Sony FE 28mm f/2 Review

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Introduction

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 is a new wide-angle prime lens for the Sony A7 full-frame E-mount compact system camera. It features nine elements in eight groups including including one AA (advanced aspherical) element and two ED glass elements, is dust- and moisture-resistant, and has a minimum focusing distance of 29cm with a maximum magnification of 0.13x. It has a near-circular 9 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image, while an internal focusing mechanism means the lens barrel doesn’t move. The Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens is available for £449 / $499 in the UK and the US, respectively. The Sony FE 28mm f/2 is also compatible with the optional 0.75x Ultra Wide and the 0.57x Fisheye Converters.

Ease of Use

Weighing in at 200grams, the aluminium alloy bodied Sony FE 28mm f/2 is very light for a full-frame lens. It’s overall size complements a body like the Sony A7S body that we tested it with, as shown in the photos below.

Sony FE 28mm f/2

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens mounted on a Sony A7S

Sony FE 28mm f/2Sony FE 28mm f/2

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens mounted on a Sony A7S

Sony FE 28mm f/2

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens alongside a Sony A7S

Build quality is good given the affordable price-tag. The Sony FE 28mm f/2 has a sealed dust and moisture resistant design.

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens has a metal lens mount. It accepts 49mm filters via metal threads.

Sony FE 28mm f/2

Side of the Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens

Sony FE 28mm f/2

Front of the Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens

Sony FE 28mm f/2

Rear of the Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens

The wide and ridged focus ring is the only external control of note. Manual focusing is possible when set on the specific camera body. The lens utilizes a linear motor to produce quiet and smooth focusing, making it well-suited to shooting video, with the overall lens length remaining constant during focusing.

Sony FE 28mm f/2

Front of the Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens

Sony FE 28mm f/2

Rear of the Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens

Sony FE 28mm f/2

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens in-hand

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens is commendably supplied with both a soft case and a fairly good quality plastic petal-shaped lens hood.

Sony FE 28mm f/2

he Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

Focal Range

At the 28mm focal length the angle of view is 54 degrees.

Sony FE 28mm f/2

Field of view at 28mm

Focusing

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens has quite a wide focus ring. There are no hard stops at either end of the range, making it a little more difficult to set focus at infinity. Polariser users should be pleased that the 55mm filter thread doesn’t rotate on focus.

When it comes to auto-focusing, the Sony FE 28mm f/2 zoom is a quiet and fairly quick performer on the Sony A7S that we tested it with, taking about 0.25 seconds to lock onto the subject.

We didn’t experience much “hunting”, either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time, and it’s also a quiet performer thanks to the linear motor driven internal focusing, making it ideal for movie shooting.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as blue or purple fringes along contrasty edges, were not very apparent in our test shots, only appearing in high contrast areas. The examples below show the worst-case scenario.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED

Light Fall-off and Distortion

With the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/2, there is very obvious light fall-off in the corners, requiring you to stop down by at least 3 f-stops to prevent it.

There’s quite a lot of barrel distortion evident at 28mm in the RAW files – the Sony A7/A7S automatically and successfully apply corrections to the JPG files.

Sony FE 28mm f/2

Macro

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 isn’t claimed to be a macro lens, offering a minimum focusing distance of 29cm with a maximum magnification of 0.13x. The following example demonstrates how close you can get to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash memory card.

Sony FE 28mm f/2

Close-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the FE 28mm f/2 lens, Sony employed an iris diaphragm with nine rounded blades, which has resulted in quite appealing bokeh for a wide-angle lens. We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we’ve included several 100% crops for your perusal.

Sony FE 28mm f/2

Sony FE 28mm f/2

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Sharpness at 28mm

For this test, the Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens was attached to a Sony A7S body, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. Exposure delay mode was activated. Tonal and colour variances across the crops are due to changes in natural light during the session.

The full frame at 28mm

The full frame at 28mm

Centre sharpness remains high through from f/2.8 to f/16, with f/22 being adversely affected by diffraction. The edges aren’t quite as sharp as the centre, with f/4-f/16 producing the sharpest results.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/2

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

f/22

Specifications

What’s In The Box

  • Hood (ALC-SH112)

Dimensions (W x H x D)

  • 64 x 60 mm

Weight

  • 200 g

Focal Length (35mm) (APS-C)

  • 42 mm

Lens Groups / Elements

  • 8/9

Angle of View (APS-C)

  • 54°

Angle of View (35mm)

  • 75°

Aperture Blades

  • 9 (circular aperture)

Minimum Aperture (F)

  • 22

Maximum Magnification ratio

  • 0,13

Minimum Focus Distance

  • 0,29 m

Filter Diameter

  • 49 mm

Conclusion

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 is a very competent and affordable wide-angle prime lens for the Sony full-frame compact system cameras. This compact optic delivers excellent sharpness in the centre of the frame almost throughout its aperture range, even performing well wide-open, although you’ll need to stop down quite a lot to get similar quality at the edges of the frame. The Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens does suffer from distortion when shooting in the RAW format – the camera body automatically corrects this for JPEG files – but as a lot of owners will no doubt be relying on RAW file to deliver optimum quality, it does require some post-processing to remove it. The Sony FE 28mm f/2 offers quite fast and reliable auto-focusing on the A7S that we tested it with, intuitive manual focusing and an acceptable level of build quality given the budget price, plus it’s usefully weather-tight too. All in all, we’d definitely recommend adding the Sony FE 28mm f/2 to your camera bag if you’re in any way interested in wide-angle photography.

(photographyblog.com)

Comments

comments

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn