Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II Gallery
January 3rd, 2024
Sony release the first generation 16-35mm F2.8 Gold Master (GM) lens in 2017, making it the third GM zoom lens for E-mount and completing the “trinity” of fast F2.8 zooms along with the 24-70mm F2.8 and 70-200mm F2.8 GM zooms. This lineup of zooms is pretty much considered a requirement for any platform to be considered “professional-ready”. There would be a three year gap before another GM zoom was released (the 12-24mm F2.8 GM was released in 2020), and during that period Sony was going through a true renaissance of lens design. The first generation of GM lenses were good, but far from perfect. The second generation of GM glass has consistently been some of the best lenses of their kind that I’ve ever tested…period. In 2021 Sony released the MK II version of the 70-200mm; in 2022 they released the 24-70mm F2.8 GM II, and thus it stood to reason that 2023 would be the year of the 16-35mm F2.8 GM II. The 16-35GMII returns with the modern Sony design of features, autofocus, and performance. So is it worth the nearly $2300 USD price tag? Find out by watching my video review below or reading my text review here.
Thanks to Sony USA for sending me a review loaner of this lens. As always, this is a completely independent review. *The tests and most of the photos that I share as a part of my review cycle have been done with the Sony a7RV along with the Sony Alpha 1 that serve as my benchmark cameras for Sony lenses.
Sony has had four priorities in their updates to the GM lenses:
- Make them smaller
- Modernize the feature set
- Improve the autofocus speed and accuracy via multiple XD linear motors
- Improve the optical performance
All of these priorities are realized here, as at 547g, the 16-35GMII is 20% lighter along with being about 10mm shorter than the first generation lens. It has the full modern feature set, included multiple focus hold buttons, an aperture ring, iris lock, and an aperture declick option. Autofocus is lightning fast due to the use of quad!!! XD linear motors. And the optical performance has been improved to the kind of edge to edge perfection that Sony’s modern GM lenses achieve.
Add to this the fact that the 16-35GMII can focus more closely than before and now gives a very impressive 0.32x magnification, which greatly adds to the versatility of the lens.
In short, this is a modern Sony GM lens, and that means that owners of the original G Master lens now have a hard decision to make.
Photos of the Sony 16-35mm F2.8 GM II
Photos taken with the Sony 16-35mm F2.8 GM II
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