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Sony launches tasty trio of prime lenses for its full-frame cameras

Sony FE 500mm 40mm 24mm
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has launched an attractive trio of compact prime lenses for owners of full-frame cameras like the Sony A7 III and Sony A7C

The three E-mount lenses, officially called the FE 50mm f/2.5 G, FE 40mm f/2.5 G and FE 24mm f/2.8 G, are designed for full-frame cameras and cover the popular 50mm, 40mm and 24mm focal lengths.

All three come under the G-series banner, which means they all have premium, metal designs, but aren't quite as high-end as Sony's top-range 'G Master' lenses. With identical dimensions and weights that are between 162-174g, these are super-light lenses designed for traveling and street snapping.

So how do they compare to existing alternatives like the Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN? Sony's lenses have a slightly wider maximum aperture than their Sigma rivals, which means the potential for slightly better performance in areas like low light and bokeh. But this isn't necessarily guaranteed, and as we'll see, Sony's new lenses are also pricier than their Sigma rivals.

All three Sony lenses have a dust- and moisture-resistant design and include aspherical lens designs. These usually produce sharper images at wider apertures than their spherical equivalents and also help reduce issues like chromatic aberrations.

They're also all designed for both stills and videos, thanks to an aperture click switch. This allows photographers to get the handy physical feedback of clicking through various apertures but also lets videographers to remove the clicking so they can make smooth adjustments without affecting the footage.

Sony FE 50mm f/2.5 G

The compact pairing of the new FE 50mm f/2.5 G and the Sony A7C. (Image credit: Sony)

Prime candidates

The size and features of the FE 50mm f/2.5 G, FE 40mm f/2.5 G and FE 24mm f/2.8 G all make them ideal for compact Sony full-frame cameras like the Sony A7 III and Sony A7C, and perhaps the incoming Sony A7 IV.

The A7C and A7 III have Sony's excellent autofocus tech, including Real-time Eye AF, and all three of its new G series lenses promise to be particularly strong in this department. 

They all bring dual linear motors, a system which we've enjoyed on previous Sony primes like the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8. Sony says this will bring fast autofocus with strong tracking performance, plus quiet and low-vibration AF for video shooters.

So how much do they cost? The FE 50mm f/2.5 G, FE 40mm f/2.5 G and FE 24mm f/2.8 G will all have the same $599 / £630 / AU$999 price tag when they become available to buy in April (in the UK) and May (US and Australia).

That means they do carry a pretty big premium over fractionally slower alternatives, like the Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN and 45mm f2.8 DG DN, and are unlikely to deliver the kind of sharpness or bokeh available on Sony's 'G Master' lenses. But we'll be reviewing them soon to see if they can become a useful sweet spot between those two options and justify their price tags.

Mark Wilson

Mark is the Cameras Editor at TechRadar. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won the Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.