If you need a wider angle of view than the Sony’s FE 16-35 Lenses (f/2.8 GM and f/4 Zeiss options) then you will want to take a look at the FE 12-24 F/4 G. This lens is Sony’s ultra-wide wide-angle zoom lens. The 12mm focal length is challenging to use but will be attractive to landscape and architectural photographers. To avoid capturing an image where everything looks miles away you have to actively seek out interesting foregrounds so the viewers eyes are led into the image. The lens is very sharp, although at 12mm you will see some slight ‘dragging’ of detail in the corners. I have found this to be ‘par for the course’ with such short focal length lenses. This minor distortion pretty much disappears when you crop to a 16:9 aspect ratio in post production and I feel this crop or aspect ratio lends itself to the genre of landscape photography.
The lens is about the same size as the FE 16-35 F/4 lens and just a fraction heavier. The lens features a non-removable lens hood that protects the bulbous front element. The lens does not have a filter thread so you will need to use a filter system from a company such as NiSi or resort to using either the Smooth Reflection Camera App to emulate the effects of an ND filter or the Sky HDR app to emulate the effects of a Graduated Filter.
For the best optical quality I found the NiSi filter holder and their 3, 6 and 10-Stop ND 150mm filters to be the perfect companion set for this lens. Thanks to NiSi Australia of lending me this kit so that I could review the lens as it was meant to be used.
I have created a gallery of Ultra HD images captured with this lens. Go to: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm35d9BY. Note > The first few images are available as Full Resolution files (although there is minor straightening, key-stoning or reframing to the 16:10 or 16:9 aspect ratio). These files can be downloaded so that you can zoom in on your own computer so that you can test sharpness etc. I have also provided a link to three Raw files captured on the lead up to my final Cape Woolamai seascape image.
Alternatively just click on the image below to see a higher resolution file.