Being on a tight budget I rarely purchase any camera gear beyond the essentials these days, unless I run into a lens so good (and so good a sample) that I cannot pass on it. Earlier this year, that meant the Voigtlander FE 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Aspheric and the Sigma FE 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art and the Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5.
Along comes the Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM to handily match or beat every zoom or prime I threw it against and in most cases it was not even a contest, in favor of the 12-24/2.8 GM. And having tried two samples and seeing that one was definitively better and clearly about as good as I could reasonably wish for, I was goaded into considering buying it.
Even more compelling is that it is rare to find a zoom that is competitive across its entire range. Usually if a zoom is good at the wide and middle, or telephoto end and middle, that’s about all you can expect—one end will be sucky, even with a good sample. The 12-24/2.8 GM is a rare and precious exception to that rule of thumb, though the 24mm end is not as strong as 12mm, it is still highly competitive with anything out there.
Finally, I have long desired a zoom covering 12-24mm range, but aside from the Sigma FE 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art nothing had presented itself... and the Sony 12-24/2.8 GM adds the 12-14mm range (a much bigger deal than it sounds, to me at least) and easily beats out the Sigma—not a contest. It had better, for 2.3X the price, but the extra range and performance is not to be argued with to cover that range superbly.
Accordingly, I’ve purchased for my own use the about $2998 Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM sample that I was testing with. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, then I don’t know what is.