January 2021: Sony FE 35mm F1.4 G Master shines at the 2021 New Years party


Much like the “12 Days of Christmas,” we take a walk back to 2021, revisiting the new goals that have arisen along the way and choosing a featured attraction for each of the 12 months. Here’s what happened to the cold in January.

Lighting the fuse for the New Year’s fireworks, Sony shone with the launch of its FE 35mm F1.4 G Master, inheriting all the usual optical finesse and handling refinements of its G Master siblings. Coupling a classic, moderately wide field of view with a fast f / 1.4 aperture, it was set to become an instant favorite, also earning a 5-star review and a gold medal from us.

Sony FE 35mm F1.4 G Master tops New Year’s charts (Image credit: Sony)

Proving full frame isn’t the only New Years party in town, Fujifilm’s January announcements included two new X-mount lenses in the reduced form of the Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 R WR pancake prime and the larger Fujinon XF70. -300mmF4-5.6 R LM OIS WR, giving fairly standard and super telephoto perspectives respectively, thanks to the system’s APS-C crop factor. The company also announced its fastest medium format lens to date for the GFX system, the Fujinon GF80mmF1.7 R WR. Not to be outdone, Irix served up the super-fast 45mm f / 1.4 Dragonfly, claiming the top spot as the world’s fastest GFX lens, albeit lacking in autofocus.

Carrying price tags closer to “January sales”, the announcements arrived en masse and quickly from 7Artisans. Impressive manual focus offerings included the 7.5mm f / 2.8 II fisheye, 55mm f / 1.4 II portrait lens, and 60mm f / 2.8 II macro, all designed for sensor cameras. APS-C and Micro Four Thirds harvester. For full-frame mirrorless cameras, there was also the 7Artisans 10mm f / 2.8 fisheye, in Canon RF, Nikon Z, and Leica L flavors.

Typical of 7Artisans lenses, the 10mm fisheye has an impeccably crafted metal housing and comes with a smart soft case. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

Turning on the afterburners, Venus Optics has provided four new ultra-fast manual lenses for crop sensor cameras, including the Laowa 25mm f / 0.95 in MFT mount, Laowa 33mm f / 0.95 in Fujifilm mount. X and the Laowa 35mm f / 0.95 and 45mm f / 0.95 for Sony E-mount cameras in APS-C format. The company also previewed its full-frame Laowa 35mm f / 0.95, which is also adept at still photos and video capture.

The Laowa 35mm f / 0.95 was one of four super-fast lenses announced by Venus Optics in January (Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

For a truly cinematic experience, the announcements included the Samyang 14mm T3.1 VDSLR Mk2, the mid-range Tokina Cinema Vista 65mm T / 1.5, and the high-end Fujinon Premista 19-45mm T / 2.9.

Our test lab had an equally turbulent start to the year, with several goals put to the test. First, the new Sony FE 35mm F1.4 G Master, followed by a pair of Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN Contemporary and 65mm F2 DG DN Contemporary lenses, available in full Sony E-mount and Leica mount. L. On their heels were the compact and lightweight Nikon Z 24-50mm f / 4-6.3 standard zoom and two Fujifilm XF wide-angle and standard zooms, namely the Fujinon XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS WR and Fujinon XF 16 – 80mm F4 KINGS WR. In short, a good month and a big kickoff for the new year!

We put the new Nikon Z 24-50mm standard zoom to the test in January (Image credit: Nikon)

Read more:

• The best Nikon Z lenses
• The best Canon RF lenses
• The best Fujifilm lenses
• The best Olympus lenses
• The best L-mount lenses


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