Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G Review

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Introduction

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G is a new ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for Sony full-frame FE-mount cameras (A9/A7/A7R II/A7S). It has four aspherical elements, including one Super ED and three ED elements. The lens is dust- and moisture-resistant and has a minimum focusing distance of 28cm with a maximum magnification of 0.14x. It has a 7 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image, an internal focusing mechanism means the lens barrel doesn’t move, and there’s a Nano AR coating to help minimise flare. The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens is available for around £1700 / $1700 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Ease of Use

Weighing in at 560 grams and measuring 87 x 117.4 mm, the metal-bodied Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G feels very well-constructed. It’s overall size and weight makes it feel well-balanced on the Sony A7R II body that we tested it with, as shown in the photos below.

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens mounted on a Sony A7R II

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens mounted on a Sony A7R II

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens mounted on a Sony A7R II

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens alongside a Sony A7R II

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G has a sealed dust and moisture resistant design. It does not feature built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation.

The wide and ridged zoom ring and the narrower manual focus ring are the main external controls of note. Manual focusing is possible via the textured focus ring when set on the specific camera body. The lens utilizes one DDSSM (Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor) to produce quiet and smooth focusing, making it well-suited to shooting both stills and video.

There is also a customisable focus hold button and a lens hood release button.

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Side of the Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Front of the Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Rear of the Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens has quite a wide focus ring. There are no hard stops at either end of the range, making it a little more difficult to set focus at infinity.

When it comes to auto-focusing, the Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G zoom is a quiet and quick performer on the Sony A7R II that we tested it with, taking about 0.15 seconds to lock onto the subject.

We didn’t experience much “hunting”, either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time, and it’s also a quiet performer making it ideal for movie shooting.

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Side of the Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Side of the Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens in-hand

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens has a metal lens mount. It does not accept filters because of the integrated plastic petal-shaped lens hood which cannot be detached. It is supplied with a soft case and a large lens cap which slips over the hood.

Focal Range

At the 12mm focal length the angle of view is 99 degrees.

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Field of view at 12mm

At the 24mm focal length the angle of view is 61 degrees.

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Field of view at 24mm

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as blue or purple fringes along contrasty edges, were almost completely absent from our test shots. The examples below show the worst-case scenario.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED
Light Fall-off and Distortion

With the Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens set to its maximum aperture of f/4, there is some obvious light fall-off in the corners, requiring you to stop down by at least 3 f-stops to completely prevent it. There’s some barrel distortion evident at 12mm, and at 24mm there’s just a little pin-cushioning too.

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Light fall-off at 12mm

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Light fall-off at 24mm

Macro

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G isn’t claimed to be a macro lens, offering a minimum focusing distance of 28cm at 12mm, with a maximum magnification of 0.14x. The following example demonstrates how close you can get to your subject.

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Close-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the FE 12-24mm F4 G lens, Sony employed an iris diaphragm with 7 rounded aperture blades, which has resulted in fairly appealing bokeh in our view. We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we’ve included several 100% crops for your perusal.

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G
Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G
Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.

Sharpness at 12mm

For this test, the Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens was attached to a Sony A7R II body, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. Exposure delay mode was activated. Tonal and colour variances across the crops are due to changes in natural light during the session.

The full frame at 12mm

The full frame at 12mm

Centre sharpness remains high through from f/4 to f/16, with f/22 being adversely affected by diffraction. The edges are almost as sharp as the centre, with f/5.6-f/11 producing the sharpest results.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/4
f/5.6
f/8
f/11
f/16
f/22

Sharpness at 18mm

For this test, the Sony FE 12-18mm F4 G lens was attached to a Sony A7R II body, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. Exposure delay mode was activated. Tonal and colour variances across the crops are due to changes in natural light during the session.

The full frame at 18mm

The full frame at 18mm

Centre sharpness remains high through from f/4 to f/16, with f/22 being adversely affected by diffraction. The edges are almost as sharp as the centre, with f/5.6-f/11 producing the sharpest results.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/4
f/5.6
f/8
f/11
f/16
f/22

Sharpness at 24mm

For this test, the Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens was attached to a Sony A7R II body, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. Exposure delay mode was activated. Tonal and colour variances across the crops are due to changes in natural light during the session.

The full frame at 24mm

The full frame at 24mm

Centre sharpness remains high through from f/5.6 to f/16, with f/22 being adversely affected by diffraction. The edges are almost as sharp as the centre, with f/8-f/11 producing the sharpest results.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/4
f/5.6
f/8
f/11
f/16
f/22

Sample Images

The thumbnails below link to full-sized samples taken with the Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens mounted on a Sony A9 camera.

1/30s · f/4 · ISO 400 – 12mm (35mm)

1/30s · f/4 · ISO 1250 – 12mm (35mm)

1/30s · f/5.6 · ISO 800 – 12mm (35mm)

1/30s · f/5.6 · ISO 500 – 12mm (35mm)

1/100s · f/8 · ISO 100 – 12mm (35mm)

1/80s · f/11 · ISO 100 – 19mm (35mm)

1/40s · f/16 · ISO 100 – 18mm (35mm)

1/30s · f/4 · ISO 250 – 24mm (35mm)

Specifications

Mount
Sony E-mount
Format
35mm full frame
Focal-Length (mm)
12-24
35mm equivalent focal-length (APS-C)
18-36
Lens Groups / Elements
13-17
Angle of View (35mm)
122゚-84゚
Angle of View (APS-C)
99°-61°
Maximum aperture (F)
4
Minimum Aperture (F)
22
Aperture Blades
7
Circular Aperture
Yes
Minimum Focus Distance
0.28 m (0.92 ft)
Maximum Magnification ratio (x)
0.14
Filter Diameter (mm)
– (not attachable)
Image stabilization (SteadyShot)
– (body-integrated)
Zoom system
Manual
Teleconverter compatibility (x1.4)
Teleconverter compatibility (x2.0)
Hood Type
Petal shape, fixed type

Conclusion

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G is a very good, if pricey, ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for Sony A9/A7/A7R II/A7S full-frame cameras. It delivers excellent sharpness in the centre of the frame almost throughout the full aperture and zoom range and also performs very well at the edges of the frame too, although the performance at 24mm isn’t as good as the rest of the zoom range.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G lens does suffer from some distortion and vignetting, but chromatic aberrations are very well-controlled and it can even create some fairly nice bokeh effects when shooting wide-open at 24mm. The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G offered pleasingly fast, quiet and reliable auto-focusing on the A7R II that we tested it with, intuitive manual focusing and very good build quality, plus it’s usefully weather-tight too. The only real “missing” feature is image stabilisation, which with a slow constant aperture of f/4 would have been welcome, while the fixed lens hood prevents the use of filters. If you don’t need to go as wide as 12mm, we’d suggest spending the extra dollars on the outstanding Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM instead, but the Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G is still an excellent lens that can deliver unique images.

(photographyblog.com, https://goo.gl/eY3AS9)

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