Sony FE 28mm F2 E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44249 date: Mar-21-2019
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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 own this lens
compared to:Sigma 24 F1.8 EX DG
Sony 24 F2 SSM Distagon
Tamron 24 F2.8 OSD
Rokinon AF 24 F2.8
Minolta AF 24 F2.8
Sigma AF 24 F2.8 II
Discover/Neewer 25 F1.8
Canon EF 28 F1.8 USM
Sigma 28 F1.8 HS & EX DG
Minolta MD & AF 28 F2
Minolta MC 28 F2.5
Canon EF 28 F2.8 IS USM
Minolta/Sony AF 28 F2.8
Neewer 28 F2.8
Konica Hexar 28 F3.5
Sigma 30 F1.4 DC DN C & EX DC
Sigma 30 F2.8 DN Art
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Neewer 32 F1.6
Zeiss 32 F1.8 Touit
Rokinon 35 F1.2
Neewer 35 F1.2
Sony FE 35 F1.4 Distagon
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C & Mini
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Samyang AF 35 F1.8
Tamron SP 35 F1.8 USD
Minolta MD 35 F1.8
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Yongnuo EF 35 F2
7Artisans 35 F2
Minolta AF 35 F2 & RS
Tamron 35 F2.8 OSD
Rokinon AF 35 F2.8
Sony FE 35 F2.8 Sonnar
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar 35 F2.8
price paid:355 USD (used)
positive:Center sharpness
Minimal purple fringing
Wider than other 28's
Dust and moisture-resistant
negative:Barrel distortion
Misalignment/variation
Metal exterior
Does not support 20 FPS tracking
Plastic filter threads
Length
comment:I bid more than necessary on this like-new copy with all the original packaging. The retail price has been $450 since introduction with frequent $25 discounts and a couple of $50 discounts. A second "refurbished" copy had worse alignment. "Made in Thailand"

The first copy of the Sony has some misalignment that causes some issues toward the bottom right corner, but the center is quite sharp wide-open. That corner is sharper than the best corner on the Minolta/Sony 28 F2.8 primes. The second copy was not as sharp in the center and had a much worse top left corner. Image quality stopped down is comparable to the Sony FE 28-70 and 24-105 zooms.

Outside of alignment, the obvious optical flaw is distortion. It has more barrel distortion than the other 28mm primes. Distortion compensation is applied to the live-view and cannot be disabled on the A7II, A7RII, and A7III. The distortion compensation can be disabled on the A6000.

It is as bright wide-open as the older Sigma and Canon 28 F1.8 primes despite those lenses being larger and heavier. The Sony also has less purple fringing.

It is decent as an APS-C lens, but there are sharper, smaller APS-C primes. It also lacks optical stabilization which would be useful for this normal angle-of-view on APS-C. Canon has a nice 28mm F2.8 with image stabilization.

It uses the same alloy veneer style as the older APS-C lenses but is only available in black. It does look fancier than the plastic bodied FE 50 F1.8, but it may not wear as well. It is not as pleasant to touch. It shares the plastic petal ALC-SH112 hood with the 18-55 OSS kit lens. The filter threads and front of the lens are plastic.

The dedicated Ultra Wide Converter attaches via the hood bayonet. The optical flaws of the base lens remain issues using the converter. The Tamron 20mm F2.8 has much better image quality and is also lighter the converter by itself.

Overall a nice prime if you find a well-aligned example.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 12
  • sharpness: 4.71
  • color: 4.75
  • build: 4.08
  • distortion: 3.33
  • flare control: 4.25
  • overall: 4.23
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