“I didn’t expect this lens!” Albert Dros reveals. “When Sony said there was a new lens coming out that they wanted me to test I thought maybe it would be a wide-angle lens with an f/2 aperture, but when they said it was a 14mm f/1.8, well, I was amazed!”
Albert has a gained a huge reputation worldwide for his incredible landscape images, which are often taken using super wide-angle lenses. But Albert’s other love is astrophotography, where wide-angle, large aperture lenses are vital for capturing both land and every detail in the night sky.
“I will always take a prime lens when I’m shooting astrophotography. It’s not just about the sharpness, but also because a zoom lens will never have as large an aperture to let as much light in as possible,” he explains. “This means I can use a lower sensitivity ISO setting to give me the best possible sharpness and detail from my Alpha 7R IV. This lens absolutely delivers in that regard; for an astrophotography shoot I would 100% use this lens. When you look at the corners, you would expect there to be some coma, but there is nothing, the stars are just super-sharp.”
The clever use of two Extra Aspherical (XA) elements in the lens design has allowed Sony to create a 14mm f/1.8 lens that is incredibly sharp from corner to corner, but it is also significantly lighter than comparable lenses. “I thought it would be a very big and heavy lens,” says Albert, “as I’ve used other comparable lenses before and they’ve weighed much more than this one, so they were really big and heavy to bring on a shoot. But the new 14mm f/1.8 G Master lens is only 460g, so it’s incredibly light and great for when I have to hike to get to a location.”
Despite the size and weight, image quality isn’t compromised. Distortion is obviously something that photographers have to consider when choosing a wide-angle lens, but the 14mm f/1.8 G Master produces very little.
“All the lines seem really straight and there’s very low distortion,” Albert says, “and there are no lens profiles currently available in my editing software for the lens, so I know it isn’t my software correcting them. The sharpness in the corners is also very good across all of the apertures, especially at f/1.8.”
One consideration for landscape photographers is the use of filters. “There’s no filter thread at the front of the lens,” explains Albert, “however, like the Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master lens, there is a slot at the rear of the lens so that you can use a gel filter. Sony also provides a template so that you can easily cut your own gel filters to the correct shape. And it is the same shape as the FE 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master lens, so if you have gel filters for that then you can also use them on this lens too.”
In terms of construction, it has all the features that you would expect of a Sony G Master lens. An aperture ring allows for quick changes of depth of field and exposure, and of course the clicks can be turned on or off, making it great for silent and smooth video use. Custom buttons on the lens barrel also allow for features to be accessed at the touch of a button, again making the lens ideal for photographers or videographers who work in a variety of different fields. Two Extra Dynamic Linear motors enable fast, accurate and silent focusing, whether you are shooting stills of video. “I was even able to use autofocus to focus on the stars because of the amount of light that enters the lens,” recalls Albert.
“This lens will be the gold standard for anyone interested in shooting nightscapes; it is the next level,” he concludes. “You would think that it would be a beast with this focal length, but it’s super small and light. I don’t know how it is possible, but somehow Sony have made it and it is truly very impressive.’
"I am obsessed with getting the perfect shot"