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FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM

  
 
sismailian
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Thanks for putting the time for these tests especially with this massive heat wave going on. Both lenses look amazing and I am still very happy I chose to go with the GM instead of the sigma despite it's price difference I wouldn't see a big enough focal length difference between my 16-35 GM and sigma 14-24. I think anyone who doesn't have an ultrawide can be very happy with the sigma 14-24 2.8.

Edited on Aug 18, 2020 at 07:02 PM · View previous versions



Aug 18, 2020 at 05:07 PM
Jman13
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Thanks for the test. Sigma looks better at 14mm to my eye, but Sony is better at midfield at the mid and long end (but same or worse at the corners). In all, there's so little real world difference between the two that I would have an extremely hard time justifying $1600 more for the Sony unless 12mm was absolutely essential in my wide zoom. And it's not.


Aug 18, 2020 at 05:17 PM
Justin Stone
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Letís wait for field curvature, flare, rendering, coma, and sunstars. But thereís no question how much of a bargain the 14-24 is when it comes to resolution (and probably coma).

I suspect Fredís completed review will reveal some challenges Sony will have in moving a $3000 lens once the insta-buy crowd gets their copy, esp. with this level of competition from Sigma. In a year, and at closer to 2300 I could see Sony selling a bunch more.

Jman13 wrote:
Thanks for the test. Sigma looks better at 14mm to my eye, but Sony is better at midfield at the mid and long end (but same or worse at the corners). In all, there's so little real world difference between the two that I would have an extremely hard time justifying $1600 more for the Sony unless 12mm was absolutely essential in my wide zoom. And it's not.



Edited on Aug 18, 2020 at 07:10 PM · View previous versions



Aug 18, 2020 at 06:20 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


















  1. Distance: Infinity
  2. Focus: Center - Best of three @ 12.4x magnification
  3. WB: Daylight for both lenses
  4. Both Lenses perfectly centered using my decentering test
  5. Software: Lightroom with FM Default Landscape Sharpening. All other settings set to default
PS: Vignetting and distortion were NOT corrected



21mm
CENTER resolution/contrast comparison between Sony 12-24/2.8 GM @12mm vs Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color-Skopar

(PS: The Leica M + adapter version performs the same as the Sony E-mount)





(21mm) Center at f/4: Both are similar at f/4 but the Voigtlander almost matches it and is a hair from wide open







(21mm) Center at f/5.6: Both improve slightly and GM is still able to discern finer detail







(21mm) Center at f/8: Both equal now (take note that the Voigtlander performs great at f/8 across the field)




Aug 18, 2020 at 06:23 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


21mm
MID-FIELD resolution/contrast comparison between Sony 12-24/2.8 GM @12mm vs Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color-Skopar





(21mm) Mid-field at f/4: If you've read my CV 21/3.5, you know there is some field curvature and mid-field dip for the Voigltander. It shows here!







(21mm) Mid-field at f/5.6: The Sony improves even further and the Voigltander improves as well







(21mm) Mid-field at f/8: AT f/8 they are not too far apart but it's still a big win for the GM




Aug 18, 2020 at 06:24 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


21mm
EXTREME CORNER resolution/contrast comparison between Sony 12-24/2.8 GM @12mm vs Voigtlander 21mm f/3.5 Color-Skopar





(21mm) Extreme corner at f/4: The Voigtlander shows more astigmatism







(21mm) Extreme corner at f/5.6: The Voigtlander improves greatly and the Sony improves as well. They are not too different now and f/5.6 is their optimal apertures for the corners







(21mm) Extreme corner at f/8: Not much changes




Aug 18, 2020 at 06:25 PM
Neurad1
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


How much better is this version than the 12-24 G that I already own?


Aug 18, 2020 at 06:42 PM
rvh23
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Neurad1 wrote:
How much better is this version than the 12-24 G that I already own?


The Archilles' heel of the G is it's poor flare performance. It's been greatly improved with the GM. In terms of IQ, the Sigma DN zoom clearly outperformed the G, and presumably set the bar for the GM.



Aug 18, 2020 at 06:51 PM
rvh23
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Fred, does it look to be correct that the rear filter holder requires you to bend the filter to insert it, therefore precluding glass filters?


Aug 18, 2020 at 07:25 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


rvh23 wrote:
Fred, does it look to be correct that the rear filter holder requires you to bend the filter to insert it, therefore precluding glass filters?


I have not tried the rear filter yet but it looks like you are right! If that's the case it will be hard for glass to bend. However, Aurora told me it will be possible to make magnetic filters for it. I think it will be like the "glue in" type they made for the 12-24/4 G which means they would bypass the rear filter's sleeve all together. I will get back to you on that.



Aug 18, 2020 at 07:39 PM
 


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Fred Miranda
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Neurad1 wrote:
How much better is this version than the 12-24 G that I already own?


I tried getting a good copy of the FE 12-24/4 G to compare to the GM but the two copies I received were badly asymmetric, especially after 14mm.

I've owned the "G" for a couple years and it's a great performer. It won't match the resolution/contrast of the GM/Sigma though. Flare resistance is definitely its achilles hill and the sunstar is never attractive to me but this is subjective.



Aug 18, 2020 at 07:43 PM
rvh23
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Fred Miranda wrote:
When my copy arrived yesterday - the first thing I noticed was how compact and light it was for a lens with a fast 12-24mm range while the build and operation felt similar to my other GM lenses.


The size increase is not negligible though. A year or two ago when I posted samples from the then class-leading Sigma 14/1.8, many users commented that despite the IQ the lens was just too big and heavy to be practical. Yet here we are with the Sony zoom coming in at 97.6 x 137 mm (847g) versus the Sigma 14/1.8 at 95.4 x 126 mm (1170g) according to the BH specs. The Sony is actually larger in both dimensions, and although it's about 300g lighter, I'm not sure it would be that noticeable considering total weight of either lens plus camera.

Personally I don't mind carrying larger lenses if IQ warrants it (as it does in this case), but I don't think we're in the realm of compact lenses anymore with this one.

* actually, if I remember correctly, the BH spec for the Sigma 14/1.8 (Sony version) may underestimate the actual lens length a little, but regardless it's almost identical in size to the Sony.


Edited on Aug 18, 2020 at 07:53 PM · View previous versions



Aug 18, 2020 at 07:47 PM
sismailian
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


It'd be fun to carry small filters for the back. I have still my LEE Filters SW150 Mark II Filter System and all I would need to do is get the adapter when it comes out for the sony and I can re-use my 150mm glasses that I spent quiet a bit of $ on. Still I prefer to see what Aurora comes up with maybe for a lighter package.


Aug 18, 2020 at 07:52 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Field Curvature

Field curvature is moderate from 12 until 14mm. After that FC is very low to negligible.

Here are some crops showing the corners at 12mm, 18mm and 24mm. There were focused at center (LEFT) and at corner (RIGHT).
If you remove the field curvature variable, the GM puts up a great performance at 12mm and 14mm.

PS: It got a bit overcast here.





(12mm) LEFT extreme corner crop: Focused at CENTER /// RIGHT extreme corner crop: Focused at CORNER - Moderate field curvature







(18mm) LEFT extreme corner crop: Focused at CENTER /// RIGHT extreme corner crop: Focused at CORNER - Very low field curvature







(24mm) LEFT extreme corner crop: Focused at CENTER /// RIGHT extreme corner crop: Focused at CORNER - Negligible




Aug 18, 2020 at 08:08 PM
rvh23
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Fred Miranda wrote:
Field Curvature

Field curvature is moderate from 12 until 14mm. After that FC is very low to negligible.

Here are some crops showing the corners at 12mm, 18mm and 24mm. There were focused at center (LEFT) and at corner (RIGHT).
If you remove the field curvature variable, the GM puts up a great performance at 12mm and 14mm.

PS: It got a bit overcast here.


Excellent work again Fred. Do you think if you corner focus, it then matches the Sigma (which had a corner advantage at 14mm in your first comparisons) at 2.8?



Aug 18, 2020 at 08:55 PM
TravelinBriNY
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Wow Fred, amazing work, and puts the argument to bed. Both lenses are amazing, but the Sony is not categorically better. It simply comes down to will you pay an extra 1700 for the 12-14/2.8 range - or do you need ever so slightly better center (Sony) or ever so slightly better corners (Sigma). So much appreciate your work, i think you just saved me 1700$.

-TBri



Aug 18, 2020 at 09:16 PM
Justin Stone
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Midfield matters a lot in landscapeóof which the GM excels. It matters more if you ask me than corners. To each their own of course.

TravelinBriNY wrote:
Wow Fred, amazing work, and puts the argument to bed. Both lenses are amazing, but the Sony is not categorically better. It simply comes down to will you pay an extra 1700 for the 12-14/2.8 range - or do you need ever so slightly better center (Sony) or ever so slightly better corners (Sigma). So much appreciate your work, i think you just saved me 1700$.

-TBri




Aug 18, 2020 at 09:41 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


rvh23 wrote:
The size increase is not negligible though. A year or two ago when I posted samples from the then class-leading Sigma 14/1.8, many users commented that despite the IQ the lens was just too big and heavy to be practical. Yet here we are with the Sony zoom coming in at 97.6 x 137 mm (847g) versus the Sigma 14/1.8 at 95.4 x 126 mm (1170g) according to the BH specs. The Sony is actually larger in both dimensions, and although it's about 300g lighter, I'm not sure it would be that noticeable considering total weight of either lens plus
...Show more

The Sony 12-24/2.8 is only a tad longer than the Sigma 14-24/2.8. It's just wider to accommodate the extra 12mm FL. I found it amazing that's only 50g heavier than the Sigma while feeling about the same in hands.

Also, I believe the Sigma 14/1.8 E-mount's criticism was also weight. The E-mount version is actually 1,230 grams and that's almost 400 grams heavier than the new GM ultra wide zoom.









Aug 18, 2020 at 10:10 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


rvh23 wrote:
Excellent work again Fred. Do you think if you corner focus, it then matches the Sigma (which had a corner advantage at 14mm in your first comparisons) at 2.8?


If both are focused at the corner, perhaps the GM matches the Sigma's corner. I will test it soon.

The GM out resolves the Sigma at most focal lengths but especially after 18mm on the A7R IV but the difference is small after f/4.



Aug 18, 2020 at 10:18 PM
rvh23
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · FM Review: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM


Justin Stone wrote:
Midfield matters a lot in landscapeóof which the GM excels. It matters more if you ask me than corners. To each their own of course.



At landscape apertures, say F5.6 and beyond, there is no meanigful difference between these lenses that you would ever detect in any real world print.



Aug 18, 2020 at 11:17 PM
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