Sony Fe 12-24mm F/2.8 Gm Lens

By | 23/10/2022

TechRadar Verdict

It’s certainly expensive, and third party alternatives might offer improve value, simply this ultra broad-angle zoom lens is sublime for landscape, architecture and astro photographers. It’s pin-sharp throughout its discontinuity and focal ranges, while offering quick autofocus and well-nigh distortion-gratis images at 12mm. Add its incredible close-focusing and quiet operation, and you take a wide-angle zoom that largely justifies its considerable premium for pro snappers.


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    Footling to no distortion

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    Splendid sharpness

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    Close minimum focusing distance

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    Rear filter slot


  • Bulbous front element will requires 150mm filters

  • Heavier than Sony A7R IV body

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Ii minute review

After the release of the hugely impressive Sony FE 20mm f/i.viii, few would take expected Sony to take yet another lens-based ace up its sleeve, but with the launch of the Sony Fe 12-24mm f/2.eight GM, that’s exactly what we’ve got.

Information technology certainly isn’t inexpensive, merely this is an ultra-wide professional Chiliad Master lens with a large f/2.8 maximum aperture, so it does sit inside the pricing structure of the G Chief range. Not to mention, the excellent handling of lens distortion at 12mm lonely arguably justifies its toll.

Taking upwards position at the broad-angle end of Sony’s coveted G Master line-up of lenses featuring a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture, the 12-24mm is aimed at landscape, architecture, interior, astro and sports photographers, and helps to take the lens range from 12mm up to 200mm. At the time of writing, the 12-24mm is too the world’due south widest zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture.

The ultra broad-angle 12mm focal length and is extremely useful for exaggerating and accentuating foreground interest in landscape photography, as well as capturing broad-bending interior shots in both large and small buildings. Information technology’s these 2 areas where the lens truly excels, only the operation and features arrive a versatile lens worthy of serious consideration for your kit bag.

  • These are the best Sony lenses you lot can buy right now

Sony Fe 12-24mm f/2.eight GM release date and price

Sony says that the Iron 12-24mm f/two.8 GM will exist bachelor to buy from early August 2020.

The ultra wide-angle zoom has a suggested retail price of £2,900 – we’re pending confirmation of pricing for the US and Commonwealth of australia, only a rough conversion of that price is $iii,600 / AU$v,200.

That is pretty pricey when you lot consider that third-party alternatives like the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art cost less than half of this, but the FE 12-24mm f/two.8 GM’s combination of build quality, optics and image quality go some style to justifying its premium, as nosotros’ll observe in this review.

Sony FE 12-24mm f2.8

(Image credit: Future)


  • Fast f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • nine-bract circular aperture
  • Ultra-wide 12-24mm focal range

Earlier delving into the aspects of the lens that you tin’t run into, and the specs that drive its loftier operation, the nuts of the lens itself are impressive features that are well worth highlighting.

The 12-24mm focal range is incredibly broad and, when coupled with the large f/2.8 maximum aperture, makes this lens a highly attractive proposition from the outset. But there’s a lot more to be excited about.

The 9-blade circular bokeh is pleasing when shooting wide open up, and cheers to a 28cm minimum focusing distance with a maximum magnification of 0.14x, you can shoot shut-up broad-angle images with impressive focus fall-off to isolate the subject.

Another useful feature is that the zoom occurs internally, so the lens remains the same length at all times. This isn’t the instance with the Sony 16-35mmm f/2.8 GM, which has an external zoom that sees the lens modify length with the focal length.

Sony FE 12-24mm f2.8

(Paradigm credit: Future)

Build and handling

  • Dust and moisture resistant
  • Compact size
  • Rear filter mount

As with all G Main lenses, the 12-24mm is dust and moisture resistant, which is often high on the list of priorities for outdoor photographers.

Lenses of this speed and focal range are traditionally quite large, so at 137×97.6mm and 847g, it’due south highly portable and gains another big tick for outdoor photographers for whom size and weight is ever an of import consideration. That said, it’south heavier than the Sony A7R IV trunk, which weighs 655g with a memory card and battery installed. Even so, the weight residue betwixt body and lens brand it a comfortable lens to shoot with handheld.

With such a broad-angle lens offering an f/2.8 maximum aperture, the front element is bulbous and features a permanent lens hood to help command flare, then yous’ll need to use large 150mm filters (ND grads) in one case the connector for the lens has been created by filter manufacturers. This size filter is much more hassle than 100mm filters.

However, on the lens mountain, there’s a sheet-type filter holder for NDs and color correction filters, so they don’t have to be mounted in a filter holder on the forepart of the lens. A cutting template is supplied so you can create your own filters for rear mounting, although at some point it’s likely that some filter manufacturers or even Sony itself will produce sheet filters specifically for the lens.

With the 12-24mm, you need to be shooting with a full-frame E-mount camera such as the Sony Alpha A9 Ii or Sony A7R IV to take total advantage of what it has to offer; yous could employ the lens with an APS-C E-mount camera such as the Sony A6600, simply this combination would take an equivalent focal range of 24-48mm, which would negate the whole point of investing in an ultra wide-angle lens of this kind.

Sony FE 12-24mm f2.8

(Image credit: Time to come)

Performance and epitome quality

  • Minimal distortion at 12mm
  • Fast and tranquillity autofocus
  • Four XD linear motors

With any lens boasting the features of the 12-24mm f/two.8, not to mention its professional cost tag, expectations will always be high, but this lens certainly doesn’t disappoint.

In terms of operation, autofocus is driven past 4 XD linear motors for fast and near-silent AF that provides fast subject tracking and shooting speeds of up to 20fps using Sony’southward A9 cameras. Focusing is internal, like the zoom, so the front chemical element remains stock-still at all times.

Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8

This shot takes advantage of the 28cm minimum focusing altitude.

(Paradigm credit:
Time to come

In terms of prototype quality, exist prepared to be blown away. Distortion is minimal at 12mm and only actually visible when shooting subjects similar a wall close up. But with slightly wider scenes you lot’d be hard-pressed to identify whatever distortion whatsoever.

The combination of 17 lens elements in 14 groups has worked nothing brusk of lens-based miracles. Plus, the Nano AR Coating Two is effective in reducing bug such as flare and reflections that tin be a challenge with broad-bending lenses featuring a bulbous front element.

Perhaps the most important question here is how sharp is the lens? And information technology’s prophylactic to say that functioning throughout the entire aperture and focal range is splendid. At f/2.8 the prototype is abrupt with noticeable vignetting that disappears completely at f/4.

The sugariness spot of the lens sits between f/eight and f/eleven, and it’s only at f/22 where diffraction and a loss of sharpness become noticeable. But this is in a test environment – in the field, f/22 is more than usable and volition provide great prototype quality despite non beingness equally sharp equally f/16.

Sony FE 12-24mm f2.8

(Epitome credit: Hereafter)


It’s non often a lens comes along that warrants such loftier praise, but the Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM is sublime. Excellent image quality throughout the aperture range up to f/xvi, fast and quiet autofocus, near no distortion at 12mm and incredibly close focusing to name merely a few points brand this lens a pleasure to shoot with.

Landscape, architecture, interior, astro and sports photographers shooting with Sony Iron cameras will undoubtedly be impressed by what’due south possible with the lens, and how it tin be used to expand their creative visions. Of course, in that location’s already the Sony FE 12-24mm f/four, but the new f/2.8 GM takes image quality, features and versatility to a new level.

The lens is lightweight in the paw and balances well with full-frame E-mountain camera bodies, simply at 847g it’s non the lightest ultra broad-angle lens available in the Sony stable. Still, this is a small price to pay for the first-class epitome quality at 12mm coupled with impressive sharpness levels fifty-fifty at f/ii.eight, which is partly a reason for the weight of the lens – the larger the aperture, the larger the front element of wide-bending lenses needs to exist.

This 12-24mm certainly isn’t cheap and its cost tag volition make this lens prohibitive for many apprentice photographers. Just this is an ultra-wide professional G Main lens with a large f/ii.8 maximum discontinuity, so information technology does sits comfortably within the pricing structure of other Sony G Main lenses. And if you can justify the cost, you certainly won’t be disappointed with the results.

James Abbott is a professional portrait and landscape photographer, and a freelance photography journalist producing words and pictures for the all-time photography magazines in the UK. James is also a qualified college lecturer and has taught photography and Photoshop to a wide range of age groups and situations including one-to-1, grouping and altitude learning.