Another week, another new Sony lens. The firm has been remarkably busy churning out new optics this year, with this being its sixth already after the FE 35mm F1.4 GM, FE 50mm F1.2 GM and three compact G-series primes. The latest Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM is the fourteenth in its premium G Master range and its widest E-mount prime yet. It’s conceived as a no-compromise fast ultra-wideangle lens for subjects such as landscapes, architecture, interiors and astrophotography.
The firm says its aim was to make an unprecedented compact, lightweight optic that’s easy for anyone to use. To this end, it measures 99.8mm in length and 83mm in diameter, while tipping the scales at 460g. That represents less than half the weight of its only direct alternative, the Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art, although this substantially reflects that fact that the Sigma originated as a DSLR design.
In terms of optics, Sony has employed 14 elements in 11 groups. This includes an array of special elements, of which two are extreme aspheric (XA), one aspheric, two made from extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, and one Super ED. As a result, the firm claims to have effectively suppressed peripheral aberrations such as coma and astigmatism. This means stars should be correctly rendered as points right into the corners of the frame.
All the usual G Master features are on board, with a dust- and moisture-resistant design that employs a mix of metal and engineering plastics in the barrel construction to keep weight down. A fluorine coating on the bulbous front element repels water and fingerprints, while an integral petal-shaped hood provides a degree of physical protection. As usual for a lens this wide, screw-in filters aren’t an option, but there’s a gel filter holder on the rear of the mount. Sony will be providing a template in the box for cutting filters to shape.
The internal focus design employs two XD linear motors for rapid, silent AF that’s designed to be equally well-suited for video and stills. Manual focus is selected using a switch on the barrel, with Sony’s Linear Response MF on hand to give an intuitive feel to the experience. There’s also an AF-stop button, whose function can be re-assigned from the camera body. An aperture ring that can be switched from clicked to clickless operation completes the control set.
The Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM is due to go on sale in May 2021 for £1,400.
Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM: full specifications
- Price £1,400
- Filter Diameter n/a (uses rear gel filter holder)
- Lens Elements 14 (2 Extreme aspheric (XA), 1 Aspheric, 2x ED glass, 1 Super ED glass)
- Groups 11
- Diaphragm blades 9
- Aperture range f/1.8 – f/16
- Minimum focus 25cm
- Length 99.8mm
- Diameter 83mm
- Weight 460g
- Lens Mount Sony E (full-frame)