Sony FE 14mm F1.8 G Master
For a lens that’s as fast and as sharp as the Sony FE 14mm F1.8 G Master is, it’s also impressively small and lightweight. I learned that while testing this wide prime over the summer for a review on Outdoor Photographer. Measuring only 3.4 x 4 inches and weighing just slightly over one pound, the Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM ($1598) is half the size and weight of similar wide-angle lenses in its class. This portability came in handy while shooting astrophotography during testing, giving me a relatively compact camera and lens setup that was easy to transport in the dark for my night sky shoot. It also made hikes with the lens while scouting landscape photos less burdensome. For wide-angle macro work of wildflowers, the lens’ fast aperture produced beautiful bokeh of the surrounding woodlands. The Sony FE 14mm F1.8 G Master really shines for shooting stars though, thanks to its ability to virtually eliminate sagittal coma flare, which is an aberration that makes pinpoint lights look like wings. Other things I liked about the lens included its fast and quiet autofocus, which is powered by two XD (extreme dynamic) Linear motors that decrease vibration. As mentioned earlier, the bokeh at ƒ/1.8 was gorgeous thanks to the lens’ nine-bladed aperture that cuts down on the unwanted “onion-ring” effect. And for close-up shots, the lens’ 9.8-inch minimum focus distance came in handy.