Hands on with Sony’s new FE lenses: The 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master & 12-24mm f/4 G
posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 12:00 PM EDT
Click here to read our Hands-On First Impressions:
From the hills of Santa Barbara at their first ever Kando Event, Sony surprised the 200 Artisans, Alpha Collective members and various Sony shooters with the announcement of not only the highly-anticipated 16-35mm f/2.8 G-Master, but also a new 12-24mm f/4 G lens. The 16-35mm completes the G-Master "trinity" and the 12-24mm covers the widest angle among all full frame E-Mount lenses.
The 16-35mm f/2.8 G-Master joins the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8, rounding out the lineup of Sony’s large-aperture zoom lenses. The 16-35mm houses some of Sony’s most advanced technologies and is the first wide angle G-Master model lens that caters to architecture, landscapes, action and countless other applications. Strikingly, the lens is surprisingly light weight and compact, especially given the options from other manufacturers.
Sony says the lens features corner-to-corner sharpness thanks to an optical design that includes five aspherical elements, two of which are Sony’s XA (extreme aspherical, and the largest of their kind Sony has ever produced) elements to reduce aberration and deliver sharpness even at extreme resolutions throughout the zoom and aperture range. It also features two extra-low-dispersion glass elements that help to greatly reduce chromatic aberration. They also are coated in Sony’s Nano AR coating to suppress internal reflections, which greatly reduce flare and produce better image contrast and clarity.
The eleven-bladed aperture design creates very nice bokeh in out-of-focus areas, and the lens features a near circular aperture shape in all settings.
The autofocus is rather complex, featuring two Direct Drive SSMs that compose a floating focusing system that assures autofocus is both fast and accurate while also being near-silent.
The 12-24mm f/4 G is a compact and light lens despite performing at what Sony assures is a high level. It is Sony’s widest full-frame E-mount lens and offers an extreme field of view while also being nearly rectilinear (almost no distortion).
The lens design features four aspherical elements for corner-to-corner sharpness and resolution, and also includes three ED glass elements and one Super ED element to minimize chromatic aberration. It also includes Sony’s Nano AR coating to suppress reflections.
The 12-24mm uses a Direct Drive SSM for fast and quiet autofocus performance, plus a customizable hold button and focus mode switch.
Both lenses are moisture and dust resistant, but not weather sealed, though the 16-35mm does have a gasket around the lens mount like the other G Master lenses. 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 and $3,000 CA, while the new FE 12-24mm F4 G Ultra wide-angle Zoom Lens will ship this July sold for about $1,700 US and $2,300 CA.
For more information and some insight into how the lenses handle as well as real-world gallery images, check out the hands-on look at the 16-35mm f/2.8 G-Master and the 12-24mm f/4 G lens: