Sony has announced what it’s proclaiming to be the world’s widest-angle zoom with an f/2.8 aperture, the FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM. Designed for photographers who require an expansive field of view for subjects such as landscapes, nightscapes, architecture and interiors, the firm says it promises a combination of stunning resolution and smooth, attractive bokeh that’s the signature of its top-end G Master series. The lens is also said to deliver professional-grade build quality and operability.
Optically the 12-24mm employs 17 elements in 14 groups, including three extreme aspherical (XA) elements and one conventional aspherical element to maintain cross-frame sharpness. It also boasts three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and two Super-ED glass elements to minimise chromatic aberration. In order to suppress flare and ghosting, Sony has applied a newly developed Nano AR Coating II to the inside surface of the front element, which incidentally is the largest XA lens that the firm has made to date. A 9-blade circular aperture mechanism is designed to deliver attractive out-of-focus backgrounds.
Four XD linear motors are used for fast, silent autofocus. They drive two optical groups independently, providing an internal floating-focus system with the aim of delivering consistent image quality across the full distance range. Sony has also included its Linear Response MF system to provide an intuitive feel when manual focusing is required. At its 28cm minimum focus distance, the lens provides 0.14x magnification.
Touted as ‘compact and versatile’ the 12-24mm measures 97.6mm in diameter and 137mm in length, and weighs 847g. Like all super-wide lenses it doesn’t accept screw-in front filters, but it has a gel holder at the rear, and Sony supplies a template for cutting filters to fit. For shooting in demanding environments, the lens is dust and moisture resistant, with a fluorine coating to keep the large, bulbous front element clean. Other features include a focus hold button and an integrated petal-shaped hood.
The Sony FE 12-24mm F2.8 GM is due to go on sale at the start of August for £2,900.