Sony 28mm F/2 FE Lens Review

Like everyone else I want to find a camera lens that’s great for general-overall-walking-around-convenient-use. After switching to Sony I’m finding that’s a bit difficult to find since compared to Canon and Nikon, Sony is relatively new to the camera game. However, I recently picked what is perhaps the best native Sony lens under $500 and discovered it’s quite nice as that lens that’s 99.9% of the time mounted to the camera.  The Sony 28mm f/2 FE is fast, sharp, built for a full frame sensor, and the best part –it’s tiny!

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review

 

Quick Specs:

Focal Length 28mm
42 mm (35mm Equivalent on APS-C)
Aperture Max: f/2
Min: f/22
Camera Mount Type Sony E (full frame)
Angle of view 75°
54° (35mm Equivalent on APS-C)
Minimum Focus Distance 11.42” (29 cm)
Magnification 0.13x
Lens Configuration (elements/groups) 9/8
No. of Aperture Blades 9 (circular aperture)
Filter Thread 49mm
Hood shape/mount petal/bayonet
Image Stabilization n/a
Autofocus yes
Dimensions 2.52 x 2.36″ (64.01 x 59.94 mm)
Weight 7.05 oz (200 g)

 

Build Quality + Design

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review
Sony 35/1.4, Sony 28/2, iPhone 5s

The main thing that I love about this lens is how compact it is. The 28mm packs a punch into its little metal body. That’s the thing though its tiny metal body. Although the lens is of metal construction it does feel a bit light in comparison to other FE mount lenses such as the 35mm/1.4. I would rank its build more sturdier in feeling compared to Canon 50mm/1.4 (down with plastic lenses!)

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review

Sony’s website also claims that its 28mm wide-angle lens is dust and moisture-resistant.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.03.56 AM

How much you want to test its weather sealing is entirely up to you. The lens feels solid to me, but I wouldn’t go running around in the rain with it. In fact after taking the lens out of its original box I immediately placed a B+W UV Haze Multi-Resistant Coasting Filter on it. With my recent adventures (White Sands NM, Havasu Falls, etc.) to less than friendly weather environments I am expecting this lens to go through areas with denser moisture in the air, hot temperatures, and dust flying everywhere.

 

Autofocus

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review

No AF issues here! Additionally combining the lens’ linear motor with an A7r II’s “Silent Shooting” mode the 28mm is a silent sniper! …Well wide angled sniper.

The focusing ring can continuously spin around the lens barrel and it feels buttery smooth. As with most Sony reviews I’ve done in the past I do wish there were witness marks on the lens. This would mark pulling focus easier for filming or when shooting in the dark.

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review

 

Image Quality

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review
28mm 1/160 f/5.6 @ iso 100

For less than $500 I really have no complains about the image quality of this lens. It’s sharp, the colors look great and I haven’t seen any signs of color fringing –even when things are backlit against the sun.

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review
28mm 1/200 f/2.0 @ iso 16000

 

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review
28mm 1/640 f/4.5 @ iso 100

 

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review
28mm 1/800 f/6.3 @ iso 100

This is where the terrible truth must come out. The 28mm’s one major flaw: distortion is all up in the corners. But this is corrected when shooting in .JPG or can be corrected later in any camera raw editor.

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review
28mm 1/40 f/2.0 @ iso 100

For best practices if you’re shooting environmental portraits try to keep your subject away from the deadly bloating corners of the frame.

 

Bokeh

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review
28mm 1/800 f/2.0 @ iso 100

For a wide-angle lens I feel that you get a pleasant amount of background separation from bokeh.

 

Final Thoughts

Sony 28mm f/2 FE Lens Review

Priced at $450.00 this is the best bang for the buck out of all of the current Sony native full framed E-mount lens. The next quality lens in the FE lineup is going to cost around $800.00. If you just switched over to Sony’s mirrorless system like me definitely consider adding the 28mm/2 to your lens arsenal.

 

What I liked:

  • Fast aperture
  • Travel friendly size
  • Speedy autofocus

What I like to see on the next generation:

  • f/1.4 or faster
  • Witness marks on the lens barrel
  • Less distortion in corners
  • A more solid build

 


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The Sony 28mm f/2 FE  featured in this post was purchased by me.

If you find content like this review helpful, please consider purchasing gear from B&H or any of my other my affiliate links. Anything you purchase after clicking through these links helps keep the lights on for the blog –and you get to treat yourself to a new toy!

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