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

reviewer#44249 date: Mar-21-2019
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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 Distagon 24 F2 ZA SSM
Rokinon AF FE 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/Sony AF 28 F2.8
Neewer 28 F2.8
Sony 28-75 F2.8 SAM
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 Touit 32 F1.8
Neewer 35 F1.2
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Tamron SP 35 F1.8 USD
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Minolta AF 35 F2
Rokinon AF FE 35 F2.8
price paid:355 USD (used)
positive:Decently sharp wide-open
Minimal purple fringing
Wider than other 28's
negative:Heavy barrel distortion
Metal focus grip and exterior
Plastic filter threads
comment:I bid more than necessary on this like-new copy with all original packaging. Luckily it ended up being a good example. The retail price has been $450 since introduction with frequent $25 discounts and a couple of $50 discounts. "Made in Thailand"

In context this lens is a decent deal. The Canon EF 28 F1.8 USM introduced in 1995 is currently listed at $510 and occasionally on sale for $460. I did win a damaged copy of the Canon for $163, but the optics were flawed. The best 28mm I've found so far was a "new" copy of the 1990 Sigma 28mm F1.8 HS that I purchased for $95. The Sony E 20 F2.8 pancake lens which fills a similar role for APS-C cameras is $350 and frequently on sale for $300.

The Sony FE 28 F2's main flaw is barrel distortion--more than other 28mm primes. Distortion compensation is applied to the live-view and cannot be disabled on the A7II. The distortio compensation can be disabled on the A6000.

F2 seems like a limitation, but it is as bright as the old Sigma and Canon 28 F1.8 primes. Both of those lenses are larger and heavier too. The Sony has much less purple fringing.

It is decent as an APS-C lens, but the optical flaws are more noticeable when cropped on smaller pixels. There are sharper, smaller APS-C lenses. It also lacks optical stabilization which would be useful for this normal angle-of-view on APS-C.

It uses the same alloy veneer style as the E 18-55 OSS and E 50 F1.8 OSS but is only available in black. I dislike the feel and the black finish is prone to wear, but it does appear fancier than the plastic bodied FE 50 F1.8. 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 greater size and weight compared to the smaller native wide primes is fine on the A7 bodies.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 11
  • sharpness: 4.77
  • color: 4.82
  • build: 4.09
  • distortion: 3.36
  • flare control: 4.27
  • overall: 4.26 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania