Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 G Grasp lens review

The Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 G Grasp (often known as the Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM) is an absolute beast of a lens — however is all of it it is cracked as much as be? We put this powerhouse lens to the check to see if it lives as much as the G Grasp identify. It has been in the marketplace for over two years, and it is nonetheless the most costly Sony zoom lens you may personal, to not point out it’s the first-ever lens of its form. However who is that this lens for? 

Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Grasp Lens: Key specs

Compatibility: Sony FE

Focal vary: 12mm to 24mm

Aperture vary: Fastened f/2.8

Weight: 847g (1.8lbs)

Dimension: 97.6mm (D) x 137mm (L)

Totally climate sealed: Sure

Filter dimension: NA

This lens is ideal for anybody desirous to shoot wider — nice for photojournalistic work and concert events. Having the ability to shoot at 12mm might not be mandatory for most individuals. Nonetheless, the ultra-wide focal size offers you the liberty to shoot nearly something you would like, making it extremely versatile. If you’re a full-time skilled photographer and have the funds for this lens, it will be an ideal addition to your package to make use of alongside a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm.  

Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 G Grasp lens

Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Grasp Lens: Design

  • Inner zoom
  • Very sturdy and effectively constructed
  • What you’d anticipate for a G Grasp

A close up of the Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master Lens and it's bulbous shape

The bulbous formed entrance factor glass means conventional screw-in lens filters will not match. (Picture credit score: Kimberley Lane)

With regards to design, this lens is exactly what you’d anticipate for a Sony G Grasp. It options the usual AF/MF change, a programmable operate button, a easy focusing ring, and a really sturdy and it’s a very well-built lens. Equally to the 14mm prime, this lens includes a bulbous entrance factor, which has its benefits and downsides. Its bulbous form means filters will not match, which suggests the glass is unprotected always. Regardless of this, the glass is fluorine coated and would not appeal to any oil or mud and it is not a very delicate piece of glass. With correct care and treating it with respect, it is not a giant deal that it is unprotected. To not point out that the petal hood is built-in into the lens and cannot be eliminated, so loads is happening to maintain the uncovered glass protected, making it very sturdy.

One draw back of the fastened petal hood is that the longer a part of the hood will solely cowl the lens in panorama capturing, so in case you attempt to take portrait orientation pictures within the rain, you will wrestle to maintain the glass dry. That mentioned, we are able to verify that it is rather effectively weather-sealed, having used it for capturing on a moist, windy and stormy day within the Lake District, England. 

A small brick building next to a river, with a waterfall in the background and golden leaves in the foreground.

The climate sealing is great, we had no issues capturing on a wet day and close to the spray of waterfalls in England. (Picture credit score: Kimberley Lane)

The 12-24mm lens has 4 XD linear motors to supply quick, exact monitoring and autofocus. In Sony’s phrases, it additionally options ‘a brand new Nano AR Coating II which suppresses inner reflections that may trigger flare and ghosting for clear, crisp imagery’. They declare you may shoot straight into the solar with this lens, creating stunning sunbursts with out inflicting any lens flare.

This lens is comparatively giant and heavy, which can be a deal breaker for some. It weighs 847g which is not outrageous, however you’d want to think about whether or not you’d get sufficient use out of it to warrant carrying the noticeable weight round.

Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Grasp Lens: Efficiency

  • Impeccably sharp
  • Nice monitoring
  • Some distortion at 12mm

A bright and sharp image of water rushing under a bridge in the Lake District.

The sharpness produced by this lens is sort of unmatched, as seen right here on this panorama picture. (Picture credit score: Kimberley Lane)

With regards to sharpness and picture high quality, that is undoubtedly among the best Sony lenses cash should purchase — and for the value, it needs to be. We observed that it often produces some distortion on the fringe of the body at 12mm, nevertheless it varies relying on what topic you are capturing and the way shut you’re to it. That is simply fastened with modifying although so it is not an enormous dealbreaker. There may be additionally a noticeable quantity of vignetting, which is form of anticipated at 12mm at f/2.8. Nonetheless whenever you shoot at smaller apertures, the vignetting does go away. This is not essentially a unfavourable, although, as many photographers add a vignette to their pictures as an inventive selection, however it’s value noting that you will have to right this in post-production if it is not one thing you need in your pictures. The lens can also be not at its sharpest when capturing at f/22 (as a consequence of diffraction, an issue encountered by any lens), however barely anybody might be capturing at f/22 in order that should not be a difficulty.

This lens can also be superb at monitoring topics and the autofocus is simply good. You may get extremely near your topic, though generally the attention autofocus struggles at 12mm if the topic is much away, however the lens will effortlessly change to face monitoring, performing very effectively. Total a really responsive lens in terms of autofocus, as anticipated from a Sony G Grasp.

A sample image showing some tall trees shot at 12mm.

A pattern picture of a tree cover with pretty heat colours, shot at 12mm. (Picture credit score: Kimberley Lane)

Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Grasp Lens: Performance

  • Improbable optical efficiency
  • Fastened aperture all through zoom vary at f/2.8
  • Very easy focusing

A sample image of water rushing over rocks down a river

Taking pictures at 12mm permits for slower hand-held shutter speeds (Picture credit score: Kimberley Lane)

The large promoting level of this lens, except for the large focal size, is the fixed f/2.8 aperture that is still the identical by way of the zoom vary. That enormous aperture on such a wide-angle lens is virtually unparalleled. Though it might not give as excessive bokeh as an extended telephoto lens would, this lens nonetheless affords an exquisite smooth blur at a continuing f/2.8. The mixture of f/2.8 at 12mm is a superb possibility for astrophotographers, as you should use slower shutter speeds than that of an extended lens. 12mm can open up a scene when capturing astro, nevertheless it may make it harder to focus. Nonetheless, this is not essentially the lens’ fault, as it will be tough to focus a 12mm lens on a tiny star so far-off, it doesn’t matter what you do. This lens may doubtlessly be a terrific rival for the Sony 20mm f/1.8 prime.

The optical efficiency of this lens is nothing in need of revolutionary. It has three excessive aspherical parts, and 4 linear motors working in unison serving to to acquire tremendous quick, easy focusing. There’s barely any purple fringing round topics within the picture, and it is fairly superb that you aren’t getting a lot of a fish-eye impact when capturing large at 12mm.

Ought to I purchase the Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Grasp Lens?

This can be a nice lens for motion or sports activities pictures, cityscapes, photojournalism, and even for landscapes or astrophotography. It’s versatile sufficient to have the choice to make use of the broader 12mm for nighttime pictures, whereas additionally having the ability to zoom in for daytime landscapes. It is a terrific possibility in case you do not need to commit to 1 particular pictures area of interest.

If the Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Grasp Lens is not for you

This lens is not for everybody, and since it’s so costly, it is nearly inaccessible to many individuals. Ask your self, do you want this 12-24mm or would you be higher off with one wide-angle prime, for instance? Properly, it is very important think about the competitors.

If having a local Sony lens is not as essential to you, the Sigma Artwork 14-24mm f/2.8 (opens in new tab) may very well be a terrific possibility. At $1400 it is lower than half the price of Sony’s $3000 G Grasp, and the distinction between 12mm and 14mm can be minimal. Whereas full-time skilled photographers would probably nonetheless go for Sony over Sigma, we predict the Sigma is great, and gave it 5 stars in our Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ART lens review in addition to giving it a spot in our greatest lenses for astrophotography shopping for information.

For Canon customers, the closest rival to the Sony lens for Canon customers can be their Canon EF 14-24mm f/4 lens (opens in new tab). Whereas this lens can shoot wider than the Sony we have reviewed right here, it is solely an f4, so it may very well be higher suited to landscapes the place you do not essentially have to shoot faster. It’s also a good quantity heavier than the Sony, and there is just a few hundred {dollars} distinction.

If you wish to persist with Sony lenses and are out there for an ultra-wide angle, think about their Canon EF 14mm f/1.8 prime lens (opens in new tab). Not solely is it considerably cheaper, nevertheless it’s additionally a fraction of the dimensions and weight of the 12-24mm. In our hands-on Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 review, we liked its extremely sharp picture high quality. It is a terrific possibility in case you nonetheless desire a highly effective wide-angle lens with astounding picture high quality.

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