Sony’s new ultra-wide, ultra-bright lens is the widest E-mount prime yet

Sony’s E-mount lens lineup just gained a new member. Announced on February 25, the Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G is the widest prime lens yet for the native full-frame E-mount family. While Sony has zoom lenses that go even wider, the 20mm offers a brighter f/1.8 aperture along with a design that’s ideal for astrophotography, street photography, environmental portraiture, and video, the company says.

The lens is designed with two advanced aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements, developed to squelch distortion such as chromatic aberration while also working to ensure sharpness. Sony says the lens offers “corner-to-corner image quality,” even when shooting wide open. Bright wide-angle lenses are typically great for astrophotography, so Sony has used several design elements that help capture the stars without sagittal flare, a type of distortion affecting pinpoints of light.

Sony

The lens’ autofocus system allows for capturing sharp subjects that are 7.5 inches or more from the front of the lens, which translates into roughly a .2x magnification ratio for close-ups. Two extreme dynamic linear motors are built in. Despite the wide angle, that f/1.8 should help blur out that background.

Besides the usual stills that a 20mm is good for — like astro, street, landscapes, and environmental portraits — Sony says the FE 20mm f/1.8 G is also designed for video. The dual autofocus motors, image quality, and small size, the company says, translate well to video use.

The lens weighs 13.2 ounces and takes up less than a four-inch slot in the camera bag. As part of the G series, the lens is dust and moisture resistant. Controls on the lens include a focus hold button and aperture ring with an on-off switch. While many wide-angle lenses have a rounded front that prevents them from accepting filters, the Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G is compatible with some 67mm filters.

“We’re driven by the needs of our customers and will continue developing the best tools to meet their creative ambitions,” Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions Americas, Sony Electronics, said in a statement.  “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.”

The Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G launches next month, with a list price at about $900.

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