Late July will see the release of Sony’s FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM lens, a large-aperture ultra-wide zoom lens for its ‘full frame’ cameras.

The new FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM lens in use on the Sony α7S camera. (Source: Sony.)

This relatively compact and versatile lens extends the f/.8 range of Sony’s G Master series lenses from 12mm through to 200mm. Sony claims it offers the world’s widest f/2.8  zoom at 12mm. The optical design of the new lens features three precise XA (extreme aspherical) elements including the largest XA element ever made for an Alpha lens. These XA elements, in combination with an aspherical element, effectively suppress astigmatism, coma and field curvature right out to the edges of the image. Three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements plus two Super ED glass elements have been used to suppress chromatic aberration and deliver corner-to-corner clarity whilst minimising colour fringing.

Fine tuning of the lens’s spherical aberration characteristics during both the design and manufacturing process in combination with high surface precision of the lens’s XA elements and a 9-blade circular aperture produce attractive bokeh. A brand-new Nano AR Coating II that can be evenly applied to large lens elements or highly curved element surfaces has been used for the first time on the FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM to suppress internal reflections and minimise flare and ghosting.

Four original high-speed, high-thrust XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors are used to control autofocusing with two for each of the lens’ focus groups. A floating focus mechanism divides the lens’ focus group into two independently controllable groups for effective control over sharpness and to ensure good close-up performance. It also helps achieve a constant 28 cm minimum focusing distance throughout the zoom range. Internal focusing keeps the overall length of the lens constant and its centre of gravity stable for optimal balance in the hand.

The constant f/2.8 maximum aperture at all focal lengths ensures exposures remain stable when zooming, making this lens ideal for videography, including when it is used on an APS-C camera or with a Super 35 angle of view. Focusing is also very quiet. Weighing only 847 grams, the FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM lens includes a customisable focus-hold button, focus-mode switch, zooming ring and focusing ring that are positioned for easy operation. It is dust and moisture resistant and the front lens element features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants. The rear filter holder accommodates standard sheet-type ND, colour correction and other filters  and a cutting template for sheet filters is supplied. The FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM will be available in Australia from late July 2020 for SRP $5499.  Click here for full details and here to view a product video on the new lens.