I’ve been passionate about photography for quite some time now, and especially about wide-angle lenses. You will already find on our website two complete articles dedicated to the best Nikon and Canon wide-angle lenses, for both DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Following these two articles, I’m going to focus here on the best Sony wide-angle lenses for mirrorless cameras.
I will therefore only mention Sony E-mount lenses, the one dedicated to the mirrorless format (and not the A-mount). Some of these lenses are already in the article about mirrorless lenses, but I’ll go a step further here by offering you a thought that, I hope, will allow you to choose your Sony wide angle lens – the best one for you, according to your desires, budget and needs.
We’ll focus here is on wide-angle lenses, particularly appreciated by all landscape and architecture photography enthusiasts. Wide-angle lenses allow you to get wide fields of view and give to the scene in front of you an effect of grandeur, of immensity. They can be very useful indoors as well, when you don’t have a lot of distance and want to shoot the whole scene in front of you.
Check out my practical photography packs. It's a simple, fun and entertaining way to learn and improve in photography, especially in the field!
As with the other articles, this one is the result of extensive research and personal experiences. I will try to update this article as soon as more lenses worth being mentioned will be released by Sony (or third-party brands). As usual now, you will find a visual of the camera lens, a summary of its main characteristics and of course my personal appreciations.
To make it easier for you to do your research, I decided to split the article in two, according to the sensor size. Indeed, not everyone buys Sony A7III to begin with (full frame cameras) and many people start with A6000, A6400, or APS-C format cameras. For Sony full frame cameras, I also decided to divide between zoom lenses and prime lenses. In any case, I’ll propose alternatives when it seems relevant, especially for full frame as many third-party brands offer very interesting lenses, often at much lower prices. Let’s have a look then at the best Sony wide angle lenses now. You will find some of these lenses among the best current Sony lenses.
Before choosing your Sony wide-angle lens, you need to know which elements to consider in order to make a well-considered choice. I won’t repeat everything I wrote in my article on the best wide-angle lenses, but I’ll summarize it for you in the little scroll-down below. As all these elements are already in the article mentioned in the link above, I have voluntarily decided to hide them by default.
As far as we can tell, the APS-C line-up at Sony is still quite limited – even if we see a lot of people with this kind of body. At the time of writing this article, the Sony APS-C cameras range covers the A5000, the A6000 and the recent A6600.
Note that this part on wide-angle lenses for Sony APS-C has been updated in August 2022, to include the three new wide-angle lenses released by Sony in June 2022, but also to update and detail the lenses more precisely.
So for me, here are what I consider the best wide-angle lenses for Sony APS-C sensor:
Here is what I consider as the best wide-angle lenses for Sony APS-C sensors:
- Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G
- Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD
- Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS
- Sony E 11mm f/1.8
- Samyang AF 12mm f/2 E
- Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G
- Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary E
To compare these different lenses, you can have a look at the table below.
Here are the key information to remember about the 7 lenses listed below.
|Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G||Amazon
|Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD||Amazon
|Sony E 10–18 mm f/4 OSS||Amazon|
|Sony E 11mm f/1.8||Amazon
|Samyang AF 12mm f/2 E||Amazon|
|Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G||Amazon|
|Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary E||Amazon|
During 2022, Sony decided to strike a blow by announcing the release of not one, but three wide-angle lenses for the brand’s APS-C mirrorless cameras. The only interesting option if you were looking for a lens to shoot wide was the Sony 10-18mm f/4 OSS, which even though it is getting old, is still an interesting lens to consider. I deliberately decided to place this new motorized ultra wide-angle zoom lens, the Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G, at the top of this ranking, because I consider it to be the best available at the moment. Moreover, the lens has been designed to be as comfortable for both video (internal motorized zoom) and photography.
The lens, featuring a 62mm filter size, a slightly wider focal length range than the old 10-18mm (15-30mm full frame equivalent), is impressively compact, weighing only 178g and barely 5.5cm in length. The lens offers an exemplary build quality, worthy of Sony’s top of the line “G”, a constant f/4 aperture, dust and moisture resistance, and has an autofocus renowned as excellent (fast and silent focusing), although in this type of focal length, the AF quality is less important in my opinion. In addition, the lens has a zoom ring, a focus lock button, a focus ring with linear response and an AF/MF switch. The minimum focusing distance is 13cm at 10mm and 20cm at 20mm (reduced to 17mm in MF).
Regarding image quality, it is clearly excellent and the sharpness is superb in the center at full aperture, regardless of the focal length. The edges, even at f/4 are already very good. Closing at f/5.6 does not improve image quality much and the lens offers a remarkable homogeneity, making it equal or almost to the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 (which I discuss next). Optical defects are present with a barrel distortion between 10 and 15mm that reverses to a pincushion at 20mm (classic of a zoom). The presence of 3 aspherical lenses and an ED lens allows to perfectly control chromatic aberrations and the lens has a good resistance to flare. The vignetting is visible, but well managed.
In conclusion, Sony offers an excellent lens here if you are looking for a compact and light quality lens, perfect for both video and photography. This lens will be particularly appropriate for people traveling light, and fans of landscape or architectural photography. This Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G remains, in my opinion, the best choice today, far above the old Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS, which by the way, for the “small price difference” is maybe not worth considering anymore? It is the wide-angle zoom with the best ergonomy and the only one with a motorized zoom.
During June 2021, Tamron decided to release an ultra wide-angle zoom lens, the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD. When it was released, it was THE revolution and clearly, at that time, the best choice for people looking for a lens to shoot wide shots, for landscape or architecture for example. I decided to position it behind the new Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G, but nevertheless, this Tamron proposes an excellent package. The lens, with its f/2.8 constant aperture, is still quite compact at only 335g and about 8.6cm (but almost twice as heavy as the new Sony 10-20mm). At the time of its release, it far outperformed the aging Sony 10-18mm f/4 OSS that I’ll mention next. It is still the only solution if you are looking for an ultra wide-angle zoom lens with a f/2.8 aperture. However, there are other possibilities with brighter prime lenses.
The lens, which features a classic 67mm filter size, has a pretty good build quality, similar to the brand’s dedicated full-frame lenses, but not as well crafted as the new Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G. Note that the lens is moisture resistant and has a fluorine coating. However, there are no functions of comfort since we have to deal with a simple barrel, without any button (no switch, no customizable button), the goal being (we suspect) to reduce production costs. The autofocus is given as rather good, fast and quiet, better than the old Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS, but surely slightly below the new Sony 10-20mm f/4. The minimum focusing distance is also a bit longer, between 13 and 20cm depending on the focal length. However, you will benefit from the f/2.8 aperture which allows you to create nice background blurs to separate your subject if needed.
Regarding image quality, it is also on the top notch here. Until the release of the new Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G, we were on the best. Recent reviews mention a quality equivalent to the new Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G, or even better according to some comments. At full aperture, the center is excellent, no matter what focal length you use and the edges are still very good. Closing at f/4 allows you to get an even more homogeneous image and it is at f/5.6 that the image will be perfect, which is good because this aperture is often used with this type of focal length to get the whole image sharp. Regarding optical defects, we note a moderate distortion and vignetting at 11mm (which can be corrected in post-processing), low chromatic aberrations, but a fairly average resistance to flare. The lens is also perfectly suited for Astrophotography.
In conclusion, this Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD is a great lens for a Sony APS-C body. Even if it is much heavier and longer than the new Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G, it does have the advantage of an f/2.8 aperture which will allow (all things considered, it is a short focal length) more creative possibilities. The lens is however less suited for video than the Sony 10-20mm f/4. So, if you are looking for a bright ultra wide-angle zoom for your APS-C camera, look no further! Those who are looking for a videography oriented use and prefer a more compact lens will look at the Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G.
Released in January 2013, this Sony 10-18mm f/4 OSS is clearly showing its age, and its ranking after the two ultra wide-angle zoom lenses mentioned above seems to me quite justified. Until the release of the Tamron 11-20mm in June 2021, it was the only option (and the best one actually) if you were looking for an ultra wide-angle zoom for your Sony APS-C body. Today, in my opinion, it is “outdated” and is not really competing with the two lenses detailed above. It remains, however, 200€ cheaper than the two lenses above. The lens is compact (225g), slightly heavier than the new Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G, but lighter and more compact than the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD.
The lens, which has a filter size of 62mm, is stabilized, and offers a pretty good build quality, although it remains below the recent lenses mentioned above. The lens does not offer resistance to moisture or dust. Regarding functionality, the lens offers only one AF/MF switch. The autofocus is described as good, fast and quiet, but below the two recent zooms. The aperture offers a constant aperture at f/4 and a fairly large minimum focusing distance, around 25cm. The focal length range is also more limited than the ultra wide angle zooms mentioned above.
Regarding the image quality, we must compare with existing lenses. At the time of its release, the lens offered the best available. At full aperture and in the center, the sharpness is already very good. However, the edges remain rather average. You will need to close to f/5.6, then to f/8 to get the best image quality on this lens. Compared to the two other lenses mentioned above, the sharpness remains behind, especially on the edges. Regarding optical defects: vignetting is important and visible on the shortest focal lengths and at full aperture, while distortion remains measured. All of this can be easily corrected in post-processing. The flare resistance is given as very good and chromatic aberrations are very well managed.
To sum up, this Sony 10-18mm f/4 OSS is becoming dated, especially if we compare it to the recent Tamron 11-20mm and Sony 10-20mm which are both better on all points. The image quality remains very good and the handling of optical defects too. However, we can criticize its focal range a little too short. For all that, this Sony remains less expensive (around 600€) and will be adapted for those who would not want to pay the price of the first two lenses. Otherwise, and if you are not at “150/200€”, I advise you to go for one of the first two lenses of this ranking.
At the same time as the announcement of the Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G, Sony decided to release two new ultra wide-angle prime lenses, including this Sony E 11mm f/1.8. This 11mm, equivalent to about 16mm on a full frame sensor, will be ideal for landscape, architecture and even Astrophotography because of its short focal length. It is simply the shortest fixed focal length from Sony, with a very large fixed f/1.8 aperture. Available at a price of 600€, this lens is quite interesting if you need a very short focal length with a large aperture. The lens is particularly light (181g) and compact (5.8cm long), almost similar to the Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G.
The lens, which has a filter size of 55cm, offers a superb build quality, on par with the Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G. Ergonomically, there is an AF/MF switch on the barrel and a focus lock button that can be configured in your camera. Autofocus, thanks to the two linear motors, is fast, silent and really precise. Note that the focus ring offers a linear response when focusing manually. The minimum focusing distance is very short, about 15cm in AF and 12cm when in MF. Coupled with the very large fixed f/1.8 aperture, you will be able to get a nice bokeh in the background, known as very soft.
Regarding image quality, this lens offers superb results. The sharpness is already very good in the center at full aperture and improves slightly to become excellent over the whole image at f/2.8. Note that the Tamron seems to match this Sony E 11mm f/1.8 at f/2.8 which says a lot about the quality of the Tamron too. If you compare it to the other 11/12mm available for Sony E APS-C mount, this 11mm remains the best, far beyond, both in image quality, construction and ergonomics than Samyang and other manual focus lenses. Optical defects exist, but are very well corrected in post processing, notably vignetting (negligible at f/4) and very important distortion at full aperture. Chromatic aberrations are very low and the resistance to flare is given as very good.
In the end, Sony offers here a very high quality lens, probably the best in terms of image quality at this very short focal length. Optical defects are present but can be corrected very well with Lightroom or other software. Its excellent autofocus, its remarkable compactness (weight/size), and its very large aperture, make it a very nice lens to consider for landscape, architecture or Astrophotography. Offering an all-weather resistance and a very good build quality, I can only recommend this lens.
Released in January 2022, this Samyang is the brand’s first autofocus lens for Sony APS-C bodies. This is good news and allows for more choice for those looking for a very short focal length and (as a bonus) a large aperture, providing increased creative possibilities, including separating your subject from the background. It can be considered as a “direct competitor” of the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 mentioned above. It is a very nice evolution of the old manual focus version of the brand (Samyang 12mm F2 NCS CS) which was one of the best wide-angle lenses for Sony APS-C cameras. The lens offers a good compacity with 237g and 5.9cm in length. It is a bit bigger than the Sony E 11mm f/1.8.
The lens, with a filter size of 62mm, is said to be resistant to humidity and dust. Build quality is very good with a large textured focus ring. However, the lens is devoid of any comfort features (AF/MF switch or customizable buttons), which keeps the build costs down and the price down. The autofocus is given as very good, fast and quiet. The minimum focusing distance is however “quite long” (compared to the 12cm of the Sony E 11mm f/1.8), about 20cm, but the large aperture at f/2 will still allow you to get nice background blurs as soon as you get closer to the subject.
Regarding the image quality, the center of the image is already very good at full aperture, while the edges remain very average. Closing to f/2.8 then f/4 improves the quality and the homogeneity of the image. However, you will have to close even more to get a perfectly homogeneous image. Finally, the image quality in the center is remarkable from f/4-f/5.6. However, the latter remains less uniform compared to the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 and the two zooms of this ranking. Optical defects are the most negative point of this Samyang. Vignetting and distortion are rather well managed while flare resistance is very average. Chromatic aberrations are also quite present, even if it is easily corrected in post processing.
In conclusion, if we look at the quality/price ratio, Samyang offers a very interesting lens here for only 350€. Sharpness in the center is superb, AF and build quality are top notch, and even if we can notice more pronounced optical defects and less sharpness on the edges compared to the other lenses at the top of this ranking, this Samyang AF 12mm f/2 E is still more than half the price compared to the others. As often, the budget will guide your choice. If you have a bigger budget, you can look at the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 (prime lens) or at the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD, the latter offering better image quality, more versatility (zoom), but for twice the price!
At the same time as the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 and the Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G, Sony decided to release another wide-angle lens, the Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G. Equivalent to a 22.5mm on a full frame camera, this focal length, coupled with its very large aperture, will be perfectly suited to landscape, architectural and Astrophotography photography. Worthy of the “G” range from Sony, we are here on a very high-end lens of the brand. Although not really in the same range, it competes with the last lens of this ranking, the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary. The lens is remarkably compact and lightweight (219g for 7cm long).
The lens offers an excellent build quality, worthy of the Sony G series with several comfort features, such as an AF/MF switch, a clickless aperture ring, a focus lock button that can be configured in the camera and a focus ring with linear response in MF. Note that the lens also features an all-weather construction. Autofocus is said to be excellent, smooth, fast and quiet. The minimum focusing distance (20cm in AF and 17cm in MF), coupled with the very large aperture (f/1.4), allows a nice soft bokeh.
The image quality of this Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G is excellent from the full aperture in the center and very good even on the edges, which is still remarkable. Closing at f/2.8 allows to obtain a perfectly homogeneous image with a remarkable quality. We are in the best of what is done in the 15/16mm focal length, beyond the very good image quality that the Tamron 11-20mm and the Sony 10-20mm can produce. Up to f/2.8, this Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G offers a better image quality than its direct competitor, the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary (which costs half as much, let’s not forget it…). Distortion and vignetting are however very present, while chromatic aberrations and flare are very well managed.
To conclude, Sony offers us the best here, but this, obviously, has a cost since the lens is available for about 850€. If you are looking for a bright wide-angle lens, providing you many artistic possibilities, ideal for landscapes, architecture as well as indoors, then this is the best! This Sony is far superior in many ways to the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary (which is still very good), but costs half as much. Depending on your budget and your priorities, you can decide which lens to choose.
I’ll end this ranking of the best wide-angle lenses for Sony APS-C cameras, with this little ultra-bright lens that Sigma offers. Until the release of the Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G, this was the option to consider for those looking for wide-angle and brightness. The introduction of the Sony 15mm has changed things a bit, although it is not the same range nor the same price! Sigma offers here a very bright wide-angle prime lens, with a very average compacity. The lens is indeed quite large for an APS-C lens, 405g and 9.2cm long. In fact, it is twice as heavy as the Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G.
The lens has a filter size of 67mm and has a relatively good construction. It is given as dust and splash resistant. We can note a large and ribbed focus ring. The lens, however, lacks convenient features like an AF/MF switch or other customizable buttons. The autofocus is said to be quite good, but below the Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G. The minimum focusing distance is quite long (25cm) while the Sony 15mm is only 15cm (knowing that the lens is also shorter). Nevertheless, the very large aperture will allow a very soft bokeh in the background.
Concerning the image quality, it is already very good on the whole image at full aperture. Closing at f/2.8 allows you to get a perfectly homogeneous image that competes with the Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G at f/2.8. Moreover, beyond f/2.8-f/4, the difference between the two lenses will be hardly visible. We are therefore facing an excellent lens with good image quality. Optical defects, certainly correctable in post processing, are however there with very present chromatic aberrations and a marked sensitivity to flare. Distortion and vignetting are present, but can be corrected very well with Lightroom.
In the end, Sigma signs a lens that offers a very good value for money. For about 350€, you have here an ultra bright wide-angle lens which offers a very good image quality. The lens is certainly not perfect and its very average compacity and optical defects are things to know. For all that, this lens remains, in my opinion, a very good value for money for those who do not have the budget to afford the Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G.
I’ll end with a few words about two alternatives you can consider that I didn’t want to detail. First, a few words about the Viltrox 13mm f/1.4 STM E, released in early 2022. According to the first reviews, this lens also offers a very good image quality, quite homogeneous, but will suffer from its resistance to flare and the presence of chromatic aberrations. Still, it remains a possibility for about the price of the Samyang AF 12mm f/2 E.
Finally, the Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 is no longer to be introduced. Everyone agrees that sharpness is really excellent on the whole image. The lens also has few optical defects. However, the lens appears to be far too expensive in my opinion to be really considered. If I had to choose, and if I wanted such a short focal length, I would go for the new Sony E 11mm f/1.8 which, in addition to costing much less (600€), offers an aperture of more than one stop larger (f/1.8 vs f/2.8 for the Zeiss).
To summarize, here are the main characteristics of the 7 lenses mentioned above.
|Lens||Focal length||Max. Aperture||Autofocus||Stabilization||Filter||Weight||D x L||Min. focus distance||Price|
|Sony E PZ 10-20mm f/4 G||10-20mm||f/4||Auto||No||62mm||178g||70 x 55mm||13-20cm||Amazon
|Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD||11-20mm||f/2.8||Auto||No||67mm||335g||73 x 86mm||13-20cm||Amazon
|Sony E 10–18 mm f/4 OSS||10-18m||f/4||Auto||Yes||62mm||225g||70 x 64mm||25cm||Amazon|
|Sony E 11mm f/1.8||11mm||f/1.8||Auto||No||55mm||181g||66 x 57,5mm||15cm||Amazon|
|Samyang AF 12mm f/2 E||12mm||f/2||Auto||No||62mm||237g||70 x 59,2mm||20cm||Amazon
|Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G||15mm||f/1.4||Auto||No||55mm||219g||66,6 x 69,5 mm||20cm||Amazon
|Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary E||16mm||f/1.4||Auto||No||67mm||406g||72 x 92mm||25cm||Amazon
For those who want to go even further and have a look at all the wide-angle lenses (and other focal lengths) for Sony APS-C cameras, here is our complete guide regularly updated with the latest releases.
I purposely wished to separate wide-angle zoom lenses from prime lenses. You will then choose one or the other according to your photographic practice, but also to what you want to shoot. Even if zooms offer a greater versatility, choosing a wide-angle fixed focal length will allow you to get larger apertures and sometimes better image quality.
Here are all wide-angle/ultra wide-angle lenses that I recommend (zooms and prime) that I consider the best for a full frame Sony camera.
If you want to compare characteristics of theses lenses between them, you can look at the table below for zooms and this one for fixed focal lengths. By the way, if you are looking to update your lens, you can have a look at this Sony page listing the latest firmware update.
If you want to go in more detail, I suggest you take a look at our complete page listing and detailing all the lenses available for the Sony FE mount. You will find there all the wide-angle lenses mentioned below (fixed and zoom).
Recently released in July 2020, this Sony ultra-wide-angle zoom lens simply remains the best of what Sony can offer nowadays in terms of zoom. Picture quality is just outstanding at full aperture, as much in the center as at the edges. Sharpness is superior in every way to the other wide-angle lenses discussed below.
On the other hand, the price displayed is very high, as well as the weight, even if it was announced as “light”: 847g. Note that you can’t use classic screw-in filters. However, you have the possibility to place ND rear filters at the back of the lens. If it is within your budget, you won’t be disappointed.
In June 2022, after releasing the 28-70mm f/2.8 to compete with Tamron’s 28-75mm f/2.8 (among others), Sigma announced the introduction of the 16-28mm f/2.8 contemporary to compete with Tamron’s 17-28mm f/2.8.
The Sigma proves to be better than the Tamron and even seems to be able to compete with the much more expensive 16-35mm f/2.8 and f/4 from Sony. The AF performs well, better than the Tamron again, but then the Tamron is rather slow at its core. Flare and chromatic aberrations are well controlled, distortions are important but easily fixed by software. Coma is visible for astrophotography and it will be better to use a fixed focal length for this use.
For 900€, a very reasonable price considering the quality of this lens, it is an option to consider first if you are looking for an ultra wide-angle zoom for photography. It is also quite light and compact. I think I will actually consider it to replace my Tamron 20mm.
A great alternative to the Sony (3 x more expensive) and it can be used with classic screw-in filters!
This Sony is also one of the best wide-angle lenses for Sony full frame cameras. Slightly under the Tamron (in my opinion), especially at its shortest focal length and in the angles, this lens offers nevertheless a very nice image quality. Moreover, it’s also tropicalized.
Compared to the Tamron, it has the advantage of having a longer focal range (up to 35mm). However, this makes it a heavier and bulkier lens than the Tamron. Note that getting filters will cost you more (82mm). The large aperture at f/2.8 will allow you to shoot in low light conditions, either outdoors or indoors if you have enough space. The only drawback, if we can say so, is its price. It costs almost 3 times more than the Tamron. So, it is up to you to judge the interest of purchasing this one compared to the Tamron.
Early 2022, Sony releases the 16-35mm f/4 G PZ. Until then, Sony was offering a f/2.8 GM version which was quite big and expensive, as well as an f/4 designed in association with Zeiss but which was getting old and didn’t have a high level performance. So, Sony has released its own modern version.
This 16-35mm f/4 G is different on several points. First of all, it is the first G range zoom lens from Sony with a clickless aperture ring. The acronym PZ for PowerZoom indicates that its zoom can be driven electrically by a switch on the lens rather than by the mechanical ring (but the latter remains present) or by an external control in order to fluidify the passage between focal lengths. The optical quality is excellent from full aperture. Obviously, we can note a significant vignetting and distortion, especially at the shortest focal lengths, but it is usual on this kind of zoom. It is currently the lightest and most compact full frame zoom lens covering focal lengths from 16 to 35mm.
Of course, all these features and build quality come at a price since it costs almost 1500€. This is not much more than the old Sony Zeiss, which is inferior in all aspects, except for its stabilization, which is of little interest nowadays with the current sensor stabilization. For video, it is one of the best choices. On the other hand, for photography, unless you want to enjoy the lightest and most compact zoom of its category, it will be better to choose the 16-28mm f/2.8 C from Sigma, much cheaper and also very good.
Sigma has redesigned its 14-24mm f/2.8 HSM Art for DSLR and made a mirrorless version. This one is lighter and more compact than the DSLR version, even if it remains heavier than the 16-35mm f/2.8 from Sony but for a much lower price. Its quality is a bit lower than the 16-35mm but still very good and very consistent, with a slight superiority in the middle of the zoom.
Like the 12-24mm, this lens does not allow to use screw-in filters and will therefore require a special filter holder system. For those who are looking for a landscape lens and who often use ND and GND filters, this will certainly be a reason not to consider it. However, for convenience, ND filters can be placed on the back of the lens. If you don’t mind using filter holders and you need a zoom lens that can go down to 14mm with an f/2.8 aperture, this will be a much more affordable option (relatively speaking, as its price is already very high for many people) than the 12-24mm and 16-35mm f/2.8. Its autofocus is also of a high standard.
Let’s be clear: this is the lens with the lowest image quality of all the wide-angle zooms mentioned above. Quality is not bad and still correct, but lower. This lens has a short focal range and is not as bright as the Sony/Tamron lenses mentioned above.
In addition, it does not allow the use of conventional screw-in filters, which makes it difficult for landscape photographers to use it. Considering the displayed price (1500€), I wouldn’t really recommend considering this acquisition. You may as well opt for the Tamron 17-28mm or the Zeiss 16-35mm f/4, which are both cheaper, of better quality and accept filters.
Here is below the summary of the 6 lenses mentioned above.
|Lens||Focal length||Max. Aperture||Autofocus||Stabilization||Filter||Weight||Min. focus distance||Price|
|Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 GM||12-24mm||f/2.8||Auto||No||No||847g||28cm||Amazon|
|Sigma DG DN 16-28mm f/2.8 C||16-28mm||f/2.8||Auto||No||67mm||450g||25cm||Amazon|
|Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM||16-35mm||f/2.8||Auto||No||82mm||680g||28cm||Amazon|
|Sony PZ 16-35mm f/4 G||16-35mm||f/4||Auto||No||72mm||353g||28-24cm||Amazon|
|Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art||14-24mm||f/2.8||Auto||No||No||795g||28cm||Amazon|
|Sony 12-24mm f/4 G||12-24mm||f/4||Auto||No||No||565g||28cm||Amazon|
After updating the article, I finally decided to place the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD as an alternative wide-angle zoom, replacing it with the better Sigma 16-28mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemp. which I placed second in our ranking. However, here are some interesting facts to know about this lens. This unstabilized lens, released in July 2019, also offers superb image quality. It’s slightly below the Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 GM mentioned above, but at least equal, or even better than the very famous Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM (see below). It is reputed to be very homogeneous.
Tamron managed to hit very hard when releasing this one, offering an ultra-wide-angle lens of very high quality and for an unbeatable price, almost three times cheaper than the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8. Admittedly, the focal range is a bit short, but I don’t think it’s this disturbing, and the weight remains contained (500g). If you have a “tighter” budget and are still looking for a quality lens, this Tamron would be the best wide-angle zoom for Sony FE. Importantly, you can place screw-in filters on this Sony wide angle lens. We just published the complete review of this Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8. A great result for an acceptable price.
I also decided to remove the Sony 16-35mm f/4 ZA Vario-Sonnar T* OSS from interesting wide-angle zoom lenses following the update of my article. Here is some info on it though. This lens, built by Zeiss and marketed for Sony, is also a nice option to consider. It is offered at a slightly higher price than the Tamron 17-28mm. However, you lose one aperture stop since the maximum aperture remains at f/4 on this 16-35mm. Sharpness is globally less good than on all the lenses mentioned above but is still correct.
This lens is however stabilized, light (although heavier than the Tamron) and has a softer price than the 12-24mm f/2.8 and 16-35mm f/2.8 from Sony. If you don’t need an extra speed stop and if you still want a good quality lens, this Zeiss may be what you’re looking for.
Regarding the possible alternatives for wide-angle zooms, I will mention only two of them. Firstly, Sigma offers a 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art which, according to the feedback, remains a nice alternative if you’re looking for an ultra-wide-angle lens with a large aperture. Quality is clearly below the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, but the lens is still half the price, so it could be worth thinking about. Big disadvantage though, the Sigma does not accept classic screw-in filters and classic 100mm filter holders. For those who are looking for a landscape lens and use very often ND and GND filters, this will surely be a good reason not to consider it. To get by, however, you can place ND filters at the back (rear filters).
Finally, Laowa offers a 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 FE. However, performances are far below all the lenses mentioned above. In addition, the lens has a manual focus, a strong distortion, a strong vignetting and a significantly lower sharpness. Admittedly, the price is still three times cheaper than a Sony and half the price of a Tamron/Sigma …
There are a very large number of ultra-wide-angle and wide-angle lenses available for a full-frame Sony camera body. So, I won’t list them all and the classification suggested below is mainly from the shortest to the longest focal lengths.
You will find below the summary table of the best prime wide-angle Sony lenses.
It is also important to note that there are a large number of very interesting alternatives (depending on your needs, desires and especially your budget). I’ll detail everything I found, and I’ll offer you my analysis about it. This is not a truth as such, but just my vision of things considering all the different lenses that you can think about in addition to the 5 mentioned below. Here is the summary table of the alternatives to consider.
If you are interested in a prime lens, please feel free to check out our complete guide to the best 24mm lenses for Sony.
Following the 135, 24 and 35 GM, Sony keeps expanding its Gold Master range with this 14mm f/1.8. The build quality is exemplary, worthy of the GM range, while keeping dimensions and weight relatively well contained given the characteristics of the lens (especially compared to its only real competitor, the Sigma DG HSM Art, which weighs 1.12Kg). Despite the difficulty to build a consistent 14mm, this one offers a very high level of quality right from full aperture, but it will be better to close the diaphragm at f/2.8 to improve the edges. Vignetting is high, but it is the price of maintaining a compact lens, and the camera’s defect corrections or the use of software will easily solve the problem.
Although a wide-angle lens with such an aperture is appreciable for astrophotography, the defects on the edges of this one make it less suitable for this type of use, and it will be better to rather opt for the 20 f/1.8. But if you are into landscape, architecture, or other fields, this 14mm is the best in its category and its price shows it well. Keep in mind though that, as with zooms covering this focal length, the use of filters will require a filter holder system.
Between the classic 14mm and 20mm lenses, I decided to add this very good Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Distagon T*. Even if its price is quite high, it is unanimously appreciated by everyone, considered as a superb lens. Image quality in and around the center is just extraordinary. Even at f/2.8, the edges are still really good. Only the corners are quite soft at full aperture, but closing it down a bit (at f/4) will make the whole thing uniform.
The lens has very few optical defects (AC, vignetting) and its quality of construction is simply excellent. The only hitch is the price, which is still high – around 1400€. Finally, expect a strong vignetting (3 stops) at full aperture (before RAW correction). A very good alternative is the 18mm Samyang, but I’ll tell you more about it later on.
In August 2022, Sigma announced two new lenses that complement their art line for mirrorless camera a little more, the 20 and 24mm f/1.4. This 20mm is a unique lens for the Sony E mount, as the 20mm produced by Sony has only a f/1.8 maximum aperture.
The lens is very well built, like all Art lenses, with a clickless aperture ring, a customizable button and an AF/MF switch. The AF is very good. The image quality is excellent, although it will be better to close at f/2.8 to get the best out of it, so we are on a level similar to the 20mm f/1.8 G from Sony. Optical defects are few, with very little flare and a significant vignetting but which quickly disappears. The coma is also well controlled, making this 20mm very interesting for astrophotography.
For the same price as the 20mm f/1.8 Sony, about 1000€, we get a larger aperture and an 11-blade diaphragm. On the other hand, the weight and dimensions are more important, so you have to choose between the f/1.4 aperture or the f/1.8 size.
Among all the 20mm wide-angle lens options available, this Sony is for me just the best of them all. Offering a superb quality of construction (by the way reputed to be dust and splash resistant), and despite a strong vignetting at full aperture, the quality produced in the center part of the image is perfect. It’s all about excellence here. On the other hand, edges and corners are quite behind, but still considered as good. As soon as we close at f/2.8, the quality improves again over the whole image. This is a very good choice for astrophotography, for example.
Overall, I would say that if you can afford this 20mm, you won’t be disappointed, that’s for sure! Especially since this lens has a nice f/1.8 max. aperture which can help you in low light conditions and can create quite nice bokeh – although it is relative, because you rarely buy a wide-angle lens for the bokeh it can make. In fact, we fully reviewed this lens. Don’t hesitate to read our review of this 20mm Sony lens!
In early 2022, Sigma is expanding its Contemporary “I” series with the release of the 20mm f/2 DG DN. While it’s not necessarily the expected focal length from Sigma at the time, it completes a bit more of the range and can be a companion to the 35mm f/2 for those feeling that the 24mm was still too close.
This 20mm provides a great alternative to Sony’s 20mm f/1.8 and a nice option for Panasonic, Leica and Sigma L-mount users. The build quality is top-notch, like all I-series lenses, with an all-metal barrel and lens hood as well as an aperture ring (unfortunately not clickable). The image quality is excellent in the center from full aperture and the edges reach the same grade very quickly, from f/4, being already very good from f/2.8. Vignetting and distortion are present but are easily corrected, flare resistance is good but not perfect. It has very little coma and astigmatism, a good point for astrophotography. AF is fast and accurate.
For 700€, usually 3-400€ less than the Sony f/1.8, you have a more than decent deal for all E- or L-mount camera users. The only cheaper option from Sony is the Tamron 20mm f/2.8 (the one I personally bought), not as good and not as well built.
If you are looking for a Sony wide angle lens, lightweight, compact, and tropicalized lens, this Tamron 20mm could very well be the perfect lens for you. This 20mm offers very good image quality in the center, starting at full aperture (f/2.8). The edges are a little behind, but still very good. By closing to f/4, you’ll get exceptional image quality across the entire image, equal to the Sony 20mm f/1.8 G, which is still the 20mm reference. However, autofocus could be better according to feedback (and myself!).
The only thing to know, obviously, is that the lens does not have a very large aperture (like the Sony). But an aperture of f/2.8 coupled with the internal stabilization of Sony cameras will do very well, even in low light. You might think you’ll be able to blur your backgrounds less with an aperture of f/2.8 (instead of f/1.8), but that’s without considering the 1:2 magnification ratio of this Tamron, which allows you to get as close as 12cm to the subject. The depth of field will therefore be as short. Considering the price tag (300€), this is still the best 20mm lens for me if you are on a budget. There’s a reason why I bought it and tested it! Here is my full review of this Tamron 20mm for Sony.
In August 2022, simultaneously with the 20mm, Sigma releases the 24mm f/1.4 art. It comes to rival the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM, considered as one of the best 24mm ever designed by many.
If the quality is good at full aperture, it is better to close at f/2.8 to get the maximum. The center is excellent from f/1.4, better than the Sony GM apparently, but the edges are behind. At “small” apertures, they are almost as good as each other. It has few flaws, with a strong vignetting at full aperture that quickly diminishes but can be corrected by software. Chromatic aberrations are also well controlled, as is the flare. On the other hand, coma is visible at full aperture, making it less interesting for astrophotography than the Sony GM or the 20mm art.
The 24mm art is therefore extremely interesting considering its 900€ price tag, much lower than the Sony GM, for a weight and dimensions barely superior.
Just as for 20mm lenses, there is a wide choice of 24mm lenses. Once again, Sony is honored here, because in my opinion, this is the best one available today. Note that there are only few 24mm lenses offering such a large maximum aperture. At full aperture, the image quality in the center is already extremely good. But where Sony did their best is that they managed to offer a good image quality on the edges and corners as well (which is rare at full aperture).
The lens construction quality is still good (like the 20mm), chromatic aberrations well managed, but it has a strong vignetting at f/1.4 (-2.7 f-stops). The only hitch, if I can say so, is its very high price. All of this makes it a perfect lens for passionate and wealthy amateurs and/or semi-pro/pro.
This new lens was just released by Samyang. The brand offers a 24mm lens with a large aperture at f/1.8, an all-weather construction, and remarkable image quality, already at full aperture (f/1.8). Closing at f/2.8 makes it even better and offers superb homogeneity throughout the image.
The focusing distance is short (19cm), allowing you to create nice background blur, coupled with the maximum aperture of the lens. For the announced price (less than 500€), this is a really interesting lens if you are looking for a quality 24mm wide-angle lens, but within an acceptable budget (the Sony 24mm GM, although better, costs 3 times more).
So, I’m now at the end of what I consider being the best Sony wide-angle prime lenses. Their characteristics are summarized below.
|Lens||Focal length||Max. Aperture||Autofocus||Stabilization||Filter||Weight||Min. focus distance||Price|
|Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM||14mm||f/1.8||Auto||No||No||460g||25cm||Amazon|
|Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Distagon T*||18mm||f/2.8||Auto||No||77mm||339g||18cm||Amazon|
|Sigma DG DN 20mm f/1.4 Art||20mm||f/1.4||Auto||No||82mm||630g||23cm||Amazon|
|Sony 20mm FE f/1.8 G||20mm||f/1.8||Auto||No||67mm||373g||19cm||Amazon|
|Sigma DG DN 20mm f/2 Contemporary série I||20mm||f/2||Auto||No||62mm||366g||22cm||Amazon|
|SigmaDG DN 24mm f/1.4 Art||24mm||f/1.4||Auto||No||72mm||510g||25cm||Amazon|
|Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M 1:2||20mm||f/2.8||Auto||No||67mm||210g||12cm||Amazon|
|Sony 24mm FE f/1.4 GM||24mm||f/1.4||Auto||No||67mm||445g||24cm||Amazon|
|Samyang 24mm f/1.8 FE AF||24mm||f/1.8||Auto||No||58mm||230g||19cm||Amazon|
If you’re looking for interesting alternatives offering ultra-wide-angle shots, I think there are three manual-focus alternatives you can consider. Laowa offers a 9mm f/5.6 FF RL as well as an 11mm f/4.5 FF RL. With a viewing angle of 135°, the 9mm from Laowa is simply the widest (non-Fisheye) lens available for Sony FF bodies. However, you won’t be able to add a screw-in filter, unlike the 11mm from Laowa. Tests show very good feedback on this 9mm, actually better (in image quality, chromatic aberration, coma, minimum focusing distance) than the Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 ASPH (also with manual focus).
With the exception of the Laowa 14mm f/4 FF RL Zero-D detailed above, there are several other third-party brands offering lenses with a focal length of 14mm. I mainly think about the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 FE, which offers autofocus, a larger aperture and a better management of vignetting, but which is globally not as good as the Laowa in my opinion – especially regarding the image quality which lags behind, especially in the edges and corners. Sigma also proposes a 14mm f/1.8 ART DG HSM, a lens built for DSLRs and adapted to mirrorless cameras. The sharpness of this lens is known as excellent, even at large aperture. However, it does not accept screw-in filters, is much bulkier (size/weight) and, above all, costs 3 times more than the Samyang or the Laowa.
You can also consider the Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D, but I personally would not recommend it considering its price and performance. Finally, Voigtländer also offers a 15mm f/4.5 ASPH III which has a rather very good reputation.
Here is a summary table of interesting alternatives to consider for focal lengths between 9 and 15mm on a full frame camera.
|Lens||Focal length||Max. Aperture||Dimension (D/L)||Weight||Autofocus||Stabilization||Filter||Price|
|Laowa 9mm f/5.6 FF RL||9mm||f/5.6||63 x 66mm||353g||Manual||No||No||Amazon|
|Laowa 11mm f/4.5 FF RL||11mm||f/4.5||58 x 63mm||245g||Manual||No||62mm||Amazon|
|Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 ASPH||10mm||f/5.6||67 X 69mm||375g||Manual||No||No||Amazon|
|Samyang 14mm f/2.8 FE AF FE||14mm||f/2.8||86 x 98mm||505g||Auto||No||No||Amazon|
|Sigma 14mm f/1.8 ART DG HSM||14mm||f/1.8||97 x 127mm||1170g||Auto||No||No||Amazon|
|Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D||15mm||f/2||66 x 82mm||500g||Manual||No||72mm||Amazon|
|Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 ASPH III||15mm||f/4.5||65 x 55mm||247g||Manual||No||58mm||Amazon|
For this type of focal length, Samyang offers an 18mm f/2.8 FE. Here, we’re not playing in the same league than the Zeiss Batis 18mm. Image quality is correct in the center, but seriously behind on the borders/corners. Also, a strong vignetting should be noted (larger than the Zeiss). Its quality of construction also lags behind. However, depending on your photography practice (if you like shallow depth of field), this Samyang could be a very nice alternative to the Zeiss. Sold at less than 400€, it is clearly a lens to consider if you are looking for a cheap 18 or 20mm with still a good image quality.
Regarding lenses with a focal length of 20mm, there are also many alternatives. The Sony mentioned above remains the best of all in my opinion, but clearly is not affordable for all. If you want to stick with an autofocus lens, I basically think of three interesting alternatives. The Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is a very nice lens, but originally designed for DSLR cameras and then adapted to mirrorless cameras. The result is a very heavy lens (almost 1kg, compared to the 370g of the Sony f/1.8). Its quality is known to be very good as well, and this lens offers the largest maximum aperture available for a 20mm, i.e. f/1.4. I’ll talk about it below, but only the Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton ASPH (with manual focus though) offers a similar large aperture. This Sigma is as expensive as the Sony 20mm f/1.8.
Finally, always with autofocus, Tokina also offers the Firin 20mm f/2 FE AF. According to several tests, image quality at the center is just amazing, as good as the Sony 20mm f/1.8. It is finally the borders, and especially the corners, that lags mostly behind. Unfortunately, the lens is not tropicalized, and its price is still higher, between the Tamron and the Sony. However, it is still a worth-considering option as well!
I won’t go into as much detail about manual focus lenses, but I will mention here three lenses I find interesting to look at more closely: the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Loxia Distagon T*, the Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton ASPH, and finally the Viltrox 20mm f/1.8 ASPH FE. The Zeiss remains in my opinion the best one, but at a very high price (more expensive than the Sony 20mm with AF and having a larger max aperture). The Voigtländer also has a good reputation but is also expensive. Finally, the Viltrox remains a very good alternative. For less than 400€, this lens offers a very good image quality in the center, but once again, the edges/corners are quite soft. Depending on your photographic practice, this will not really matter, and for such an inexpensive lens with a large aperture at f/1.8, it is a very good value for money. You will not find any equivalent in 20mm at this price and opening as wide.
With the exception of the Sony 24mm, I think the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon T* is a very nice alternative for those looking for a very high-quality wide aperture lens, offering superb image quality (as good as the Sony), with autofocus and a nice compact construction (lighter than the Sony). Considering its size and weight, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, which offers a larger aperture, but is quite imposing. Nevertheless, its image quality is reputed to be good, and it costs half the price of the Sony 24mm! Note that Sigma has recently released the 24mm f/3.5 DG DN I C, a 24mm lens optimized for mirrorless cameras. First tests also show a good image quality, but it is certainly not in the same category as f/1.4 or f/2 lenses. If you are not interested in shallow depth-of-field pictures on a wide-angle lens, I think it is a great alternative to consider, for about 500€. Another possibility still with autofocus is at Tamron, a 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M 1:2. It is also a very nice alternative offering a very good image quality and a very compact size for only 350€. Finally, there is also the Samyang 24mm f/2.8 FE AF, which is certainly less good than the other ones, but people looking for a 24mm with AF and with a small budget will be delighted as it only costs 250€.
Finally, it should be noted that there is also the Zeiss 25mm f/2.4 Loxia, a 25mm with manual focus, very famous, offering a very good image quality. It is especially well-known and preferred for videographers.
Hoping that it can help you, here is the summary table of the alternative lenses you can consider, for focal lengths between 18 and 24mm.
|Lens||Focal||Max. Aperture||Dimension (D/L)||Weight||Autofocus||Stabilization||Filter||Price|
|Samyang 18mm f/2.8 FE||18mm||f/2.8||64 x 61mm||145g||Auto||No||28mm||Amazon|
|Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art||20mm||f/1.4||92 x 130mm||950g||Auto||No||No||Amazon|
|Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M 1:2||20mm||f/2.8||73 x 64mm||220g||Auto||No||67mm||Amazon|
|Tokina Firin 20mm f/2 FE AF||20mm||f/2||74 x 82mm||464g||Auto||No||62mm||Amazon|
|Viltrox 20mm f/1.8 ASPH FE||20mm||f/1.8||76 x 102mm||775g||Manual||No||No||Amazon|
|Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Loxia Distagon T*||21mm||f/2.8||62 x 72mm||394g||Manual||No||52mm||Amazon|
|Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4 Nokton ASPH||21mm||f/1.4||70 x 70mm||539g||Manual||No||62mm||Amazon|
|Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art||24mm||f/1.4||85 x 90mm||665g||Auto||No||77mm||Amazon|
|Sigma 24mm f/3.5 DG DN I C||24mm||f/3.5||64 x 61mm||225g||Auto||No||55mm||Amazon|
|Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M 1:2||24mm||f/2.8||73 x 64mm||215g||Auto||No||67mm||Amazon|
|Samyang 24mm f/2.8 FE AF||24mm||f/2.8||62 x 37mm||93g||Auto||No||49mm||Amazon|
|Zeiss 25mm f/2.4 Loxia||25mm||f/2.4||62 x 75mm||393g||Manual||No||52mm||Amazon|
|Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon T*||25mm||f/2||81 x 78mm||335g||Auto||No||67mm||Amazon|
We’re now at the end of this very long article. I hope you will find it useful when choosing your Sony wide-angle lens. You should find what you’re looking for in this list. Feel free to tell me what you think of my selection, and if you have a lens amongst those, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
See you soon for more items in the Sony range!