Sony FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM Review

July 7, 2020 | Mark Goldstein |

Conclusion

The long-awaited Sony FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM ultra-wide-angle lens has finally arrived, and somewhat predictably it's something of a technological marvel. Despite offering a world-beating combination of F2.8 and 12-24mm, it's still incredibly light, compact and most importantly very high quality indeed.

The Sony FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM lens delivers outstanding sharpness in the centre of the frame throughout the full aperture and zoom range and also performs very well at the edges of the frame too, with an MTF chart to back up its real-world performance.

It does suffer from some barrel distortion at 12mm and vignetting at F2.8, as with all ultra-wide lenses, but chromatic aberrations are very well-controlled and it can even create some fairly nice bokeh effects when shooting wide-open at F2.8 thanks to the 9-blade aperture.

The Sony FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM offers very fast, very quiet and predictably reliable auto-focusing on the A7R IV that we tested it with, plus responsive fly-by-wire manual focusing that's almost as nice to use as a true mechanical system

As you'd expect from such a pricey lens, build quality is outstanding, plus it's usefully weather-tight too, although Sony stop short of saying that it's completely weather-proof.

Perhaps the only real "missing" feature is image stabilisation, but the fast constant aperture of f/2.8 and brilliant in-body stabilisation that most Sony bodies offer make up for this.

And while fixed lens hood prevents the use of front-mounted filters, just like on the F4 version, Sony have now at least incorporated a rear sheet-type filter system that should placate most users.

If you don't need to go as wide as 12mm, we'd suggest saving some money and opting for the outstanding Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM instead, and if you only need an F4 maximum aperture, the FE 12-24mm F4 G is well worth considering. But if money is no object and you want the best ultra-wide-angle that Sony offers, the new Sony FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM is the one to go for.

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4.5