Hot on the heels of the Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM announcement, the famous Japanese company has gone and dropped the mic on the Sony FE 14mm F1.8 G Master. This 14mm is the 14th lens from Sony to wear the G Master badge – and boy, does it wear it well. If you’re a Sony full-frame shooter, the G Master series is undoubtedly the cream of the crop. And, much like that excellent 50mm, this new 14mm F1.8 is another fine example of Sony’s engineering and ability to fit so much into such a small package.
In our opinion, if you are looking to upgrade from an existing wide-angle or utilising this lens release as an opportunity to take wider shots, you definitely need this lens.
Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM Specifications:
- 14mm Full Frame Focal Length
- f/1.4 Maximum Aperture
- f/16 Minimum Aperture
- 14 Elements in 11 Groups
- 0.25m Minimum Focus Distance
- 0.1xMaximum Magnification Ratio
- Rear Gell Filter
- Φ83×99.8 mm Dimensions
- 460g Weight
- Fluorine Coating
- Nano AR II Coating
Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM Built Like A Tank
The Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM is the sort of lens that can roll around in your camera bag on an extreme hike and suffer no damage. It is built like a tank, and thanks to its compact form and lightweight body, you can take it anywhere in your kit and not notice it. But there’s so much more to the new FE 14mm F1.8 GM than just being a small lens. Sony has managed to pack amazing features and performance into the dust and moisture-sealed lens – let’s take a closer look.
The Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM ultra-wide provides a 14mm fixed focal range to capture an insane field of view. The front lens element protrudes like a bubble, and the fixed petal-shaped lens hood protects it. But what about filters? If I am going to use it for landscape photography, how can I attach filters? Sony answers this call by featuring a rear filter mount – while not everyone’s cup of tea, they certainly are growing in popularity.
Sony GM lenses are providing more consistency than ever in some of their core features. The FE 14mm F1.8 is no exception as it features external features to support photographers and videographers. For starters, the Focus Hold button is a customisable function button. Plus, it features an AF/MF switch for quick access to focus modes. Finally, the aperture ring has a nice amount of travel, is marked, and has a nice click for feedback. But for silent shooting, you can use the On/Off switch.
On the inside, the magic continues with 14 lens elements in 11 groups. Sony has optimised distortion and aberration correction in the FE 14mm F1.8 GM. They have done so with two extreme aspherical elements, a standard aspherical element, two extra-low dispersion elements and a single Super ED element. It is the complete package suited to precision photography in any light.
Focus Performance – Is The FE 14mm F1.8 Lens Quick?
It’s no secret that Sony is the industry leader in autofocus performance. The Alpha series of cameras deliver impressive focus speeds, especially when paired with the GM lenses. The Sony FE 14mm F1.8 provides exceptional focus capture thanks to the pair of motors driving the XD Linear Motor system. Combined with the impressive phase detection pixels on the image sensor, the 14mm provide fast, quiet and accurate outcomes every time.
Best Use for This Impressive Ultra-Wide Lens
Sony has considered many photographic use cases for their new 14mm F1.8 GM lens. Traditionally a wide-angle lens of this calibre suits landscape, astro and architectural photographers. The mixture of the ultra-wide-angle and the impressive F1.8 aperture are a recipe for need and desire. Many photographers have had to rely on wide zoom F2.8 lenses, whereas now they can reap the benefits that this lens has to offer.
Final Thoughts on the Sony 14mm F1.8 G Master Lens
If you don’t mind a zoom, there are other wide-angle alternatives, such as the Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens and Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens. Both these lenses offer F2.8 as a fixed aperture; however, with F1.8 on offer, this could be the brightest lens in your kit.
If you already have the Sony’s FE 20mm f/1.8 G Lens and FE 35mm f/1.8 Lens, chances are you will have your eye on the new 14mm. Its minimum focus distance of under ten inches is impressive. So there’s no doubt that you will be more creative when taking wide-angle shots of landscapes of architecture.
Also, don’t forget that the focal hold button is present on the lens. Many photographers overlook this feature. Its advantage offers a programmable setting that gives you quick access when in the studio or out on location. Not many wide-angle lenses offer this, so that’s a plus.
Overall, you should expect extreme sharpness from this fixed focal length. Its selection of unique glass combined with coatings provides all the tech you need to get the shot. If you are interested in picking up one of these lenses for yourself, make sure you pre-order. There will be plenty of stock of the Sony FE 14mm F1.8 G Master at Georges Cameras; however, you’ll find these will run out the door quite quickly.