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Sony FE 12-24mm review by Fred Miranda: “the best ultra-wide lens available”

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Fred Miranda tested the new Sony FE 12-24mm and concluded:

The Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM brings landscape and nightscape photography to a whole new level. I consider it to be the best ultra-wide lens available – capable of extreme high resolution and contrast even when compared to our top zooms and primes.

At f/2.8, it outperforms the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN lens from center to corners at most focal lengths. This outstanding performance with the Sony A7R IV’s 61MP sensor, is a dream come true for anyone shooting Milky Way nightscapes.

Before trying this Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 GM, my Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN was the ultimate go-to lens in terms of resolution, contrast and aberration correction. But, Sony’s new ultra-wide GM pushes the limit even further, adding 12-13mm of extra range and even higher resolution. Who knows how Sony makes this possible without increasing the lens’ size or weight significantly. But it doesn’t end there. The Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 GM delivers defined Sunstar rays starting at f/11 and offers impeccable flare resistance – possibly the best I have ever seen.

Landscape shooters who already own the Sigma 14-24/2.8 DG DN might hesitate to upgrade to the new Sony FE 12-24/2.8 GM, especially when mostly shooting at f/5.6 and smaller apertures. However, the extra 12-13mm f/2.8 range, better performance wide open, improved flare resistance and more appealing sunstar rendering may justify the upgrade. Currently we don’t have a set of prime lenses that outperform the Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM.

PROS:

  1. Outstanding resolution/contrast throughout the entire zoom range
  2. Outstanding flare resistance
  3. Well controlled distortion
  4. Great CA correction
  5. Low coma at f/2.8 throughout the range
  6. Fast 12-24mm range
  7. Very low color aberration
  8. Weather sealed sturdy construction
  9. Attractive sunstars starting at f/11
  10. Smooth rendering
  11. Great minimal focus distance (MFD) performance

CONS:

  1. Price: $3,000 (Most expensive GM zoom)

  2. Moderate field curvature from 12-14mm

  3. Longer MFD compared to the Sigma 14-24/2.8 DG DN (despite both lenses sharing similar MFD specs)

 

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