To Wide Zoom, or not to Wide Zoom?

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thiefofpresence Contributing Member • Posts: 862
To Wide Zoom, or not to Wide Zoom?

With a fairly complete lens lineup, the last slot unfilled* is a lens in the role of wide-zoom.

I'm reaching out for experiences with this choices which I think breaks down into roughly 4 groups of options

The 16-35 group

  • Sony 16-35/4 Vario-Tessar
  • Sony 16-35/2.8 GM

Tamron's outlier option

  • Tamron 17-28/2.8

The wider reach group

  • Sigma 14-24/2.8 Art
  • Sony 12-24/4 G
  • (Coming)Sony 12-24/2.8 GM

Sticking with my FE 20/1.8 G and skipping wide zoom altogether

I see the question come up from time to time, "what is too wide?" which begs the question too wide for what?

For me the use cases would split between a walk-around lens for city architecture, landscapes and an occasional close subject in an extreme environmental portrait.

I'm thinking the wider reach group might be wider than I can regularly use, although the Sigma is very attractive.

If I think GM is an overspend for me, then I am torn between a used copy of Vario-Tessar or a new copy of Tamron, with the understanding that Tamron is sharper and a stop faster, Sony is more versatile as a walkaround 35mm (even if I hear it is soft on that end)

FE 20/1.8 is a fantastic "normal" in most of these ranges, the sweet spot of minimal distortion being as wide as possible without crossing the 90 degree angle of view that puts images in another perspective altogether.

Any thoughts or experiences appreciated.

[* oh, who am I kidding, I have an eye on 135 GM...]

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Sony A9ii | Sony FE 20/1.8 G; Minolta M-Rokkor 28/2.8; Sony FE 35/1.8; Sigma 45/2.8 C; Sony Sonnar 55/1.8; Samyang AF 85/1.4; Sigma 70/2.8 Macro Art | Sigma 24-70/2.8 Art; Sony FE 24-105/4 G; Tamron 28-200; Tamron 70-180/2.8; Sony FE 100-400 GM; Sony FE 200-600 G;

 thiefofpresence's gear list:thiefofpresence's gear list
Sony a9 II Sony 1.4x Teleconverter Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 Sigma 70mm F2.8 DG Macro Art +9 more
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