Sony’s forgotten lens? The 28mm f/2 is light, cheap and worth a look!
Back in 2015 I did a very short review of the Sony 28mm f/2 lens. Yes, I still have the lens and use it from time to time as it is just an enjoyable little lens to use. I use it for video on a Sony A7III as well as photos when I need a 28mm wide lens on my Sony. Over the last couple of years I have spoken with a few photographers who were not fans of this lens due to the slight barrel distortion it puts out (when shooting RAW and not applying corrections).
New video on the old 28 f/2
This 28mm f/2 is small, light and comes in at $449, so just under $450. At this price point, you get a wide-angle fast prime that delivers a nice smooth look to your footage or images. Nope, this lens is not about the ultimate sharpness or detail but what I have found is that it draws in a nice rounded way. People look nice, flaws are diminished, and we still get nice subject separation when using this lens.
It’s also great for video, as you can see above at the top of this page (I filmed the video with the Sony A7III and 28mm f/2). Focus is fast and I just love the way this lens renders as it is more about pleasing results than technical pixel peeping.
I saw this lens in my cabinet the other day and said to myself “I really love this little lens” and I decided to do a video about it because it appears that some out there think it is not a lens worthy of purchase! I think it is!
If you own any version of the Sony a7 or even an a9 and you have been wanting a fast wide-angle prime then this lens can save you some money over the Zeiss 25 f/2 Batis. It is not as crisp as the Zeiss, and has more muted colors than the Zeiss but it’s also half the price and smaller and still provides a very nice almost sort of old school rendering. No it doesn’t beat the Zeiss but this is about cost and price point over ultimate sharpness.
This is a “bang for the buck” kind of lens meaning you get all you pay for and then some.
If you want the ultimate lens in the 24-28mm rangeThe killer lens for Sony in this range that will cost you $850 more is the Sony 24 f/1.4 G Master. That is a lens I have been wanting myself but it has been out of stock for months.
After realizing that this 28mm lens is “close enough” in focal length and that it provides a non clinical type of rendering (what I like) I will just keep on shooting this little 28mm, though I may still pick up that 24 GM one day as it is without equal in the 24 1.4 realm, no matter the camera brand.
At $450 this is a great lens for anyone looking for a wider angle vacation lens, family lens, street photography lens, travel lens, or even a great video lens for vlogging with an A7III. It’s a great all around lens that will not break the bank and will give you even more performance than you paid for.
If you missed the older review of the 28mm f/2 check out the one Chad Wadsworth wrote right HERE.
Steve, you wrote: “…still provides a very nice almost sort of old school rendering”, and “it provides a non clinical type of rendering (what I like)”
That was enough for me. I trusted you, and bought this lens a month ago for my sony a6100 apsc. Thank you so much. With it I won a ribbon in a PSA contest recently.
I am a 70 years old amateur photographer and I enjoy your colloquial style in equipment reviews.
Geetings from Argentina.
I had it two times in my A7r butt it is feel cheap and sold it.
Basically I should keep as the quality is far more than price.
The 28 is plenty good for almost any purpose and I would not discourage anyone from buying it. A lot depends on focal length preference, and for me it is not 28mm. For quite some time the Batis 25 was my favorite but recently I have liked the 35mm Sony F1.8 for its speed, versatility, and less facial distortion than wider lenses. The 28 has, low price, size/weight, and good images in its favor – thanks for reminding us.
I always thought this lens renders very nicely, with Olympus-style colors.
It has two major flaws:
– The Lens hood is awful, feels disposable
– The Batis 25 is even better
Is it “cheap” or is it “inexpensive?” There’s a difference.
I have this lens for the A7III. I use it mainly for wedding work, great when space is tight and personally i find 24 too wide usually. It’s like a 35 with a bit more room. 35 and 28 are not similar in my book. I switch all lens corrections off as default in LR.
I only apply corrections if there is a clear need to do so such as a straight line right through the image or a full horizon line. Vignette correction I apply to taste and to image.
I much prefer not to correct this lens. When corrected anything at the edges gets stretched, bodies and faces distort and this is seen far too often on peoples post work images.
Thanks for all of the passion and info over the years. I really appreciate how you signed off. Sometimes people just need to be reminded. Well done!
I buy the 28mm Sony to get AF as alternativ to my Leica M Elmarit 28mm 2,8.
It is on eye level with the Leica. Some people tell about the wide Range of Quality with different samples.
But yours and my are fine.
Greetings form Frankfurt/Main