Sony's new FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II updates the third of its trio of GM series F2.8 zooms in a 10% smaller and 20% lighter package. Sony also promises improved corner-to-corner sharpness, reduced chromatic aberrations and improved close-up performance down to 22 cm. This sets the bar pretty high, as its predecessor, from 2017, already performed very well.

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Focus is achieved through two independently moving focus groups driven by four XD ‘extreme dynamic’ linear motors (two per group) which allow the lens to focus down to 22 cm (8.7"). The lens is composed of 15 elements in 12 groups, including three extreme aspherical elements and one extra-low dispersion (to reduce chromatic aberration), one ED aspherical element and one conventional aspherical lens.

The lens has rings for zoom, focus and aperture, with a switch to move between smooth and and clickable aperture and an iris lock switch to prevent accidental changes. There are also two customizable focus hold buttons.

For video users, Sony also says focus is silent and the lens supports blackout-free video up to 30fps and AF tracking while zooming. Focus breathing is stated to be 'minimal' and can be further reduced by the breathing compensation function on compatible cameras.

The FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II becomes the 74th E-mount lens and the 51st full frame E-mount lens from Sony.

Pricing and availability

The Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II will be available in September at a price of at $2,299.99 / $3,099.99 CAD.

Press Release

Sony Electronics Introduces the FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II Full-frame Zoom G Master lens, the World's Smallest and Lightest[1] Full-frame F2.8 Wide-Angle Zoom Lens

SAN DIEGO, CA. August 29, 2023 — Sony Electronics announces the launch of the wide-angle zoom lens G-MasterTM FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II, a 35mm full-frame αTM (AlphaTM) E-mount lens that covers focal lengths from 16mm to 35mm with a maximum aperture of F2.8 over the entire zoom range.

FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II (model SEL1635GM2) satisfies the needs of photographers and videographers seeking high-performance lenses, and with the descriptive power and high-speed AF (autofocus) unique to G Master, it is possible to fully bring out the high performance of our advanced camera bodies. With the expansion of this wide-angle zoom lens, a maximum aperture of F2.8 second-generation[2] zoom lens will be available, along with standard (24-70mm/ SEL2470GM2) and telephoto (70-200mm/SEL70200GM2). These lenses, which are each the world's lightest in their category[1] , have excellent resolution performance, further strengthening the Alpha system, by capturing rich and varied shooting

“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,” says Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc.

World's smallest and lightest[1] high-resolution F2.8 wide-angle zoom lens

The FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II has a new optical design that effectively arranges the extremely high surface precision XA (extreme aspherical) lens which achieves high resolution with a maximum aperture of F2.8 over the entire zoom range. This is made possible by creating an aspherical shape with a higher degree of freedom than before. In addition to the stunning G-Master bokeh expression with a wide angle, it offers an outstanding close-up performance throughout the zoom range, a minimum shooting distance of 0.22m and a maximum shooting magnification of 0.32x. Sony's original Nano AR Coating II suppresses ghosting and flares to capture clear images even when a strong light source comes into the frame. This is the world's smallest and lightest[1] wide-angle zoom lens with a total length of 111.5mm and
a weight of approximately 547g, which is about 20% lighter[3] than the first-generation model.

Extraordinarily fast and precise AF that brings out the best in advanced bodies

FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II includes the latest XD (extreme dynamic) linear motors that effectively work on high-speed drive. It achieves quiet AF that is suitable for both still images and movies and is up to twice as fast as conventional models[4]. Even with high frame rate videos where focus shifts are noticeable, the subject is tracked with high precision. When combined with the Alpha 1 camera body, high-speed continuous shooting[4] at up to 30 fps is possible with high-speed, high-precision, and quiet focusing.

Operability and reliability for comfortable shooting of both still images and movies

FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II offers comfortable operability and excellent still image and movie shooting performance that meets the needs of professional and advanced hobbyist users. By reducing focus breathing during video recording compared to previous models, it is possible to achieve high-quality image expression without fluctuations in the angle of view. In addition, it suppresses the movement of the center of gravity during zooming and enables stable shooting, so any user can shoot comfortably with a gimbal. Operability has also been improved with features such as an aperture ring that can be clicked on/off with a switch, and two focus hold buttons that can be assigned a desired function from the camera body.

Fluorine coating is applied to the front lens, so dirt adhering to the lens surface can be easily removed. The dustproof and splash-resistant design allows the camera to be used safely even outdoors[5], giving greater freedom in shooting.

Pricing and Availability

The new FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM II will be available in Fall 2023 at a variety of Sony authorized dealers for approximately MSRP $2,299.99 USD, $3,099.99 CAN.

[1] As of the August 2023 product announcement. Compared to full-frame F2.8 16-35 mm zoom lenses that support autofocus.
Sony survey.

[2] Standard zoom lens “FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM II” / Telephoto zoom lens “FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS II”

[3] Compared to” FE 16-35 mm F2.8 GM”

[4] With the Alpha 1: “Hi+” continuous shooting mode. Effective at 1/125 sec. or higher shutter speed.

[5] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length16–35 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountSony FE
Maximum apertureF2.8
Minimum apertureF22
Aperture ringYes
Number of diaphragm blades11
Special elements / coatings3 extreme aspherical, 1 aspherical, 1 ED aspherical, 2 ED, 1 super ED elements, Nano AR & fluorine coatings
Minimum focus0.22 m (8.66)
Maximum magnification0.32×
Motor typeLinear Motor
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Weight547 g (1.21 lb)
Diameter88 mm (3.46)
Length112 mm (4.41)
MaterialsMagnesium alloy
Zoom methodRotary (extending)
Power zoomNo
Zoom lockNo
Filter thread82 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo