Sony recently announced the addition of three new prime lenses to their G series of lenses: the 24mm F2.8, the 40mm F2.5, and the 50mm F2.5. The E-mount lenses all share a remarkably small build and a price tag of $598. It’s another exciting release by Sony, following the announcement of the Sony 50mm F1.2 GM lens just a few weeks prior. Here’s our hands-on review of the Sony 24mm F2.8, 40mm F2.5, and 50mm F2.5 G lenses.

Build

Each of the three new prime lenses has an ultra-compact build. The 24mm lens weighs 5.8 oz (162g), while the 40mm and 50mm weigh 6.2 oz each (173g and 174g respectively). The lenses also all share a 49mm filter diameter. 

The small, lightweight bodies mean the lenses are incredibly portable. They paired perfectly with Sony’s compact, full-frame camera, the a7C. We carried the camera and lenses around outside for several hours and they were never a burden. Along with their complementary focal lengths, the lenses have clearly been designed for use together. 

Each lens has a high quality look and feel. The aluminum bodies feature both a focus and aperture ring with engraved markings. There’s also a focus switch, aperture ring click switch, and customizable focus hold button

It’s hard to find fault with such well designed lenses. Often, the trade-off for an ultra-compact build is a cheap look and feel, or diminished performance. Demonstrably, these lenses have neither. On the contrary, the lenses delivered a stellar performance out in the field.

Performance

Flowers photographed using the Sony 40mm F2.5 on a Sony a7C
Photo by Jonny Carrillo using the Sony 40mm F2.5 on a Sony a7C

On an overcast spring day, we took the lenses to Domino Park in Brooklyn, New York. Despite the bright yet cloudy setting, the lenses did not disappoint.

We were particularly impressed at how versatile each of the new lenses were. This is, in part, thanks to the minimum focusing distance of each lens. The 24mm F2.8 is a great wide angle lens, perfect for capturing landscapes. However, it also has a minimum focusing distance of just 0.79 ft (24cm) using autofocus, or 0.59 ft (18cm) focusing manually. This allowed us to use it just as effectively to capture close-up shots of our subject with a wide, bokeh-filled background. We also tried this with the 40mm F2.5.

Meanwhile, the 50mm F2.5 is a great lens for portraiture. Shooting on the a7C, we assigned the focus hold button on the side of the lens to activate APS-C mode. This allowed us to jump-in to a tighter frame without having to move closer to the model or crop the images later in post. It was helpful that each lens also has an aperture ring, with the click switch on the side for toggling between smooth and staggered ring movement.

The autofocus on all three lenses was quiet, fast, and reliable. Shooting with them on a Sony a7c and a7S III, we captured some really nice, detailed photos, with vivid coloring and creamy bokeh. All three lenses are also designed to perform just as well on APS-C bodies, such as the Sony a6600 or a6000.

Price

At $598 each, these aren’t quite budget lenses. However, they are more affordable than Sony’s G Master lenses and Sigma’s Art lenses, for a relatively minor difference in overall performance. You could purchase all three lenses for less than the price of the Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM. The overall weight would also be considerably less (the 24-70mm weighs 31.25 oz).

Of course, there is something to be said for only having to carry around one lens versus three, even if it is heavier. Additionally, the G Master offers a wider focal range. However, if you’re specifically interested in expanding your prime lens inventory, these models are a great option. Considering their fantastic blend of portability and versatility, a price tag under $1000 is great value. 

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Overall, the Sony 24mm F2.8, 40mm F2.5, and 50mm F2.5 G lenses are a fantastic new release. Offering versatile performance capabilities in an ultra-compact build, you’ll be very pleased with your purchase whether you buy one or all three.

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