The Sony 20mm F/1.8 Lens Arrives! Why I LOVE this lens.

The Sony 20mm F/1.8 Lens Arrives! Why I LOVE this lens.

By Steve Huff – Pre order this lens at B&H Photo HERE

The new Sony 20mm f/1.8 G lens has been announced and I have had one for the last few days. I just packed it up to ship back to Sony but I enjoyed my short but sweet time with this lens. This is a lens I have been waiting for, and for quite a while. Having a 20mm f1.8 lens that is small, light and has such blazing fast AF (when used with a MKIII or IV or A9 Body) is such a treat.

It’s super versatile and can be used for photos in everyday shots, landscape, environmental portraits, or even close ups thanks to this lens having a minimum focus distance of only 7.5 inches. I did not get to take many shots with this lens as I only had it with a camera for 3-4 days. But I did do a video about it, and tested it for some photos and some vlogging style video. You can see all of that above. The few images I snapped with the lens shown here were taken with the A7RIV.

This is a full frame FE lens, in fact it is the 34th full frame E mount lens from Sony. It is the 56th lens from Sony for E mount if we count APS-C lenses. Wow, how time has flown and proved that Sony did indeed have what it took to build a killer mirrorless system from scratch over these last several years. I talk about the “early days”, remembering the 1st Sony mirrorless cameras in the video above. Since then, a lot has changed, improved and we have a huge collection of lenses for the Sony Alpha System here in 2020. Bravo to Sony for that, again.

Today We now have another Sony lens to consider.

In the video at the top I talk about the build, the quality and what to expect from this $899 wide angle lens from Sony. No, it is not a G Master, but a G lens. It looks a but like the 24 GM but it is just below it. Wider, not quite as fast and not quite a bitingly sharp corner to corner. Even so, the 24 GM is not a 20mm lens and this lens offers a wider field of view. Great for those who want to bring in the environment around them or fill the frame with as much as possible.

The Specs of the new 20mm f1.8 G lens from Sony:

20mm Full Frame “G” FE Lens with a large f/1.8 aperture.

9 Circular Aperture Blades for smooth Bokeh

Internal Focusing

XA Element

2 Aspheric and 2 ED Elements

Filter Size: 67mm

Close focus of 7.5 Inches.

$899

I will be buying this lens as I have been looking for a wide angle that is wider than 24 yet longer than 18 for an all purpose photo and video lens. As I talk about in the video at the top of the page, I shoot video for other projects and do so daily. Having a 20mm with a fast 1.8 aperture will allow me to use it for self recording or allowing me to gather in more of my subject if I am shooting what is AROUND me. But 20mm is pretty wide yet not as dramatic as a 16 or even 18. All in all this lens feels great in the hand, looks great and brings fantastic performance. Not much to say about it because it is what it is and it’s wonderful to have this option for Sony shooters.

What this will come down to is wether you need a wide angle lens or not. Wether you want a native Sony made lens or a third party lens. I loved the older Zeiss 25 f2 Batis but it’s not 20mm and did not allow for a wide enough FOV for something like vlogging. Some of you will buy this lens for the video aspect and others for photos. Either way you get a lovely lens that is small in size, light in weight and high in performance. In my short short time with this lens I was able to see enough to know it is a solid lens and priced exactly where it should be.

Rendering is smooth. Bokeh is smooth and it sort of reminds me of the older 28 f/2 from Sony in rendering. It’s made much better than the old 28 f2 though and I believe a little better in the sharpness department. With the A7RIV and this lens you have one powerful combo for so many situations. This lens is more versatile than one may think.

Anyway, not much I can say here about this lens that I did not say in the video. It’s small, light, fast and the AF performance on the A7RIV was remarkable. At $899, this will be a welcome addition to many camera bags I am sure. Sony is still out there kicking some serious mirrorless booty.

As I say in the title “I love this lens”. Why I love it is because of the quality, the size, the build, the 20mm focal length, it’s perfect for vlogging if you want that shallow depth of field look, and it’s also great for photography wether you are in light or low light. The rendering is silky smooth and the bokeh is as well. What’s not to love?!?!

I will buy one for me when it is available. Ships in March 2020. Priced at $899 US.

PRE ORDER THE LENS AT B&H PHOTO HERE 

ORDER THE SONY A7RIV

ORDER THE SONY A7III


 

PRESS RELEASE FROM SONY on the 20MM f/1.8

SAN DIEGO – February 25, 2020 – Adding to its extensive range of native mirrorless full-frame lenses, Sony Electronics today announced the launch of the new G Lens™ series FE 20mm F1.8 G (model name SEL20F18G), perfect for a variety of creative needs including portraits, astrophotography, landscape and street photography, as well as capturing impressive video. Ensuring exceptional G Lens resolution and bokeh, the FE 20mm F1.8 G is a compact, lightweight, ultra-wide prime lens – the widest full-frame prime lens in Sony’s E-mount lineup – giving users a new resource for stretching the boundaries of their artistic imaginations.

The impressive lens design features two advanced aspherical (AA) elements and three extra-low dispersion (ED) glass elements to suppress chromatic aberration and delivers high corner-to-corner image quality with minimal distortion, even at the maximum F1.8 aperture. It has excellent close-up performance, with a minimum focus distance of 7.5 inches (max. magnification: 0.2 times), and delivers beautifully de-focused backgrounds, or bokeh. For challenging subjects like night scenes or starry skies, the FE 20mm F1.8 G delivers crisp and clear images thanks to its advanced optical design that accurately reproduces point light sources with high contrast and minimum sagittal flare.

The compact design and versatility of the FE 20mm F1.8 G makes it the perfect all-inclusive lens for photographers and videographers. Weighing only 13.2 oz (373g), its small size and light weight make it truly mobile when used with compact E-mount bodies as part of a well-balanced system that is ideal for use on gimbals or accessory grips.

In addition, the use of two extreme dynamic (XD) Linear Motors delivers fast, precise and quiet autofocus for both stills and video shooting.

Designed to be dust and moisture resistant[i] and having a fluorine front element coating, the FE 20mm F1.8 G is highly reliable and easy to operate. It also features a customizable focus-hold button and aperture ring with a click on/off switch and is compatible with a variety of 67mm filters for extra creative control.

“We’re driven by the needs of our customers and will continue developing the best tools to meet their creative ambitions,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions Americas, Sony Electronics.  “Our 56th E-mount lens, the new FE 20mm F1.8 G, is fast, lightweight and extremely versatile, giving creators yet another compelling tool to help realize their vision.”

Pricing and Availability

The FE 20mm F1.8 G will be available in March 2020 for a suggested retail price of $899.99 USD and $1,199.99 CAD.

13 Comments

  1. Hallo steve, the new camera has coming, the Fuji XT 4, will you compare it with Sigma FP or even the latest camera from Sony ?

    • Sigma FP and teh. newest Sony are full frame cameras. Those will have a different look, rendering and performance. While I am sure teh Xt4 is great for an APS-C, as was the XT 3, it still can not compete with full frame sensors. It will always be that the larger the sensor the better the color depth, dynamic range, noise levels, and more control of DOF. Different class of cameras. I thought the XT3 was the best APS-C for it’s time, so I am sure 4 remains. These days I am not one to promote upgrading every time a new camera is released. I’d say the 3 is a great buy right now ; )

  2. Hi Steve,
    looks like Nikon and Sony are adressing the same focal lenghts. “The optical construction comprises 14 elements in 11 groups, with three ED and three aspherical elements” is the Nikon 1.8/20 Z.
    So would be interesting how those lenses compare.

  3. I’d go for the Voigt 21mm f/1.4. Manual focus but incredible reviews and will get a look this 1.8 can’t compete with. Some
    Have said the voigt 21mm is the best 21mm ever and it’s in E mount

  4. Bravo Sony for the 20mm.

    However, let’s not forget Sigma offer a 20mm ART which is F1.4 and costs the same. The Sigma is genuinely unique because of the DOF effect you can get with a wide angle. Only downside is that it is larger and the front element sticks out. It’s a really lovely lens however

    • The Sigma is 3X Larger and weights much more. Wouldn’t be an option for me, as good as it is. I did try it out on the FP bt it was like a cannon. In comparison the Sony is tiny.

  5. Nice review as always. If AF is not an issue, how would this compare to a used elmarit M or elmarit r 21? Nice framing but the colors are somewhat meh. It may be the sony color science but I suspect that leica color pop is missing in this. Looks more like the Zeiss derived “dry” flavor, as compared to the full bodied Leica colors. I use the elmarit M and it has remarkable colors, which is wonderful for these superwides.

    • Sony has their own color science. Leica does as well, Canon, Nikon, etc. As for comparing it to an M lens, that is not what this lens is about. It’s a Sony FE lens, for Sony only and I’d take this over a 21 ELmarit if using on a Sony body. The colors are not a product of the lens itself so you will not see Leica colors by using a Leica lens. With that said, I usually shoot Sony in “Neutral” color mode. Thank you.

      • I shoot various cameras, including a Sony A7R III for landscape and such. I like the camera very much, but when it comes to “color science”, I’ll take Nikon, Leica, Fuji, and Canon color over Sony any day.

        As for the lens, I’d get it but will “settle” for my Zeiss Batis 18mm. Yup, slower and wider, but that’s why I have an excellent camera for it and can use this thing called cropping. 😉

  6. Exciting Lens. Other than the obvious speed differences, how would you rate the general rendering of this lens to the Voigtlander 21 f/3.5 color-skopar for Sony?

  7. Exciting Lens. Other than the obvious speed differences, how would you rate the general rendering of this lens to the Voigtlander 21 f/3.5 color-skopar for Sony?

    • If shooting on Sony this is a better lens. The Voigtlander has some Vignette, is much slower and does not have AF. This lens, for me, will be mostly used for video. If I was shooting stills, I would probably still prefer the little Voigtlander for its size, feel and unique signature. But this is a fantastic lens from Sony for a good price. Tough to beat if you only shoot Sony.

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