With a specific focus on astrophotography and astroscapes (or nightscapes) using regular cameras and lenses (as opposed to specialized astrophotography cameras and telescopes), Lonely Speck has reviewed the Sony 16-35mm f/2.9 G Master lens. In the review, Jordan Watke writes, "I bought this lens in response to changes in how I shoot landscapes and nightscapes. I noticed that I had begun shooting in a ‘run-n-gun’ style for daytime shots, relying on Sony’s excellent IBIS to help me get fantastically sharp landscape images while off of a tripod and moving quickly. At the time, I had my beloved Laowa 15mm f/2 wide-angle prime, the excellent Sony 16-35mm f/4, and the diminutive Sony 35mm f/2.8. All three of these lenses are incredible in their own right, and all are very capable of producing very sharp landscapes. However, I realized that I could reduce my kit of 3 lenses into something smaller and lighter as a whole, while retaining the fields of view that I was used to. I wanted to retain the versatility of the AF-enabled 16-35mm option, while expanding my fast nightscape kit into a larger focal range as well. I begrudgingly sold all three of the above lenses in order to fund the do-it-all GM, and I’m quite happy with the results."
"I realized that I could reduce my kit of 3 lenses into something smaller and lighter as a whole, while retaining the fields of view that I was used to."
The detailed review describes build quality, optical performance and results from working with the lens in the field. Watke writes, "The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM is a solidly built lens, there’s no doubt about it." And with the continued focus on astrophotography, "The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM provides excellent image quality across most of the frame wide open at f/2.8 which is where most will use this lens for astrophotography."
Astrophotography has exploded in popularity as camera technology has brought the night sky within the grasp of everyone. The gear required to make a beautiful image of the night sky is accessible and extremely capable. Watke’s stated goal in buying the 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master was to further reduce his kit from three lenses to one. To that end he concludes, writing, "[The 16-35mm G Master] has helped to condense my gear into a high image quality, travel-friendly kit that can do just about everything that I ask it to. The AF is fast and accurate, and has resulted in some really great portraits (both environmental and intimate). The sharpness (even into the corners) speaks for itself. The build quality is second to none. The utility and quality of the GM cannot be understated."
"Many ask if the high asking price is justified by its performance. For me, it was a bit of a no-brainer, considering what I came from. However, my needs may be very different from yours. I value a high image quality, bright, minimalist travel kit. There are obviously situations where an even brighter prime lens may suit your astrophotography better. The GM is a nearly no-compromise workhorse that works well for astrophotography, but even better as a jack of all trades."
See the full review and all of Jordan Watke's images at LonelySpeck.com