About 1 month after writing this 'first impressions' Review I am back with an update. As mentioned in this article I brought the lens to Iceland (during tours I am doing for Iceland Photo Tours and also spent some time with my girlfriend) for 3 weeks for further testing. This review is now updated with lots of new image material and a couple of new findings especially regarding astrophotography. Please scroll down for the new material.
I had the please of trying out the brand new Sony 24mm f/1.4 G-Master lens before it was announced today. I spent the last few days in Sicily (actually only 1 ‘real’ day) with Sony Europe and we had some time to try out the lens. First things first: as most of you know I am a Sony Ambassador of Imaging so you might think I am biased when reviewing Sony products. I am always honest in my reviews and will point out flaws regardless of brands I am representing. Apart from Sony, most of the people on this trip were press. I was one of the very few ambassadors on this event that got to try out the lens. I am now sitting at the airport writing this article, but I can only release it tomorrow (when you read this) when my NDA ends.
There were a lot of rumors going around about Sony announcing a bunch of new stuff within this event. It was almost certain that they would announce the 24mm which they did, but there were also a lot of other ‘hopes’ like the 135mm GM and maybe a new body. Unfortunately, Sony didn’t announce any of that during this event. Who knows if they will do another announcement during Photokina, but I don’t know anything about that. For now, it’s ‘just’ the 24mm. But the 24mm 1.4 is not just another 24mm. It completes the Sony Native e-mount line up with now 30 lenses! That’s quite something if you consider that the competition is just starting on mirrorless.
NOTE: For higher resolution shots, please scroll to the bottom of this article where I included a gallery.
When I first saw the 24mm and was holding it in my hands there were immediately some things that stood out. The small form factor and most importantly: the very light weight of the lens. The lens has a very modern sleek design with some key functions right at your disposal. It doesn’t have a lot of buttons like some of the big GM lenses, but instead a very minimal modern design. The package of the 24mm and my Sony A7RIII felt and looks great.
Top view of the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM mounted on the Sony A7RIII
So about the weight. This lens weighs just 445 gram. That’s not just lightweight, it’s extremely light weight if you compare it to its competition. A small comparison:
24mm f1.4 Samyang : 665g
24mm f1.4 Nikon: 650g
24mm f1.4 Canon USM II: 650g
So with it’s 445g, the Sony lens is almost 50% lighter than the competition! Sony is really pushing the lightweight advantage of the mirrorless system here, which is great for people like me who are traveling a lot with their gear.
When we look at the rest of the lens we see some interesting features:
A dedicated wheel for the aperture. Aperture goes from f/1.4 to f/16. After F16 comes ‘A’. When you put the lens to A the aperture is controlled by the body. When you use the wheel on the lens itself it will override the aperture setting from the body.
A switch to change the aperture ring to steps or step-less. As usual, Sony thinks about the videographers out there that can greatly benefit from smooth step-less aperture change.
A decently sized lens hood is included. When we remove this we see a 67mm filter thread. As expected this lens takes 100mm filters (or 67 screw ins of course)
The focus ring is nice and smooth. It’s not too smooth and offers enough resistance to keep it in place. It turns infinite, as we see in every other GM lens.
switch on the 24mm GM lens to set the aperture to clicks or smooth.
Sony arranged some shooting locations and models for us to try the lens on. I actually didn’t expect to try the lens for a long amount of time but it was quite a nice morning with enough time to get a good first impression of the lens. With an early wake up of around 5:30 we went out to shoot the sunrise. The session went on till about 11 AM so we had about 5 hours of shooting some landscapes, cityscapes, macro and portraits. Multiple locations that were all different made it possible for me to take my time and take a bunch of shots.
Sony A7RIII, Sony 24GM, f/8, 1/25s, ISO 200, Hand held