Sony 16-35 G-Master Review. The Sony FE 2.8 16-35 GM is the latest addition to Sony’s premium lens lineup and costs around USD 2,300. After impatiently waiting a few months, I’ve finally got my copy this lens and all I can say is it’s astonishing. So good that I have no regrets selling my Zeiss Batis 18mm and 25mm to get it.
My expectations where already high before ordering based only on the Sony’s G Master reputation and I wasn’t disappointed!
Don’t get me wrong, the Zeiss Batis lenses are exceptional but I wanted the flexibility of a 16-35 zoom. With this latest Sony G Master release offering a 16-35 at a f/2.8 aperture I just couldn’t resist it, and took the plunge to go from a prime lenses to a zoom.
To be honest, I do believe that zoom lenses are as good as almost any prime lens today and this G Master is no exception!
Sony 16-35 G-Master Review – Build Quality
The build quality is superb and it weighs in at only 680g, balancing well on my Sony A7r II. It is dust and moisture sealed although I wouldn’t recommend venturing outdoors into any rain. A Nano AR coating has been applied to the surface which reduces flare, ghosting and increases contrast.
The front element also has a fluorine coating to help against fingerprints and dust. I don’t usually go sticking my fingers all over the front but if you do, it’s easier to wipe off!
This lens doesn’t have one but two, Direct Drive SSM (motors) enabling it to focus very fast and quiet which is ideal for images and video.
With an 11 blade diaphragm the bokeh is really nice, making this lens ideal not just for landscapes but street photography and portraits.
Sony FE 2.8 16-35 G Master Lens Review – Sharpness
This lens is an optical masterpiece and super sharp from corner to corner at all apertures! I shoot mostly landscapes and coming from my favourite two Zeiss Batis primes, shooting with this G Master lens day after day impresses the hell out of me.
Focal Length 16 – 35mmCamera Mount Sony FECompatibility Full-Frame Digital SensorAngle of View 107° – 63°Minimum Focus Distance 11.02″ (28 cm)Magnification 0.19xElements/Groups 16/13Diaphragm Blades 11, RoundedWeight
The barrel distortion is a little stronger than my previous Zeiss Batis lenses but this is correctable in LightRoom. Also bear in mind when shooting at 16mm you can get the typical corner stretching.
- Image Stabilization
- NoAutofocus – Yes
- Tripod Collar – No
So at the end of the day, for me, I prefer this Sony G Master 16-35mmmm over my Zeiss Batis lenses. They certainly match in image quality but now I have a wider range without any compromise.
You’ll forget your shooting with a zoom and when see the results in post processing I know you’ll be keeping this one on your camera.
This review is not sponsored by Sony and I do not want or request any kind of donation. I paid the full retail price for this lens and wanted to share why I sold 2 of my favourite Zeiss lenses for the Sony G Master 16-35 lens
**Update** March 2019 G Master Lens Failure
Unfortunately while on a trip to Japan this lens totally failed. While attached to my Sony a7r III it ceased up the camera, made strange noises and wouldn’t work.
Upon sending it back to Sony it had to have some internal blocks replaced! Initially I was supposed to pay around USD 800 for the repair as it was just outside or warranty.
After continued correspondence and the belief it was a manufacturing defect Sony repaired it free of charge followed by a 3 month warranty on the repair. I have now moved over to the Nikon z7 and Nikkor lenses!