Sony introduces compact FE 14mm F1.8 GM ultra-wide lens

Published Apr 20, 2021 | dpreview staff

Sony has introduced the FE 14mm F1.8 lens for its full-frame mirrorless bodies. The lens is surprisingly compact and light: roughly 1/3 the weight of the Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lens for Sony E mount (460 vs 1170 grams).

The 14mm F1.8 has 14 elements arranged in 11 groups, including one aspherical and two ‘extreme’ aspherical elements, as well as ED (extra-low dispersion) and ‘super’ ED glass to suppress chromatic aberrations. Sony’s ‘Nano AR Coating II’ helps prevent flare and ghosting when shooting into or around bright light sources.

Focus is internal, and the focus group is driven by two ‘extreme dynamic’ linear motors, and based on our experiences, it’s nearly instantaneous. When manually focusing on many Sony camera bodies, response can be set to linear, something videographers will appreciate. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 25cm (9.8″) and a max magnification of 0.1x.

You’ll find a manual aperture ring on the 14mm F1.8, which can be clicked or ‘de-clicked’ based on preference (generally stills or video shooting, respectively). There’s also an AF/MF switch and a customizable focus hold button, which can be assigned to any custom function. The lens has weather-sealing and a fluorine coating on the front element to repel water and oil. While the bulbous front element prevents the use of screw-on filters, there is a slot for sheet filter cutouts on the mount and Sony provides a template for creating filters of the correct size and shape in the box.

The Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM will be available in May for $1600.

Press release

Sony Electronics Continues to Push Boundaries with the Introduction of the Compact, Ultra-wide Angle, Large Aperture FE 14mm F1.8 G Master™ Prime Lens

Newest Addition to Sony’s E-mount Lens Lineup Offers Extraordinary Resolution, Advanced and Quiet Autofocus Capabilities, Beautiful Bokeh Rendering and More

SAN DIEGO, CA – April 20, 2021 – Sony Electronics Inc. further expands its E-mount lens lineup with the introduction of the groundbreaking FE 14mm F1.8 G Master (model SEL14F18GM) – a compact, large F1.8 aperture, ultra-wide angle lens that allows users to capture the world with new perspectives by delivering sharp resolution from corner to corner with little to no distortion, especially when shooting landscapes, architecture, starry skies and interiors.

“Sony continuously strives to meet the needs of our customers with the most advanced tools possible. We’re excited to share the newest member of our G Master series, the FE 14mm F1.8 G Master,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “This lens sets a new standard for 14mm primes, by delivering extraordinary corner-to-corner resolution and advanced autofocus capabilities in a compact design that has never before been realized in this focal length.”

Extraordinary Resolution in an Incredibly Compact and Lightweight Design
The new FE 14mm F1.8 G Master features a compact design, measuring just 3⅜ in x 4 in (83mm x 99.8mm) and weighing just 16.3 oz (460g), with advanced optical technology that delivers superb resolution and stunning contrast. Two XA (extreme aspherical) elements and one aspherical lens element maintain excellent resolution throughout the entire image area and contribute to its compact and lightweight design. Two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements and one Super ED glass element result in optical refinements that suppress chromatic aberration and deliver excellent contrast and precise rendering at all apertures.

The FE 14mm F1.8 G Master is useful in all types of low-light situations for both still and movie shooting, thanks to the maximum F1.8 aperture. Users can faithfully render point light sources, like stars for astrophotography, without having to use extremely slow shutter speeds. A common problem plaguing wide angle lenses is light entering at extreme angles that could reflect internally. The FE 14mm F1.8 G Master uses Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II technology to maximize clarity and effectively subdue flare and ghosting.

The FE 14mm F1.8 G Master can produce beautiful bokeh at F1.8, even with the ultra-wide 14mm focal length. With a 9.8-inch minimum focus distance, the FE 14mm F1.8 G Master offers expanded possibilities for close-up still and video shooting and creates stunning bokeh known to Sony’s G Master premium series of lenses. In addition, its precise XA elements, a 9-blade circular aperture mechanism and optimally controlled aberration allow the FE 14mm F1.8 G Master to produce exquisite background bokeh without the undesirable “onion-ring” effect.

Advanced and Quiet Autofocus
Using two XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors, focus can be accurately acquired and maintained even when shooting with narrow depth of field at F1.8 giving professional shooters the reliability they need to get the job done in challenging conditions. Moreover, the FE 14mm F1.8 G Master enables quiet AF with minimal vibration for smooth focus transitions, perfect for video content creation.

Professional Level Control and Reliability
The new lens also features several advanced and versatile control options including a focus hold button, a focus mode switch and a focus ring to ensure smooth, efficient operation in a wide range of shooting environments. For added customization, a number of functions can be assigned to the focus hold button from the camera body interface. The FE 14mm F1.8 G Master also features Linear Response MF for direct and precise manual focusing. An aperture ring that allows intuitive aperture control and is also included, with click stops that can be switched ‘on’ for still photography or switched ‘off’ for smooth and quiet iris transition when capturing video. For added creative freedom, the FE 14mm F1.8 G Master includes a rear filter holder that accepts standard sheet-type filters for ND, color correction, soft filter and more.

A dust and moisture resistant design[1] provides the reliability needed for challenging conditions. The front lens element features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants. The rear element is also fluorine coated to keep that surface clean when changing the rear filter. The lens also has a built-in petal hood that effectively blocks extraneous light that can cause flare and ghosting.

Pricing and Availability
The new FE 14mm F1.8 G Master will be available in May for approximately $1,600 USD and $2,100 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.

Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new lens and Sony’s other imaging products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony α – Alpha brand.

[1] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.

Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 14 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount Sony FE
Aperture
Maximum aperture F1.8
Minimum aperture F16
Aperture ring Yes
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Optics
Elements 14
Groups 11
Special elements / coatings 1 Super ED + 1 aspherical + 2 XA + 2 ED, Nano AR coating II
Focus
Minimum focus 0.25 m (9.84)
Maximum magnification 0.1×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Linear Motor
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 460 g (1.01 lb)
Diameter 83 mm (3.27)
Length 100 mm (3.94)
Sealing Yes
Colour Black
Filter notes Rear sheet filter cut-outs
Hood supplied Yes