Sony’s FE 16–35mm f/4 G is lightest in class, designed for demanding visual creators

The fine folks over at Sony have announced a full-frame 16–35mm to complement the FE 16–35mm f/2.8 GM. The new FE 16–35mm f/4 G is much more compact, more affordable, and features a variety of cutting edge developments in focusing, zoom drive, control access, and more. The watchwords here are creative expression, operability, and reliability.

This latest entry in the already-robust line-up of full-frame-capable E-mount lenses is the lightest wide-angle f/4 zoom lens in the world as of the time of this publication, and it is expected in mid to late June of this year. You can secure yours today by clicking the button below or contacting any of our fine retail establishments. Read on for details and sample images!

Perfectly poised

The ultralight and compact wide-angle zoom is a great fit for still photographers and videographers alike. At only 12.5 oz and featuring all-internal operation (both focusing and zooming), neither your neck nor your gimbal will be unexpectedly disturbed.

Sony’s G Lens designation indicates a certain base level of quality, and the sample images they provided certainly attest to the extremely high-resolution, outstanding color reproduction, quality bokeh, and clarity thereby promised. The body of the lens is dust- and moisture-resistant, as well, enabling fearless photography.

On the focusing front, two XD linear motors provide quick, accurate, and quiet autofocus. Sony rates the system as capable of keeping up with 30 fps still imaging or 4K 120p video capture, with extra attention given to minimizing focus breathing. If you need to get close, the FE 16–35mm f/4 G is capable of getting tack-sharp images from as little as 0.79 feet from your subject (that’s 0.23x magnification).

Become one with your lens

Thoughtfully designed control points (and enough of them!) are a critical feature in any professional gear. When you’re in your peak creative flow, you should be able to manipulate your tools with total, thoughtless ease. Fortunately, it appears that the FE 16–35mm f/4 G has been designed with just such an experience in mind.

A focus hold button makes it easy to get creative while taking advantage of the AF system, but can be customized to perform other functions as well. When you need to focus manually, the linear-response focusing ring ensures reliable, fine control. An instantly-accessible barrel switch allows a quick shift between the two modes.

The lens sports additional control rings for aperture and zoom, as well as a power zoom rocker (more on that below). The aperture ring is augmented by an iris lock switch (to prevent accidental shifts in exposure) and an on/off switch for the aperture ring’s detents (“clicks”). Being able to switch between the easier exposure math of standard aperture sizes and the creative control enabled by smooth iris movement (especially in video) is a pretty cool feature, and one of my favorites to have become more common in recent years.

Unprecedented zoom control

Zooming seems like a pretty no-brainer concept, but in designing the FE 16–35mm f/4 G Sony appears to have put special effort into making it easier to use it for creative visual expression. Four XD linear motors power the zoom system for (again) quick, quiet, and precise performance. These can be driven not only by the traditional ring but also by a rocker (depending on situational need) or even externally—the RMT-P1BT remote, GP-VPT2BT grip, and Imaging Edge Mobile app are all compatible.

Most intriguingly—though only when using select camera models—there are up to eight selectable levels of linear zoom speed. If you’re not in a position to use a dedicated focus puller (or just don’t want to) this feature is huge. When you’re trying to nail that Vertigo zoom, for example, not having to manually control the speed of your zoom makes it infinitely easier. This, combined with the freedom enabled by remote control (body mounts for action scenes, etc.), opens up unprecedented creative potential for small-team or even solo video production.

All in all, quite the promising prospect! Click here to pre-order yours today.

Sample images

Resolution lowered for web accessibility. Send us a message if you’d like to see full-res samples.

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