Sony Adds Two Wide Zooms To E-Mount Range

Sony digital imaging is undeniably on a roll with the new a9 and now two new wide-angle zooms that further expand its lens options for full-frame shooters
Sony's newest wide-angle zooms, the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM (left) and FE 12-24mm F4 G (right).

Sony digital imaging is undeniably on a roll, and the momentum of new product and technology introductions of late is impressive.

Just about a month ago, Sony introduced the a9 camera, its new flagship full-frame mirrorless that boasts the ability to capture 24.2MP images at 20 fps for up to 241 RAW or 362 JPG images in a single burst. Along with the a9, Sony also announced the fifth lens in its premium G Master line, the FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS Super Telephoto Zoom.

Today, Sony is announcing the sixth lens in the G Master lineup, the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM. In just over one year, the G Master lens range has grown to include two primes and four zooms, covering focal lengths from 16mm at the wide end with the new FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM, to 400mm with the 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS Super Telephoto Zoom that was introduced along with the a9 camera. With Sony's 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, full-frame Sony users have access to focal lengths up to 800mm, while Sony APS-C camera users have up to 1200mm equivalent.

The sixth lens in the G Master lineup, the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM is the widest G Master to date.

Sony G Master Lineup (as of May 2017)
FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM
FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM
FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS
FE 85mm F1.4 GM
FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS
FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS

The new FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM features an 11-blade diaphragm that according to Sony produces “a near circular aperture shape at all settings” for extremely smooth background defocusing and bokeh. The lens is also extensively sealed for dust and moisture resistance, and at 24 ounces, is lighter than comparable DSLR lenses of this speed and focal range.

Illustrative diagram highlighting the weather and dust sealing of the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM.

Also introduced today is an ultra-wide zoom, the FE 12-24mm F4 G. Though not a “G Master” lens, it’s the widest option for full-frame Sony cameras, and is extremely lightweight and compact.

The FE 12-24mm F4 G is the widest zoom yet for Sony E-mount.

We had the opportunity to shoot with both lenses yesterday prior to the announcement. Though our time with the lenses was limited under the pre-launch circumstances, we were impressed with the AF performance, build quality, handling and resolution of both lenses. Sample images, captured with the new a9 camera, are below.

The FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM is expected to sell for about $2,200 when it ships in August. The FE 12-24mm F4 G will be available in July with estimated retail of $1,700. Additional details about both lenses are in the press release following the sample images.

FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Sample Images

FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM at 16mm. The wide perspective of this lens coupled with its ability to focus as close as 11.04 inches allows for tight compositions filled with detail.
FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM at 16mm. Taken at the wide end of the lens's range.
FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM at 35mm. The same scene as above composed at the longer end of the lens's range.

FE 12-24mm F4 G Sample Images

FE 12-24mm F4 G at 12mm. Taken at the wide end of the lens's range.
FE 12-24mm F4 G at 24mm. The same scene as above, taken at the long end of the lens's range.

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Sony Introduces Two New Wide-Angle Full-Frame E-Mount Lenses

New 16-35mm F2.8 GM Completes the E-mount F2.8 G Master “trinity”; 12-24mm F4 G covers widest angle among all full-frame E-mount lenses

SAN DIEGO, May 17, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today announced two new additions to their growing lineup of full-frame E-mount lenses.

The new lenses include the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM large aperture wide-angle zoom lens (model SEL1635GM) and the FE 12-24mm F4 G ultra wide-angle zoom lens (model SEL1224G). The FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM lens brings the incredible high-resolution and beautiful bokeh of Sony’s flagship G Master series to a wide 16-35mm focal length for exceptional landscapes, cityscapes, portraits and more, while the 12-24mm F4 G, Sony’s widest full-frame E-mount lens to date, offers a dynamic new perspective for all Sony E-mount shooters. In total, Sony’s full-frame E-mount lens lineup now covers from ultra-wide 12mm to super-telephoto 800mm (with teleconverter) focal length range.

New FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Wide-Angle Zoom Lens

The new FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM wide-angle zoom joins the acclaimed FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM and FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS to round out Sony’s lineup of F2.8 large aperture zoom lenses. Equipped with a variety of Sony’s most advanced lens technologies, it’s the first wide-angle G Master model, making it ideal for an extensive variety of shooting situations - landscapes, architecture, close up portraits, sports, action and much more. It’s also exceptionally lightweight and compact, maximizing portability and usability.

The new lens features exceptional corner-to-corner sharpness, with an optical design that includes five aspherical elements, two of which are Sony’s original XA (extreme aspherical) elements that reduce aberration and delivers the ultimate resolution throughout the entire zoom and aperture range. The front XA element on the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM is the largest XA element ever produced, ensuring optimum quality. Additionally, two ED (Extra-low-Dispersion) glass elements keep chromatic aberration to a minimum while maximizing resolution, and Sony’s original Nano AR coating suppresses internal reflections to ensure excellent image contrast and clarity.

The lens features a near circular aperture shape at all settings, and the combination of the aforementioned XA element with its 11 blade aperture design produces images with sharply focused subjects and beautifully defocused backgrounds or “bokeh”. It also has two DDSSMs (Direct Drive SSM) that compose a floating focusing system and ensure that AF acquisition is speedy and quiet, making it an ideal choice for shooting still images as well as movies.

The FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM is also dust and moisture resistant1, has a fluorine coating on the front lens that helps to both prevent dust or grease marks and remove them easily if they do become a trouble. There’s also a customizable focus hold button and a hood release button.

New FE 12-24mm F4 G Ultra-Wide-Angle Zoom Lens

A uniquely designed ultra wide-angle zoom lens, the new FE 12-24mm F4 G lens produces outstanding image quality in a compact, lightweight design, weighing in at approximately 20 oz. Sony’s widest full-frame E-mount lens, it offers a dynamic perspective for landscape, architecture and interior photography, and is well-suited for both stills and video shooting.

The lens features an innovative optical design with four aspherical elements that ensure excellent corner to corner sharpness and resolution. Additionally, the lens has three ED glass elements and one Super ED glass element that minimize chromatic aberration throughout the entire image, and also includes Sony’s original Nano AR coating.

The new FE 12-24mm F4 G lens includes a DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) for fast, quiet and precise AF performance, plus a customizable focus hold button and focus mode switch. It’s also dust and moisture resistant.

Pricing & Availability

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.

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.

Detailed information pages within Sony.com for the new products can be found at:

(US) - FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM (http://www.sony.com/electronics/camera-lenses/sel1635gm)

(US) - FE 12-24mm F4 G (http://www.sony.com/electronics/camera-lenses/sel1224g)

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Wes is the editor of Outdoor Photographer.

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