Sony’s new 28-135mm f/4 powerzoom lens is for full-frame E-mount video shooters

by Felix Esser

posted Monday, September 15, 2014 at 3:43 AM EDT

With the announcement of the 4K-capable A7S full-frame mirrorless camera, Sony proved two things: first of all, that the company is serious about its full-frame mirrorless offerings. And secondly, that it's serious about the serious video crowd. With the announcement of a new powerzoom lens, things just got even more serious.

The Sony SELP28135G is a motorized zoom lens with a constant f/4 aperture for professional video use. It is designed specifically to work with full-frame E-mount cameras such as Sony's mirrorless A7-series, but also with Sony's E-mount camcorders such as the FS-series devices. In order to provide imagery suitable for high-end video productions, the lens is equipped with what Sony calls 'Smooth Motion Optics.'

These address several issues that are often encountered with non-video optimized lenses, including the so-called 'breathing,' a slight change in focal length that occurs during focusing, focus shifts during zooming as well as movement of the optical axis during zooming. None of these issues should occur with the SELP28135G.

In addition to that, the lens is equipped with an exceptionally silent zoom motor whose speed can be precisely controlled with the zoom lever on the lens barrel. Users that prefer to use the zoom ring can set it to rotate in either direction in order to zoom in or out. Besides the zoom ring, the lens also features an aperture ring as well as a focus ring, the latter of which can be used to switch to manual focusing simply by sliding it slightly.

On the inside, the optical construction comprises aspherical lens elements as well as "advanced multi-coating," which aim to minimize chromatic aberrations and flare while keeping contrast and color reproduction up. For extra smooth imagery on all compatible camera bodies, the lens also comes with optical image stabilization.

Besides the SELP28135G, Sony has also announced a new E-mount camcorder that is capable of recording 4K video. The PXW-FS7 sports a Super 35mm-sized sensor, similar in size to the APS-C format, and can record 4:2:2 10-bit video with sampling rates of up to 600 Mbit/s. In 4K mode, the camera is able to capture 180 fps slow-motion video.

The SELP28135G lens is said to be available later this year at an approximate retail price of US$2,500. The PXW-FS7 camcorder will be available in October at an approximate retail price of US$8,000.