The Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master Lens Review By Chad Wadsworth 

The Sony 24mm f/1.4 G Master Lens Review

By Chad Wadsworth 

Chad Wadsworth has photographed the world of music for over a decade and is a Red Bull Global photographer and Sony Artisan of Imagery – you can view his website here and instagram here. Chad has been busy logging time with the new Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 lens and has some thoughts and images to share.

As always, thank you Steve for allowing me to share my passion here on Steve Huff Photo.  

In these days of the Marie Kondo craze and the concept of decluttering, the simplicity of a single lens and camera combination is something that appeals to me, so I committed to use the new Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM almost exclusively on the a7RIII. Since launch I’ve produced over 10,000 frames to become acquainted to its charms – some live music, a family vacation to Big Bend National Park, a NY Times portrait assignment, personal work on the coast and a project on Texas BBQ.

At announcement I thought about all the genres that this lens could excel at, and the list was long: street, live music, event, wedding, documentary, astro and architecture (24mm is a classic interiors field of view). The compact size and solid build are exactly what I’m seeking in a mirrorless lens, and with the GM badge I bet it would be exceptionally sharp. But how a lens renders color, light and texture across the frame is more important than clinical sharpness, so I waited patiently for the FedEx driver with fingers crossed.

What I was pleased to discover is that the 24mm 1.4 GM has that magic mix that we all look for. True that it resolves sharply at the edges wide open, but what impressed most was just how naturally it renders a complex scene – organic is an appropriate descriptor. Color is accurate, distortion is minimal, and the way it transitions backgrounds is wonderfully smooth. This is a wide lens that can actually produce some dreamy bokeh in the right composition.


I don’t hesitate to use it for environmental portraiture and if I need to get closer, it can morph into a 35mm equivalent lens in crop mode. In fact, on the a7RIII, switch to crop and the GM becomes one of the best 35mm lenses in the lineup, while still producing an 18mp image – remember when we were thrilled with 18mp of resolution? One interesting note is that while curating the images for this article, I had a hard time recalling which images were taken at 24mm and which were at 35mm equivalent. I think that speaks to how truly flexible this lens can be. It doesn’t distort so you can shoot it like 35mm, but for tight spaces, or when you want to include more in your composition, it opens up that extra space in the frame.

The best lenses are the ones you keep on the camera, the ones you have faith in, the ones that excite, and perhaps the ones that open up a new way of seeing. The 24mm GM has become all those things to me. Hopefully the images can tell the rest of the story so thanks again to Steve for letting me share and feel free to ask questions in the comments. A few more images are below. The Sony 24 1.4 GM can be found at B&H Photo HERE. 

 

(From Steve: Thanks Chad for this amazing look at the Sony 24mm G Master 1.4! For more on this lens see my video HERE)

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12 Comments

  1. Your post has given me real pause for thought. My experience with the Batis 25 is it delivers some magic with the zeiss colours, 3D potential and bokeh is good but not stellar but your shots definitely have the edge. The 1.4 helps and I think the bokeh looks better. How does the 24 feel/ balance on the camera. I personally love the 25 though its not the smallest lens to squeeze into the bag but it is light and not front heavy.. If the 24 has better ergonomics, I might be tempted to switch!

    • The weight and size difference are pretty small with the Sony being about 100g heavier and half an inch longer – the Batis has a wider diameter though. I greatly prefer the ergonomics of the Sony due to the click aperture ring and the programmable button but I did used to use that distance scale on the Batis. The GM definitely balances well on my a7 and a9 cameras – I wish Sony could make all their fast primes this compact – I’m not a fan of the big lens small body combinations that Canon seem to be embracing with their new mirrorless platform. I think Sony is committing to keeping things more balanced.

  2. I also like the burro. I shoot a Batis 25 a lot so that focal length works for me. I sometimes travel with just the 55 and 25 which makes a pretty light combination. Thanks for showing us what this fast 24 can do.

    • The Batis 25mm is a wonderful lens but the GM has that extra something – extra light gathering, sharper across the frame, better bokeh and better distortion control – with not much of a price premium.

  3. The 24mm is an excellent lens along with the 85mm G.M they are the best 2 lenses in the Sony line up. However 24mm is a strange focal length for me I find it too short for environmental portraits and too long for other stuff I use a wide angle prime for. Am hoping at some point Sony gives an equally as good 20mm.

    • Agreed on the 85mm GM and 24mm GM being tops, although I’d add the Sony Zeiss FE 50/1.4 to that team – larger than I like but my copy is incredible. Those are my desert island lenses for Sony.

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