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Shootout: Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM vs Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 Distagon: First Ice on Beaver Pond, Lundy Canyon

See my Sony mirrorless wishlist.

The age-old rule about primes versus zooms long held in favor of the prime lens. But how does a compact 21mm prime lens compare to a state-of-the-art zoom lens? Can the Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM act as a do-it-all and maybe even beat a prime lens? For those of us looking to carry one fast lens over the 12mm to 24mm range, this is a sort of holy grail, so even matching the prime would be a big win.

Compared here on the 60-megapixel Sony A7R IV are the diminutive Zeiss Loxia 21m f/2.8 Distagon and the relatively large and heavy Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM:

Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM vs Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 Distagon: First Ice on Beaver Pond

Includes images at up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/13 with extensive crops and analysis.

The about $2998 Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM might be the best zoom lens of its kind ever.

First Ice on Beaver Pond
f9 @ 1/5 sec EFC shutter, ISO 50; 2020-10-27 08:53:00
Sony A7R IV + Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM @ 21mm
ENV: Lundy Canyon, altitude 8050 ft / 2454 m, 23°F / -5°C
RAW: Enhance Details, LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, pull 0.2 stops, +50 Shadows, +30 Whites, +10 Contrast, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]
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