Welcome to our blog, where we delve into the world of photography equipment and gear. In this post, we will be reviewing the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens, a highly anticipated addition to Sony’s renowned G Master series. With every new release, photographers eagerly ask if the latest model is truly superior to its predecessor. In our review, we will analyze the lens’s features and performance to determine if it lives up to the expectations of being “better in every way.” Join us as we explore the capabilities of this lens and ascertain if it truly meets the demands of professional photographers.
BETTER In Every Way… But Is It Enough? Sony 16-35mm GMii Lens Review
Six years after the release of the original 16-35 G Master lens, Sony has finally given us the smaller, lighter 16-35 version 2. It’s got all the new bells and whistles, upgraded image quality, better focus breathing, better close focusing, and more. But the question is, how much better is this lens than the original, And is it worth the upgrade?
The New and Improved Version 2
If you’re anything like me, you have been waiting for this lens to come out. Like every time that Sony put out a new lens, I was sitting there thinking, “This is it. This is gonna be it.” And then it wasn’t. We’ve seen a ton of updates lately in the Sony lens lineup, And this rounds out the version 2s of all of the main G Master zoom lenses. So we’re gonna take a look at everything that this new flagship ultra-wide zoom has to offer, including some photo and video examples. We’re gonna compare it to the older 16-35 lens as well, And hopefully help you decide whether it’s worth the money and whether it’s worth the upgrade. As always, let’s kick things off with a short video sequence so that you can see this lens in action and decide for yourself whether you like it or not. So, secure the cup, and let’s get into it.
Size and Weight
The following sequence was shot entirely with the Sony 16-35 G Master version 2. With all the new lenses that Sony’s been putting out lately, one of the biggest changes that we’ve seen across the board is them getting smaller and lighter. And that is definitely the case with the 16-35, but it may not be as much as you would have expected. Overall, the new version is about 10% shorter than the old version, but it may not look that way at first. When they’re both at 35 millimeters, which is their smallest, the new lens is 118 millimeters, whereas the old one is 127 millimeters, which isn’t a huge difference necessarily. And just so it said, these are numbers that I measured myself, not Sony’s marketing numbers. Where the difference might be more noticeable is when both of the barrels are extended when they’re at 16 millimeter focal length. When extended, the new lens is 124 millimeters, whereas the old lens is 141 millimeters, so a much bigger difference than when they weren’t extended.
So yes, that does mean that the new 16-35 still has an extending barrel, but if we review those numbers again, 118 millimeters to 124 millimeters at its longest, that’s only 6 millimeters of extension on this barrel. That’s literally the size of like three quarters stacked on top of each other. Because of this, the new 16-35 is a great lens for gimbal work because you’re not going to have to rebalance basically at all with that little extension on it. And even though they share the same 82 millimeter front filter thread, this one is actually a little bit Narrower in the body of it as well.
Features and Controls
Now of course with that extending barrel, you may have the question of weather sealing, but since this is a G Master lens, of course we have the Sony dust and moisture protection that they always kind of guarantee on their higher end lenses. So go ahead and put it to work in the rain or in dirty locations. Just maybe like don’t throw it in the ocean. We’ve got the standard autofocus manual focus toggle switch as well as a custom button. They’ve added one more custom button on top that we didn’t have On the older 16-35 as well. And then one thing that’s completely new here is that we’ve got an iris or aperture ring to control the aperture of the lens. Also included with the aperture ring is the iris lock, which allows us to lock it either in the A mode, Which means that we’re controlling it with the camera body, or in the other mode, which is to control it with the lens itself. And then on the other side, we’ve also got a click or de-click mode, which means that we can make smooth movements with the aperture if we want to. Mostly this will be used for making aperture movements during filming in video mode, but get creative, use it for whatever you want. One thing that I’m a little disappointed they didn’t include on this lens is the smooth and tight zoom ring mode that we saw on the 24-70 version too. It’s not necessary, but it’s nice to have so that you don’t bump the zoom ring and change what your focal length is at. I really liked it on my 24-70, and I would have loved to seen it on this lens as well. All that being said, the zoom and focus Rings do feel really nice and smooth on this lens, and the manual focus on it is nearly linear, so you can do nice repeated focus pulls. If we’re getting really nitpicky here, I did actually prefer the little bit of extra kind of friction that I felt on the older 16-35 on both the zoom and manual focus rings. And even with all the premium materials and stuff that you would expect in a new G Master lens, they still managed to shave off 20% of the weight from the old 16-35.
When it comes to the image quality of This lens, I’ve definitely been happy. In terms of that kind of wow factor when you take a photo or video and you just review it on the back of the camera, I’d give it like an 8 out of 10, which is pretty good. You can definitely see that it’s a high Quality image even before you start pixel peeping. I did notice that the new 16-35 came out a little bit warmer than the old 16-35, which is kind of funny because that’s the same thing that I said about the Sigma 16-28 f2.8. And there’s also a little bit of extra contrast from this lens Compared to the older one as well, which may have something to do with the extra sharpness that we’re getting from this lens. Sharpness is pretty awesome from corner to corner on this lens, even at f2.8. The older version was pretty nice in the center, but it did struggle As you got further out to the edges. I did also compare this lens to the 35 millimeter f1.4 G Master, both at f2.8. And while the prime lens did look a little bit better, I was really happy with how this one held its own. We’re getting extremely clean images out of this lens With longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberration basically being non-existent straight out of camera, even if you turn off all of the compensation. Both flaring and ghosting are really well controlled. So if you’re shooting towards a bright subject, you’re not going to have any problems there. It’s not going to ruin Any shots for you or anything. And if you’re into sun stars, this does produce really nice looking ones. If that’s something you’re looking to do, there is some vignetting going on in this lens more at the 16 millimeter end than at the 35 millimeter end. I definitely recommend keeping The vignetting correction on in your camera body if you can. It’s still there, but it is definitely way better if you have that correction turned on. Distortion is also more prominent at 16 millimeters than it is at 35 millimeters. But again, you’ve got that correction in the camera that makes it Basically non-existent. So please just leave that on. The bokeh from this lens is really pleasing as well. We don’t have any kind of crazy fringing around the outsides. There’s not a whole lot of cat’s eye when you get into the corners and no onion ringing effect. Basically, if you like bokeh Balls, this is a great lens for it. So overall image quality out of this lens is superb, but to be completely honest, if…
BETTER In Every Way… But Is It Enough? Sony 16-35mm GMii Lens Review
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens?
The Sony 16-35mm GMii lens is a wide-angle zoom lens designed for Sony mirrorless full-frame cameras. It offers a versatile focal length range of 16mm to 35mm, making it suitable for various photography genres, including landscape, architecture, and street photography.
2. What are the key features of the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens?
The key features of the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens include:
- High-resolution image quality with minimal distortion
- Fast and quiet autofocus performance
- Advanced optical design with multiple aspherical and ED elements
- Dust and moisture-resistant construction
- Nano AR coating to reduce ghosting and flare
- Manual aperture ring for intuitive control
3. Is the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens suitable for professional photographers?
Yes, the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens is an excellent choice for professional photographers. Its exceptional image quality, wide-angle coverage, and robust build quality make it ideal for various professional applications, including commercial shoots, events, and photojournalism.
4. Can the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens be used with crop-sensor Sony cameras?
While the Sony 16-35mm GMii is designed for full-frame cameras, it can also be used with crop-sensor Sony cameras. With a crop factor, the lens effectively offers a focal length range of approximately 24-52.5mm, making it still very useful for wide-angle photography on APS-C sensor bodies.
5. How does the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens compare to its predecessor, the GM version?
The Sony 16-35mm GMii lens is an updated version of the original GM lens. It features enhanced optics, improved autofocus performance, and a more durable construction. The GMii lens delivers even better image quality, reduced distortion, and overall improved usability compared to its predecessor.
6. What accessories are included with the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens?
The Sony 16-35mm GMii lens comes with the following accessories:
- ALC-SH149 lens hood
- Front and rear lens caps
- Lens case
- Instruction manual
7. Can I use filters with the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens?
Yes, the lens features a front filter thread with a 82mm diameter, allowing you to attach filters such as circular polarizers and neutral density filters for added creative control.
8. What is the suggested retail price of the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens?
The suggested retail price of the Sony 16-35mm GMii lens is $2,198 (USD) as of the current market.
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