Sony E 20mm F2.8: the lens I always wanted on my NEX camera!

Started Mar 6, 2014 | User reviews thread
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darkdirtydwarf Senior Member • Posts: 1,100
Sony E 20mm F2.8: the lens I always wanted on my NEX camera!

I've been looking for a better solution to the 16mm pancake to take images of my son at home or on the go when size does matter but quality doesn't hurt. I had the chance to get the SEL20F28 for a good price and pulled the trigger.

This lens is available since such a long time that there is not much I can add to the reviews out there from a technical perspective, so I'll try to add my personal feelings to this lens.

As I said, technically everything has already been written: it's a good lens, not outstanding, sharp in the centre and good enough in the corners; the AF is good as long as there is enough light and it's small.

Well, let me tell you a couple of things more about how this lens feels: it feels right!

This is the lens I always wanted for my NEX5N. It's small (without lens hood even smaller than the 16mm) but the optical quality is still surprisingly good for this kind of lens (way better then the 16mm pancake) and given that my expectations were low. Anyway with the lens hood it's not that small anymore, but still fits the bill for me. Given how my son is attracted (or better his hands) by my camera and lenses, the hood design makes it a perfect combination to get up close and yet not having to fear for the front element.

Also, given I use the flash extension (found in the SEL18200 box), the hood doesn't get in the way of the flash, big time plus.

The handling is great, it adds almost no weight to the camera, making it a very good combo for those occasions were you're snapping one handed pictures in uncomfortable situations (hanging from a tree or something ).

Not to underestimate, by being black (great glossy finish, though the lens hood ruins a bit the premium feeling of the lens itself) it makes you less visible then the 16mm pancake (too shiny to make you invisible in a crowd).

For what my purpose is with this lens, I couldn't be happier. truth be told, I see a lot of moire' on screen with some subjects, which means this lens is sharp enough. Of course the moire' disappears as soon as I look a the images on my computers monitor.

Another plus is how good this lens works on the A7. Forget to use more than the 10MPS you get in crop mode even though the lens covers almost the full frame (the corners degrade horribly beyond a 10, maybe 12MP crop area), but those 10 MPs look good enough if you are carring with you only the A7 and simply want to bring along few more grams of weight instead of a whole body (though the combination of NEX5N+SEL20F28 is so small that you might just want to do that).

I want to mention also that shallow DOF can be achieved with this lens easier than expected (in the right conditions).

To conclude, the SEL20F28 is probably gonna be THE lens I will keep on my NEX5N the most (beats the LA-EA4+SAL35F18 hands down in size and handling without suffering too much on quality).

 darkdirtydwarf's gear list:darkdirtydwarf's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony SLT-A55 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha a7 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +8 more
Sony E 20mm F2.8
Wideangle prime lens • Sony E • SEL20F28
Announced: Jan 23, 2013
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Sony Alpha a7 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony E 20mm F2.8
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