Sony's FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens Looks Quite Impressive

The new Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM lens offers an extreme combination of focal length and maximum aperture that create unique creative opportunities and does so in an impressively small package. This excellent video review takes a look at the sort of performance and image quality you can expect from it in practice. 

Coming to you from Hyun Ralph Jeong, this great video review takes a look at the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM lens. A few years ago, I reviewed Sigma's 14mm f/1.8 Art lens, and it was one of the most exciting lenses I have ever used, as the extreme combination of an ultra-wide focal length and very wide maximum aperture was very creatively inspiring and allowed me to create images that simply would not be possible otherwise. It is a tricky combination to create compelling images with, but it is also quite rewarding when you find success. For astrophotographers, events and wedding photographers, or anyone looking for an interesting and fun lens, the FE 14mm f/1.8 GM looks like it offers strong performance and image quality in an impressively small package. Check out the video above for the full rundown on the lens. 

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EDWIN GENAUX's picture

Just six years ago there was the Rokinon/Samyang 14mm f/2.8 or 12mm f/2.8 fisheye and Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6 ii leica m mount asph for those going beyond the 16mm f/4 norm. Then the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 a DSLR lens with built in adapter, worked best at f/2.8 anyway. The magic today with this lens is the comparing images with the old, first there was no LC for Rokinon or Voigtlander (then), the Rokinon kept vertical straight lines great BUT things were wide at the sides causing stars to be elongated at the upper sides called pincushion distortion and has mustache distortion (rolling horizon) can be corrected today in C1 where you will get a MW arch but foreground reduction and the Voigtlander also same side effects but if hanging lights or fans they twist to the sides so you have to shoot with them centered and none were chipped so to remember the lens you had to label the file.
This lens, after firmware updates (there were round dove stars before the A7iii March update), has none of the above. Also unlike the Sigma things are focused near (the ground [sand/grass]) and super far (buildings/comm towers within city glow) in a night Milky Way capture with very sharp and colorful star groups within and along the pathway part when at 200 to 600%. Panos were hard to do with the old lenses due to distortion but this lens pano images are so good, clear and sharp that Lr, PS and ON1 RAW will stitch on the first try and even get ocean surf stitched when you had to use PTGui in the past. When in Portrait view you will capture stars above and in back of you giving a late MW arch a high roller coaster look meaning a one level only needed capture. If tilted up a foreground object (Lifeguard chair or driftwood tree) is not distorted, also.
The spoiler: the 1224 f/2.8, f/4 and 1635 f/2.8, f/4 even the old 1018 f/4 @ 15mm or 12mm FF are just as good if you want to save $ and bag bulge. The thing is the faster the glass you need a faster SS for sharpest stars giving less light anyway! Due to light physics at edge of glass.
Last ultra wide is not for getting it all in but for close subjects with a wide subject also. As far as astro MW we went widest for more of the way part but a good pano two or three image shot will do the same thing. Also a landscape things will be farther ways if not a good foreground subject also, again a good multilevel pano can bring things closer and you can crop 3:2 ratio. 1. Sigma 2. Sony 14mm pano 3. Rokinon 14mm 4. Sony 14mm f/1.8 at 1.8 Could almost touch the chair but the fans/boards/posts (no LC) are normal.