Sony 14mm F1.8 GM lens LAUNCHED! An astro photographer’s dream

Sony 14mm F1.8 GM Lens 460grams

Sony has unveiled its ultra-compact, ultra-fast, and ultra-wide 14mm f/1.8 GM lens. Ideal for capturing landscape, architecture, and astronomical subjects as well as creative portraits and close-ups, this low-distortion prime delivers the optical quality that has come to characterize Sony’s top tier of lenses while remaining impressively compact and lightweight.

The new 14mmf/1.8 GM lens is Sony’s widest G Master prime to date. Combine its expansive reach with a fast f/1.8 aperture and you have a lens that is perfect for low-light capture—and especially well-suited for wide-field astrophotography. In total, it consists of 14 elements in 11 groups, with special design consideration paid to combatting the types of distortion that can plague ultra-wide-angle lenses.

First, there are two XA (extreme aspherical) elements and one aspherical element to minimize aberration and sagittal coma flare, ensuring accurate image capture. Super ED and ED glass are used to suppress chromatic aberration, and Nano AR Coating II takes care of ghosting and flare. Resulting images exhibit very little distortion and maintain corner-to-corner sharpness, reducing time spent in post. Although most will choose this lens for capturing distant subjects, it can focus as close as 9.8″ for creative close-up applications. Two XD linear motors ensure quick and quiet focusing for stills and video.

Key Features:

E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
Aperture Range: f/1.8 to f/16
Two XA, Two ED, One Super ED Elements
Nano AR II and Fluorine Coatings
Two Linear XD Focus Actuators
AF/MF Switch; Internal Focus
Focus Hold Button
Physical Aperture Ring; De-Click Switch
Dust and Moisture-Resistant Construction

G Master veterans will be surprised by how small and light this lens is. Its design becomes even more impressive when compared to Sigma’s 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens, which weighs a whopping 2.6 lb, over double that of Sony’s lens, which comes in at just a hair over 1 lb. Similarly, its 3.3 x 3.9″ dimensions make this a lens that is equally easy to carry on-camera or in a bag. Such a compact and lightweight design makes this lens easily adaptable for gimbal or tripod usage for achieving steady footage. Many of the tactile controls of past G Master lenses are also incorporated into this one, including a customizable focus hold button, de-click switch for the aperture, and manual/autofocus switch.

A built-in lens hood serves the dual purpose of blocking flare and protecting the bulbous front of the lens from accidental damage. A protective lens cap that goes over the hood is included for when the lens is not in use. Since the shape of the lens is not suited to front filters, a rear filter holder is included and a template provided for cutting custom filters. Like previous G Master lenses, the 14mm f/1.8 is dust and moisture resistant, which makes sense because this is a lens that begs to be taken outdoors. And although you cannot rely on a front filter for protection, a fluorine coating has been applied to repel dust, dirt, and liquids from its surface.

~ via BH Photo press release

Astrophotographers and landscape photographers can rejoice – the search for the perfect fast, wide-angle lens in a compact size is finally over. Past contenders such as the Batis 18mm f2.8 (best all rounder, but still f2.8), Sigma 14mm F1.8 (this weighs a TON at 43.4oz/1.23 kg), but this one takes the crown with a compact built and light weight of 16.3 oz. (460 g)! Will it be pin-sharp without chromatic aberrations? We’ll have to wait for the in-depth reviews on this one, but it’s looking great so far. Priced at US$1,598.

Sample images (from Sony)

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