By far, one of the most innovative lenses on the market is the Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L lens. It’s massive — but it delivers image quality like absolutely no other lens on the market. When we reviewed it back in 2019, we fell in love. But we also knew its limitations. However, we often forget that there’s a Sony patent for the same lens. More importantly, Sony often tries to one-up Canon when they come out with similar lenses — as has the rest of the camera market. So how can this one be different?
Why Not a Sony 28mm f1.4 G Master?
Before we get into this lens, we’re probably all wondering why there isn’t a better 28mm lens from Sony on the market yet. The brand launched the Sony 28mm f2 several years ago, and it’s a very affordable option. Why didn’t the company ever launch a 28mm f1.8 lens? Or a true pancake lens? Or what about a Sony 28mm f1.4 G Master lens? I’ve wondered the same thing — but I also remember that the 28mm field of view isn’t as popular as the 35mm or 24mm. However, I’ve got friends who swear by the 28mm. Sony Artisan Ira Block loves the 28mm field of view so very much — and so too do other photographers. Here are a few that we’ve interviewed:
- Nadia Shira Cohen won an honorable mention for the World Press Photo Awards with a 28mm lens.
- Iris Munoz does work around motherhood
- Lynsey Addario needs no introduction
- The Leica Q2’s 28mm helps Cedric Roux capture his photos.
- Carolin Unrath also uses a Leica Q2 but for surfing
Indeed, the 28mm prime is an instrumental lens for photojournalism work. And there are still tons of photojournalists out there still making their living from shooting.
But does Sony think that a zoom lens would make more sense for the photographers and for their own finances?
How Sony Can Make a Better Lens
If a Sony 28-70mm f2 were to hit the market, the company would need to find a much better way to make it. Here’s what it would need:
- The Canon variant is a beast — Sony would need to find a way to make it smaller and lighter than Canon’s. A patent uncovered by Sony Alpha Rumors shows that it might be possible.
- Brands often use Sigma or Tamron to make their lenses. I truly hope that they don’t employ Sigma to do this. Sigma has its own patent, too — but if Sigma makes the lens, it will focus slowly and be way too clinically perfect. We don’t need that these days.
- Sony would need to add an aperture ring — Canon has a programmable ring, but not a dedicated aperture ring
That’s really the only way that Sony could improve on Canon’s. Canon’s image quality is stellar, and I don’t think Sony could beat it. If they did, they’d ruin the lens.
Why We Doubt the Sony 28-70mm f2 Will Come
So here’s the reality. I don’t believe that we’ll actually see a Sony 28-70mm f2 G Master lens ever come to the market. The reason for this is that Sony tends to put more emphasis on video creators these days than photographers. Brands say that that’s where the market is, but they completely forget about the art world. Lots of creators don’t necessarily use dedicated cameras because their phones do well enough.
Why, then do the brands keep trying to compete with smartphones in a less serious way? Why then aren’t they putting better social media and Wifi integration into their cameras but instead through apps?
A Sony 28-70mm f2 G Master lens would make a lot of sense for photojournalists and event photographers. But those are folks who put stills first. The still photograph isn’t going away — you can see it everywhere. The brands just need to find a way to listen to and cater to photographers a bit more — therefore also changing their own identities.