Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII Hands On Review – Photo and Video

Are you in search of a wide-angle lens that can take your photography and videography skills to the next level? Look no further than the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII lens. With its exceptional image quality, versatile focal range, and fast aperture, this lens is a game-changer for both professionals and enthusiasts alike. In this hands-on review, we will explore the key features and performance of the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII, delving deep into its capabilities for capturing stunning photos and high-quality videos. Whether you are a landscape photographer, a vlogger, or someone who simply loves to capture life’s moments, this lens is sure to impress.

Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII Hands On Review – Photo and Video


Hey everyone, this is the new Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM Mark II lens and in today’s video, we’re going to be doing a real-world portrait photoshoot to test this lens out for both photo and video.

Portrait Photography with a Wide-Angle Lens

If you’re new to my channel, I firmly believe that any lens can be a portrait lens, from the GM 14mm Prime to the GM 400mm f2.8. Even though this lens is extremely popular with travel photographers and videographers, you might be surprised with the results you get out of it for portraits.

Gear Used and Autofocus Performance

For today’s photoshoot, I’m using the GM 16-35mm f2.8 GM II lens on the Sony A7IV. I have my camera set to continuous autofocus and I’m using a wide focus area to let the camera and lens do all the work. The eye autofocus (IAF) is extremely responsive and sticky with this lens on the A7IV. Using this lens made this portrait photoshoot a breeze.

Physical Upgrades and Handling

The 16-35mm f2.8 GM II is the much-awaited upgrade to the original GM 16-35mm f2.8, which is now around six years old. Physically, there have been many welcome updates to the GM II version. The Mark II includes a focus ring, zoom ring, and aperture ring, which is a must for me on any GM glass nowadays. This lens is externally zoomed, and while it is rated by Sony to be dust and moisture resistant, internal zoom would have been a nice addition. The lens also features a click switch for the aperture ring, an AF to MF switch, an iris lock switch, two focus hold buttons, and has an 82mm filter thread. It is small and lightweight, making it ideal for traveling and for use on gimbals.

Image Quality

Let’s look at the image quality produced by this lens. The sharpness and detail throughout the entire focal range of this lens are superb. Unlike some wide-angle zoom lenses, it has no problems capturing clear images at 16mm. The color rendition is great with rich and true-to-life colors. The only spot where the lens struggles with color and tone is during backlit photos, where the subject doesn’t cut through as much in the image. Lens flare is also present, which we will discuss later.

Video Performance

Now, let’s test the video performance of the 16-35mm f2.8 GM II lens. The autofocus, as seen in the video, performs exceptionally well. The lens captures smooth and sharp video footage, making it a valuable tool for videographers.

Lens Flare and Conclusion

Lastly, let’s talk about lens flare. This lens has a pretty typical lens flare, with a larger, softer round lens flare and a few smaller, more defined lens slits. While blue lens flare is easy to work with for landscape or cityscape photography, it may not flatter skin tones in portrait photography. Warm-colored lens flare is much easier to integrate creatively into your work.

In conclusion, the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM II lens is a versatile lens that delivers exceptional image quality and performance, both in photo and video. It is a valuable addition to any photographer or videographer’s gear, whether you’re shooting portraits, landscapes, or anything in between.

Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII Hands On Review – Photo and Video

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII?

A: The Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII is a lens designed for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras. It offers a versatile zoom range from 16mm wide-angle to 35mm moderate wide-angle, with a fast maximum aperture of f2.8.

Q: What makes the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII special?

A: The Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII boasts outstanding image quality, sharpness, and color accuracy. It is part of Sony’s high-end G Master series, known for delivering professional-grade optics. With advanced optical construction and Nano AR coating, it minimizes distortions, flare, and ghosting.

Q: Who is the target audience for this lens?

A: The Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII is ideal for professional photographers and videographers who require exceptional wide-angle performance. It is suitable for a wide range of genres, including landscapes, architecture, astrophotography, and videography.

Q: Is the lens weather-sealed?

A: Yes, the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII features comprehensive weather-sealing, making it resistant to dust and moisture. This ensures its durability and reliability, even when shooting in challenging outdoor conditions.

Q: Does it have optical image stabilization?

A: The Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII does not include built-in optical image stabilization. However, it can utilize the in-camera stabilization systems available in compatible Sony camera bodies to minimize camera shake and achieve sharper images and videos.

Q: Can it produce bokeh (background blur) effects?

A: Yes, despite being a wide-angle lens, the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII is capable of producing pleasing bokeh due to its fast maximum aperture of f2.8. When used at the maximum focal length of 35mm and with the right subject distance, it can create a shallow depth of field and beautifully blurred backgrounds.

Q: What accessories are included with the lens?

A: When purchased new, the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII typically comes with a lens hood (model ALC-SH149), front and rear lens caps, and a lens carrying case. However, it’s always best to check with the retailer or seller for the specific package contents.

Q: Can I use filters with this lens?

A: Yes, the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII has a front filter thread with a diameter of 82mm. This allows users to attach various filters such as polarizers, neutral density (ND) filters, and protective filters to enhance their creative control and protect the lens.

I hope you find useful my article Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GMII Hands On Review – Photo and Video, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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