Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published October 2019

Introduction

Sony has enjoyed quite a headstart compared to Canon R/Nikon Z but obviously they keep on pushing. Lately, they have focused more and more on the professional (=high-margin) market segment. Part of this push is also the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM. Regarding the recent trend of super-sizing every new lens design, you may expect that this is just another monstrosity, but this is not the case here. Sony managed to pack the ultra-large aperture into a size that is more aligned with the original ideas around mirrorless systems. As such they already gain sympathy points in our books just from a paper-spec perspective. Of course, such a fast lens is also part of Sony's "G Master" (GM) series of professional-grade lenses - and the price tag of around 1600EUR/1400USD is reflecting this entitlement.

Despite the low weight (445g) and compact size (75.4x92.4mm), the build quality of the Sony lens is exceptional thanks to a tightly assembled combination of metal and high-quality plastic parts. Needless to say, the lens is both dust- and moisture resistant. The constant physical length also helps to keep the lens sealed. The focus ring operates smoothly. A specialty shared with a few other Sony FE lenses is the dedicated aperture ring which can be switched between a clicked-(for still life) and clickless-mode (for movies). If you set the aperture ring to A, you can, of course, continue to control the lens via the camera's control dial. Following a Sony tradition, they also implemented a focus-hold button. A petal-shaped lens hood is part of the package.

Sony uses its DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM)  for auto-focusing. It is both fast and essentially noiseless. While it continues to use a focus-by-wire system, it's highly precise and you won't really miss a directly-coupled system anymore. Sony is referring to this as Linear Response MF (or LR MF). Optical image stabilization is not provided, but you can, of course, take advantage of the in-camera OSS.

Specifications
Optical construction13 elements in 10 groups inc. 2xXA, 3xED elements
Number of aperture blades11 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.24m (max. magnification 1:5.9)
Dimensions75.4x92.4mm
Weight445g
Filter size67mm
Hoodpetal-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other featuresdust & moisture resistant, focus-hold button, aperture-ring, aperture click switch
MountSony FE