Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM (SEL14F18GM) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published May 2022


Every once in a while, many of us are feeling an itch for something exotic - a super-tele maybe, an extreme macro lens, a fisheye lens ... or an insane ultra-wide lens. And the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM falls into the latter category. 14mm may sound harmless but it's excessively wide really with a (fully corrected) field of view of 114 degrees. This can create LOTS of drama in your images. However, lenses this wide are also notoriously difficult to use because they emphasize the foreground and finding an interesting one is often tricky. The FE 14mm f/1.8 GM isn't just wide though - it's also FAST - making it an ideal candidate for astrophotography when combining the night sky with aspects of the landscape. And despite the ultra-wide nature, the f/1.8 aperture should allow for nice bokeh shots here and there. The lens is a member of Sony's "Grand Master" (GM) class of lenses targeting professional users. As such it is also surprisingly affordable at "just" $1600/1600EUR. Yes, I know what you mean - that's not cheap - but for a 14mm f/1.8, it's not that bad either.

In terms of build quality, it is aligned to professional use. While made of lightweight materials, this lens feels very sturdy with the usual dust- & moisture protection on top. The internal focus system also helps with the sealing against the odd weather event. Typical for its class, you will have to live with a vulnerable, bulb-like front element though and a build-in petal-shaped lens hood. Front filters are therefore not possible. It features a dedicated aperture ring with a clickless option for video makers. A useful focus-stop button has also been implemented.

Fast and silent auto-focusing is achieved via Two XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors. Manual-focusing works, of course, by wire but the implementation is excellent. There is no built-in image stabilizer but let's not ask for too much - maintaining a decent centering quality is critical in this class.

Optical construction14 elements in 11 groups inc 2xXA, 1x aspherical, 1x Super ED and 2x ED elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.25m (max. magnification ratio 1:10)
Filter size-
Hoodpetal-shaped, built-in
Other featuresNano AR coating II, focus hold button, click-stop switch, fluorine coating, dust- & moisture resistant