Sony’s latest G Master lens is the FE 24–70mm f/2.8 GM II

The “normal zoom” is perhaps the most important (at least most fundamental) of all the professional lenses, and it’s a good sign when optical manufacturers keep this staple up to date with the latest innovations. To that end, Sony has announced the FE 24–70mm f/2.8 GM II, which is not only a significant improvement on the first version, but is the smallest and lightest lens of its specifications* in the world. This one promises to be a treat for visual storytellers of all persuasions.

The FE 24–70mm f/2.8 GM II is expected to arrive June 24th, 2022, just in time for some quality summertime imaging adventures. (And wedding photographers? Holy moly, you really won’t want to miss this one!) Click here or visit one of our brick and mortar shops to secure yours today!

*That is, the smallest and lightest full frame autofocusing 24–70mm f/2.8 lens.

Major improvements

  • 80% of the weight and 89% of the length of the previous version
  • Overhauled AF system—see below
  • New physical controls—see below
  • Minimum focusing distance 0.69′ at 24mm, 0.99′ at 70mm

Plus, you can expect the extremely high level of quality that the G Master branding has come to represent. Sony promises consistently high quality and resolution at all focal lengths and apertures, with MTF charts that rival those of their prime lenses! The Nano AR Coating II has been employed to minimize flares and ghosting, while specialized Super ED and ED elements knock out chromatic aberration. The lens is dust- and moisture-resistant, and a fluorine coat on the front element helps keep it all clean.

Focusing upgrades

The original FE 24–mm f/2.8 GM’s DDSSM system has been replaced with an autofocus system driven by four XD linear motors, offering significant improvements in speed, accuracy, and quietness of operation. Sony’s tests showed accurate focus at up to 30fps when capturing stills and stability in video up to 120fps at 4K resolution. And when you want to steer the ship, the linear response manual focus ensures that you have full control.

Intuitive control

It’s rare that physical controls change massively when lenses are upgraded like this, but the tangible controls alone make the FE 24–70mm f/2.8 GM II a huge improvement. New controls include a physical aperture ring (with an accompanying switch to enable or disable the palpable click at standard apertures), a zoom smoothness switch (the ring can be light and smooth or tight and finely controllable), and an innovative access port in the lens hood for adjusting filters (e.g. a circular polarizer).

Virtues for video

Sony has quoted a 2x improvement in AF tracking while zooming—a huge upgrade for videographers. The significant slimming of the lens should make it more compatible with gimbals and easier to carry when filming run-and-gun style. Focus/axial shift while zooming as well as focus breathing have been minimized.

Sample images

Images resized to optimize loading. Please contact me for full-size samples if desired.

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