New Sony E-Mount Lenses Announced

Having a full-frame camera system does not make much sense unless you have lenses to go with it, too. That is why Sony has just announced five lenses to go with the recent Sony A7 and Sony A7R full-frame mirrorless cameras, and a refreshed 70-200 f/2.8 model for its Alpha line-up. What’s more, only one of these full-frame mirrorless lenses is a basic kit zoom, the rest being high-end Sony and Zeiss optics.

1) Sony 28-70mm F/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens

We start off with the cheapest of the bunch, a lens that can only be purchased as a kit with the Sony A7 and will not be sold separately. The new Sony 28-70mm F/3.5-5.6 OSS lens A very simple design in comparison with the rest of the new lenses, it serves a similar purpose as an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 class lens would on your run-of-the-mill APS-C camera. Naturally, its biggest strength is its compact dimensions and light weight, so if you are primarily a fixed focal length lens shooter, this may be a good “just in case” option for you to have.

Sony 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Lens

The lens is optically stabilized and, surprisingly, weather-sealed. Which means mounted on a Sony A7 mirrorless camera body it won’t give up on you even if you tend to shoot in less-than-optimal conditions. It has 7 diaphragm blades and the optical formula consists of 9 elements in 8 groups with some of those being aspherical and ED. Minimum focus distance is 40cm (15.75″), which helps achieve maximum magnification of 1:5 (0.2x).

Here is a short list of key parameters:

  • Focal length range of 28-70mm
  • Maximum aperture of f/3.5-5.6
  • Minimum aperture f/22
  • 7 aperture blades
  • 9 elements in 8 groups: 1 ED element, 3 aspherical elements
  • Minimal focus distance 40cm (15.75″)
  • Stepper motor
  • Optical image stabilization (OSS)
  • Weighs 426g (0.94lb)
  • Measures 73mm (2.87″) in diameter, 95mm (3.74″) in length
  • 67mm filter size
  • Weather-sealed construction

2) Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70mm F/4 ZA OSS Lens

Strangely, this premium Zeiss lens is very similar to the aforementioned Sony 28-70mm kit zoom lens. First of all, it looks very similar, but is made of higher quality materials. The filter size is the same, too. Just as the previous lens, it lacks both distance and depth of field scale. Both have 7 bladed diaphragms, identical dimensions and weight, both are weather sealed, have optical image stabilization, the same autofocus motor, minimal focusing distance and max magnification. They even share the exact same hood model that comes supplied with both lenses.

Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS Lens

The biggest differences, not counting the already-mentioned construction, is in the optical formula and aperture. The Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70mm F/4 ZA OSS lens has a fixed aperture of f/4 throughout the zoom range and its optical formula consists of 12 elements in 10 groups with 5 aspherical elements and 1 ED glass. Also, the lens does not extend when changing focal length, a nice bonus for a premium price tag.

Here is a short list of key parameters:

  • Focal length range of 24-70mm
  • Maximum aperture of f/4
  • Minimum aperture f/22
  • 7 rounded aperture blades
  • 12 elements in 10 groups: 1 ED element, 5 aspherical elements
  • Minimal focus distance 40cm (15.75″)
  • Stepper motor
  • Optical image stabilization (OSS)
  • Weighs 426g (0.94lb)
  • Measures 73mm (2.87″) in diameter, 95mm (3.74″) in length
  • 67mm filter size
  • Does not extend when changing focal length
  • Metal construction, weather-sealed

3) Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F/2.8 Lens

One of the biggest complaints photographers had in regards to Sony NEX system was the considerable size of lenses. The Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2.8 was designed with that in mind – it is a small lens. I’m sure there is no need to repeat how wonderfully versatile 35mm focal length is – a classic. The moderately fast aperture of f/2.8 may not be impressive, but for a light package this lens is, for me, one of the best companions to a full-frame mirrorless camera for simple daily shooting. It is also weather-sealed, so rain will not be a problem with the lens mounted on one of Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar T 35mm F2.8 Lens

Here is a short list of key parameters:

  • Classic, versatile focal length of 35mm suitable for many different applications, such as street and landscape photography
  • Maximum aperture of f/2.8 while not great, ensures compact dimmensions
  • Minimum aperture f/22
  • 7 rounded aperture blades
  • 7 elements in 5 groups, 3 aspherical elements
  • Minimal focus distance 35cm (13.78″)
  • Stepper motor
  • Weighs just 120g (0.26lb)
  • Measures just 62mm (2.44″) in diameter, 37mm (1.46″) in length
  • 49mm filter size
  • Does not extend when focusing
  • Metal, weather-sealed construction

4) Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm F/1.8 Lens

I have a strong suspicion that the Zeiss Sonnar T* 24mm f/1.8 for Sony E-mount is indeed designed to cover 35mm image circle. But until we can actually prove such an assumption as true or false, the Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm f/1.8 is the fastest lens for Sony’s new mirrorless full-frame cameras. Slightly longer in focal length than traditional 50mm lenses, it can still be considered a normal prime and as such is very useful on a full-frame body. It can be successfully used for environmental portraits, street and general photography – in other words, it is almost as versatile (and more versatile for some) than classic 35mm focal length lenses.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar T 55mm F1.8 Lens.8 Lens

The 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss lens has nine aperture blades and an optical formula that consists of 7 elements in 5 groups. 3 of these elements are aspherical. The lens, like the rest of recently announced lenses in this list, is weather-sealed. It also has solid metal construction.

Here is a short list of key parameters:

  • Versatile focal length of 55mm suitable for many different applications, such as street and portrait photography
  • Maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • Minimum aperture f/22
  • 9 rounded aperture blades
  • 7 elements in 5 groups, 3 aspherical elements
  • Minimal focus distance 50cm (19.69″)
  • Stepper motor
  • Weighs just 281g (0.62lb)
  • Measures 64mm (2.52″) in diameter, 71mm (2.80″) in length
  • 49mm filter size
  • Does not extend when focusing
  • Metal, weather-sealed construction

5) Sony FE 70-200 F/4 G OSS Lens

The last lens introduced today for the full-frame Sony mirrorless system is the stabilized Sony 70-200 F/4 G telephoto. In Sony language, G lenses are basically equivalents to Canon L lenses and Nikon gold ring lenses, which means the 70-200 f/4 is pro-grade with appropriate build quality and optics. Naturally, it is the largest and heaviest in this list, but also sports a very useful focal length range of 70-200mm favored by many photographers. Maximum aperture of f/4 helps keep the lens sufficiently compact for use with a mirrorless camera, at least in theory. It is still going to be quite front-heavy when mounted on Sony A7 or A7R, so less comfortable to hold than when mounted on a full-size DSLR camera.

Sony FE 70-200 F4 G OSS Lens

Here is a short list of key parameters:

  • Focal length range of 70-200mm, a classic photojournalism tool
  • Maximum aperture of f/4
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 2 ED and 3 aspherical elements
  • 9 rounded aperture blades
  • Minimal focus distance 1m (39.37″)
  • Stepper motor
  • Weighs 840g (1.85lb)
  • Measures 80mm (3.15″) in diameter, 175mm (6.89″) in length
  • 72mm filter size
  • Does not extend when focusing or zooming
  • Metal, weather-sealed construction

6) Sony Alpha 70-200mm F/2.8 G SSM II Lens

70-200mm f/2.8 class stabilized lenses are photojournalist’s bread-and-butter, and Sony, just lake every other major DSLR manufacturer, had such a lens in its lineup. However, it was quite an old design and lacked some of modern must-have features, such as weather sealing. The refreshed Sony Alpha 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM II lens is here to fix that. The first improvement is in the autofocus speed which, Sony claims, is significantly faster than that of its predecessor. The second improvement is the officially added weather-sealing, which the older lens regrettably lacked. Finally, while the optical formula remains largely the same, some performance improvements are brought by Sony’s Nano AR coating, which is presumably similar to Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat.

Sony Alpha 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM II Lens

Here is a short list of key parameters:

  • Sony Alpha mount
  • Focal length range of 70-200mm, a classic photojournalism tool
  • Maximum aperture of f/2.8
  • Minimum aperture of f/32
  • 19 elements in 16 groups, 4 ED elements
  • 9 rounded aperture blades
  • Minimal focus distance 1.2m (47.24″)
  • Ultrasonic motor
  • Weighs 1500g (3.31lb)
  • Measures 87mm (3.43″) in diameter, 197mm (7.76″) in length
  • 77mm filter size
  • Does not extend when focusing or zooming
  • Metal, weather-sealed construction

7) Official Press Release

Here is the official press release for this entire announcement:

Sony® Introduces First Full-Frame E-Mount Lenses

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 15, 2013 – Sony is announcing five new full-frame E-mount lenses and a set of innovative new mount adapters designed to complement Sony’s new A7R and A7 full-frame mirrorless cameras. The ever-growing family of E-mount interchangeable lenses now totals 22 different models from Sony, Carl Zeiss and G lenses, giving shooters an impressive selection of creative tools to enhance their photographic world.

The new lens line-up features three advanced models from Carl Zeiss including two prime lenses – - a Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA and Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 ZA model – as well as a Vario Tessar T* 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS mid-range zoom. Additionally, there is a Sony 28-70mm F3.5-F5.6 OSS zoom lens and two premium zoom lenses from G Lens – a 70-200mm F4 telephoto zoom for E-mount and a 70-200 F4 telephoto zoom for A-mount.

In addition to the A7 and A7R full-frame cameras, the new lenses fit any of the existing E-mount cameras including Sony’s acclaimed NEX-6 and NEX-7 models.
The new LA-EA4 mount adapter adds compatibility for Sony’s existing line of A-mount lenses as well as the focusing speed and power of Sony’s innovative Translucent Mirror Technology to the new A7 and A7R cameras.

Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS Zoom Lens (model SEL2470Z)
The new Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70mm F4 lens combines a versatile 24-70mm focal length with a useful F4 maximum aperture at all focal lengths, making it an ideal lens for portraits, landscapes and every day shooting. The new lens also features Optical SteadyShot® for keeping shots crisp and clear at all focal lengths, even at slower shutter speeds.

The SEL2470Z is designed with five aspherical elements with one ED glass element, assuring images are highly detailed and accurate. Unique to Carl Zeiss, it also features T* coating on optical surface which cuts glare and internal reflections to boost contrast.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 Lens (model SEL35F28Z)
The new Zeiss Sonnar T* F2.8 lens is a wide-angle prime lens that features a popular 35mm focal length and bright maximum F2.8 aperture. Weighing in at only 120g, its unique combination of outstanding optics and small size makes it perfect for street photography, landscapes, interiors, low-light shooting and more.

The lens is also dust- and moisture-resistant and has Carl Zeiss T* coating for reducing glare and higher contrast and detail in images.

Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 Lens (model SEL55F18Z)
The new Zeiss Sonnar T* F1.8 lens is another high-quality Carl Zeiss prime lens that has an extra-bright F1.8 maximum aperture for pro-style background defocus effects, making it an outstanding choice for portraiture, low-light shooting and everyday photographic assignments lens. It also has a nine-bladed circular aperture, is dust and moisture resistant and Carl Zeiss T* coating.

Sony 28-70mm F3.5 – 5.6 OSS Zoom Lens (model SEL2870)
The Sony SEL2870 mid-range zoom lens provides an outstanding introduction to full-frame imaging in a light, compact package. It will be paired as the kit lens for the new full-frame A7 camera.

The versatile lens features Optical SteadyShot and an advanced optical design with three aspherical elements and one ED glass element, which minimizes aberration and also minimizes size and weight for easier portability. It is also dust- and moisture-resistant, making it an idea travel companion for Sony’s new full-frame E-mount cameras.

G Lens 70-200mm F4 OSS Telephoto Zoom Lens (model SEL70200G)
The new premium 70-200mm G Lens covers a generous zoom range of 70-200mm and is an ideal choice for travel photography and long-range shooting.

The innovative optical design of the new zoom reflects its G Lens pedigree. Two ED glass elements are combined with three aspherical elements for high resolution and contrast throughout the entire zoom range, minimizing distortion and color aberration.

Like the new Carl Zeiss prime lenses, the 70-200mm Gmodel has a circular aperture that enables smooth, professional quality background defocus, and maintains a constant F4 maximum aperture for plenty of brightness at all zoom settings. It also features Optical SteadyShot to cut the effects of camera shake while shooting.

G Lens 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM II Telephoto Zoom Lens (model SAL70200GM2)
The newest addition to Sony’s A-mount family, this evolved ‘Mark 2’ version of the coveted 70-200mm F2.8 G Lens is an ideal choice for portraiture, sports and wildlife and more.

This premier-quality telephoto zoom offers an extremely bright F2.8 maximum aperture for excellent light-gathering at all focal lengths. Now approx. 4x faster than the preceding model, super-quiet autofocus now offers improved AF tracking of moving subjects compared with its predecessor. Optical performance is further enhanced with addition of Sony’s proprietary Nano AR Coating that suppresses internal reflections for outstanding clarity contrast, from bright highlights to deepest blacks.

LA-EA4 and LA-EA3 Full-Frame Compatible A-Mount Lens Adapters
The new LA-EA4 is an adapter for E-mount cameras that is compatible with Sony’s entire range of A-mount lenses – spanning APS-C as well as full-frame models.
The unique adapter is equipped with Translucent Mirror Technology, adding extremely fast, accurate phase detection autofocus to any compatible A-mount lens (SAM or SSM) attached to an E-mount camera. This allows for fast moving subjects in focus at all times.

Also available, the LA-EA3 mount adapter lets photographers and videographers enjoy all benefits of full-frame shooting with their A-mount lens collection, however does not support autofocus.
Pricing and Availability

  • The new Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 24-70mm F4 zoom lens will be available in January for about $1200.
  • The new Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 prime lens will be available in December for about $800.
  • The new Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 prime lens will be available in January for about $1000.
  • The new Sony 28-70mm F3.5 – 5.6 OSS zoom lens will will be offered as the kit lens paired with the new Sony A7 Full-Frame E-mount camera for about $2000.
  • Pricing and availability for the new G Lens 70-200mm F4 OSS Telephoto zoom is still TBD.
  • The new G Lens 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM II Telephoto Zoom Lens for A-mount cameras will be available in January for about $3000.
  • The versatile LA-EA4 and LA-EA3 mount adapters will be available in December for about $350 and $200 respectively.

The new lenses will all be available at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.
Please visit www.blog.sony.com for a full video preview of the new E-mount lenses and follow #SonyAlpha on twitter for the latest α camera news.

8) Pre-Order Links

Here are the pre-order links for all of the above lenses except the Sony 28-70mm F/3.5-5.6 OSS, which can only be purchased as part of Sony A7 kit:


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Avatar of Romanas Naryškin About Romanas Naryškin

A student and a wedding photographer with a passion for cinematography and writing. You'll see me buying film even when there's no food in the fridge. Follow me on Google+, Facebook or visit my wedding photography website to see some of my work.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) peter g

    MMM…Sony 28-70mm F/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens

    Wow……that’s fast…:-)

  2. 3
    ) Leslie

    I have a question, I have a zeiss 135 apo sonnar zf.2 nikon mount and if the lens possible to mount it on a7r using an adapter?

    if so, can the aperture be electronically control or just manual control if aperture and focussing?
    is there any loss of image quality usung adaper?

    i have no experience on Sony cameras system but love the 36mp and compact form + light weight.

    thanks in advance

  3. 4
    ) Zachary

    The weather sealing on these lenses is great. In the alpha range, one of the biggest problems is that only one lens (two now) is weather sealed. Although the a99 is sealed, it’s not very effective b/c a weather sealed body doesn’t do anything if the lens is going to get ruined too.

  4. 5
    ) JB

    I really wanted to like this system but I find it too easy to talk myself out of it. The Sony a7 and the 70-200 2.8 is around $5k. I can’t see spending the extra money for it. It has the same performance as existing cameras. Even with less heft, It’s not worth it to me. I will be interested to see where the tech goes. But, for now, I will stick with my “bulky” DSLR.

    Thank you for the continued effort to inform.

  5. Is there any roadmap for fast and long telephot lenses for bird photography

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