Right before Photokina, Sony announced a new G Master prime lens. The latest lens addition to their acclaimed G Master series of full-frame E-mount lenses is the Sony G Master 24mm f/1.4 FE prime lens for full-frame sensors.
Much like the rest of their G Master lineup, think Canon L series optical and maybe build quality, the GM 24mm f1.4 FE has been engineered to deliver best in class performance across all aperture settings. Carrying the lovely Sony model name of SEL24F14GM, which rolls of the tongue beautifully, the new lens utilizes Sony’s most advanced optical technologies to satisfy the needs of the most demanding photographers. It is also billed as the most compact and lightweight in its class, measuring approx. 3.0 inches x 3.64 inches and weighing only 15.7 ounces, with a filter diameter of 67mm.
Built to meet the strict standards of Sony’s flagship G Master series, the FE 24mm F1.4 GM offers exceptionally high resolution and beautiful bokeh, two qualities that are signature attributes of the G Master brand.
“We are continuing to evolve our lens lineup to maximize the power of our innovative α camera lineup, ” said Neal Manowitz, vice president of imaging solutions at Sony Electronics. “The new 24mm prime brings an exciting new perspective to our flagship lens series. With its incredibly lightweight design and signature G Master quality, our 30th native full-frame mirrorless lens opens up a new world of creative opportunities for today’s photographers, videographers and multi-media creators.”
The new 24mm GM lens has resolves consistently high resolution across the entire frame, even at f/1.4, after all it has been designed to be paired with the top end Alpha mirrorless cameras like the Sony a9. The FE 24mm F1.4 GM also sports a new optical design comprised of 10 groups with 13 elements, including two XA (extreme aspherical) and three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements.
The incorporation of two XA elements effectively suppresses flare to ensure that point light sources like distant stars can be accurately reproduced, making the FE 24mm F1.4 GM a compelling proposition for astrophotography. For impressive clarity, Sony’s unique Nano AR Coating is applied to reduce lens flare and ghosting, even in landscape shots where the position of the sun can be problematic with a normal lens.
This outstanding performance is packaged in an extremely compact and lightweight body weighing it at only 15.7 ounces, a welcome relief for landscape or adventure photographers that are hiking, climbing or traveling over long distances.
The lightweight lens design has been realized in part by the development of a new high power DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) that delivers approximately three times greater thrust than the previous focus system, enabling fast response, high positioning accuracy and quiet operation for both stills and movie shooting.
Of course, the 24mm being a full frame lens, it can easily pair with Sony’s APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras such as α6500 and α6300.
In addition to its landscape and starscape shooting abilities, the FE 24mm F1.4 GM also has excellent close up performance of 0.24 meters (0.79ft.) and delivers soft and natural bokeh, a feature that is common across Sony’s entire G Master series of lenses.
This is achieved by extreme control over factors like spherical aberration, and axial and lateral chromatic aberration, at the design and manufacturing stages, as each lens is individually tested and adjusted to achieve maximum performance.
The FE 24mm F1.4 GM also includes a number of professional controls that aide ease of operation for both stills and movie shooting. These include an aperture ring that allows direct, intuitive aperture control, and a focus ring that features Linear Response MF for fine, responsive manual focus control. There is also a customizable focus hold button, and a focus-mode switch that makes it possible to quickly select auto or manual focus to match changing shooting conditions.
For a gallery of official sample images, head over to Sony’s website here.
The new Sony G Master FE 24mm F1.4 GM is likley to start shipping sometime in October 2018 for about $1,400 US. You can pre-order from B&H here.