After tackling the normal-to-telephoto arena for most of its recent lens releases, Sony is going wide with today’s announcement of the FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM and FE 12-24mm f/4 G for full-frame E-mount cameras. The star of the show is clearly the latest G Master release, which completes the f/2.8 trifecta, when paired with the 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses. On the other hand, the 12-24mm offers a great ultra-wide perspective with its ability to reach all the way down to just 12mm.
First, the lens that many of you have been waiting for is the FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM. As a member of the G Master line, it aims to provide extreme resolution and smooth bokeh. It manages to achieve optical excellence through a design that incorporates two extreme aspherical (XA), three aspherical, and two extra-low dispersion elements. Combine this with the fast and constant f/2.8 aperture and the eleven-bladed diaphragm, and you have the high sharpness and creamy bokeh that the G Master series promises.
Optics aren’t quite everything with this lens, as it offers excellent tactile control in the form of rubberized zoom and focus rings, an AF/MF switch, and a programmable focus hold button. Autofocus is also quite responsive and fast with a Direct Drive Super Sonic wave AF Motor (DDSSM) that uses two autofocus groups to improve performance. Additionally, the lens is dust- and moisture resistant, has a fluorine coating on the front element, and will accept 82mm filters.
For those more dedicated to ultra-wide angle imaging, Sony has developed the FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens. This lens attempts to provide an extremely wide perspective while remaining compact and lightweight. It also is a member of the G series, where it promises excellent sharpness across the entire frame, something critical for this style of imaging. The lens design also combats aberrations and flaring by using four aspherical elements, one Super ED element, and three ED elements, as well as a Nano AR coating. And, it has a constant f/4 aperture for consistent performance throughout the zoom range.
Operation is meant to be fast and responsive, much like the 16-35mm GM, as it uses a Direct Drive Super Sonic wave Motor (DDSSM) for autofocus. It also has an AF/MF switch and a programmable focus hold button on the side for quickly accessing commonly used settings. A seven-blade circular diaphragm further assists with overall image quality by creating smooth, natural bokeh. Additionally, it is dust- and moisture resistant and weighs just 1.25 lb.