My most recent lens purchase and least used lens to date is my Sony FE4/12-24 G lens. The most used lenses tend to be the 16-35mm and 24-70 lenses. I had the latter, but it was in the range of my 24-105mm lens and then you literally walk around with too much weight in your bag. I sold that lens and before that the Sony FE4/12-24 G lens was added to the kit.
The why for me is pretty obvious. I really wanted a wide-angle lens with the camera. Not necessarily f/2.8 or better. No, f/4 is more than sufficient for daytime and evening photography. The lens should also be as compatible as possible with the other two lenses.
With the 12-24mm f/4 lens, I have now extended the lower end of the working range. It fits seamlessly with my 24-105mm f/4 lens and at the top end I have the 70-200 f/4 lens. I could have also opted for the 16-35mm and 24-70mm lenses, but then you are stuck with 16mm at the bottom. No, those extra few millimeters can sometimes come in handy. But, it’s still a lens with some challenges.
The great thing is that the camera also has a crop mode. That means that you only use part of the sensor to take pictures with a resolution of 26 Megapixels. You have to multiply everything by 1.5x. So the 12-24 goes to a range of 18-36mm (almost 16-35mm!), the 24-105 goes to 36-157.5mm and the 70-200 goes to 105-300mm. And so for all the photos you want to take, you have a great kit with only three lenses in the bag.
Of course, with night photography, it makes sense to use other lenses that have apertures between f/1.4 and f/2.8. I am keeping that decision for later for two reasons: price and experience. These lenses are in a much higher price segment. Many times they cost double that of f/4 lenses. In contrast, you use them less because you can work much more comfortably with f/4 lenses during the day (in my opinion). You often need an ND filter that on the 12-24mm f/4, but also on the f/2.8 version does not fit directly on the lens because it is convex.
The second reason is experience. By first gaining experience with these three lenses for a considerable period of time, I can quietly look around in the coming years to see what next step I want to take. Will it be a 400 or 600 lens? These are often much heavier lenses. Or will I go for an f/2.8 lens? The FE12-24mm f/2.8 has a price of 3299 Euro. The f/4 lens costs 1699 Euro at the moment.
Recently, during a visit to the island Texel, I chose to learn and work all day with my Sony FE4/12-24 G lens. In the two pictures below you can see very well what a wide-angle lens does to the image. Therefore, always keep the subject in the center. The lens has a beautifully sharp image, but the image is distorted in the corners.
Also note the horizon of the photos above. It is nice and straight. If you tilt the camera up or down this will no longer be the case. This can be corrected afterwards, but not without cropping part of the image.
There is also a GM version of the lens. This lens cost twice as much and has a maximum aperture of f/2.8. Using filters on both lenses is a challenge. You can use filters inside the camera, in the front you need a special adapter and bigger filters. The lens hood on the f/4 is fixed.
You can clearly see when correcting the photo’s and put building back straight you will lose a part of your photo. The whole picture is bend inside at the bottom to correct it. By the way, did you notice the clouds spreading out from the center?