of the lens is a wide focus ring. It's a focus-by-wire lens, as is standard for Sony mirrorless lenses. The focus ring has a smooth feel, and manual focusing proved to be an easy, enjoyable process on the Sony A7R IV body I used alongside the lens.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Product Image

At the very end of the lens is a built-in petal-shaped lens hood. The lens hood, paired with the special coatings inside the lens, does an excellent job of preventing lens flare and ghosting. However, the fixed lens hood and bulbous front lens element prevent using front filters with the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM lens. This is typical for an ultra-wide lens but still slightly disappointing.

I appreciated Nikon's solution to this issue with its recent Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S lens, which came with two different removable lens hoods. One of the hoods is much larger with a wide 105mm filter thread. The Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM lens, however, has a rear filter slot for cut gel filters, which isn't a great solution. However, there are already third-party solutions for using other types of filters on the rear of the lens, and it is possible that there'll be some sort of a front filter solution offered up by third-party manufacturers in short order.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Product Image

Getting back to the good stuff, the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM lens includes weather sealing and a fluorine coating on the front element, so it should stand up well to the rigors of long-term professional use. I could easily clean dust and liquid from the front element during my time with the lens, so the fluorine coating passes my test.

While the design and build quality is good, it's the size, or lack thereof, that sets the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM lens apart from – albeit limited – competition. The Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM lens weighs only a pound (460g) and balances very nicely on the Sony A7R IV camera.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Product Image

While that weight might not sound particularly impressive at first glance, consider that the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens weighs 1,170g (2.6 lb.). That's a massive difference. It is partly due to Sony designing its new GM lens for its mirrorless system, whereas Sigma converted a DSLR lens to the Sony E mount. The size of the lenses is very different, too. The Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM is 99.8mm (3.9") long with a maximum diameter of 83mm (3.3"). The Sigma, on the other hand, is 126mm (4.96") long with a max diameter of 95.4mm (3.76"). I like the Sigma lens, don't get me wrong, but the size difference is significant.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Product Image

Image quality and performance: A fantastic 14mm prime lens

As is the case with the build quality, being a G Master lens has implications concerning optical performance and design, as well. Sony's GM lenses are built to high standards, and the glass inside them matches accordingly. In the case of the 14mm f/1.8 GM, the lens has 14 elements across 11 groups. Among these elements are two XA (extreme aspherical), one standard aspherical, one Super ED element and a pair of extra-low dispersion elements. These exotic elements are designed to deliver edge-to-edge sharpness and excellent control over aberrations. Plus, Nano AR Coating II has been applied to reduce surface reflections, flare and ghosting for impressive contrast and color rendering in challenging light.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/80s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The result of the sophisticated optical design is excellent edge-to-edge sharpness, even when shooting wide open. Given the wide-angle view of the 14mm f/1.8 GM lens, my typical test scene wasn't ideal, given that the test subject (buildings) is so far away. I opted to shoot a second set of sharpness test shots of a nearby brick wall. Both sets of test images are available to download in the Gallery.

All the crops seen below are 100 percent crops from raw image files converted in Adobe Camera Raw using default settings and built-in lens correction profiles enabled. I have selected specific images to show, but you can download the full-size raw files for each test scene and aperture in the Gallery.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 1/4000s, ISO 100.
Sharpness test image. Full distant focus scene at f/1.8. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Looking first at the infinity test scene, which as I noted, proved to be a bit challenging for a 14mm focal length. Nonetheless, the ultra-wide G Master lens does well here. Even at f/1.8, center sharpness is impressive. Sharpness remains good through much of the frame, although there's significant softness when you get to the extreme edges.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 1/4000s, ISO 100.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 1/4000s, ISO 100.
100 percent bottom right corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

As you stop the lens down to f/2 and f/2.8, there's a bit more punch to the small details in the scene. It's not a dramatic improvement in peak sharpness, but it's there. The corners, however, don't change much until you get to f/5.6-f/11.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/2, 1/3200s, ISO 100.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/2.8, 1/1600s, ISO 100.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/2.8, 1/1600s, ISO 100.
100 percent bottom right corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

At f/8, corner performance is pretty good. You give up a bit in terms of peak sharpness at the center of the frame compared to f/5.6, though, so for landscapes, I like f/5.6-f/8, depending on the scene. At f/11, the image quality is still okay, although diffraction-related softness is noticeable. At f/16, the entire image is soft. I'd avoid f/16.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/8, 1/200s, ISO 100.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/8, 1/200s, ISO 100.
100 percent bottom right corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Looking at the closer test scene, which shows off a bit more detail, we can better see what we already know, the Sony 14mm f/1.8 G Master lens is very sharp, even at f/1.8. We can see again that corner sharpness drops off when shooting wide open, but again, the softness is limited to just a very extreme corner. You don't have to move far from the corner to see impressive sharpness.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 1/640s, ISO 100.
Sharpness test image. Closer focus scene at f/1.8. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 1/640s, ISO 100.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 1/640s, ISO 100.
100 percent top left corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Stopping down to f/2.8 produces a bit more pop to the optimal sharpness range in the scene. Corner sharpness is still lacking a bit, at least for critical landscape or architectural work.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/2.8, 1/250s, ISO 100.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/2.8, 1/250s, ISO 100.
100 percent top left corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Stopping down to f/5.6 results in continued great peak sharpness. Importantly, corner sharpness is noticeably better than at f/1.8 and f/2.8.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 100.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 100.
100 percent top left corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Overall, sharpness is excellent with the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM lens. The lens is very sharp across most of the frame, even at the maximum aperture of f/1.8. If you require sharpness across the entire frame, stopping down to f/5.6-f/8 is recommended. However, if you just care about sharpness in the center portion – or really, almost the entire frame – then f/1.8 is a great choice.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/8, 0.4s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

In terms of chromatic aberrations (CA), the 14mm f/1.8 GM does a great job controlling false color. There's minimal CA and very little color fringing, even in challenging situations. On rare occasions, there's a bit of purple fringing.

Another area where the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM performs well is with comatic aberrations. This is important for night sky photography. Comatic aberrations can cause small points of light to appear blob-like, rendering circular stars as, well, not circular. For some lenses, this issue is present across the entire frame. For most lenses, the issue is limited to the extreme corners. In the case of the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM, the issue isn't noticeably present at all, which is extremely impressive.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 8s, ISO 4000.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 8s, ISO 4000.
100 percent crop from the center area of the above image. This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 8s, ISO 4000.
100 percent crop from the top left corner of the above image. This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

With its high-end coatings and built-in lens hood, the 14mm f/1.8 GM does a great job at controlling lens flare. Consider a couple of situations below. In the first case, with the sun in the frame, there's no noticeable flare at all. There's a bit of flare in the second case, but it's small and not that distracting. High marks for the ultra-wide G Master lens here.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/640s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. Even with the sun in the frame, the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM lens displays great control over lens flare and ghosting.
 
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 100.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 100.
100 percent crop from the above image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. This is the extent of the flare, which is really impressive.

In terms of vignetting, the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM controls it mostly well. There's some darkening in the corners when shooting wide open and at fast apertures, but it's not bad and is easily corrected. Stopping down to even f/2.8 will address nearly all corner darkening.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 1/4000s, ISO 100.
The sharpness test scene does a good job showing vignette. Even at f/1.8, there's not a lot of vignette. The vignette that is present is easily corrected. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/2.8, 1/1600s, ISO 100.
By f/2.8, there's hardly any noticeable vignette. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Rounding out the image quality and performance section is a quick look at distortion. There's some barrel distortion in certain situations, but it's not bad. When shooting at 14mm, some 'distortion' is expected and desired, as the ultra-wide 'look' is a big draw.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/400s, ISO 100.
There's a bit of barrel distortion with the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM lens. Look at the buildings toward the edges of the frame, you can see that their vertical edges aren't displaying as vertical. It's really not a big issue and is generally well controlled. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
 
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/8, 1/5s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Overall, the Sony 14mm f/1.8 G Master lens delivers fantastic image quality. The lens is sharp and exhibits excellent control over aberrations. It's a great lens, and Sony's engineers have accomplished something special. It's hard to know the impact of software corrections on the final image quality, of course. But the primary takeaway is that the lens delivers excellent results.

In the Field: Quick autofocus and an impressive overall user experience

The Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM is a fully internal focusing lens. Built upon autofocus technology first seen in Sony's 400mm f/2.8 GM exotic super-tele lens, the 14mm f/1.8 GM uses Sony's very impressive XD (extreme dynamic) linear motors. These motors provide high thrust and efficiency, delivering swift autofocus. In the case of the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM, the focusing lenses are near the middle of the optical design, meaning that they aren't particularly large or wide.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 1/500s, ISO 400.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

With a minimum focus distance of 9.8" (0.25m), the 14mm f/1.8 GM has a maximum magnification of 0.1x. It's not a particularly close-focusing lens and certainly isn't a wide-angle macro lens, but it focuses close enough for most situations.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/2.2, 1s, ISO 100.
I don't think this is how you use a mask. The bokeh of the lens is pretty impressive. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

In real-world use, the autofocus performance is impressive. It's also quiet and very stable. Given the fast, quiet and vibration-less focusing performance, the 14mm f/1.8 GM is well-suited to video work. And given its compact, lightweight design, the 14mm f/1.8 GM is also a good choice for drone work.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 1/4000s, ISO 100.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

By its nature, a 14mm f/1.8 prime lens isn't the most versatile or flexible optic you can add to your kit. Its use cases are inherently limited. As someone who enjoys night sky photography, though, a 14mm f/1.8 lens is very exciting.

You can easily shoot the 14mm f/1.8 GM wide open without having significant issues with vignette or coma. While it's not always easy to dial in accurate manual focus with a focus-by-wire lens, the tools in Sony's mirrorless cameras make manually focusing a simple and straightforward process. Given its combination of focal length, maximum aperture and outstanding optical performance, the 14mm f/1.8 GM is an excellent lens for photographing the night sky.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 10s, ISO 3200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The lens is also well-suited to landscape photography, although the lack of a front filter thread limits its usability in certain cases. When photographing moving water, not using a polarizer to reduce reflections on the water's surface can be problematic. Concerning neutral density filters, there are already third-party solutions to mount small cut-out ND filters on the rear of the lens, so this is less of an issue.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 0.8s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

For portraiture, 14mm offers what is often too wide of a field of view and not the most flattering focal length. However, you can get quite close to a subject while still capturing a lot of the environment, so it can work in certain situations where you value dynamism over a flattering depiction of your subject's features.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/1.8, 1/4000s, ISO 100.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Sony's 14mm f/1.8 GM lens should appeal to a wide range of photographers. It's not well-suited to every application, of course, but if you like capturing landscape images, shots of the night sky or architecture images, it's an excellent choice.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/8, 2.5s, ISO 800.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Field Test Summary

An excellent addition to Sony's G Master lineup

What I like most:

  • Very good build quality and design
  • Impressively compact and lightweight given its focal length and maximum aperture
  • Outstanding image quality
  • Decisive autofocus
  • Competitive price
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

What I dislike:

  • Doesn't accept a front filter (this is a bit nitpicky)
  • Great lens, but definitely a niche one
Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/8s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Overall, there are mostly good things to say about the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM, with very few drawbacks and downsides. The lack of a front filter thread or optional large lens hood with a filter thread are the only negative things I have to say about the lens, and even that is pushing it. Would it be nice if it could focus slightly closer? Sure, but there's little use case for that. Is 14mm a niche focal length? Absolutely, but that's not a knock on the lens itself.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/8, 1/6s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The lens is a fantastic ultra-wide prime that exhibits great sharpness and impressive control over aberrations. In addition to performing better than the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens, the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM is smaller, significantly lighter and similarly priced. If you own a full-frame Sony mirrorless camera and you want or need a fast ultra-wide lens, the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM is the lens for you.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Of course, you give up some versatility in exchange for that fast aperture. If you want a wide-angle G Master lens with some flexibility, the 12-24mm f/2.8 GM zoom is a great choice. If you want to use front filters, the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM is another outstanding option. What if you don't need a fast aperture but still want ultra-wide focal lengths? The 12-24mm f/4 G is a great lens for about the same price as the 14mm f/1.8 GM. But if you really want the f/1.8 maximum aperture, the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM is a fantastic option. It's a stellar lens.

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Review: Field Test -- Gallery Image
Shot on Sony A7R IV. f/8, 1/4s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

 

• • •

 

Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM Product Overview

(From Sony lens literature) Sony Electronics Inc. further expands its E-mount lens lineup with the introduction of the groundbreaking FE 14mm F1.8 G Master (model SEL14F18GM) – a compact, large F1.8 aperture, ultra-wide angle lens that allows users to capture the world with new perspectives by delivering sharp resolution from corner to corner with little to no distortion, especially when shooting landscapes, architecture, starry skies and interiors.

Extraordinary Resolution in an Incredibly Compact and Lightweight Design

The new FE 14mm F1.8 G Master features a compact design, measuring just 3⅜ in x 4 in (83mm x 99.8mm) and weighing just 16.3 oz (460g), with advanced optical technology that delivers superb resolution and stunning contrast. Two XA (extreme aspherical) elements and one aspherical lens element maintain excellent resolution throughout the entire image area and contribute to its compact and lightweight design. Two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements and one Super ED glass element result in optical refinements that suppress chromatic aberration and deliver excellent contrast and precise rendering at all apertures.

The FE 14mm F1.8 G Master is useful in all types of low-light situations for both still and movie shooting, thanks to the maximum F1.8 aperture. Users can faithfully render point light sources, like stars for astrophotography, without having to use extremely slow shutter speeds. A common problem plaguing wide angle lenses is light entering at extreme angles that could reflect internally. The FE 14mm F1.8 G Master uses Sony's original Nano AR Coating II technology to maximize clarity and effectively subdue flare and ghosting.

The FE 14mm F1.8 G Master can produce beautiful bokeh at F1.8, even with the ultra-wide 14mm focal length. With a 9.8-inch minimum focus distance, the FE 14mm F1.8 G Master offers expanded possibilities for close-up still and video shooting and creates stunning bokeh known to Sony's G Master premium series of lenses. In addition, its precise XA elements, a 9-blade circular aperture mechanism and optimally controlled aberration allow the FE 14mm F1.8 G Master to produce exquisite background bokeh without the undesirable "onion-ring" effect.

Advanced and Quiet Autofocus

Using two XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors, focus can be accurately acquired and maintained even when shooting with narrow depth of field at F1.8 giving professional shooters the reliability they need to get the job done in challenging conditions. Moreover, the FE 14mm F1.8 G Master enables quiet AF with minimal vibration for smooth focus transitions, perfect for video content creation.

Professional Level Control and Reliability

The new lens also features several advanced and versatile control options including a focus hold button, a focus mode switch and a focus ring to ensure smooth, efficient operation in a wide range of shooting environments. For added customization, a number of functions can be assigned to the focus hold button from the camera body interface. The FE 14mm F1.8 G Master also features Linear Response MF for direct and precise manual focusing. An aperture ring that allows intuitive aperture control and is also included, with click stops that can be switched 'on' for still photography or switched 'off' for smooth and quiet iris transition when capturing video. For added creative freedom, the FE 14mm F1.8 G Master includes a rear filter holder that accepts standard sheet-type filters for ND, color correction, soft filter and more.


A dust and moisture resistant design* provides the reliability needed for challenging conditions. The front lens element features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants. The rear element is also fluorine coated to keep that surface clean when changing the rear filter. The lens also has a built-in petal hood that effectively blocks extraneous light that can cause flare and ghosting.

Pricing and Availability

The new FE 14mm F1.8 G Master will be available in May for approximately $1,600 USD and $2,100 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony's authorized dealers throughout North America.

* Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof

Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM SEL14F18GM

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