Designed for a wide range of multi-media creators, the new Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM offers accuracy and quiet operation for both stills and movie shooting, and includes an aperture de-click for movies.
Engineered to deliver best in class performance across all aperture settings, the new FE 24mm F1.4 GM (model SEL24F14GM) is the most compact and lightweight in its class – according to Sony and until another company aspires to the same crown. Measuring approx. 3.0 inches x 3.64 inches and weighing only 15.7 ounces, with a filter diameter of 67mm, the lens represents a a welcome relief for landscape or adventure photographers that are hiking, climbing or traveling over long distances.
Realizing consistently high resolution across the entire frame, even at F1.4, the FE 24mm F1.4 GM, according to Sony, the lens boasts a new optical design comprised of 10 groups with 13 elements, including two XA (extreme aspherical) and three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements. The incorporation of two XA elements effectively suppresses sagittal flare to ensure that point light sources like distant stars can be accurately reproduced, making the FE 24mm F1.4 GM a compelling proposition for astrophotography. For impressive clarity, Sony’s unique Nano AR Coating is applied to reduce lens flare and ghosting, even in landscape shots where the position of the sun can be problematic with a normal lens.
In addition to its landscape and starscape shooting abilities, the FE 24mm F1.4 GM also has excellent close up performance of 0.24 meters (0.79ft.) and delivers soft and natural bokeh, a feature that is common across Sony’s entire G Master series of lenses. This is achieved by extreme control over factors like spherical aberration, and axial and lateral chromatic aberration, at the design and manufacturing stages, as each lens is individually tested and adjusted to achieve maximum performance.
“We are continuing to evolve our lens lineup to maximize the power of our innovative α camera lineup, ” said Neal Manowitz, vice president of imaging solutions at Sony Electronics. “The new 24mm prime brings an exciting new perspective to our flagship lens series. With its incredibly lightweight design and signature G Master quality, our 30th native full-frame mirrorless lens opens up a new world of creative opportunities for today’s photographers, videographers and multi-media creators.”
Develop with full frame E-mount cameras in mind, like the α7 / α9, the lens is also a perfect complement to Sony’s APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras such as α6500 and α6300, and brings the total number of native Sony α E-mount lenses to 48. The FE 24mm F1.4 GM’s lightweight characteristics that users will appreciate result, in part, of the development of a new high power DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) that delivers approximately three times greater thrust than the previous focus system, enabling fast response, high positioning accuracy and quiet operation for both stills and movie shooting.
Movie shooters will also appreciate the presence of an aperture ring that provides the type of immediacy and response that professionals need, through the presence of a Click ON/OFF switch that allows the aperture ring click stops to be engaged or disengaged as required. Engaging the click stops provides tactile feedback that can make it easier to gauge how much the ring has been adjusted by feel, and is therefore a good choice for still photography. When the click stops are disengaged the aperture ring moves smoothly and quietly, providing seamless, silent control for moviemaking.
De-clicking is present in another lens brand for Sony E-mount cameras. The Loxia 2.4/25 from Zeiss, introduced early 2018, as the “compact wide-angle lens” for mirrorless systems offers what Zeiss calls the Declick feature, present in the Loxia lens family, which allows users to ‘declick’ the aperture’s locking mechanism using a tool (supplied) and an adjustment screw on the bayonet surface. Sony has taken the idea to a whole new level, allowing users to “de-click” through a switch on the lens barrel, and has used it on lenses like the 85mm f/1.4 from the G Master series. Now they have the “lightest, compact wide-angle lens”…
As modern cameras are used for both stills and moving images, having features like the ability to de-click the iris is an extra that many users will appreciate. Although it does not make sense to include the feature in all types of lenses, having the option in a lens like the FE 24mm F1.4 GM, which will probably be used by videographers as well as photographers (who can also use the feature for their videos), makes complete sense, and introduces another asset when comparing the lens with other models.
The FE 24mm F1.4 GM also includes a number of professional controls that aide ease of operation for both stills and movie shooting. These include a focus ring that features Linear Response MF for fine, responsive manual focus control, and a customizable focus hold button, and a focus-mode switch that makes it possible to quickly select auto or manual focus to match changing shooting conditions. The focus hold button is customizable from body menu. The user can directly access a secondary function assigned to the focus hold button, such as “Grid Lines” to check composition when shooting landscapes, or “White Balance” to adjust white balance to match current lighting conditions or create a specific atmosphere.
The FE 24mm F1.4 GM, which will be on display at Sony’s booth at Photokina, will ship in October 2018 for approximately $1,400 US and $1,900 CA. The lens will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.