Sony has pulled the covers off its newest lens and the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is somewhat of a record-breaker as Sony says the new optic is the ‘world’s smallest and lightest F2.8 standard zoom lens’. The updated version of the lens comes six years after the launch of the original Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 so what’s new?
Photographers know that 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses are hugely popular because they offer such a versatile focal length that covers everything from landscapes and architecture at the wider end of the focal length right through to portraits and general reportage towards the longer end of the range. The new version of the lens takes advantage of two high-precision XA (extreme aspherical) elements, along with two ED (extra-low dispersion) plus two Super ED glass elements to improve image quality.
What’s more, the 24-70mm includes Sony’s Nano AR Coating II technology to reduce flare and ghosting and, thanks to a 11-bladed aperture design, the lens is sure to deliver both pleasing circular bokeh and attract sunbursts when capturing light sources at a smaller apertures such as f/18.
For those photographers who like to fill the frame with smaller subjects, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II features a minimum focusing distance of 8.25 inches (0.21 meters) at 24 mm and 12 inches (0.30 meters) at 70 mm, and with a maximum magnification of 0.32x.
Despite these pro features, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II tips the scales at just 695 grams (24.6 ounces), which is approximately 20% lighter than the original 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master. What’s more, the lens’ length has been reduced by 16 mm, and overall volume has been reduced by approximately 18%.
Built for everyday pro use, the weather sealing has been redesigned to provide even more protection against dust and moisture and the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II has plenty to offer videographers too as Sony says the lens ‘reduces focus breathing, focus shift and axial shift when zooming for smooth video footage.’ Additionally, the lens’ AF tracking performance while zooming is approximately two times better than the previous model.
While there’s no Image Stabilisation technology inside the lens, additional features include newly added aperture ring with click ON/OFF switch and iris lock switch, two customizable focus hold buttons and a lens hood design with opening to control circular polarising filters.