We’re still living in our G Master era, as these top-of-the-line lenses continue to offer groundbreaking agility, unparalleled reliability and revolutionary imaging performance. We’ve already taken a look at the impressive list of Sony G Master prime lenses and, in this article, we’re going to take a deeper dive into the G Master zooms in the lens lineup. With versatility, durability, and, most importantly, the highest level of performance, these lenses always seem to find a way into the leading pros’ camera bags. Keep reading for your complete guide to G Master zoom lenses as creators share their experiences with the top-of-the-line lenses from the Sony lineup and see the proof of performance through their stunning imagery and video.
Second Generation – G Master II
The recent release of the new Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II rounds out the second-generation G Master "trinity." Between its excellent resolution performance and the fact that it's the lightest in its category, this is a worthy upgrade for all. If you want the highest performance in the lightest design, add this one to your pack. See what one creator had to say about the lens below and watch the inside scoop from others in Get A Closer Look At The New Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II.
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II
Photographer and Sony Alpha Ambassador Nate Luebbe had the chance to use the new Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II lens for a week in the Yukon and has determined he will definitely be adding it to his regular kit. “The place we were backpacking is notorious for its difficult weather conditions, so it was an absolute treat to get a couple evenings of beautiful golden light. I've always loved the way the sun looks at 16mm, and I'm obsessed with the way this new lens renders flares and bokeh at that focal length.”
Not only does he like the images the lens helps him create, he also appreciates the smaller size. “My job usually entails covering long distances in very rough terrain, so every gram I can save is a blessing. reducing the size of the best-ever Sony lens (both volume and weight) is amazing, and I can't wait to update my bag.”
Photo by Nate Luebbe. Sony Alpha 7CR. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/100-sec., f/9, ISO 100
Photo by Nate Luebbe. Sony Alpha 1. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/200-sec., f/5.6, ISO 500
In 2022, the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II joined the lens lineup and gave creators an even more compact and versatile option with evolved image quality. The lens was an instant hit, earning the best ever rating for a 24-70mm by DxOMark and being named Best Zoom Lens in DPReview’s 2022 Awards. It was also selected as not only the Best Standard Lens of 2022 by Imaging Resource, but the Best OVERALL Lens of 2022. See what creators who use the lens have to say about it below and read more in Alpha Spotlight: The New Version Of This Favorite Zoom Is The Same, But Better.
Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II
Outdoor and sports photographer Ben Becker says the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II is his go-to lens, and one you’ll always find on his camera. “I can make so many different types of pictures with it,” he says. “I love to make action images as if I were in the action, meaning making shots super close to the athlete. The ultra-wide angle lenses have too many distortions for my taste so I prefer to start at 24mm and make pictures similar to what my eye can see. And compared to the original version of this lens, the II is incredibly light! That is critical to me. This lens basically never leaves my camera body.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: A Double Sony Alpha 9 II Kit For Outdoors & Sports.
Photo by Ben Becker. Sony Alpha 9 II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/20-sec., f/9, ISO 100
The Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II, like all of the G Master zooms, is also a great lens for vlogging and video. YouTuber Miguel Quiles says it’s great for those travel vlog style videos, and in the video below he pairs it with the Sony FX3 to create a mobile vlogging rig. See the full setup below and read more in How To Create Content On The Go With This Mobile Vlogging Rig.
With faster autofocus, improved focus tracking, a new aperture ring and a third mode emphasizing framing stability, the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II is the perfect upgrade to its predecessor. It’s also lighter – something any photographer can appreciate, especially those who spend long days shooting and need a versatile telephoto. See what other creators who use the lens have to say about it and check out Alpha Spotlight: When One Of The Most Advanced 70-200mm F2.8 Zooms Gets An Upgrade for more.
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II
You’ll find the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II in photographer Manual Polak’s bag, as its versatility is excellent for what he does. “I appreciate the great versatility of this lens during traveling. Landscape, portraits or animals, you can use it on so many different occasions. Objects that are far away can be captured as if they were really close to the camera. The colors and the bokeh of this lens are amazing.” Read more in What's In My Bag: A G Master Zoom Trinity & A Sleeper Prime For Travel & Automotive Photography.
Photo by Manuel Polak. Sony Alpha 7R II. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II. 1/250-sec., f/10, ISO 50
Outdoor and sports photographer Ben Becker, who is also mentioned above with the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master II, also includes the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II in his kit. “My 70-200mm compliments the 24-70mm perfectly,” he says. “I use this lens frequently in sports photography to make beautiful bokeh and utilize different angles. It’s also perfect for detail shots, something I think many sports photographers overlook, but can really complete a story. I like to use blur in the foreground, and this lens is killer for that technique. Just like the Sony 24-70mm, it is insanely sharp and insanely light for its size and technology. Additionally, this is the lens I grab for portraits.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: A Double Sony Alpha 9 II Kit For Outdoors & Sports.
Photo by Ben Becker. Sony Alpha 9 II. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master II + 2X TC. 1/1250-sec., f/5.6, ISO 640
First Generation – G Master
The Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master is a compact and versatile lens that's ideal for shooting landscapes, astrophotography and architecture while providing extra mobility for active sports shooters who want to capture ultra-wide perspectives. With such a wide range at f/2.8, there's no end to what creators have come up with when using this lens. Don’t just take our word for it - see some of the outstanding works Sony shooters have created using the lens below.
Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master
Photographer Jess Santos used the Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master to create a stunning astro-landscape. “The first bonus of this lens is that it’s f/2.8. I’ve used the 12-24mm f/4 G lens in the past, but with f/4 I didn't really use it to shoot much astro. Instead, I was using the 12-24mm f/4 G to shoot blue hour, and then the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM to shoot my astro shots. The 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master gives me what I need all in one lens now! I don’t have to change lenses, I can just shoot with this from blue hour through to the Milky Way.”
She continues, “I was specifically looking at the coma, since wide angle lenses all have coma and too much of it will ruin astro shots. I was incredibly impressed that this 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master has much less than I ever hoped for...almost none at all. It’s just super sharp. I pulled my images up on the computer to edit them and I was amazed with just how sharp they are.” Read more in The Perfect Zoom For Astro: How This Stunning Milky Way & Bristlecone Pine Image Was Made With The New Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 GM.
Photo by Jess Santos. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. Foreground: ⅛-sec., f/11, ISO 100. Sky: 12mm, f/2.8, ISO 12800, 6-seconds (20 images stacked)
Professional landscape photographer Gary Hart shared his experience first using the lens capturing the beautiful fall/winter scenes of Yosemite. “I don’t do reviews, nor am I a pixel peeper—I’ve always been more interested in my equipment’s performance in the real-world than in some artificially created test (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But I must say, there’s nothing quite like opening an image for the first time, magnifying it to 100% on a 38” monitor, and feeling like the detail just doesn’t quit. That’s the experience I had viewing my initial Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master images.” Read more in The Story of 2020 & Delayed Gratification and A Real World Review Of The Sony 12-24mm GM.
Photo by Gary Hart. Sony Alpha α7R IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/100-sec., f/16, ISO 200.
While the second iteration of this lens was just added to the lineup, the original Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master is a classic favorite that continues to hold its own in the G Master series. It was named “a lens of greatness” by LensRentals and ranked #1 by DxOMark, and the solid zoom remains a go-to for many travel and landscape photographers, or anyone looking for the versatility provided by the 16-35mm focal range. See what other creators have said about the lens below and check out Alpha Spotlight: The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master and Alpha Spotlight: Why This Wide, Fast Zoom Is A Favorite For All Photographers for more.
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master
Commercial photographer and filmmaker Daryl Scott Walker says the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master was the first native Sony lens he purchased, and it’s been through everything with him. “With my love for northern landscapes which have more volatile weather, it’s perfect to have a fast zoom like this with weather sealing so you don’t need to change lenses too often. I’ve been out in the elements with the 16-35mm all day and it just keeps working. This lens is always in my bag for adventures from the Faroe Islands and Iceland to capture the wide landscapes. Sometimes 16mm isn’t enough out there and I often do 6 or 9 shot panoramas to get the whole scene in the frame.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: A Zoom Trinity (+ One) & A Handful Of Fast Primes For Nature & Adventure Photography.
Photo by Daryl Scott Walker. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec, f/16, ISO 1000
The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master was also the first ever Sony lens photographer Oscar Lindsey purchased, and he says it’s still going strong almost four years later! “This piece of kit provides a lot of flexibility and I use it for both photo and video work. When heading out to shoot in the city I like to keep my bag light, and bringing this lens allows me to capture wide cityscapes but also enables me to punch in to 35mm and capture some lifestyle images and portraits.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: A G Master Trinity Plus One For Creative Night Photography & More.
Photo by Oscar Lindsey. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. 13-sec., f/2.8, ISO 250
The Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master is a first-gen favorite for professional portrait, travel and other photographers who can utilize that solid resolution across the entire zoom range. It’s a classic favorite among many and it continues to deliver all that the G Master line is known for - high performance, beautiful bokeh and a professional design. Hear firsthand from creators who use the lens for their work below.
Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master
Landscape photographer Prasanna Pilaka is a big fan of the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master, and she used it to create this beautiful blue hour image below. “I love this lens, it always delivers,” she says. “The lens is versatile for both landscape and portrait photography. Its aperture is perfect to get the bokeh in portraits and it also does Milky Way photography at its widest focal length of 24mm. It also has great low light performance making it great for astrophotography. I’ve had this camera body for over four years and the lens for two years. This duo has never let me down and I couldn’t be happier with them.” Read more in Behind The Shot: The Perfect Conditions For A Blue Hour Landscape.
Photo by Prasanna Pilaka. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 8-sec., f/7.1, ISO 50
Urban photographer Antoine Buchet also always includes the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master in his kit. “This lens is a pure gem, a classic,” he says. “Built like a tank, razor sharp, brilliant bokeh, it's a must have. Extremely versatile, this lens always comes with me! The combination of a great zoom range and fast aperture make it a great all rounder for cityscapes, portraits, event and wedding photography, along with general-purpose use. Yes, you can certainly get faster prime lenses but the point of an all-around lens is to allow you to capture the shot on an assignment or when you travel without wasting precious time by switching lenses and potentially missing the money shot. If I could only own one lens, it would be this one.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: 1 Camera & 4 Lenses For Urban Scenes.
Photo by Antoine Buchet. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 15-sec., f/13, ISO 100
Another in the lineup that’s been upgraded with a second generation version, but that doesn’t mean the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master hasn’t been an excellent option from the start. With that extraordinary G Master resolution that offers beautiful bokeh, blazing AF and extraordinary image stabilization performance. Learn more from other creators who continue to include the lens in their kits.
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master
Outdoor photographer Julia Jakovlevan keeps her kit light with a single camera and two lenses, and the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master is one of them. “I often love shooting close-ups and details of the landscapes, and a telephoto lens is a must for that,” she says. “Its wide open aperture also allows me to shoot portraits of dogs or people with the natural landscape where it provides beautiful compression.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: A Lightweight Travel Kit For Maximum Reach & Versatility.
Photo by Julia Jakovleva. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/125-sec., f/11, ISO 100
Landscape and astrophotographer Dylan McMains loves having the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master in his bag for capturing the natural world in an interesting way. “There come times when you just can’t get close enough to what it is you’re trying to photograph and you have to take shots from far away,” he explains. “Or, there are some compositions that work best when you exaggerate the scale of your subject by zooming in super tightly on it. For instances like these, I love having a telephoto lens like the 70-200mm G Master in my bag. It can also really help you if you’re wanting to compress a scene and make it all work on the same plane, rather than having some things noticeably closer than others.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: How This Complete Photo Kit Captures Powerful Skies & Breathtaking Landscapes.
Photo by Dylan McMains. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/5000-sec., f/4, ISO 100
The Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master is one that many enthusiast and professional shooters say they can’t live without. In true Sony fashion, the telephoto zoom is smaller and lighter than others in its class. Combine that with corner-to-corner sharpness and beautiful bokeh that the G Master series is known for and there’s no question why it’s a staple in the kits of so many, especially bird, wildlife and nature photographers. See what creators have to say about the lens below and read more in Alpha Spotlight: Why There's Always Room For This Super Telephoto Zoom.
Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master
Conservation, wildlife and nature photographer Kate Newman says the Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master is her main lens. “I adore that the 100-400mm gives me so much versatility to photograph a close-up portrait of an animal or to capture the entire scene,” she explains. “It’s lightweight, easy to travel with, and very rarely leaves my camera. Although it’s f/5.6, the versatility brings so much ease to my work which is by far the biggest bonus. I can’t imagine my kit without it!” Read more in What’s In My Bag: One Photographer's Essentials For Wildlife & Conservation Photography.
Photo by Kate Newman. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master. 1/2000-sec., f/5.6, ISO 320
Photographer Daryl Scott Walker is known for his bold colors and stunning imagery of nature and adventure. The Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master just so happens to be his favorite lens. “When people ask me what my favorite lens is, they are surprised to hear it's a telephoto zoom. The 100-400mm is on my camera always because over time I’ve learnt it's 99.9% the lens I wish I had mounted when something spontaneous happens before me. Being a GM lens you get exceptional image quality, fast autofocus and the images this thing renders are beautiful.” Read more in What’s In My Bag: A Zoom Trinity (+ One) & A Handful Of Fast Primes For Nature & Adventure Photography.
Photo by Daryl Scott Walker. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master. 1/800-sec, f/4.5, ISO 160