Sony’s FE 12-24mm f4G is an ultra-wide zoom for its e-mount mirrorless cameras, and corrected for use on full-frame bodies. Announced in May 2017, it delivers the widest coverage in the e-mount lineup, and exploits the short flange-back (sensor to lens mount distance) of mirrorless to achieve a smaller and lighter body than rivals from Canon and Sigma.
Measuring 87mm in diameter, 117.4mm in length and weighing 565g, the FE 12-24mm f4G is one of the smallest ultra-wide full-frame lenses to date. Impressively it weighs less than half the Canon EF 11-24mm f4L USM or Sigma 12-24mm f4 DG HSM, and is both shorter and narrower too. Once mounted on their respective full-frame bodies, the difference becomes even greater, with the Canon EF 11-24mm on a 5D weighing a kilogram more than the Sony FE 12-24mm on an A7r II.
The 17-element / 13 group optical design includes four aspherical elements for high resolution, and a Super ED (extra low dispersion) and three ED glass elements to reduce chromatic aberrations, while Nano AR coating combats flare and ghosting. The Direct Drive SSM focusing is fast, quiet and smooth, the barrel is dust and moisture-resistant, and there’s a focus-hold button that can be customized. The bulbous front element means no filter thread, but there is a built-in lens hood. The Sony FE 12-24mm f4G is expected in July for $1700 and ahead of my review I’ve been shooting with a final-production sample on A7r II and A9 bodies; scroll down for my first sample images.