The “G Master” version of Sony’s wide-angle zoom, the FE 16–35mm f/2.8 GM, has been a favorite among well-healed underwater photographers for years. Now the Japanese giant has finally given it an enticing update, shaving 10% off the size and 20% off the weight. Sony claims the new FE 16–35mm f/2.8 GM II offers better corner-to-corner sharpness, fewer chromatic aberrations, and improved close-up performance—22cm (8.7in), down from 28cm (11in).
The new lens comprises 15 elements in 12 groups, including three extreme aspherical elements and one extra-low dispersion element, one ED aspherical element and one conventional aspherical element. Focus is achieved via two independently moving focus groups driven by four XD “extreme dynamic” linear motors, i.e., two per group. There are rings for aperture, focus and zoom, and a switch to toggle between smooth and clickable aperture, plus an iris lock switch to prevent accidental changes. You also get two customizable focus hold buttons.
Sony assures video shooters that focus breathing has been kept to a minimum, and that can be reduced further using the breathing compensation function on compatible cameras. According to Sony, the lens supports blackout-free video up to 30fps and AF tracking while zooming.
Shipping from “Fall 2023” from retailers such as Backscatter, the FE 16–35mm f/2.8 GM II will have an MSRP of $2,300.
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Sony Electronics Introduces the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II Full-frame Zoom G Master lens, the World's Smallest and Lightest Full-frame F2.8 Wide-Angle Zoom Lens
The FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II Full-frame wide-angle Zoom G Master completes the second generation of standard and telephoto zoom lenses with a maximum aperture of F2.8, enhancing Alpha system capabilities
SAN DIEGO, CA. August 29, 2023 — Sony Electronics announces the launch of the wide-angle zoom lens G-MasterTM FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II, a 35mm full-frame αTM (AlphaTM) E-mount lens that covers focal lengths from 16mm to 35mm with a maximum aperture of F2.8 over the entire zoom range.
FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II (model SEL1635GM2) satisfies the needs of photographers and videographers seeking high-performance lenses, and with the descriptive power and high-speed AF (autofocus) unique to G Master, it is possible to fully bring out the high performance of our advanced camera bodies. With the expansion of this wide-angle zoom lens, a maximum aperture of F2.8 second-generation zoom lens will be available, along with standard (24-70mm/ SEL2470GM2) and telephoto (70-200mm/SEL70200GM2). These lenses, which are each the world's lightest in their category, have excellent resolution performance, further strengthening the Alpha system, by capturing rich and varied shooting
“The newest FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II answers the call for all creators who want the highest performance lens in the lightest body,” says Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc.
World's smallest and lightest high-resolution F2.8 wide-angle zoom lens
The FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II has a new optical design that effectively arranges the extremely high surface precision XA (extreme aspherical) lens which achieves high resolution with a maximum aperture of F2.8 over the entire zoom range. This is made possible by creating an aspherical shape with a higher degree of freedom than before. In addition to the stunning G-Master bokeh expression with a wide angle, it offers an outstanding close-up performance throughout the zoom range, a minimum shooting distance of 0.22m and a maximum shooting magnification of 0.32x. Sony's original Nano AR Coating II suppresses ghosting and flares to capture clear images even when a strong light source comes into the frame. This is the world's smallest and lightest wide-angle zoom lens with a total length of 111.5mm and a weight of approximately 547g, which is about 20% lighter than the first-generation model.
Extraordinarily fast and precise AF that brings out the best in advanced bodies
FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II includes the latest XD (extreme dynamic) linear motors that effectively work on high-speed drive. It achieves quiet AF that is suitable for both still images and movies and is up to twice as fast as conventional models. Even with high frame rate videos where focus shifts are noticeable, the subject is tracked with high precision. When combined with the Alpha 1 camera body, high-speed continuous shooting at up to 30 fps is possible with high-speed, high-precision, and quiet focusing.
Operability and reliability for comfortable shooting of both still images and movies
FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II offers comfortable operability and excellent still image and movie shooting performance that meets the needs of professional and advanced hobbyist users. By reducing focus breathing during video recording compared to previous models, it is possible to achieve high-quality image expression without fluctuations in the angle of view. In addition, it suppresses the movement of the center of gravity during zooming and enables stable shooting, so any user can shoot comfortably with a gimbal. Operability has also been improved with features such as an aperture ring that can be clicked on/off with a switch, and two focus hold buttons that can be assigned a desired function from the camera body.
Fluorine coating is applied to the front lens, so dirt adhering to the lens surface can be easily removed. The dustproof and splash-resistant design allows the camera to be used safely even outdoors, giving greater freedom in shooting.
Pricing and Availability
The new FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II will be available in Fall 2023 at a variety of Sony authorized dealers for approximately MSRP $2,299.99 USD, $3,099.99 CAN.
 As of the August 2023 product announcement. Compared to full-frame F2.8 16-35 mm zoom lenses that support autofocus.
 Standard zoom lens “FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM II” / Telephoto zoom lens “FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS II”
 Compared to” FE 16-35 mm F2.8 GM”
 With the Alpha 1: “Hi+” continuous shooting mode. Effective at 1/125 sec. or higher shutter speed.
 Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.
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