Sony has unveiled a new ultra-wide prime lens, the FE 20mm f/1.8 G. One of the reasons for my own switch to Sony mirrorless was my sense that they had finally got over the hump of making less than stellar lenses, demonstrating serious lens design prowess with newer lenses like the 200-600mm G, the 600mm f/4, 135mm GM and the 24mm GM. With the new 20mm f/1.8 G it appears as though that trend continues. Even on the outside, at a quick glance you would be forgiven for mistaking this lens for the 24mm GM.
Coming in at under $900, the new 20mm f/1.8 G takes full advantage of the smaller mount diameter chosen by Sony, compared to those chosen by Canon and Nikon for their full frame mirrorless systems. You can argue about mount diameter all day long, and there are certainly pros and cons to each brand’s choice, but one thing that does seem to be true is that it is enabling Sony to make smaller lenses. The 20mm f/1.8 G weighs just 373g and measures 3.3″ long, compared to the 505g and 4.27″ length of the new Nikon 20mm f/1.8 S lens launched just a few weeks prior to the Sony equivalent. Despite the diminutive size, the lens still features a manual aperture ring similar to the one found on the 135mm GM and 24mm GM, as well as weather sealing, a customizable focus button, an MF/AF switch and a switch to de-click the aperture ring for video shooters. Of further note in the specification list is the 7.5″ minimum focus distance which should allow some great close-focus shots with nice creamy bokeh created by the wide f/1.8 aperture. In terms of autofocus, we should expect this lens to be similarly fast (think, lightning fast) to the 24mm GM and 135mm GM as it features the same XD linear motor technology that’s featured in those lenses and the Sony super telephoto lenses.
Initial reports are indicating that this is a very sharp lens and I will be posting a full review on the site in the coming months.
Sony Press Release
SAN DIEGO – February 25, 2020 – Adding to its extensive range of native mirrorless full-frame lenses, Sony Electronics today announced the launch of the new G Lens™ series FE 20mm F1.8 G (model name SEL20F18G), perfect for a variety of creative needs including portraits, astrophotography, landscape and street photography, as well as capturing impressive video. Ensuring exceptional G Lens resolution and bokeh, the FE 20mm F1.8 G is a compact, lightweight, ultra-wide prime lens – the widest full-frame prime lens in Sony’s E-mount lineup – giving users a new resource for stretching the boundaries of their artistic imaginations.
The impressive lens design features two advanced aspherical (AA) elements and three extra-low dispersion (ED) glass elements to suppress chromatic aberration and delivers high corner-to-corner image quality with minimal distortion, even at the maximum F1.8 aperture. It has excellent close-up performance, with a minimum focus distance of 7.5 inches (max. magnification: 0.2 times), and delivers beautifully de-focused backgrounds, or bokeh. For challenging subjects like night scenes or starry skies, the FE 20mm F1.8 G delivers crisp and clear images thanks to its advanced optical design that accurately reproduces point light sources with high contrast and minimum sagittal flare.
The compact design and versatility of the FE 20mm F1.8 G makes it the perfect all-inclusive lens for photographers and videographers. Weighing only 13.2 oz (373g), its small size and light weight make it truly mobile when used with compact E-mount bodies as part of a well-balanced system that is ideal for use on gimbals or accessory grips.
In addition, the use of two extreme dynamic (XD) Linear Motors delivers fast, precise and quiet autofocus for both stills and video shooting.
Designed to be dust and moisture resistant[i] and having a fluorine front element coating, the FE 20mm F1.8 G is highly reliable and easy to operate. It also features a customizable focus-hold button and aperture ring with a click on/off switch and is compatible with a variety of 67mm filters for extra creative control.
“We’re driven by the needs of our customers and will continue developing the best tools to meet their creative ambitions,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions Americas, Sony Electronics. “Our 56th E-mount lens, the new FE 20mm F1.8 G, is fast, lightweight and extremely versatile, giving creators yet another compelling tool to help realize their vision.”
Pricing and Availability
The FE 20mm F1.8 G will be available in March 2020 for a suggested retail price of $899.99 USD and $1,199.99 CAD.
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new lens and Sony’s other imaging products can be found at alphauniverse.com, a site created to educate and inspire all fans and customers of Sony’s α – Alpha brand.