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16-35mm f2.8 vs 12-24mm f4

16-35mm f2.8 vs 12-24mm f4

On May 17th, Sony announced two new wide-angle lenses, the 16-35mm f2.8 and the ultra wide 12-24mm f4. The 16-35mm f2.8 completes the "holy trinity" joining the 24-70 f2.8 GM and the 70-200 f2.8 GM. A few of us Sony Alpha Collective members tried to decide which lens was better in regards to the look and feel, the overall size and also the image quality. We tested both of these lenses on the new Sony A9 and the Sony A7RII, so take a look and decide for yourself. 

Look and Feel

The 16-35mm f2.8 looks similar to the 24-70mm f2.8 GM but smaller. Both lenses are extremely well made and feel good when you hold them. Both of the lenses have a focus hold button and two rings for focusing and zooming. The size is compact, light weight and very portable too carry. The 16-35mm however comes with a AF/MF switch.

12-24mm f4 and 16-35mm f2.8 on Sony A9s - courtesy of @AroundQ

12-24mm f4 and 16-35mm f2.8 on Sony A9s - courtesy of @AroundQ

Size

The size of the 12-24mm f4 is very similar to the 16-35mm f4 lens while the 16-35mm f2.8 is similar to the Sony 35mm f1.4. The 12-24mm f4 has an attached hood, while the 16-35mm f2.8 has a removable hood. 

Lined up 16-35mm f4, 35mm f1.4, 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8 - courtesy of @AroundQ

Lined up 16-35mm f4, 35mm f1.4, 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8 - courtesy of @AroundQ

Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM on the Sony A9 - courtesy of @AroundQ

Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM on the Sony A9 - courtesy of @AroundQ

Image Quality

Both are very sharp and have great reach. Theres a little bit more distortion on the 12-24mm f4 on the sides but very sharp at the center. Here are a few images from those lenses. 

Sony A7RII 16-35mm, 16mm f2.8, ISO 100, 1/3200s - courtesy of @AroundQ

Sony A7RII 16-35mm, 16mm f2.8, ISO 100, 1/3200s - courtesy of @AroundQ

Sony A9 12-24mm at 12mm, F4, ISO 100, 1/1,250 SOOC - courtesy of @AroundQ

Sony A9 12-24mm at 12mm, F4, ISO 100, 1/1,250 SOOC - courtesy of @AroundQ

Sony A9, 12-24mm at 12mm, f4, ISO 100, 1/80s SOOC - courtesy of @AroundQ

Sony A9, 12-24mm at 12mm, f4, ISO 100, 1/80s SOOC - courtesy of @AroundQ

Sony A9 16-35mm at 16mm, f16, ISO 320, 1/125s SOOC - courtesy of @AndrewEggers

Sony A9 16-35mm at 16mm, f16, ISO 320, 1/125s SOOC - courtesy of @AndrewEggers

Both are get lenses without a doubt. The 16-35mm f2.8 GM $2,198 and the 12-24mm f4 is priced at $1,698. Both are very sharp, although I would give an edge to the 16-35mm. What are your thoughts on these lenses and which one will you be getting?

 

 

Equipment discussed

Sony A9

Sony A7RII

Sony SEL1635GM 16-35mm f/2.8-22

Sony SEL1224G 12-24mm f/4

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM

Sony SEL35F14Z Distagon T FE 35mm f/1.4

 

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