Sony have just unveiled a new large aperture ultra-wide-angle prime lens, the FE 14mm F1.8 GM, for their full-frame mirrorless Alpha cameras.
This lens promises to offer excellent image quality with superb corner to corner resolution, features two XD Linear Motors for fast, quiet and precise AF tracking, and has a very compact, lightweight design.
The FE 14mm F1.8 GM is the 14th G Master lens that Sony have released so far, joining the 43 other full-frame E-mount lenses in the range.
This versatile 14mm prime can be used for starscapes, landscapes, architecture, portraits, real-estate and even close-up photography.
The optical construction is 14 elements in 11 groups including two XA lens elements, two ED and one Super ED glass element.
The advanced optical design effectively minimizes coma and astigmatism that can be difficult to control in ultra-wide-angle lenses.
Measuring 83 x 99.8mm and weighing just 460g, the Sony 14mm F1.8 is a remarkably compact and lightweight lens.
It boasts a fluorine coating on the front and rear elements, a dust and moisture resistant design, a customisable focus hold button, linear response manual focus ring and a de-clickable aperture ring.
The minimum focusing distance is 25cm which offers lots of creative possibilities for close-up still and movie shooting, and it supports fast internal focusing by moving the middle groups of the optical system.
As the lens has a bulbous front element, it utilises a rear filter holder with a template supplied in the box.
There are now two 14mm F1.8 prime lenses available for Sony Alpha full-frame mirrorless cameras – the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art that was released in 2017 and the new Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM that was released in April 2021.
Viewed side by side, it’s obvious that the Sigma 14mm F1.8 is a much larger lens than the Sony 14mm F1.8.
This is principally because the Sigma is a DSLR lens that has been repurposed for mirrorless, whereas the Sony is a brand new, ground-up design that benefits from using the very latest mirrorless optical technologies.
The Sony is a whopping 35% shorter than the Sigma – 99.8mm vs 152mm – and weighs almost 1/3rd of its main rival – 460g vs 1230g.
As the Sony 14mm F1.8 is not as front-heavy as the Sigma 14mm F1.8, it’s also much easier to quickly set it up on a gimbal.
If size and weight are of paramount importance, then the Sony is clearly the 14mm lens to choose.
Indeed, it’s so small and lightweight that it even beats some 14mm F2.8 lenses in both of these departments – the Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 is slightly shorter but 40g heavier than the Sony FE 14mm F1.8.
The Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM will go on sale in May 2021 priced at £1400 / €1600 in the UK and Europe.
Sony UK Press Release
The Newest Addition to Sony’s E-mount Lens Lineup Offers Extraordinary Resolution, Quiet Autofocus Capabilities, Beautiful Bokeh and More
Sony further expands its E-mount lens lineup with the introduction of the FE 14mm F1.8 GM (model SEL14F18GM) – a compact, large F1.8 aperture, ultra-wide angle lens that allows users to capture the world with new perspectives, especially when shooting landscapes, architecture, starry skies and interiors.
“The newest member of Sony’s G Master series, the FE 14mm F1.8 GM, delivers extraordinary resolution, fast and quiet autofocus and is remarkably compact, “said Yann Salmon Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging, Sony Europe. “We are constantly innovating based on the needs of our customers and will continue to develop the best technology so that they can realise their creative vision.”
Extraordinary Resolution in a Compact and Lightweight Design
The new FE 14mm F1.8 GM features a compact optical design, measuring just 3⅜ in x 4 in and weighing just 16.3 oz, with advanced optical technology that delivers superb resolution and stunning contrast. Two XA (extreme aspherical) elements maintain excellent resolution throughout the image area even at corners, which enables its compact and lightweight design. Two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass element and one Super ED glass element result in optical refinements that suppress chromatic aberration and deliver excellent contrast and precise rendering at all apertures.
Users can faithfully render light point sources thanks to a maximum aperture of F1.8, making it possible to capture astrophotography or shoot in other low-light environments without having to use extremely slow shutter speeds. When shooting in challenging lighting conditions, Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II technology maximises clarity by subduing flare and ghosting.
The FE 14mm F1.8 GM can produce beautiful bokeh at F1.8, even with the ultra-wide 14mm focal length. With a 9.8-inch minimum focus distance, the FE 14mm F1.8 GM offers expanded possibilities for close-up still and video shooting and creates stunning bokeh known to Sony’s G Master premium series of lenses. In addition, its precise XA elements, a 9-blade circular aperture mechanism and optimally managed aberration allows the FE 14mm F1.8 GM to produce exquisite background bokeh without the undesirable onion-ring effect.
Advanced and Quiet Autofocus
Using two XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors, focus can be accurately acquired and maintained even when shooting with narrow depth of field at F1.8, giving professional shooters the reliability they need to get the job done in challenging conditions. Moreover, the FE 14mm F1.8 GM enables quiet AF with minimal vibration for smooth focus transitions, perfect for video content creation.
Professional Level Control and Reliability
The new lens also features several advanced and versatile control options including, a focus hold button, a focus mode switch and a focus ring to ensure smooth, efficient operation in a wide range of shooting environments. For added customisation, a number of functions can be assigned to the focus hold button from the camera body interface. The FE 14mm F1.8 GM also features Linear Response MF for direct and precise manual focusing. An aperture ring that allows intuitive aperture control is also included. For added creative freedom, the FE 14mm F1.8 GM includes a rear filter holder that accepts standard sheet-type filters for ND, colour correction, soft filter, etc.
A dust and moisture resistant design[i] provides the reliability needed for challenging conditions. The front lens element features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants. The rear element is also fluorine coated to keep that surface clean when changing the rear filter. The lens also has a built-in petal hood that effectively blocks extraneous light that can cause flare and ghosting.
Pricing and Availability
The new FE 14mm F1.8 GM will be available in May at a variety of Sony’s authorised dealers, for an estimated retail price of £1,400 / €1,600.
[i] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.
Click on a thumbnail to see the full version.