Hands On with the New Sony 12-24 f/2.8 G Master Lens


Everybody that is aware of me is aware of that I like taking pictures with excessive wide-angle lenses. After I had simply gotten the authentic a7 and no native (quick) wide-angle lenses have been obtainable but, I used to be all the time taking pictures with the Samyang 14mm.

Sooner or later, the 12-24 f/4 G lens got here out. I used to be tremendous completely happy with the launch of this lens and was all the time loved taking pictures with it. However it lacked one thing: pace. As I’m all the time touring round the world it’s vital for me to have one wide-angle lens that may do ‘every part’, which means shoot extraordinarily huge, and in addition ideally f/2.8 (or sooner).

The Sony 16-35GM is nice, however I needed one thing wider. Sony launched a bunch of quick primes just lately (with the latest one the 20mm f/1.Eight that I actually love) however I made no secret about the incontrovertible fact that I needed one thing wider. At each Sony Occasion in Europe the place I talked with the ‘large guys’ I all the time joked, “the place is my tremendous quick wide-angle lens? Why is it nonetheless not there?” I’ve executed this for years and I’m positive everybody at Sony HQ is aware of me for it. That’s in all probability additionally why Sony referred to as me a number of weeks in the past saying “now we have one thing new so that you can attempt.”

And there it was: the 12-24GM. Lastly, Sony got here up with the final lens for me (on paper): an excessive wide-angle with an f/2.8 aperture. I don’t know in the event that they made it simply to cease me from bothering them, or if it was genuinely of their line-up (in all probability that). Both means, it’s lastly right here and I’m going to inform you a number of issues about it.

Full Disclosure: I’m a Sony ambassador and was given this lens earlier than the launch and announcement. The lens was used on the a7R IV. This text will not be referred to as ‘REVIEW’ as a result of I’ve skilled individuals didn’t discover it ‘truthful’ or dependable that I (as a Sony ambassador) would overview Sony gear. That’s why that is merely an article by me to point out what this lens can be utilized for and what it’s able to.

First Impressions

So that is truly the widest full-frame f/2.8 zoom lens on the market proper now. Most of the lenses on the market are 14 on the huge finish, and never 12. Mix this with the f/2.8 aperture and I used to be considering: this factor have to be large and heavy. After I first bought it I used to be fairly shocked. Okay, it’s not extraordinarily small in fact, however Sony did an incredible job once more in preserving it comparatively gentle and compact given the quantity of glass it carries. As a result of the entrance component is large.

In accordance with Sony, it’s the greatest entrance component they’ve produced—the lens consists of three XA components, considered one of which IS the entrance component. In addition they informed me they designed a brand new Nano coating (Mark 2) particularly for the curvature of this lens to cut back aberrations and flare. Added coating on the entrance components protects it from mud, liquid and marks. The AF consists of Four XD Linear motors that make it actually quick, easy and silent.

So sure, it has a giant entrance component! The entrance component is protected with a non removable hood.

As a panorama photographer I in fact instantly take into consideration filters. There are a number of filter manufacturers that all the time make filter holders for customized entrance components, so I assume we don’t have to fret an excessive amount of about that. It’s going to be 150mm and even 180mm filters, could be my guess. However Sony apparently considered this, because it’s attainable to place filters on the again of the lens.

Sony included a top level view mould (is that what you name it? template possibly?) with the lens so you possibly can mainly create your personal filters in the proper form. I’m positive filter producers will quickly come up with a particularly designed set for this lens.

Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at the design of the lens. It has the same design to different GM lenses: with the pink GM badge, a premium matte look, 1 perform button, and a delegated AF/MF change on the lens itself. The lens doesn’t prolong whereas zooming.

The load of the lens is 847 grams. It’s not tremendous gentle, however actually lighter than any of the competitors’s 14-24 f/2.8 lenses. And take into accout, this lens is 12 on the huge finish, and never 14. So Sony impressed once more making an attempt to bend the legal guidelines of physics by preserving this lens inside proportions and weight. I actually had no downside hand-holding the a7R IV with this lens and taking correct pictures.

As you possibly can see in the pictures above, it doesn’t look significantly large. A pleasant measurement that feels proper when holding.

The 12-24mm f/2.8 GM is clearly greater than it’s little brother the 12-24mm f/4 G
However once we take a look at the comparability with the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, the distinction is definitely not that a lot. Take into account that the 16-35 doesn’t have a lens hood hooked up. The 16-35 GM is 680g vs the 847g of the 12-24 GM, a distinction of rather less than 160g

In the Discipline

I’ve had the lens for a few weeks now, and I managed to make use of it in plenty of completely different situations:

  • Landscapes
  • Cityscapes
  • Structure
  • Huge storms (we had some loopy ones this week)
  • Astrophotography

The situations in the Netherlands have been best the previous few weeks, permitting me to make use of the lens in a number of completely different situations and situations. On the whole, I used to be simply so completely happy I might shoot at 12mm once more with a quick, high-quality lens.

Let’s begin with some slim streets and canals in Amsterdam.

Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 21mm, f/11, 1.6s, ISO100

Once we zoom in, we will see that each edge sharpness and nook sharpness are wonderful at these slower apertures. On a facet be aware: once I in contrast the sharpness of this lens to the 12-24 f/4 G, the GM is noticeable sharper.

Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/8, 4s, ISO200

It is a good instance of a picture the place the 12mm is admittedly utilized. To seize this complete nook of streets in the Pink Mild district in Amsterdam (that’s utterly empty and shut due to COVID) you want a lens as huge as attainable.

The sharpness and tremendous huge lens works rather well for these form of cityscape photos.

Sharpness is once more what you’ll anticipate: wonderful.
Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/5.6, 1/40s, ISO320

We had plenty of storms coming over the metropolis that week, and the 12mm was excellent to seize all the drama in the sky.

Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/14, 0,6s, ISO100
Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/5,6, 1/50s, ISO320, Panorama of a number of photos

For the picture above, I took a fast panorama (hand-held). The incoming storm cloud precisely mirrors the small stream in the foreground. It seems like a fisheye perspective due to the panorama.

Storms have been adopted by good sunsets round the canals.

Now I actually like to make use of such a wide-angle zoom in the metropolis. The 12-24mm vary is ideal for many makes use of circumstances once you’re photographing the streets and buildings, particularly in packed cities.

Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 14mm, f/9, 20s, ISO100

A large shot of this stunning nook reflecting in the canals in Amsterdam. The 24mm permits me to additionally seize a more in-depth, barely completely different picture:

Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 24mm, f/8, 15s, ISO160 | Similar scene, completely different focal size.

Now let’s check out some structure utilizing the excessive huge angle—listed below are some photos of an condominium advanced in Amsterdam, taking part in with completely different angles.

It’s all the time nice enjoyable to place the wide-angle in attention-grabbing corners and do inventive compositions with such a large angle. You begin to see stuff you don’t usually see with your eyes. By trying on the dwell view and strolling round, pointing up and rotating the digicam, you all the time begin to see attention-grabbing angles. The flip display screen of the a7RIV undoubtedly helps right here.

These have been all shot at 12mm:

By taking part in with strains and shapes, you may make ‘bizarre buildings’ look spectacular in a photograph. That’s the enjoyable of taking part in with an excessive wide-angle lens.

However some buildings simply look nice by themselves. I took the alternative to go to this stunning city corridor in Nieuwegein that appears very futuristic from each inside and out of doors. An ideal constructing to do some wide-angle taking pictures:

Exterior view:

Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/10, 1/320s, ISO100
Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/10, 1/320s, ISO100


Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/11, 1/6s, ISO100
Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/9, 1/50s, ISO160

Now this week additionally had some stunning mornings, so I sometimes wakened at 3am to seize the stunning sunrises amongst the countryside, windmills and Dutch forests. With mornings like this you see the true great thing about the nation.

A spectacular morning in the forest.

Whereas a 12-24mm will not be the best lens for the forest, forcing myself to make use of it actually bought me attention-grabbing outcomes.

Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/10, 0,5s, ISO100
Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 23mm, f/11, 0,6s, ISO100
Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 18mm, f/8, 1,3s, ISO100
Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 24mm, f/11, 0,5s, ISO100

I sometimes use a way referred to as ‘focus stacking’ by which I get extraordinarily shut as much as a topic and use a number of photos with completely different focus factors to get the complete picture from entrance to again in focus.

You do that as a result of when you get very near a foreground, even f/22 won’t allow you to to get every part in focus.

Right here’s the setup:

And the closing shot:

Listed here are a pair extra examples of focus stacking utilizing the new 12-24 GM:

Focus stack of a number of photos to get each foreground and background in focus on this poppy discipline that was simply hit by a rain bathe.
One other focus stacked picture the place I shot 2 photos : 1 centered on the flowers and 1 centered on the home to get the complete picture sharp from entrance to again.

Night time Pictures

Final however actually not least, I used to be in a position to shoot some (faint) Milky Method photos in the Netherlands.

Taking pictures the Milky Method in the Netherlands basically is sort of not possible due to a number of gentle air pollution all over the place, however there are some locations the place the gentle air pollution is comparatively low in comparison with the remainder of the nation. The opposite problem was discovering the proper second at evening.

I captured these photos (consider it or not) throughout the longest day of the 12 months in which there’s not even pure evening. From 1am to 2:30am I had simply sufficient darkness to seize these:

Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/2.8, 20s, ISO3200
Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/2.8, 15s, ISO4000
Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/2.8, 20s, ISO4000

All of those photos have been shot huge open at f/2.8. I’m positive many individuals have been ready for an “all spherical” lens like this that seize each huge panorama together with evening scapes. And this lens does it effectively. Vast open at f/2.8 issues look sharp and I used to be very glad.

Please be aware that the pink orange glow on the horizon will not be gentle from the solar. It’s gentle air pollution from cities round.


I like utilizing the solar as a compositional components in my pictures. Subsequently I’m all the time very important at the so referred to as “sunstar” of a lens. I used to be actually, REALLY hoping that this lens would have a very good sunstar—the 12-24 G has a sunstar that I’m not a giant fan of, however the GM lenses are often stunning concerning sunstars.

This lens doesn’t disappoint: it has an awesome sunstar!

Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/22, 1/40s, ISO100

At f/22 the sunstar seems sharp and crispy, excellent for my style. However at completely different apertures it additionally seems nice:

Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/14, 1/8s, ISO100

And whereas I used to be photographing on this space I additionally rapidly checked out the bokeh of this lens.

Let’s be sincere, nobody goes to make use of this lens for its bokeh! It’s a 12mm huge angle beast 🙂 However right here’s one picture anyway, and we will see that factor what the GM lenses are recognized for: even this lens has a pleasant Bokeh at f/2.8:

Sony A7RIV, 12-24GM, 12mm, f/2.8, 1/2000s, ISO200

Closing Phrases

So there you’ve gotten it: the new Sony 12-24GM, the widest f/2.8 zoom on the market. Let’s sum up a number of issues from this text:

  • New design that’s comparatively compact for what you get: 12-24 f/2.8.
  • 847 grams, lighter than any 14-24 (and this one is 12) f/2.8 on the market.
  • It’s sharp as a G-Master lens must be.
  • Has a giant entrance component, however takes rear filters.
  • Fairly low distortion even at 12mm. I didn’t use any correction profile on any of the photos on this article, as that is merely not obtainable but. So decide your self.
  • Has (subjective) nice sunstar.
  • Nice for evening taking pictures. Performs effectively at f/2.8.

So is that this the final huge angle lens you may get on your Sony mirrorless digicam? That relies upon in fact in your taking pictures type. For me it’s undoubtedly a sure. It’s a lens I’ve been ready for for years and I’m not upset, and tremendous completely happy it’s lastly right here.

Thanks Sony! Now I’ve to think about new issues to trouble you with.

About the writer: Albert Dros is an award-winning Dutch photographer. The opinions expressed on this article are solely these of the writer. His work has been revealed by a few of the world’s greatest media channels, together with TIME, The Huffington Put up, The Each day Mail, and Nationwide Geographic. You’ll find extra of his work on his website, or by following him on Facebook and Instagram. This put up was additionally revealed here.

Source link