What a difference six years makes! Six years ago Sony announced their first G Master lenses including the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM which were the first lenses to offer both extreme sharpness and beautiful bokeh. G Master lenses continue to offer the best of both – yet in the ensuing six years, Sony lens design has taken leaps forward with XD linear autofocus and smaller and lighter lens designs.
Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II ($2,299) is ALL of that! It’s the smallest and lightest 24-70mm F2.8 lens in class – weighing in 22% lighter than the original. Autofocus is dramatically improved thanks to FOUR XD Linear AF motors for much faster AF than the stepping motor used in the original (and by competing lenses in class). Dual XD linear floating focus groups not only provide faster AF – they also provide sharper images from infinity all the way down to .32X close focus.
While the first generation FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM was the sharpest in class when released, the new GM II offers even smoothe bokeh thanks to 2 XA lens elements and an 11-blade rounded aperture along with lens design featuring 3 Asperical, 2 ED and 2 Super ED lens elements provides sharpness rivaling primes.
Another improvement developed over the past six years is Nano AR lens coating which effectively minimized flare and ghosting. For video shooters, the new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II virtually eliminates focus breathing.
Sony FE 24-70mm F/2.8 GM II Specs:
Focal Length: 24 to 70mm
Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
Minimum Aperture: f/22
Lens Mount: Sony E
Lens Format Coverage: Full-Frame
Angle of View: 84° to 34°
Minimum Focus Distance: 8.3″ / 21 cm
Maximum Magnification: 0.32x
Optical Design: 20 Elements in 15 Groups
Diaphragm Blades: 11, Rounded
Focus Type: Autofocus
Image Stabilization: No
Filter Size: 82 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L): 3.5 x 4.7″ / 88 x 120 mm
Weight: 1.5 lb / 695 g
SAN DIEGO, CA – April 27, 2022 – Sony Electronics Inc. announced today the 67th lens in its mirrorless E-mount lineup – the highly-anticipated, FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II (model – SEL2470GM2). Sony developed the world’s lightest F2.8 standard zoom lensi using its leading lens technology to deliver stunning resolution and beautiful bokeh known to Sony’s “G Master” series. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is one of the most versatile lenses in the line-up and was created for photographers, videographers, and hybrid content creators.
“Six years have passed since Sony released the first 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master and in that time, our customers’ needs have changed,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “We are always listening to our community and have designed the new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II around feedback from creators. Knowing the 24-70 mm focal length is extremely popular, it was imperative that we continue improving to bring our most advanced technology to such a critical lens in our customers’ kit. Today, we are thrilled to introduce the world’s smallest and lightest F2.8 standard zoom lens.”
Evolved Image Quality in a Zoom Lens that Rivals Prime Lenses
The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is great for a compact yet versatile set up and allows users to capture extremely sharp, detailed imagery for both stills and video. The new lens features high resolution across the frame—even with the aperture wide open. A completely redesigned optical path features five aspherical elements, including two high-precision XA (extreme aspherical) elements. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II also includes two ED (extra-low dispersion) plus two Super ED glass elements. Combined with a new floating focus mechanism, the lens effectively controls chromatic aberration, astigmatism, distortion and coma so that outstanding resolution is achieved throughout the image area at all zoom and aperture settings.
Even when shooting in challenging lighting conditions, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II achieves excellent clarity by effectively subduing flare and ghosting. This is thanks to Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II, which produces a uniform anti-reflecting coating on the lens surface. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II produces stunning bokeh throughout the zoom range with beautiful and almost perfectly circular bokeh with its advanced optical design and a newly developed 11-blade aperture unit.
In this new 24-70 mm design, this lens delivers outstanding close-up performance with a minimum focusing distance of 8.25 inches (0.21 meters) at 24 mm and 12 inches (0.30 meters) at 70 mm, and with a maximum magnification of 0.32x.
Fast and Precise Autofocus
The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II achieves reliable focus by using four of Sony’s original XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors, a floating focus mechanism and advanced lens control – even when shooting a fast-moving subject. In addition, the lens supports up to 30 fps[ii] continuous shooting for stills and 4K 120p video recording with autofocus.
The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II enables full AF tracking performance even when shooting stills with the aperture stopped down, making it possible to use deeper depth of field to ensure that moving subjects remain in sharp focus when shooting continuously[iii]. The lens’ AF tracking performance while zooming is approximately two times better than the previous model[iv].
Refined Capabilities for Creative Filmmaking
With its constant F2.8 maximum aperture, astounding AF performance, versatile control, and solid reliability, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is designed for all types of video applications. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II offers extremely quiet AF operation, thanks to the XD Linear Motors and a newly developed aperture unit. Using the latest lens technology, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II reduces focus breathing, focus shift and axial shift when zooming for smooth video footage. This lens also supports the breathing compensation function[v] provided in compatible Alpha series cameras.
As an added benefit for advanced video creation, the newest lens includes Linear Response MF (manual focus) that ensures high repeatability when focusing manually as the focus ring responds directly and repeatedly to subtle control. It also includes an aperture ring making manual aperture/iris control fast, direct, and easy. The dedicated iris ring enables click-less control to achieve smooth depth of field transitions.
Designed to perfectly pair with Sony’s compact Alpha™ system E-mount cameras, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is the world’s smallest and lightesti 24-70 mm F2.8 zoom in its class and offers unprecedented shooting flexibility and freedom in a wide range of situations. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II weighs just 24.6 ounces (695 grams), approximately 20% less (7 ounces) than the original 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master. The lens’ length has been reduced by 16 mm, and overall volume has been reduced by approximately 18%.
Reliability and Improved Control
The new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II was developed based on feedback from professionals to offer even better control and usability than preceding models. This model includes:
• Zoom smoothness switch to adjust zoom ring torque either Tight or Smooth
• Newly added aperture ring with click ON/OFF switch and iris lock switch
• Two customizable focus hold buttons
• The focus ring that responds directly and linearly to subtle control when focusing manually
• New lens hood design with opening to control circular polarizing filters (dia. 82mm)
• Center of gravity back toward the mount for improved handling and operation
An updated dust and moisture resistant[vi] design provides extra reliability for outdoor use in challenging conditions. The buttons and switches are fitted with rubber gaskets, and a rubber ring seals the lens mount. The front lens element also features a fluorine coating that repels water, oil, and other contaminants, while making it easier to wipe off any contaminants or fingerprints that become attached to the lens surface.
Pricing and Availability
The new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II will be available in June for approximately $2,300.00 USD and $3,000.00 CAD and will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.