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Davide DB

Sony GM 14mm F1.8 Lens

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1600 euro. This market is becoming crazy

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Sony further expands its E-mount lens lineup with the introduction of the FE 14mm F1.8 GM (model SEL14F18GM) – a compact, large F1.8 aperture, ultra-wide (weitwinkel) angle lens that allows users to capture the world with new perspectives, especially when shooting landscapes, architecture, starry skies and interiors.

“The newest member of Sony’s G Master series, the FE 14mm F1.8 GM, delivers extraordinary resolution, fast and quiet autofocus and is remarkably compact, “said Yann Salmon Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging, Sony Europe. “We are constantly innovating based on the needs of our customers and will continue to develop the best technology so that they can realise their creative vision.”

Extraordinary Resolution in a Compact and Lightweight Design

The new FE 14mm F1.8 GM features a compact optical design, measuring just 3⅜ in x 4 in and weighing just 16.3 oz, with advanced optical technology that delivers superb resolution and stunning contrast. Two XA (extreme aspherical) elements maintain excellent resolution throughout the image area even at corners, which enables its compact and lightweight design. Two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass element and one Super ED glass element result in optical refinements that suppress chromatic aberration and deliver excellent contrast and precise rendering at all apertures.

Users can faithfully render light point sources thanks to a maximum aperture of F1.8, making it possible to capture astrophotography or shoot in other low-light environments without having to use extremely slow shutter speeds. When shooting in challenging lighting conditions, Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II technology maximises clarity by subduing flare and ghosting.

The FE 14mm F1.8 GM can produce beautiful bokeh at F1.8, even with the ultra-wide (weitwinkel) 14mm focal length. With a 9.8-inch minimum focus distance, the FE 14mm F1.8 GM offers expanded possibilities for close-up still and video shooting and creates stunning bokeh known to Sony’s G Master premium series of lenses. In addition, its precise XA elements, a 9-blade circular aperture mechanism and optimally managed aberration allows the FE 14mm F1.8 GM to produce exquisite background bokeh without the undesirable onion-ring effect.

Advanced and Quiet Autofocus

Using two XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors, focus can be accurately acquired and maintained even when shooting with narrow depth of field at F1.8, giving professional shooters the reliability they need to get the job done in challenging conditions. Moreover, the FE 14mm F1.8 GM enables quiet AF with minimal vibration for smooth focus transitions, perfect for video content creation.

Professional Level Control and Reliability

The new lens also features several advanced and versatile control options including, a focus hold button, a focus mode switch and a focus ring to ensure smooth, efficient operation in a wide range of shooting environments. For added customisation, a number of functions can be assigned to the focus hold button from the camera body interface. The FE 14mm F1.8 GM also features Linear Response MF for direct and precise manual focusing. An aperture ring that allows intuitive aperture control is also included. For added creative freedom, the FE 14mm F1.8 GM includes a rear filter holder that accepts standard sheet-type filters for ND, colour correction, soft filter, etc.

A dust and moisture resistant design provides the reliability needed for challenging conditions. The front lens element features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants. The rear element is also fluorine coated to keep that surface clean when changing the rear filter. The lens also has a built-in petal hood that effectively blocks extraneous light that can cause flare and ghosting.

Pricing and Availability

The new FE 14mm F1.8 GM will be available in May 2021 at a variety of Sony’s authorised dealers, for an estimated retail price of €1,600 EUROS.

For detailed product information on the lenses, please visit: https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/camera-lenses/sel14f18gm

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Davide DB said:

1600 euro. This market is becoming crazy

Crazy in what way? It's less than, say, Canon 14mm f/2.8 ($2100) or Nikon 14mm f/2.8 ($1900) while being over a stop faster and considerably lighter.

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1 minute ago, Barmaglot said:

Crazy in what way? It's less than, say, Canon 14mm f/2.8 ($2100) or Nikon 14mm f/2.8 ($1900) while being over a stop faster and considerably lighter.

IMHO whatever the price of the other lenses is, to me it seems high. Photographic market is increasingly a niche now and the profit margins of these companies have skyrocketed.

It's just my opinion.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Davide DB said:

IMHO whatever the price of the other lenses is, to me it seems high. Photographic market is increasingly a niche now and the profit margins of these companies have skyrocketed. 

It's just my opinion. 

A quick search tells me that the Canon 14mm f/2.8 L (not the II model that's selling for $2100 now) was released in December 1991 for 298,000 yen, which, at the time, was US$2400, give or take a bit. Adjust for inflation, and we get ~$4650, so in three decades, the price of a fast ultrawide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) lens has actually come down almost threefold.

Edited by Barmaglot
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Just now, waterpixel said:

I can't imagine what dome size you'd need with a rectilinear that wide?

Not sure I'd want to travel with it!

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26 minutes ago, waterpixel said:

I can't imagine what dome size you'd need with a rectilinear that wide?

Nauticam lists 18812 230mm  Optical glass fisheye port II for use with both models of Sony 12-24mm (f/4 G and f/2.8 GM), and a choice of 18802 8.5" Acrylic dome port, 18815 250mm Optical glass wide angle port II, 18812 230mm Optical glass fisheye port II (recommended) and 18809 180mm Optical glass wide angle port for Sigma 14-24mm, so I doubt it will be anything out of the ordinary. It's far from the widest rectilinear anyway, Sony has the 12-24mm zooms, and Canon has an 11-24mm.

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Posted (edited)

Price comparisons with 20th century glass in the 21st century does not really seem a appropriate to me.

Sigma and Rokinon/Samyang make 14mm F/2.8 AF lenses for Sony mirrorless. Nikon has 14-24mm F/2.8 and 14-30mm F/4 lenses for the Nikon Z-series cameras and as listed above Sony also has 12-24mm F/2.8 $2999.00 and F/4 lenses. All of the Wide Sony fixed and zoom lenses work well with a 230mm dome and the proper extension. The Sony FE 12-24mm F/2.8 uses a 55mm extension so I am guessing the new 14mm F/1.8 should take about a 20mm to 40mm extension. 

  

Edited by Phil Rudin

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When can we expect Nauticam or any of the reputable stores such as Backscatter or Reefphoto to test it and come up with a Dome / Extension recommendation? somehow there are lots of influencers all the time having the latest lenses to "test" and hype up. But none of the Underwater photo stores can get their hands on one for testing?

Currently shooting the 18mm 2.8 Batis in a Zen Dome 170mm but wish a bit wider setup. Zooms are no option, I prefer prime lenses.

Edited by Xterra

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I don't think any of the so called Sony "influencers" are involved much in U/W photography with the exception of the couple that shot the Sony A1 underwater for its release video. The fact is that most of use reviewing new equipment don't get it until the rest of the world gets it. New cameras don't get reviewed for at least 4-8 weeks after they are released to the public because you need a housing and those can't be developed until the manufactures have the camera. New lenses added to the Nauticam port charts don't get added until Nauticam has had the opportunity to test them in their test tank which means they need to have the lens for at least enough days to design gears and test. Retail dealers get information on port extensions and dome size for manufactures not by doing testing themselves.

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6 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

I don't think any of the so called Sony "influencers" are involved much in U/W photography with the exception of the couple that shot the Sony A1 underwater for its release video. The fact is that most of use reviewing new equipment don't get it until the rest of the world gets it. New cameras don't get reviewed for at least 4-8 weeks after they are released to the public because you need a housing and those can't be developed until the manufactures have the camera. New lenses added to the Nauticam port charts don't get added until Nauticam has had the opportunity to test them in their test tank which means they need to have the lens for at least enough days to design gears and test. Retail dealers get information on port extensions and dome size for manufactures not by doing testing themselves.

I beg to differ " The fact is that most of use reviewing new equipment don't get it until the rest of the world gets it. New cameras don't get reviewed for at least 4-8 weeks after they are released to the public ......"

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gpX1s2e6cY by Gordon Laing

See: DPReview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auyyW6ZK0Ak&t=1s

So? Honest you want to tell us that "reviewing new equipment don't get it until the rest of the world gets it" ???

If those guys have it to test why no Backscatter or Nauticam or Reefphoto??? there is no need for a new Dome or extension to be developed, all there is is testing WHICH existing dome and extension is needed

 

Edited by Xterra

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The folks in the reviews you have posted always get equipment ahead of release along with about thirty others but they are not underwater photographers. The point Is that folks like me who specifically review underwater products don't get the equipment until it is released to the public. My review for the Sony A1 and Nauticam housing was the first released on an Underwater photography site and both the camera and the housing were for sale to the public when I got the review equipment.

In addition most of those reviews done by the same group you refer to are able to go to a park or other local  location and shoot hundreds if not thousands of photos in a day for a review. U/W reviewers need to make dives to do reviews which also prevents posting quickly. 

Regarding the Sony FE 14mm F/1.8, Nauticam will likely recommend the 230mm dome port II and an extension in the 30mm range. I will likely know the extension length before getting the lens.

DPReview, BH Photo, Adorama, Sony and others who support the "influencers" you are talking about have a huge online presence. None of the reviews or any of the advertising done by Sony even indicates that the new 14mm might be suitable for U/W use. Sony targets the lens as useful for Astro, landscape, architecture and interiors.

 

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28 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

........

DPReview, BH Photo, Adorama, Sony and others who support the "influencers" you are talking about have a huge online presence. None of the reviews or any of the advertising done by Sony even indicates that the new 14mm might be suitable for U/W use. Sony targets the lens as useful for Astro, landscape, architecture and interiors.

 

thats exactly what I mean, why don't "we" as an UW photographer society try to get our hands on pre-releases (wheather its Sony in this case, Canon, Nikon etc)  of those and just test ourselves, it will help in pre-orders.

What I'm saying is we as a UW photographer society have a need to become "influencers" :-) if nothing else for testing and get more people to adopt to a new release. And maybe just maybe manufacturers start taking UW photography needs into their consideration.

Hope it all makes sense. I am just tired of all the "influencers" hyping up gear and we UW photographers are left in the dark for 3-6 months... getting our hopes up... :-)

 

Edited by Xterra

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35 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

...

In addition most of those reviews done by the same group you refer to are able to go to a park or other local  location and shoot hundreds if not thousands of photos in a day for a review. U/W reviewers need to make dives to do reviews which also prevents posting quickly. 

.....

 

Those guys post-process their images / videos as well taking a few days. When they plan for a walk in a park Reephoto, Backscatter have Dive sites in front of their doorstep. I don't see the difference planning a dive vs planning a walk in a park, especially the Astro photo shoot done by DPReview. To me its wanting to make an effort.

Edited by Xterra

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You don't realize how niche our market is. We are 4 cats compared to the global market.
If our market counted more than a zero point we would have had a native sony fisheye lens for years.

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And if I'm being honest, I prefer it that way. All we need is the Gerald Undone of diving to destroy this market for good.

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1 hour ago, Davide DB said:

You don't realize how niche our market is. We are 4 cats compared to the global market.
If our market counted more than a zero point we would have had a native sony fisheye lens for years.

I must agree, look at all the general photo sites and we have wetpixel as the specialist UW imaging site, there's a couple of others around, but WP seems to be the biggest site, but compared to DPReview, WP is a ghost town with the number of active members.  Others sites have way more followers and so are more attractive to the big manufacturers.

It is nice I agree to be part of a more exclusive speciality club

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It's also a question of whether review gear gets provided. Of course shops do have all the gear, but if they decide to test the gear out on a dive it becomes open box gear so I think shops need to think carefully whether a review is worth it. And obviously most shops are not actually in the market for reviews. We are lucky that Bluewaterphoto and Backscatter sometimes step into the void of professional and independent review journalism, which we have very little of, mostly because there are so few of us. 

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Let's just say we hacked this thread ;)

In the mainstream photography market, it's really hard if not nearly impossible to find unbiased reviews. I'm not saying that all reviewers are paid by the various companies, but it is difficult to resist the more or less indirect pressure that comes from the manufacturers. 
I'll give you an example of what I mean with a video from a video blogger I follow who does some really interesting things.

Sony, to name one but they do it almost all, organizes these tests of their equipment to which all the most influential video bloggers are invited. Waste 10 minutes watching this video or skip right to 2:30. In that warehouse there will be $500K worth of gear at their disposal for a weekend at a gorgeous lake cabin.
With the current recession these initiatives have greatly diminished but we all know it's been working that way for years. Other companies, at a new product launch, take all the influencers to an exclusive resort for a weekend. All paid for.

As upstanding and principled as you are, tell me how you can remain unbiased when you are embedded in such an exclusive circuit. You must be a Tibetan monk. But how many are out there?
Maybe we also appreciate that these things are not organized in secret but are out in the open. As end users the important thing is to know this and take it into account when making choices.

 

Edited by Davide DB
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To be fair, the manufacturers also make it easy for them. Tell me, when is the last time a bad camera or a bad lens was released? Youtubers don't even need to feel all that guilty and there are definitely enough reviews on topside photography that tell you the negatives of a lens or camera or provide enough full resolution samples for you to make your own mind up. The availability of sample images is probably the biggest problem in UW-Photography, although that is also due to the fact that wet lenses are compatible with a variety of camera and lens combination and noone can test them all. I would prefer if they tested wetlenses on a variety of formats though instead of just one camera lens. For example, every single review of the Nauticam MWL-1 seems to be created with a FF sensor and all of them say that you need to stop down to f16. Not one tells you how different that would be on a crop sensor. Certainly you'll need to stop down less, but how much?

And yes, we really derailed this thread as thoroughly as humanly imaginable. 

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9 hours ago, Davide DB said:

You don't realize how niche our market is. We are 4 cats compared to the global market.
If our market counted more than a zero point we would have had a native sony fisheye lens for years.

You are right, I tend to forget about that sometimes, even though I know its a niche I tend to forget how small of a niche this really is for us, when most Divers bring a GoPro or PS camera along on the dive.

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4 hours ago, hyp said:

......

And yes, we really derailed this thread as thoroughly as humanly imaginable. 

LOL, probably but nonetheless a good discussion to be had I think?

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I think it is wrong to assume that all of these Sony influencers are not pointing out flaws and have no negative remarks to be made about the Sony products they are reviewing, including cost. Sony has mastered the art of using social media to promote new products. They have chosen "influencers" that have huge following on social media some with over a million Youtube  followers. Most of the Instagram folks have over 50,000 followers, I just need about 49,650 more at IG philrudinphotography and perhaps I can get an invite to a Sony soiree. 

Also keep in mind that the lions share of these photo influencers also review products from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and others. Several are Sony Alpha Ambassadors that get some free equipment or at least advanced equipment for reviews. Like I said before the lions share get equipment directly from Sony to review which is then returned and used at those large Sony events referenced above. Guys like me as Senior Reviewer for Underwater Photography magazine don't get any equipment direct from the camera manufactures even though I have done almost 100 reviews for the magazine. The equipment I review comes from manufactures  of the underwater equipment I review and some of my personal gear. For almost every review I have done in the last seven years some or all of the equipment being reviewed was on load and returned after field testing. You may also be surprised to know that to own a dealership for any camera/lens brand has a minimum startup cost of over $25,000.00 on average, so while you may think that every U/W photo equipment dealer has this unlimited access to new gear prior to release that is just not the case.     

Also keep in mind that some of these new products are just that good compared to aging equipment. The new Sony A1 and Canon R5 for instance. The new Sony FE 50mm F/1.2 GM a $2000.00 lens has set a new standard for 50mm lenses and in spite of the cost they are on backorder all over the world primarily because of Sony's outstanding use of social media. If I was a Nikon mirrorless owner I could only hope that Nikon has such a strong presence on social media as they are sitting at number six in mirrorless which can't be good for the bottomline.  

And yea this original topic has gone completely off the rails. 

 

   

Edited by Phil Rudin
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23 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

...

Regarding the Sony FE 14mm F/1.8, Nauticam will likely recommend the 230mm dome port II and an extension in the 30mm range. I will likely know the extension length before getting the lens.

.....

Hmmm Nauticam chart shows Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN - N100-N120 Adaptor + 21140 Extension Ring 40 + 180mm Glass Dome 18809.

Yes there is also a 230mm Dome recommendation but for travel the 180mm looks great at least on paper :-)

Keep in mind that Sigma lens is a LOT larger than the Sony 14mm prime.

Edited by Xterra

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