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Which Wide-Angle Lens to Use on Sony Full Frame Bodies?

Published: 29/03/2019

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Garth in the UK says:

It would be great to get your thoughts on the best lenses for full-frame Sony mirrorless cameras (as this is missing from your lens guide page)--especially as these lenses, Sony's in particular, tend to be relatively more expensive.

The research I've done suggests that the top 3 choices for wide-angle zoom lenses for the Sony full frame mirrorless bodies are:

  1. Sony FE 16-35 f/2.8 GM
  2. Sony FE 12-24 f/4 G
  3. Sony Zeiss FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS

There are many non-Sony lenses that will work but you've got to spend another few hundred dollars for an adapter.

I've updated the lenses page with a section at the bottom for Sony full frame lenses. Thanks for pointing out that that was missing.

What are readers' experiences with full frame lenses for Sony mirrorless cameras?

Larry Lohrman

9 comments on “Which Wide-Angle Lens to Use on Sony Full Frame Bodies?”

  1. For Video... I use the Sony Zeiss 16-35 f/4
    For Photos - Canon 16-35

    It's weird.. I know!! But with the Sony lens I've missed focus a bunch of times... and it's annoying to switch between auto / manual focus (With the sony lens attached I can't zoom in and focus) ... with the Canon lens attached... I'm able to use autofocus > Magnify Zoom & manually focus the lens (Which is much than the Sony manual focus)

  2. I've used the 16-35 f4 since before the 2.8GM and 12-24f4 were created and with RE when most are taken in the f8-f11 range can't justify moving to the f2.8. As far as focusing that Rob noted, it may be camera related as I do know focus, despite the same focus points specs - my A7rIII is faster and perhaps a little more accurate than my A7rII...but had few missed focus with the A7rII and didn't consider a problem. The newer 16-35/f2.8 and 12-24/f4 do have the external af/mf switch on the lens which is faster while the 16-35/f4 is camera menu dependent - but not that hard. While you can re-assign the buttons, C3 buy factory default to focus mode. As that menu appears in the lcd, scroll among the 4 possible focus modes and select MF. The physical switch only offers 2 - the default auto and manual - and if you wanted to switch from AF-S to AF-C would have to use the menu approach. With both approaches, when in manual mode, you do get the zoom focus assist. That is also the downfall with both approaches it doesn't revert back and you have to remember to physically change it back.

  3. I probably shot several hundred thousand frames with the 16-35 4, but it was prone to ghosting and flare at an alarming degree. It finally did me a favor by failing - the focus motor failed. I don't miss it.

    I have both the 12-24 4 and replaced the other one with the 16-35 2.8 GM. IT's not that the 2.8 is sharper necessarily, it's that it handles flare and ghosting 100% better, and it's really an awesome piece of kit, and I believe it amounts to a noticeable image quality difference. I feel like it's slightly less contrasty, which allows post-refinement in a slightly better way for RE work. The difference between a Volkswagen Bug or a Porsche Boxter. They'll both get you there, but one of them is WAY more satisfying.

    The 12-24 is great for video, because the wider the angle while doing a walk-through, the more watchable the video is. If you are doing sliders, that doesn't matter, but on walk-throughs it absolutely matters. It's also a great lens for very tall rooms that lack the dimensions to back up in, which for me is a daily occurrence.

  4. Currently shooting either a Rokinon 14mm af f/2.8, not a very impressive lens but the realtors love the wide angle and for the price it does the job. If I don't need the extra FOV I much prefer my sony fe 16-35 f/4.

  5. Thanks for the feedback everybody (it was my query). I've opted for the Sony Zeiss FE 16-35mm f/4 in the end as I wanted some zooming flexibility, although it looks like there's some viable alternatives coming down the pipeline.

    I've only recently moved from Nikon to Sony and I'm still getting acquainted with the different and sometimes errant focussing system and controls.

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