Comparison: Sony G Master (GM) vs. Sony G vs. Sony Zeiss lenses

Intro to Sony Lens Series

Sony categorizes its lenses into three levels based on performance. The regular – and most economical – lenses come with no particular designation. The G (for Gold) and G Master brands identify the mid- and top-tier lenses, respectively. These lenses are designed by Sony and follow Sony’s quality standard.

Separate from this, Sony sometimes partners with Zeiss to create lenses. The Sony Zeiss lenses are jointly designed but follow the Zeiss quality standard.

What is Sony’s G Master brand?

Sony’s flagship is the G Master (or GM) brand, intended for its professional-grade interchangeable lenses. These lenses are optimized for high resolution and perfect bokeh when mounted on Sony’s full-frame E-mount cameras. They also command the highest price. G Master lenses include the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM, FE 85mm F1.4 GM and FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS.

What is Sony’s G brand?

Sony’s G brand is mid-tier, and includes the FE 12-24mm F4 G, FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS and FE 90mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS. It’s worth noting that despite “only” being a G series lens, the FE 90mm is one of the sharpest macro lenses available for any system.

How are Sony Zeiss lenses different?

Like Sony’s G Master lenses, the jointly designed Sony Zeiss lenses (shortened to “Zony” in some forums) also focus on high resolution. But while G Master lenses optimize for bokeh, Sony Zeiss lenses optimize for contrast.

Both G Master and Sony Zeiss lenses produce sharp images, but photos taken with G Master lenses tend to have a slightly softer feel, with round bokeh balls at wide open apertures. Photos taken with Sony Zeiss lenses tend to have more of a “3D” pop.

Sony Zeiss lenses include the Batis Distagon T* FE 35 mm F1.4 ZA and Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS.

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