Taking the Sony G Master Lens Series to Task
March 16, 2016
Sponsored by Sony
When Sony unveiled the new G Master Lens line at Industria Superstudio in New York City in February, attendees were treated to a live shoot by portrait photographer Miguel Quiles in Studio 2. Two models acted out a fashion-meets-Bonnie-and-Clyde scene in hotel room set, which included daylight streaming in through the window and ambient lamp light. Quiles’ images from the event are rich in color and detail, and Quiles says with the G Master series, he never has to make any concessions in his work.
“With most lenses, you are making a compromise between fast autofocus, great color, great sharpness and great bokeh. You [usually] never get all of those in one lens,” says Quiles. But the G Master series was engineered using extreme aspherical lens elements to deliver unbelievable resolution and detail, producing beautiful bokeh and backgrounds that transition smoothly from sharp to soft.
Quiles has switched over to the lenses in his commercial, portrait and wedding shoots, and he’s seen the difference in his imagery. One of his favorite lighting set ups—what he calls “the dramatic portrait”—utilizes multiple strobes to cast a range of light and shadows across his subjects’ faces. The Sony G Master FE 85 mm F1.4 GM enhances his go-to lighting further, thanks to the focal length’s ability to take flattering images that separate his subjects from the background.
While he loves an 85mm lens, going so far as to call it his “workhorse focal length,” Quiles says that in the past he had to assume that certain percentage of the images from a shoot would be out of focus, and he considered that the trade-off of using an 85mm lens at a wide-open aperture. But the G Master FE 85mm F1.4 GM has an uncanny ability to combine creamy backgrounds and bokeh effects with tack-sharp detail on the subject. “The images coming out of the [G Master 85mm] are insane,” says Quiles. “When I show people the shots, they think I did something in post.”
When Quiles isn’t using the G Master FE 85mm F1.4 GM, he’s shooting with the FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM, which he calls the “versatile all-round lens that Sony shooters have been waiting for.” Quiles says that the 24-70mm outperforms other similar lenses that he’s used. “You can use it to shoot wide and not have distortion. You get beautiful color saturation. You can shoot gorgeous portraits with it. You get tremendous detail and cinematic-quality bokeh,” says Quiles. “It does everything.”
But as a portrait photographer, an 85mm is his bread and butter, and Quiles is more than happy to share how the Sony G Master 85mm stacks up against the equivalent Zeiss Batis, his prior go-to lens. He recently posted an online video weighing the pros and cons of each. According to him, the G Master 85mm edges out the Batis in image quality and wins in build with a grippier manual focus and aperture control rings and a beautiful, large piece of glass. The Batis is a little smaller and lighter for travel and recreation. But for professional photographers like himself, for which durability, optical quality and longevity are key, he thinks the G Master FE 85mm F1.4 GM is the only portrait lens you’ll need. He says: “You buy that lens and you don’t really have another reason to ever go out and buy another.”
For more information on Sony’s G Master Lenses, visit AlphaUniverse.com/lenses.