First Impressions: Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master (Sony FE)

The Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master is the lightest and most compact G Master lens yet.

Earlier this week, Sony invited members of the photography press to an event in San Francisco where they unveiled the Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master lens, making it the 30th Full Frame lens for Sony’s E mount overall and the 8th lens within the G Master series. Weighing in at only 445 grams, the Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master is currently the lightest and most compact lens in the G Master lineup. With excellent corner to corner sharpness and a wide focal length, the Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master is a lens that will suit the needs of photographers specializing in astrophotography, environmental portraiture, landscape photography, and travel photography alike.

Gear Used

The Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master was tested with the Sony A7RIII.

Tech Specs

  • FE 24 f1.4 GM $1,399.99 US / $1,899.99 Canada
  • Available: October 2018
  • Very compact
  • 445 grams (15.7 ounces)
  • 92.4mm length (3-3/4 inch)
  • 75.4mm diameter (3 inch)
  • 67mm filter thread
  • Lightest 24mm f1.4 lens on the market
  • High contrast at center and no significant drop at corners
  • Sagittal Flare suppressed when using XA lens
  • Smooth beautiful bokeh
  • 0.01 micron focus precision
  • 11 blade circular aperture
  • min focus 0.24m (0.79ft)
  • 3x greater thrust w/ DDSSM (direct drive ssm)
  • Moisture and dust resistance

 

Ergonomics

At roughly the same size as a cup of coffee, the Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master is the lightest and most compact lens in Sony’s G Master lineup. Weighing in at just 445 grams (15.7 ounces), it is also lighter than equivalent 24mm f1.4 lenses currently on the market from Canon, Nikon, and Sigma.

At the front of the lens, you’ll find the drive-by-wire focus ring which felt very smooth when turning. With the limited amount of time we had with the lens during the press event, we kept the lens in Autofocus mode and didn’t use the focus ring much.

Moving closer towards the middle of the lens below the orange G Master logo is the focus hold button, whose functionality can be customized within the menus. Below the focus hold button si where you’ll find the Autofocus / Manual Focus toggle switch.

On the opposite side of the lens, below the Sony logo is where you’ll find the toggle switch to adjust the Aperture control ring between clicked and de-clicked mode. This is particularly handy for anyone aiming to use this lens for video in addition to stills. At the very rear of the lens is the Aperture control ring that goes from f1.4 to f16. You can also put the Aperture control ring into A mode and adjust your aperture using one of the mode dials on the front or rear of the camera grip instead.

 

Build Quality

The Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master felt very solid during our brief hands on time with it during the press event, despite being so lightweight and diminutive in size. Like other lenses in the G Master lineup, this lens is dust and moisture resistant. While the weather in San Francisco was cool and sunny, part of the press event took place on a boat ride around the San Francisco bay and the 24mm f1.4 G Master performed admirably without incident. We look forward to testing it in more adverse conditions during our full review once we receive our review unit.

 

Autofocus

During our time (pretty much a single day) with the Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master, we got to test it in various lighting conditions ranging from harsh direct sun light, open shade, mixed lighting both indoors and outdoors, and even low light at dusk on a rocky boat, and the lens performed very well for the most part. We did notice some hunting in particularly low contrast situations and while shooting directly into the sun, but that’s an issue not uncommon for many autofocus lenses. Again, we’ll need to call in a newer version to figure this out.

 

Image Quality

The Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master features two extreme aspherical lens elements with 0.01 micron focus precision, as well as an 11 blade circular aperture, so fans of beautifully creamy bokeh and circular bokeh balls will love the images this lens produces. Here are some images we captured in various different scenarios during the event, do note that the copy we were given at the press event was a pre-production unit.

As you can see, for a 24mm lens it does pretty well for portraiture. We’re shocked.

 

First Impressions

While the time we spent with the Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master was quite brief, the lens performed exceptionally well under the various conditions that we got to test it in. While 24mm is a rather wide focal length, it proved to be very versatile when photographing landscapes as well as environmental portraits, where the rest of the scene is as important as the subject and is critical in telling the story behind an image. We look forward to getting a test unit in for an in depth review very soon.

The Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master will be available in October 2018, and will retail for US $1,399.99 / Canada $1,899.99.