USER REPORT: The New Sony 28 f/2 on the Sony A7S and A7II ..BAM! by Chad Wadsworth

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

USER REPORT: The New Sony 28 f/2 on the Sony A7S and A7II…BAM!

by Chad Wadsworth – his website is HERE!

Last week the FedEx guy delivered a box on loan from Sony containing a couple of much-anticipated new FE primes. The 35/1.4 is as good as Steve reported – a near perfect balance of center resolution and bokeh – but what about the little FE 28/2?

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I’m a big fan of the 28mm fov and have owned a few highly regarded lenses (C/Y Zeiss 28/2.8, Zeiss 28/2.8 G, M-Rokkor 28/2.8 & Minolta AF 28/2) and film compacts (Minolta TC-1, Ricoh GR1), so there was a personal expectation for Sony to deliver a modern equivalent of the Minolta AF 28/2.

After a few days shooting and editing, a few things are clear: this little guy is shockingly sharp, renders out of focus transitions smoothly and transmits color with pop. With a price tag under $450, compact size and quick AF, there is little fault to find with. You will notice some minor distortion that should easily be handled by a PS or LR profile, but other than that…no complaints. (Pre-Order it Here at Amazon) – (Pre-order it HERE at B&H Photo)

Early web samples had some forum “experts” calling the bokeh nervous, but my results indicate a good amount of “cream” especially in the foreground. A 28mm is never going to draw the bokeh of a portrait lens but what this lens does produce is attractive to my taste. Samples here are from RAW and processed in LR – most are shot wide open. Stopping down quickly improves the corners but even at f/2 the subject sharpness is just amazing. (From Steve: I also have this lens now and it is just as Chad Describes..a MUST OWN for any A7 series shooter)

With this kind of price/performance level, I hope users reward the FE 28mm with big sales and Sony takes note of the demand for compact, high quality f/2 lenses at reasonable price points. Up to now, I’ve held onto my Minolta AF 28/2, waiting to see if this new FE 28/2 could replace it – I think it is time to let it go…

click images for larger and much better and sharper view!

1st FOUR were shot on the A7II, rest were A7s

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Mick Jenkins - Lifestyle

Venue

Mick Jenkins - Lifestyle

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

71 Comments

  1. I just got this lens. I have to ask you, does your copy make a physical ‘clank’ when focusing? My copy makes a clank and you can almost hear it. I’m almost thinking an element is loose or something. When I shake the lens i can hear something moving inside and a dull clank sound. I’m not as experienced so I’m not sure if this is normal or not. If you or anyone else could advise, I would be very grateful. Thanks.

  2. Wow, these are so sexy. I love them. Nice processing also. Seems like a super nice lens. I so want to upgrade. Shooting with a 1000D and I’m tired of it.

  3. Hi Chad,
    thanks for your review. I personnaly own the FE 28 for 3 days now (I’m in Asia). I also notice very strong distortion that requires +22 in LR to correct, making straight line straight.
    Unfortunately there is still now profile for this lens in LR
    The distortion is shown only in raw, jpg is fine but since I only shoot raw, the correction really takes time.

    Do yoi shoot raw or jpg? What do you think about this level of distortion?
    Thank you very much!

    • JPEGS will be fine. RAW will have distortion right now (same as the RX1) – you can use the Sony 28 2.8 profile but the new one will not be out until the lens is out. As I said, the Sony $2800 RX1 has the same distortion with RAW files. Easy correction. For the price of this lens and size, it is to be expected.

      • Thank you for your reply! I have no experience with the RX1 so this FE28 supprised me. However, it is great in all other aspects. Also, uncorrect raw image is slightly wider than 28mm so we do not lose angle of view here

  4. Let me just one thing here regarding the photog. I like Chad’s work and understand his use of his choice PP for the clients he serves. I have nothing but admiration for his creativity and talent.

  5. I like the Sony FE28f2 too. The lens is compact, light weight and sharp. Good build quality too. It is the most valued wide angle lens for Sony A7 at the moment. Nice color and contrast for its price.
    Attached link to test photo:
    https://flic.kr/p/ryhnju

  6. I agree…I was going to go the 35mm also. But I find the 28mm more versatile, besides you can always crop it in…. 🙂 I have had the 28mm for a few days now and it is incredible. There is a fe28mm group on flikr you can check out. My images are all OOC jpegs, shot with the vivid setting. Such a great lens. Great work Sony….

  7. The B/W shots are just excellent!

    Color…sorry, this is not your fault- but the blue is far too strong, like an extra layer on each shot.
    The bokeh isn’t good either.

    Back to B/W: really well done!

  8. This confirms it for me.,I want this lens. Thanks a lot Chad your post was invaluable.

  9. Chad, thanks for the review and the images. I have had this lens on pre-order and am waiting patiently…it is looking good, real good. By chance, did you try this lens on one of the APS-C cameras? (28mm is a FL that I think works well on both FF and APS-C formats)

    Cheers

  10. After looking at especially your first pic, I have to respectfully disagree with you on the bokeh. To me it looks busy and as if there is too quick a transition between in and out of focus areas. It kind of looks like blur made in Photoshop with a bit of a swirl to it. The 35mm 2.8 fares better in that regard. Thanks for sharing your pics!
    Anders
    BTW the lens pops a great deal more on the a7s!

    • Hey Anders. Thanks for the comment.

      Happy to report there was no blur made in photoshop. The quick transition you mention has more to do with the background of the trunk, behind the focus point, dipping out of view for a couple of feet due to the shape of the limb. And finally, a photo like this is a bokeh torture test – a worst case really.

        • Have you tried it on the A7r, Steve? What are you disagreeing with? I have shot with this on the A7/A7s/A7r/”full spectrum” NEX-C3. It is sharper on the A7r and the “full spectrum” NEX-C3.

          I would bet that it is sharper on the Kolari vision modified A7/A7s cams with a thin UV/IR filter too.

          It is a fine lens, perhaps the best that SOny offered for the E mount. No dispute there. 🙂

  11. Fine Lens and the distortion seems to be well controlled also. What about the sky especially in the first to Pictures, but also in some of the following ones? The strong blue colors are very grainy, where they should be silky smooth. I think it´s post processing with some intention, or do the Sonys have some problems with color?
    Otherwise the pop of the colors and the sharpness of the lens fit perfect to your Pictures.

    • Hey Ingo. No problem with Sony color – what you are seeing is my post work, including some grain.

      Thanks for the compliment.

  12. Nice shots! I’m waiting on my A7ii and 55mm and trying to decide on 35 f2.8 or this new 28 f2 to compliment. There’s been a lot of great stuff written about the 35 2.8, Do you think this is equal to it in real world IQ? I like 28mm too having spent lots of time with my trusty Ricoh GR.

  13. Thanks for posting these pictures as I have been really looking forward to this one. 28mm and the upcoming 90mm (though big) will complete the set-up for me. What do you prefer – A7 ii or A7? I like those you have taken with the A7s.

  14. I’m with you Steve that bokeh is lush and the detail it’s sharp enough to shave with. I really do think Sony are now in the top tier for cameras and lenses. Moreover when you compare them to the canikon alternatives they’re a steal.

    The money you’d save on going with them over the others is going to fund a nice trip somewhere that could earn you dollar, it’s a no brainer.

  15. “With this kind of price/performance level, I hope users reward the FE 28mm with big sales and Sony takes note of the demand for compact, high quality f/2 lenses at reasonable price points”

    While I already have my sample (and love it), I would implore Sony to drop the blue label fiasco and get on with issuing a similar set of f/2 primes. They should have done it years ago. They need get cracking to hold on to their users.

    So, it is exactly the other way around. Also, for goodness sake, please drop the frigging f4 monster zoom atrocities!!

    Chad, please tell your Sony contacts to get a move on it. 😉

  16. Great review, just ordered one. As you said, a must have for all a7… shooters. And useful on an a6000 too as a 40/f2 equivalent.

  17. Well, the lense is nice, that’s sure, but what you did with it is completly awesome… I love the style, the composition, the colors, everything. Thanks a lot !

  18. Tricked out VSCO profiles are not the best way to evaluate a lens in a review for public consumption. Most people do not use tricked out VSCO profiles. Most people want to see what a lens can do on its own, not tricked out with software.

    There, I said it.

    • I would say they are equal in sharpness but the TC-1 lens is almost perfectly corrected optically – not a huge deal these days with profile corrections. Also, you are quite limited if you want to shoot wide open on the TC-1 (f/3.5 and slow max shutter speed).

  19. Sensational!!! I saw this post and just now placed my pre-order for this lens……..and now we wait. 😉

      • So 2hrs after I ordered it I rang the shop to get an ETA on arrival date. To my surprise they told me they arrived in store 10mins ago! I now have the lens on my a7ii and it is incredible! I have a few OOC shots on flikr. Just search the lens and you should find them.

        Perfect combo matched with my 55mm. Totally must have lens!

        Cheers

  20. Very nice images thanks for sharing, I have the A7s and 35 2.8 Zeiss so the 28mm is too close a focal length, would have been nice as a 21 or 24mm.

    • I hear you. I had the new 35/1.4 in my bag along with the 28 and I felt like I didn’t have enough variety in focal length.

      Ideally, I would pack either the 28mm or 35mm, along with and the 55mm and my Contax G Zeiss 90mm/2.8. That’s a nice compact three lens setup.

      • Nice combination and been wondering along these lines for travel purposes. I have been a Canon user all my life and use the lenses via a Metabones adapter but they are too heavy for travel especially since I do a lot of walking hence the A7s and my lovely Nex-7. So not sure what to get, the new 24-240 or the new 90mm but I do have the Canon 100 2.8 IS, which is a stunning lens. Oh well decisions decisions…Love this site and people like you who share their work, thanks again and good luck.

    • You are welcome Fabien.

      The build quality is almost exactly the same as the FE 55/1.8 and the Zeiss 35/2.8. The barrel construction from the focus ring, back to the mount is almost identical in materials and fit. Oddly, the satin finish stops after the focus ring and the front barrel is glossy. Maybe that’s the big cost savings??? 🙂

      • Thanks Chad! … Is the glossy part made of plastic?
        Steve’s first images on facebook seem to show great IQ! Can’t wait for the review!

          • I thought my next lens was gonna be the 16-35 f4 as it seems of gorgeous quality (Image and built), but now I’m waiting to know more about this lens.

      • That’s alright Adrian, everyone has their preference.

        Juzam, I certainly edited for color but what I can tell you is that color POPS from this lens. It starts off out of camera with a nice saturation level – just above neutral – and responds wonderfully to edits.

        Every lens and camera combination is unique and I can tell you that this one is really fun to work with in post.

        • Any examples of unedited colour photos from this lens? Did you use some filmpack or settings of your own to edit the colours in these images?

  21. This is it! Thanks for this review. The A7 lens line is complete for me. The FE 55 and this 28 make a complete system. Sharpness, color and bokeh are superb. Thanks!

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