Sony 24mm F/1.4 GM Review

Price:$1398 (Get it here)

Focal Lenght: 24mm

Optical Formula: 13 elements, 2 XA (extreme aspherical), 3 ED, Nano AR coating

Aperture Range: f/1.4-f/16 (11-blade rounded)

Filter Threads: 67mm

Length: 3.62″ (92mm)

Weight: 15.7oz (455g)

Weather Sealing: Yes, rear gasket & other

Other: AF/MF switch, customizable button, de-click-able aperture ring

Sony 24mm F/1.4 GM Lens Review

Most lenses that I review have quite a few pros, and at least one or two cons. You might be wondering, do I ever review terrible equipment? The good news is, these days, every lens and camera that I’m actually interested in is a pretty good product. I’m grateful to live in the age of computer-aided optical design, and other amazing camera technologies. If something is producing truly terrible photos, it’s probably the photographer, not the gear.

Having said that, very few lenses that I review are truly perfect. They are all a compromise, in one way or another. Or, if they are “perfect”, then they’re probably massively big and heavy, or incredibly expensive, or both.

With that in mind, here are a lot of pros, and maybe not even a single con, about the

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM…

Sharpness & Image Quality

Not only is this lens very sharp, and capable of easily resolving the high-megapixel sensor of the A7R3 with ease, it also exhibits amazing overall image quality, from the center to the corner.

In fact, thanks to modern lens design technology, almost all lenses on the market today are tack-sharp in the image center, even wide-open. It’s off-center, at the edges and in the corners, where you separate the winners from the losers.

A Firey Reflection Canyon Sunrise, Finally!
Sony A7R3, Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM | 1/60 sec, f/4, ISO 100

/4 100% Crop, Near-Corner | Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM, Sony A7R3

Well, even at the edges and corners, the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM delivers the goods. It’s a flagship lens, after all, and for the price tag, I’d expect no less when it comes to something as simple as resolving power.

Yes, at faster apertures from f/1.4 to about f/4 or f/5.6, there is a difference in sharpness between the dead-center and extreme corners; that is the case with any lens. But the differential is impressively small, and by f/5.6-8 the sharpness is just stunning, especially if you focus perfectly for the corners, instead of some sort of hyperfocal compromise.

Enough about sharpness and megapixel, what about the more complicated (but equally important) aspects of image quality? I’ll list them below.  Spoiler alert: it’s pretty much all good news.

Coma & Astigmatism

For me, this was definitely the most impressive aspect of the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM’s optical design. Every wide-angle lens I’ve ever tried that is faster than f/2.8, has suffered from coma and/or astigmatism. The older Canon/Nikon 24mm’s are pretty old and not very good, and the newest option, the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art, also has quite a bit of coma despite being extremely sharp in the center.

So, for a comparison, I went straight to the current 24mm champion of low coma, the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 UMC. It used to have incredible sharpness in the center and almost no coma in the corner, but that was when we were still shooting 12-20 megapixel cameras. We’re in 42+ megapixel territory now, folks.

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