Sony has taken the wraps off its new FE 24mm f/1.4 GM wide-angle prime lens, which sees the brand's growing range of full-frame optics hit 30 models. The new lens is also the company's eighth high-end G Master lens.
The FE 24mm f/1.4 GM plugs one of the gaps in the company's full-frame lens range, which has been missing a dedicated fast wide-angle prime. Sony has designed the lens around four key criteria: resolution, bokeh, speed, and a compact and lightweight design.
Starting with resolution and bokeh, the FE 24mm f/1.4 GM features two of the company's XA (extreme aspherical) elements as well as three ED glass elements.
This has allowed for a completely new optical design, which Sony believes will enable the lens to deliver high resolution at all aperture settings, down to f/1.4. The inclusion of these two XA elements should also see the lens faithfully reproduce point light sources to suppress Sagittal flare – if you're an astrophotographer this will be music to your ears, as it means stars should be rendered much more cleanly.
Sagittal flare is a phenomenon that results in an unnatural spreading of point light sources that looks something like a bird spreading its wings, and it becomes more pronounced towards the image periphery. It's most common in large-aperture lenses.
There's also Sony's Nano AR coating to suppress reflections that can lead to flare and ghosting, while the FE 24mm f/1.4 GM features an 11-blade circular aperture which should see the lens render smooth and natural-looking bokeh.
The FE 24mm f/1.4 GM should also be pretty nippy when it comes to focusing performance, thanks to a new high-power Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM) which offers a combination of fast response, high positioning accuracy and quiet operation. For movie-shooters, focus breathing is effectively minimized by a precision internal focus mechanism.
Compact and lightweight
The FE 24mm f/1.4 GM tips the scales at just 445g (15.7oz). That's quite a bit lighter than Canon's 24mm f/1.4 (650g / 22.9oz), Nikon's 24mm f/1.4 (620g / 21.9oz) and Sigma's 24mm f/1.4 (665g / 23.5oz).
The lens also features a fluorine coating to help prevent fingerprints, dust, water and oil marking the lens, while it's also dust and moisture resistant.
The Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM will start shipping in mid-October, priced at $1,400 / £1,450. Australian pricing is still to be confirmed, but converts to roughly AU$2,580.