dog jumping through the water at the beach

A Compact Trio

Terry Donnelly

“The sheer joy and pleasure of having such a light and small form factor that can deliver such high-quality results makes owning this combination extremely satisfying,” Terry Donnelly gushes of the new range of G lenses he has just been trialling.

There are few types of photography that Terry Donnelly doesn’t do. Portraiture, advertising, product, architectural and sports photography all feature heavily in Terry’s portfolio, and each discipline has different lenses requirements. Given his versatility, he was perfectly placed to trial a new trilogy of fixed focal length G Series lenses.

man standing on the sand dunes

© Terry Donnelly | Sony α7C + FE 50mm f/2.5 G | 1/4000s @ f/2.5, ISO 100

The trilogy consists of a 24mm f/2.8, 40mm f/2.5 and 50mm f/2.5 – all part of Sony’s G series lenses, which balance size and affordability with excellent optical performance.

“I normally shoot with prime lenses as a first choice over zoom lenses, so the news that Sony was releasing a trilogy of compact lightweight prime lenses was really exciting; I could see just how useful they would be,” says Terry.

Each of the lenses fulfils a different purpose, providing Sony users with some favoured focal lengths, in compact bodies. They are great to be used either as an ideal complement to a longer focal length zoom lens, or used simply when a lightweight camera and lens is all that is required.

“A wide-angle lens, the 24mm f/2.8 naturally lends itself to shooting landscapes, or cityscapes, or a situation where I want to include the environment in the background to help tell the story of the main subject,” explains Terry, continuing: “The 40mm f/2.5 lens is not a common focal length, but it bridges the gap nicely between a 35mm and a 50mm lens. I found it to be ideal for portraiture as it offered a different look to my existing lenses. And of course, the 50mm f/2.5 lens provides that traditionally great focal length when wanting to produce images that are close to the view the human eye sees.”

lady standing in front of an ornate front door

© Terry Donnelly | Sony α7C + FE 24mm f/2.8 G | 1/250s @ f/2.8, ISO 100

Being designed to be as compact as possible doesn’t mean that the build quality of the lenses has been compromised. Each of the lenses has a metal construction, engraved – rather than painted – markings, and they also have an aperture ring. “All three lenses are beautifully crafted,” enthuses Terry, “and they are also extremely practical. The aperture ring can be set to 3EV clicks, or it can be set to rotate smoothly, making it great for both photos and video. There is also a manual focus ring, and AF/M switch and a Focus Hold, which can be reassigned in-camera. The lenses offer professional control and reliability.”

In terms of autofocusing, the lenses employ double linear motors for speed and accuracy. Videographers will be pleased to hear that motors are silent, and that the focusing ring of each lens is also linear, meaning that it is easy to repeat focus movements.

reflection of a building in a mirror

© Terry Donnelly | Sony α7C + FE 40mm f/2.5 G | 1/2500s @ f/2.5, ISO 800

Of course, the lenses are nothing without excellent optical performance. Thanks to each lens employing 3 Aspherical lenses, and with an Extra Aspherical (XA) lens in 28mm f/2.8 lens, the lenses produce incredible images for their size, with Terry saying: “they produce really sharp images throughout the aperture range, even when using wide open apertures of f/2.5 and f/2.8 respectively, with the out of focus areas being smooth and creamy.”

Small and lightweight lenses are obviously popular amongst street and travel photographers, where size and weight are advantageous. “Any one of the three lenses, coupled to the Alpha 7C for example, provides a lightweight compact solution that delivers professional results. You can get the camera and set of lenses in the smallest of camera bags.” explains Terry. “It would be a great option for someone going traveling, or doing street photography,” he continues, saying, “the lenses offer the ability to be able to shoot street and travel photography while being less conspicuous in public areas.”

lady standing in front of a mirrored building

© Terry Donnelly | Sony α7C + FE 24mm f/2.8 G | 1/3200s @ f/2.8, ISO 200

So, what is the catch? Could these lenses really be used by professional photographers too? “In certain circumstances a really wide aperture lens such as f/1.4 may be required for a certain look or application,” says Terry, “but generally, lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 are widely used by professionals. These three lenses having maximum apertures of f/2.8 and f/2.5 really live up to professional standards and expectations.”

terry donnelly holding an alpha 7c with 40mm g lens

“I will absolutely be using the three lenses in the future,” Terry concludes, continuing, “the compact lightweight form factor, in particular when attached to an Alpha 7C, offers a really great solution for when I want to travel light but still have full frame quality and ability to work with quality glass for both stills and video.”

trio of new sony compact g lenses

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Terry Donnelly

Terry Donnelly | UK

"Although I shoot different genres of photography I find a cross over of skill set between them which makes my work stronger"

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