Within the Area with the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens

After the discharge of the Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master lens, I assumed that that was it: Sony lastly launched my dream lens. However on a name with Sony a couple of weeks in the past I used to be advised that “one thing was coming, and it had my title on it.”

That would solely imply one factor: the one and solely lens that was nonetheless lacking for me within the Sony lens lineup was a quick wide-angle prime. And I used to be right: the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM is here!

Full disclosure: I’m a Sony ambassador and I acquired the lens weeks earlier than it was introduced. This text shouldn’t be known as a “evaluation” however is solely a abstract of my impressions when utilizing this lens within the subject.

It’s Mild!

And I do know what you’re considering. I used to be considering it as properly: This factor should be huge and heavy. However now we have been shocked by Sony up to now. Sony appears to make the most of its mirrorless cameras and lenses the perfect on the subject of portability and weight. Their G-Grasp primes have (virtually) all the time been lighter than the competitors and it appears that evidently the engineers problem themselves by maintain pushing the bar.

I keep in mind I used to be shocked by the dimensions and weight of the 24mm f/1.4. However the 14mm f/1.8 is on one other stage: It’s 460 grams solely. And that’s loads lighter than the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 (DSLR) lens. I don’t know the way they did it, however they did. I ponder if the Sony engineers ever take a vacation?

Now Sony doesn’t make issues simpler with this lens. There are simply so many nice Sony native wide-angle lenses in the marketplace proper now, and I really like my 12-24mm GM. However what If I might deliver the 14mm f/1.8 and the 24mm f/1.4 as a substitute of the 12-24mm GM? All 3 lenses are nice. And in the event you have a look at the full weight of the 14mm (460g) and 24mm (445g) which is simply over 900g, the distinction is simply 50 grams over the 850g 12-24mm f/2.8 GM. However it’s very good and versatile to make use of the 12-24 as a substitute of getting to modify between lenses.

This will probably be a tricky selection for individuals I’m certain. However the backside line is: With the 14mm f/1.8 Sony ‘completes’ an unbelievable native line up of wide-angle lenses.

The 14mm f/1.8 GM (Left) subsequent to the 24mm f/1.4 (center) and the 20mm f/1.8 G (proper)

The Design

Now after we have a look at the lens we are able to see it’s compact for its properties. It suits properly within the lineup of Sony’s primes. After we see it subsequent to the 24mm f/1.4 we are able to see it’s solely barely larger. Mounted on the Sony A7RIV physique it doesn’t look huge in any respect, and it’s merely a pleasant equipment to stroll round with.

Aside from the dimensions and weight, there should not many surprises after we have a look at this lens. It has a devoted AF/MF change, one further button, and a change to set the aperture to click-less. It seems to be like Sony implements this on all of their newer GM lenses which additionally makes them nice for video.

The aperture will be set manually with the aperture ring and goes from f/1.8 to f/16 after which there’s the ‘A’ to allow you to management the aperture through the digicam physique.

The lens has a nondetachable hood to guard the entrance aspect from bumping into issues. It has no filter thread, however surprisingly similar to the 12-24 f/2.8 GM, there’s a risk to make use of filters on the again of the lens.

Sharpness, Distortion, and Bokeh

Let’s check out how this lens performs within the subject. Somebody fascinated about a wide-angle prime like that is most likely going to make use of it for landscapes, cityscapes, structure, and naturally: astrophotography. Now over the previous couple of weeks, I made a decision to depart my 12-24mm GM at dwelling and easily carry this lens with me to {photograph}.

To begin off I photographed some Structure. This was primarily to examine the distortion and sharpness of the lens.

I attempted to shoot some fascinating angles of contemporary buildings within the metropolis of Amsterdam. After we have a look at the pictures (particularly the final one) we are able to see there’s not a lot noticeable distortion occurring. Upon writing this text, no lens profiles had been accessible for this lens so I didn’t do any corrections. However even with none lens profile utilized, strains look straight.

Let’s check out the sharpness on this picture:

Taken at f/8 from a superbly nonetheless tripod, check out a crop of the left aspect:

Even on the full edge, every little thing remains to be tremendous sharp and we are able to see all of the little particulars from the bricks.

Now here’s a nook crop from the underside proper:

Even the sharpness on the absolute nook is spectacular.

This lens has two XA (excessive aspherical) components together with two ED (Further Low dispersion), one Tremendous ED, and one aspherical aspect.

So sure, with a fast check the sharpness seems to be nice, as one would possibly count on from a Sony G-Grasp prime lens. However there’s one thing that actually impressed me: The middle sharpness at f/1.8. Let me present you an instance, and with that I’ll instantly tackle the bokeh of this lens. And I hear you considering: who would use the bokeh of this lens anyway? And also you would possibly suppose in a different way while you see this:

This was shot broad open at f/1.8. I used to be actually impressed with the good delicate bokeh across the topic. However earlier than we have a look at another bokeh pictures, let’s check out the sharpness at f/1.8.

Once I noticed this middle crop I used to be extraordinarily impressed. We’re greater than 100% right here (most likely 200 or so) and you’ll see each little element on the letters and the little carvings on the lens. What impressed me probably the most is that there are mainly no aberrations and ‘glow’. You understand while you use quick lenses broad open? You’ll usually see a tiny little bit of glow across the shiny and contrasty components. With this lens, it’s completely zero.

And after we are checking the bokeh anyway, let’s check out some extra pictures with a creamy background. As a result of it’s really fairly enjoyable to shoot excessive views with creamy backgrounds with an excessive broad angle lens:

All of those pictures had been taken by shifting very near the topic and using the minimal focus distance, all shot broad open at f/1.8

As acknowledged in Sony’s promotional materials:

BEAUTIFULLY SMOOTH BACKGROUNDS: A round 9-blade aperture on this 14mm lens creates lovely round background bokeh defocus results with a big F1.8 aperture.

And so they’re not improper.

Learn additionally: Sony 14mm f/1.8 G-Master Review: An Impossibly Good Lens

In The Area

Sufficient of displaying the (technical) capabilities, let’s check out among the pictures I took with this lens that you understand me for. I really like utilizing this type of wide-angle lenses with sturdy foregrounds, so I took it to an space with numerous sand buildings. Due to the sturdy winds and storms we had been encountering for the previous weeks on this nation, sand is nice to make use of in compositions because it makes all types of fascinating patterns.

Darkish skies and generally a patch of sunshine made for good circumstances on this space. By getting low to the bottom I might get these textures and contours shaped by the winds properly within the body.

For this picture I shot straight into the solar, once more using the textures lit up strongly by the daylight. This shot can be a superb demonstration of the sunstar of this lens, that’s pretty first rate. It’s not unhealthy, additionally not superb (the streaks across the solar should not tremendous pointy), however merely works properly. Additionally, this was shot at solely f/11.

Additionally, discover how there’s virtually no flaring occurring. Sony mentions that Sony’s new Nano AR Coating II is evenly utilized to the aspect floor of the lens, successfully minimizing inner reflections in order that flare and ghosting don’t happen.

I stayed a bit longer to additionally seize the rising moon, creating the ‘moonstar’ on this picture, shot at f/8. The moon additionally did a pleasant job lighting the foreground textures right here.

It’s April, so the tulips are on the town. Town of Amsterdam additionally has a whole lot of them.

On this picture, you’ll be able to see the Rijksmuseum. I prefer to get low and near the flowers to get a pleasant 3d impact in a picture. Then I take advantage of a method known as Focus stacking (taking a number of pictures with totally different focus) to get all the picture from entrance to again completely sharp.

Earlier than the tulips, we additionally had the Cherry blossoms. And I wish to present you 2 utterly totally different pictures, taken on the similar scene with the identical lens:

A picture of the cherry blossoms shot at f/9, is one other good demonstration of the solar star this lens creates. In opposition to edges, it seems to be very nice.

Then are you able to imagine this picture was shot with the identical lens? For this I shot at f/1.8, shifting very near the cherry blossom flower, pointing up the digicam towards the sky. A very totally different picture, however shot on the similar place, with the identical lens. Simply to indicate you some fascinating capabilities.

To proceed with the flowers, I shot this picture of a hyacinth subject:

A storm cloud was shifting over the sector and a rainbow popped up simply in the midst of these strains. I needed to indicate this picture to exhibit the ‘energy’ of a pointy lens mixed with the A7RIV. The 14mm f/1.8 GM may be very sharp, so utilizing it on the excessive megapixel digicam you’re in a position to simply crop 200% and nonetheless have a pointy picture:

I later determined that I favored this crop extra: it creates extra influence with the storm cloud and the rainbow. And it’s nonetheless very sharp with loads of decision even for print.

Astrophotography

And naturally I used to be very to see how this lens would carry out for astrophotography. Sadly, There weren’t many clear skies when the moon wasn’t round, so I wasn’t in a position to {photograph} the milky manner (but). I did nevertheless check the lens for simply capturing the celebs to have a good suggestion of what it’s able to on this subject of pictures. I used to be in a position to do a capturing session in a darker a part of the nation when the moon wasn’t up within the sky but.

Right here’s a picture of a windmill with a starry sky. Shot at f/1.8, 13 seconds, ISO 1600. Let’s take a better have a look at the corners and middle of the picture:

After we look tremendous shut on the stars on the highest left of the pictures, they give the impression of being extraordinarily sharp for the wide-open aperture. Not solely that, there’s virtually no coma, chromatic aberrations, and glow.

Right here’s one other shut crop of the windmill. Tack sharp, and in addition discover the sharpness of the star of the windmill. Total, I used to be extraordinarily impressed.

Listed here are 2 different pictures of the evening:

The f/1.8 aperture additionally makes it attainable to focus very simply in low mild. You possibly can merely see all the celebs in your reside view and deal with them.

Some clear skies and a brand new moon allowed me to do some extra capturing with the lens. Each of those pictures had been shot broad open at f/1.8 (foreground was focus stacked to get good sharpness there. And I lit the ripples within the sand from the aspect with my flashlight) and the lens didn’t disappoint once more. Very sharp stars all around the body.

Observe: When capturing these pictures we had evening curfew within the Netherlands. I had an exemption from it due to my job.

These had been each shot at f/1.8, ISO 2000, 13 seconds.

Conclusion

I feel I stated every little thing that I needed to say about this lens. Sony did it once more. They accomplished their wide-angle prime street map (for now?) with this lovely light-weight 14mm f/1.8 prime lens. Actually, I can’t actually consider some other lens I might need for panorama pictures proper now. With native lenses just like the 12-24mm f/2.8 GM, 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, 14mm f/1.8 GM, 20mm f/1.8 G, 24mm f/1.4 GM, and the 35mm f/1.4 GM, there’s actually nothing lacking for my part. I’ve been an envoy for Sony for the reason that unique Sony a7 and I’ve been nagging them ever since for lenses like this. And now they’re all right here. I feel the engineers can lastly go on their vacation.

Right here’s what you need to know in regards to the 14mm f/1.8, briefly:

  • Small and actually mild design of solely 460g
  • Very sharp nook to nook
  • Extraordinarily sharp within the middle even at f/1.8
  • Good for astrophotography with virtually no coma and aberrations at f/1.8, even at corners
  • Unexpectedly good and creamy bokeh at f/1.8. You possibly can go very artistic with broad angle shut ups
  • First rate sunstar
  • Virtually no flaring
  • No filter thread in entrance, however attainable to make use of again filters

Thanks for studying!


Concerning the writer: Albert Dros is an award-winning Dutch photographer. The opinions expressed on this article are solely these of the writer. His work has been printed by among the world’s greatest media channels, together with TIME, The Huffington Publish, The Every day Mail, and Nationwide Geographic. You will discover extra of his work on his website, or by following him on Facebook and Instagram. This text was additionally printed here.

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