Sony has unveiled the 14mm f/1.8 G-Master, an ultra-wide lens with a large aperture that the company believes is ready to take on astrophotography, landscapes, and architecture along with plus portraits and closeups thanks to its unique design.
The new 14mm f/1.8 GM is now Sony’s widest full-frame prime lens with only the 12-24mm f/2.8 and 12-24mm f/4 zoom lenses going wider in the lineup. While a 14mm full-frame prime lens is nothing new, the combination with a wide f/1.8 aperture is rare. Considering the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 lens was designed for DSLRs, this is the first mirrorless-centric release with such a combination.
Measuring 3.9 inches (99.8 millimeters) long by 3.3 inches (83 millimeters) in diameter, the 14mm GM takes full advantage of its mirrorless, short flange back design. It weighs 16.3 ounces (460 grams), and Sony made a point to keep the balance away from the front for better handling.
Inside the lens, there are 14 elements in 11 groups including two XA elements, one aspherical element, one Super ED element, and two ED elements. These special elements work to minimize chromatic aberrations and sagittal flaring, and the application of Nano AR Coating II subdues ghosting and flaring that can crop up with tough lighting situations.
At the rear of the 14mm GM are two XD linear autofocus motors. Sony promises fast, precise, and quiet autofocus performance for photo and video applications. The lens can focus as close as 9.8 inches (0.25 meters) which equates to a 0.1x maximum magnification. Paired with the f/1.8 maximum aperture, there are creative depth of focus possibilities to be explored despite the ultra-wide 14mm focal length.
The exterior of the lens features a linear focus ring, an aperture ring with a de-click switch, an AF/MF focus mode switch, and a customizable focus hold button. The front element has a fluorine coating to repel dust, water, and fingerprints, and the lens body itself is dust and moisture resistant.
Due to the bulbous front element and built-in lens hood, traditional screw-on filter systems will not be compatible. However, Sony has provided a rear filter holder like the 12-24mm f/2.8 GM lens where gel filters can be cut from the included template to fit into place.