Sony 20mm F2.8 E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#33754 date: Jan-12-2017
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 16-50 F2.8 SSM
Sony E 16-50 OSS
Sony E 16 F2.8
Sigma 19 F2.8 DN Art
Minolta AF 20 F2.8 & RS
Minolta AF 24 F2.8
Sigma AF 24 F2.8
Discover 25 F1.8
Minolta MD 28 F2 + Focal Reducer
price paid:230 USD (open box)
positive:Tiny and light
Internal focus
Little focus breathing
Compatible with wide converters
Compatible with ALC-SH112 petal hood
negative:Heavy peripheral shading
Not very wide
Inaccurate AF
Glossy black finish
comment:I purchased the first copy as a new open-box lens from Best Buy on eBay for $297. A rather minimal discount considering the state of the box and the missing lens hood. The lens itself looks brand new. The regular retail price has been $350 new with occasional $25 discounts. "Made in THAILAND"

The corners on the test chart wide-open show a lot of noise in the white sections. Sony and/or Capture One seem to do shading compensation in the raw files for Sony lenses. I'll need to consider this when comparing Sony lenses with non-Sony lenses. Everywhere outside of the center of the frame is still darker than the center.

Ignoring the extra processing the image quality is similar to the Minolta AF 24 and 28 mm F2.8 lenses. Image quality is also similar to the E-mount 16-50 power zoom at this focal length. The Sigma 19mm F2.8 has a more curved focus plane. The Discover 25mm F1.8 is sharper across most of the frame except for the extreme corners. The Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM is sharper everywhere at the same focal length with slightly less distortion.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 5
  • sharpness: 4.30
  • color: 4.60
  • build: 4.80
  • distortion: 4.40
  • flare control: 4.60
  • overall: 4.54 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania