Sony has announced the FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM, the world’s widest constant f/2.8 zoom lens which is set to sit alongside the FE 12-24mm f/4 G in the company’s line-up of full-frame lenses.
The new lens construction includes three XA (extreme aspherical) elements, two Super ED (extra-low dispersion) elements, three ED glass elements and one aspherical element.
The XA (extreme aspherical) elements are extremely smooth which helps deliver precise focus, excellent detail resolution and attractive bokeh. Meanwhile, the Super ED and ED elements reduce chromatic aberration.
The front element is also fluorine-coated to help it shed water droplets and fingerprints and the lens barrel is sealed against dust and moisture.
The autofocus mechanism uses four XD (extreme dynamic) linear motors which are claimed to give outstanding AF speed, precision and tracking. Naturally, it’s also possible to focus the lens manually and there’s a linear response mechanism.
As the focusing is internal, the lens doesn’t change length during focusing.
Creating such a fast wide-angle lens presented a number of challenges. The front element, for example, is the largest XA element used to date in Sony’s G Master lens line up. Also, Sony’s Nano AR coating cannot be used on elements with such extreme curvature so a new coating, Nano AR Coating II, had to be developed. This helps reduce reflection and flare – which can be problematic with very wide lenses.
Also, the lens’ large, bulbous front element isn’t suited for use with filters so there’s a filter insert slot available at the rear of the lens.
Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM specifications
- Announced: 7th July 2020
- Lens mount: Sony FE
- Focal length: 12-24mm
- Maximum aperture: Constant f/2.8
- Construction: three XA (extreme aspherical) elements, two Super ED (extra-low dispersion) elements, three ED glass elements and one aspherical element
- Number of aperture blades: 9
- Closest focusing distance: 28cm throughout zoom range
- Maximum magnification: 0.14x
- Filter: Rear filter inserts
- Lenshood: Integrated petal shaped hood
- Dust- Weather-proof: Yes
- Dimensions (length x max diameter): 137 x 97.6mm / 5-1/2 x 3-7/8-inch
- Weight: 847g / 29.9oz
- Controls: Zoom ring, focus, ring, focus hold button (customisable), focus mode switch
Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM price and release date
The Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM is set to go on sale at the beginning of August for £2,900/€3,300. That’s approximately $3,600.