Unlike its rivals, in terms of new product launches, Sony is having a quieter Photokina 2014. But the company is unveiling a new E-mount lens for its mirrorless cameras: the Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS full-frame (35mm) lens that’s designed for wide-angle photography (although we wish names for lenses were simpler and shorter). The new lens now makes up a lineup of 24 lenses and adapters for E-mount cameras. In addition, Sony has a few new accessories.
Sony says the new 16-35mm lens is ideal for its A7-series of full-frame mirrorless cameras, which includes the A7, A7R, and A7S (all Digital Trends Editors’ Choice models). Weighing 1 pound, 2.3 ounces, the lens has five aspherical lens elements, which includes one large advanced aspherical element and three ED glass elements; what this means, according to Sony, is that it “ensures outstanding corner-to-corner resolution and sharpness, while reducing distortion and minimizing color aberration.” Sony engineers say this is one of the fastest zoom lenses they’ve ever made. The lens has built-in Optical Steady Shot image stabilization to help prevent blurring from shakes.
The lens is weather sealed to keep out dust and moisture. The glass has a coating that minimizes flare and ghosting, while boosting contrast, clarity, and depth with landscape shots and strongly backlit scenes, Sony says. The lens has a constant f/4 aperture to create nice background blurring with a shallow depth of field, regardless of what focal length you’re in.
The lens will roll out in November, and cost approximately $1,350.
Besides the lens, there is a new compact flash for Alpha cameras. The HVL-F32M flash is on the small side, but can be adjusted into various angles for bounce effects. The dust- and moisture-resistant flash “has a variety of advanced flash functions including ADI flash metering, high-speed sync, and Auto White Balance,” Sony says. The flash will list for about $300 this December.
For those who use their cameras to shoot video, there’s a new XLR adapter kit (XLR-K2M) that puts professional-style audio recording into the A7-series cameras, as well as the A99 DSLR, RX10 bridge camera, and VG900 camcorder. The adapter includes an ECM-XM1 shotgun mic. The kit will arrive in October for around $600. Sony says the previous version, the K1M, listed at $900 when it was announced, so it’s a $300 price drop.
Rounding out the accessories is a RMT-VP1K ($70) wireless remote that lets you handle shutter, start/stop movie recording, and zooming, and a new bag for A7-series cameras (LCS-PCS7, $160).