Sony 14mm f1.8 GM lens : The Review

Sony 14mm f1.8 GM | Photographers Blog

Presenting Sony 14mm f1.8 GM Lens

It has just been announced. The widest and fastest prime in their line up till now. The Sony lens 14mm f1.8 GM is indeed the widest angle prime out there. For whom is this wide-angle lens? Let’s see below at our review.

I want to clarify that I’m not a Sony ambassador and this is my personal view of this lens. Even though I’m a Sony user I will try to present you with the utmost professionalism that it deserves.

I’m an owner of the 16-35mm GM lens (you can see here my gear list). Till today, I believed that this was the perfect lens for me. Firstly it’s a zoom lens that gives me the creativity of adjusting my composition without the need of moving. Secondly it is sharp as knife from end to end. Thirdly it is economically speaking within my budget (after these years on the market you can find a good deal). And lastly, by being a zoom lens, you avoid the hassle to change your lens in any environment and get your sensor into dust or dirt and generally all the disadvantages of changing your lens in the field.

But the maximum aperture is f2.8 and not f1.8 as this prime. We all knew that one of the advantages of prime lenses are the fastest aperture and as thus Sony delivers today a masterpiece. To convert the 14mm to field of view just to inform you that the field is 114.2 degrees (Astonishing e?)

Sony a7Riv with the lens (Picture taken from DP review)

Sony a7Riv with the lens (Picture taken from DP review)

So let’s see some technical data of the Sony 14mm f1.8 GM lens:

  1. Stunning Resolution

  2. Compact and Light

  3. Two XA elements

  4. Ultra Fast Auto Focus with 2 XD Linear Motors

  5. Weather Sealing

You read the above and you are still confused. Is that enough? What do you mean? Let me brake it even to show you that this is an excellent lens by Sony.

Sony Wide Angle Primes. 14mm - 20mm - 24mm (image take from Albert Dros blog)

Sony Wide Angle Primes. 14mm - 20mm - 24mm (image take from Albert Dros blog)

Current philosophy of Sony has to do with speed. For that reason we see their latest masterpiece in cameras the A1 that combines both resolution and speed. In this concept are their lenses as well. As much as I like my wide angle 16-35mm GM the more I admit that this new lens is faster in focus and that is because of the new focus motors they use. The optical design of this lens comprises 14 elements in 11 groups. One aspherical element and two XA ('extreme aspherical') elements effectively minimize sagittal flare, also known as coma. Minimal coma is particularly important for a lens like this one that's expected to see wide use in astrophotography and nightscape applications. I don’t want to forget to tell you that focus is internally so the length of the lens remains the same.

The lens from a closest look (photo from Albert Dros)

The lens from a closest look (photo from Albert Dros)

Another advantage is the weight. Their direct competitor in this lens is the Sigma 14mm f1.8 DG HSM but this one is 461 grams. Can you believe it? That light? So wide and that light? In comparison, the Sigma is 1231 grams. So it is almost 3 times lighter. With the same camera body. Both lenses have permanent lens cap and you can not put screw filters in front, but as seen and with the 12-24mm f2.8 GM lens Sony gives us the flexibility to put filters on the back of the lens (I don’t know how much handy this is). So you can have it with you without any pain on the hand. Most important? For videographers, you can place it in your gimbals and get that vlogging shots with ease. Think about it. Despite the weight we have also the size. The Sigma is also 152mm in length with 95.4 mm wide barrel, compared Sony's 99.8mm long barrel that's 83mm in diameter. Another plus for that gimbal shots.

Weather Sealing is something you could expect from a GM lens and for that we can not discuss more. So about the sharpness of the lens. The MTF charts and reviewers that tested this lens say that it is a sharp one. Moreover, it a sunstar friend. What I mean is that you can have sunstar lights from aperture f5.6 and more. Of course if you can step up to f11 or even f16 these become more visible and more eye pleasing. For a landscape shooter as myself I always like that effect to include in my photography.

Depth of field. When you choose to buy a wide angle lens the depth of field is not in your thoughts. Of course, you get a separation between the subject and the environment but when you bring it near to your subject. If, for example, you move a foot away direct you can have a sharp image even at f5.6. So don’t you think that “Ok, I will crank it up to f8-f11 and everything will be sharp”. Of course, it will be but you can get that with even higher aperture of f4.

Depth of field (From Albert Dross test in his blog)

Depth of field (From Albert Dross test in his blog)

What is left to say here? For whom is the Sony 14mm f1.8 GM lens? Firstly for astrophotographer lovers. The fast aperture lets you capture the magnificent sky with smaller ISO. You can get a sharp image with 30secs exposure and ISO 800 or even 1250 that is 2 or 3 stops sometimes less than the typical astrophotographers use. So you have an advantage of less noise in your picture and less work during editing process.

A view of Amsterdam and their tulips. (picture from Albert Dros)

A view of Amsterdam and their tulips. (picture from Albert Dros)

Secondly this lens is marvelous for shooting architecture or interior. With this wide field of view, it’s sharpness and of course the fast focusing system is a joy of any photographer on this area. What do you believe? Do you want to get it or you stick with a zoom lens instead. As of me, I would stick with my zoom lens. Despite the beauty of this lens the fact that I can not use screw in filters is a big disadvantage for me and my style of photography.

I tried to gather as much useful information as possible in order to present you this lens. Hope you find it in handy. The short of time do not let us have a better look. I will try to get into my hands the Sony 14mm f1.8 GM lens and give you a better review. Don’t forget that every week we publish at least two blog posts, so pass by and have a look. I’m always asking for your recommendation and your thoughts so, please feel free to comment as you wish. Happy Shooting !!!

Thank you !

Harris Kiakotos

I am a Captain on Oil Tanker vessels and a photo enthusiast. I follow my photography passion and I will reply to any inquiry you may have. As so, do not hesitate to contact me.

https://www.photokiakotos.com
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