Sony just announced a lens that will get landscape photographers and astrophotographers excited: the 14mm f/1.8 GM. Check out this review from Gerald Undone and find out how it compares to the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM.
Sigma did an excellent job with its own 14mm f/1.8 for Sony cameras and how Sony has managed to improve on that is genuinely impressive. Admittedly, there’s no built-in MC-11 adaptation going on, which immediately brings down the size, but this lens is still surprisingly compact. Size is usually a huge factor when it comes to focus breathing, and yet, the Sony barely seems to pant, particularly considering other recent GM releases. In addition, distortion appears to be incredibly well controlled — again, something that seems to suffer when trying to keep a lens small and light.
It’s interesting to see how these two primes differ in their geometric rendering, seen when Gerald checks out the minimum focusing distance of each lens. The touch of extra barrel distortion in the Sigma makes objects appear closer, even though they’re slightly farther away, and creating some volumetric deformation in comparison.
Gerald mentions that the sweet spot for sharpness is between f/2.8 and f/4, but keep in mind that this may be different when focusing at infinity. The relative distances of the corner of the frame to the sensor and the center of the frame to the sensor are more pronounced with wide angle lenses, and this becomes less of a factor when the part of the image that is in focus is farther away. What would be interesting is to see some tests into the field curvature of this lens to see if there's any mid-frame softness — something that will be of particular interest to landscape photographers.
Are you impressed with what Sony seems to have achieved with this lens? Let us know what you think in the comments below.