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

reviewer#33754 date: Jan-12-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Rokinon 16 F2
Sony E 16 F2.8
Tokina AF 17 F3.5 AT-X
Samyang AF 18 F2.8
Sigma 19 F2.8 DN Art
Sigma 20 F1.8 EX DG
Minolta AF 20 F2.8 & RS
Sigma 24 F1.8 EX DG
Sony 24 F2 SSM Distagon
Tamron 24 F2.8 OSD
Samyang & Rokinon AF 24 F2.8
Minolta AF 24 F2.8
Sigma AF 24 F2.8 II
price paid:252 USD (new)
positive:Tiny and light
Quiet & fast
Internal focus
Little focus breathing
Compatible with wide converters
Compatible with ALC-SH112 petal hood
negative:Heavy peripheral shading
Not very wide
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 second copy was also an open box, but offered at a steeper discount without missing items. I purchased a third copy sold as new by an individual. The third copy is slightly better aligned than the second. The regular retail price has been $350 new with occasional $25 and $50 discounts. "Made in THAILAND"

After using this for several years on the A5000, A6000 and now the full-frame cameras, this is one of the best APS-C lenses in the system along with being the smallest. You could complain that is not a typical angle-of-view, and it is certainly not very bright especially for APS-C.

The image projects to 1:1 full-frame, but the image quality degrades quite a bit even at the 1:1 full-frame corners. Removing the rear baffle illuminates the horizontal full-frame edges a bit more.

The large full-frame Tamron 20mm F2.8 is much sharper. The cheaper Sigma 19mm F2.8 is slightly sharper in the center but has a more curved field.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 4.17
  • color: 4.67
  • build: 4.83
  • distortion: 4.50
  • flare control: 4.50
  • overall: 4.53 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania