As a former working video journalist for a local alternative weekly publication, I can tell you the back pains that come from lugging around a way-too-heavy camera bag while in the field and covering different events. When you add up your camera (or cameras), your lenses, your mounts, audio gear and whatever else you keep in your ready-bag, things can get very heavy quite quickly.

So, it’s almost a shame to see so many new cameras and pieces of video gear aiming to reduce size and weight, rather than add on the pounds as a way to increase the recording quality. And, actually, many of these new innovations are in fact able to go smaller, cheaper and better.

Let’s take a look at Sony’s new G-Master FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II, a 35mm full-frame E-mount zoom lens that promises to be the brand’s smallest and lightest full-frame zoom lens option on the market.

Meet the Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II

Designed for both videographers and photographers alike, the Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II should be a solid kit lens option (or upgrade) for filmmakers looking to get the best out of their Sony Alpha series cameras (or with a different mount, other brands’ options). And despite its lightweight focus, it should be a perfectly capable and quality lens all on its own.

“The newest FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II answers the call for all creators who want the highest performance lens in the lightest body.” — Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc.

With its descriptive power and high-speed AF design which comes unique to the G Master series, these lenses should bring out the highest performances of more advanced camera bodies. Plus, with the latest XD (extreme dynamic) linear motors, the AF controls should be quiet, easy and work up to twice as fast as any conventional models.

Helpful for Keeping Your Bag Light

\u200bThe Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II out in the wild

The Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II out in the wild

Credit: Sony

Now, obviously, the main selling point for this zoom lens though is going to be its size and weight. And if you’re a solo shooter or small crew member tired of lugging around a full lens kit, then a small and easy zoom like the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II should be a great option as it’s set to be the world’s smallest and lightest high-resolution full-frame lens out there upon release.

Thanks to a new optical design from Sony which reduces weight and size, yet still manages to achieve high resolution with a maximum aperture of F2.8 over the entire zoom range, this lens should be a solid option for a wide array of shooting styles and needs from close-up interviews to wide-ranging event coverage needs.

The FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II is also set to be just one of a new series of second-generation zoom lenses from Sony set to include a standard (24-70mm) and telephoto (70-200mm), which could all be nearly just as small and light—plus overall great Sony glass to couple with a Sony camera in a small ready-bag.

Price and Availability

\u200bThe Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II on a Full-Frame camera

The Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II on a Full-Frame camera

Credit: Sony

For video pros specifically, the Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II should more than meet the needs of any professional or advanced hobbyist in the video space with its reduced focus breathing during video recordings compared to previous zoom lens models.

It also features some neat updates for its operability with an improved aperture ring that can be clicked on or off with a switch and two focus hold buttons which can be assigned a desired function in your camera’s settings.

You can check out the full specs and price to buy below. Shipments should be available beginning in Fall 2023.

  • Full-Frame | f/2.8 to f/22
  • Fast Wide-Angle Zoom
  • 20% Lighter, 10 percent Smaller than Previous
  • Four XD Linear AF Motors, Floating Focus
  • Aperture De-Click and Lock Switches
  • Zoom Smoothness Switch
  • XA and Super ED Elements
  • Fluorine Coating
  • Dust and Moisture-Resistant Construction

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II Lens

Jourdan Aldredge

Combining G Master performance with the lightest and smallest form factor in its class, Sony rounds out its trinity of f/2.8 G Master zoom lenses with its latest wide-angle offering for video and stills shooters, the FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM II Lens, which boasts a variety of optical, focusing, and handling upgrades.