The Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM is one of the best wide-angle lenses that I’ve tested. The build quality, portability, sharpness, flare performance, and overall capabilities are all best-in-class. Even the price is reasonable compared to many 24mm f/1.4 lenses, at $1400 and with frequent sales of $1300.
You have to look very closely to find any issues with this lens. The vignetting is high, for example, but that’s true of any wide angle, wide aperture lens. There’s a bit of focus breathing and longitudinal color fringing in out-of-focus regions, too, but those are hardly dealbreakers for most photographers.
Probably the only issue is the price of $1400. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad value for what you get, and it’s cheaper than Nikon and Canon’s 24mm f/1.4 lenses were at launch. But it’s not something that most of us can just buy without thinking twice. If you don’t mind going third-party, the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DN Art is easier on the wallet at $800.
Alternatively, if you’re a bit flexible on maximum aperture and focal length, the Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G is an equally amazing lens that costs a few hundred dollars less. It has a bit more flare than the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM, and of course it’s an f/1.8 lens rather than f/1.4, but the two lenses are otherwise on the same high level. Not to mention that many photographers will prefer a 20mm prime instead of a 24mm prime in the first place, especially if they already have a zoom that covers 24mm. (For the record, I’m not one of those photographers – 24mm is my favorite perspective, and I’d want the best of the best at this focal length.)
Here’s how I’d sum up the pros and cons of the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM.
- Best-in-class optical performance in almost every regard, especially sharpness, coma, and flare
- Excellent build quality with highly weather-resistant design
- Advanced handling options including an aperture ring and custom function button
- Fast, silent autofocus with excellent low-light focusing capabilities
- Impressively small and light
- Vignetting is on the high side, especially at infinity focus
- Moderate focus breathing may require corrections for videography
In summary, the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM is one of the best wide angle lenses that I’ve ever used. It’s tough, portable, and extremely strong optically. I could see myself using this lens for decades on end without concern for its build quality or its performance. Although it’s certainly specialized considering how many other 24mm lenses you’ll find on the market – both zooms and primes – if you want the best, the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM is the lens that I would get.
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Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM
- Build Quality and Handling
- Size and Weight
- Sharpness Performance
- Other Image Quality
Photography Life Overall Rating
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