Sony has introduced its 57th E-mount lens in the form of a 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master superwide zoom.
The Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master lens. Image: Sony.
Sony touts the product as the widest available full-frame f/2.8 zoom.
Specs and details can be found in the press release below but there are several notable features that need to be called out.
The lens utilizes four high-speed, high-thrust extreme dynamic linear motors, one for each optical focus group to ensure fast and precise autofocus. Sony maintains this will guarantee fast autofocus with existing and future camera bodies. The key here is “future camera bodies” as we await the recently-teased introduction of the successor to the A7sII video-centric mirrorless camera.
The new Nano AR coating assures flare reduction and contrast across the image and across the entire focal range. Some distinct advantages here for both video and still photography.
While essentially a still, non-Cine lens, Sony knows that this lens will be an important tool for videographers with its constant f/2.8 aperture as well as a superwide 12mm (or 18mm FOV for APS-C) field of view. And with a weight under 2 pounds, it is not exactly a lightweight lens yet still is manageable with a mirrorless camera on a higher capacity gimbal. It is a very ideal filmmakers tool, in fact, for reasons of field of view and the exposure/DOF/bokeh that an aperture of f/2.8 can deliver.
Another feature that we are anxious to test is what Sony is calling “Linear Response MF.” Hopefully this translates into manual focus without servo lag such that manual focus may respond as close as possible to a true manual lens. While autofocus is important for on the run mirrorless camera work (and that is reportedly addressed with the four motor system), manual focus remains a significant criterion in assessing the suitability of a still lens for video work.
The FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM is scheduled to ship in August 2020 with a US list price of $2999. We would anticipate that Sony will see excellent demand and we look forward to some hands on time with this significant new product.