Sony Announces Three Wide-Angle Lenses for APS-C Mirrorless Cameras06/01/2022
Sony has just released three wide-angle lenses created specifically for APS-C format E-mount mirrorless cameras: the 10-20mm f/4 PZ G, 15mm f/1.4 G, and 11mm f/1.8 lenses. While each of the new offerings brings a unique set of features to the table, they all share an emphasis on wide focal lengths, bright optics, and compact builds. Made with hybrid content creators in mind, the expansive reach of the trio should appeal to architecture and landscape photographers as well as travel and lifestyle vloggers.
Although wide-angle capture has been possible using Sony’s FE lenses for full frame sensors, the sizable footprint of these designs has made for an awkward pairing with the comparably small form factor of Sony’s APS-C format cameras. The 11mm and 15mm lenses become Sony’s widest primes created specifically for APS-C sensors while the 10-20mm serves as a welcome update on a longtime favorite zoom. Sized perfectly to match the compact and portable design of Sony’s ZV-E10, a6600, a6400, a6100, and legacy a6000-series cameras, these lenses are perfect for everyday carry while delivering exceptional performance when working in ambient light or using selective focus.
Let’s begin with the 10-20mm f/4 PZ G, an evolved version of the 10-18mm f/4 OSS, a lens responsible for covering the wide end of Sony APS-C capture for nearly a decade. The new lens weighs 6.2 oz, 22% less than its predecessor, and shaves 0.25" from its length, making it even easier to travel with or use as a set-and-forget lens for landscape or cityscape photographers on the go. The outdoor appeal of this lens is further bolstered by a dust- and moisture-resistant design, protecting it from inclement environments.
Among the major upgrades of the 10-20mm is internal zoom and focusing, which allows the lens to maintain its dimensions regardless of focal length or subject distance. In practical terms, such a design maintains a relatively consistent center of gravity, a great benefit when using a gimbal. The new lens provides the equivalent of a 15-30mm focal length range, great for handheld selfies, landscapes, interiors, or general shooting. It delivers G lens quality sharpness and rendering, incorporating several aspherical and low dispersion elements to manage distortions and color fringing. A constant f/4 aperture across the zoom range benefits videographers and photographers alike.
The incorporation of Power Zoom capabilities to the lens adds a new level of control and consistency when changing focal length. Zooming can be controlled via the zoom ring or zoom lever on the lens or on-camera via a customized control wheel or zoom lever on select models like the ZV-E10. Remote zoom is also possible via Sony’s Wireless Shooting Grip or a smartphone. Autofocus is powered by two fast and quiet linear motors, which provide accurate capture with nearly no focus breathing. When using AF, you can focus as close as 7.9 inches from your subject, while manual focusing permits you to get even closer, focusing down to 5 inches.
That’s the 10-20mm f/4 PZ, an impressive replacement to Sony’s legacy 10-18mm f/4 OSS lens. The update maintains the speed and versatility of its predecessor while improving its optical quality, physical design, and handling, making it one of the best choices for APS-C vloggers looking for a wide-angle zoom.
On to Sony’s latest primes for APS-C cameras: the 15mm f/1.4 G and 11mm f/1.8 lenses. Both lenses rely on linear AF motors for quick and quiet AF with minimal focus breathing and, like the 10-20mm f/4 PZ, feature internal focusing, making them great for use on gimbals. Finally, they share dust- and moisture-resistant designs for reliable use under less-than-ideal environmental conditions.
Now that we know what the two lenses have in common, what, distinguishes one from the other? As their names make clear, the primary differences between the two lenses are focal length and maximum aperture. The 15mm f/1.4 G provides the equivalent focal length of 22.5mm, a wide perspective without going so far off the deep end to prohibit use for day-to-day subjects. Its optics are exactly what you would expect from a G lens, incorporating aspherical, ED, and Super upper ED glass to ensure clarity with minimal distortion. This lens also boasts the fastest maximum aperture (f/1.4) of any Sony APS-C format lens to date, allowing you to work under low-light conditions, as well as isolate subjects from distracting environments with ease.
Featuring a minimal focusing distance of 6.7 inches (0.15x maximum magnification), this lens can be used for creative close-ups or even handheld for selfies or vlogging. It weighs 7.7 oz and has a length of only 2.7 inches, making it equally at home in your hands, on a drone, or mounted on a gimbal. Like other G lenses, a manual aperture ring provides on-lens control and the ability to be de-clicked for video usage.
Last but certainly not least, the 11mm f/1.8 claims the title of Sony’s widest prime lens for APS-C format cameras. Its equivalent focal length of 16.5mm is ideal for capturing landscapes, skyscapes, buildings, and interiors. Such an ultra-wide view is also a perfect match for Active Mode image stabilization to create steady walking shots. Though not as fast as the 15mm, its f/1.8 maximum aperture is plenty equipped to handle low-light environments and provide selective focusing when needed.
Of the three new lenses, the 11mm allows you to get closest to your subject with a minimum distance of 4.7 inches (0.2x maximum magnification). It is also the smallest of the trio, weighing 6.3 oz and measuring 2.25 inches in length, making it even better suited for handheld, drone, or gimbal usage.
If you prefer the speed or minimalist aesthetic of a single focal length, Sony’s new primes present appealing wide-angle options for use with any of Sony’s APS-C cameras. Both are wide enough for vlogging, architecture, and travel, and fast enough for selective focus and low-light capture.
Whether recording day-to-day activities around your hometown or capturing majestic landscapes in remote locations, Sony’s new lenses were designed with hybrid creators in mind. Compact, lightweight, and built to endure, they are ideal travel companions. Similarly, all three prioritize quiet and reliable autofocusing so you won’t miss a moment. The 10-20mm f/4 PZ G serves as a major upgrade to one of Sony’s most popular APS-C lenses while the 11mm f/1.8 becomes Sony’s widest APS-C prime, and the 15mm f/1.4 Sony’s fastest APS-C lens.
Are you a fan of Sony’s APS-C mirrorless cameras? Which of the new lenses appeals the most to your style? Share your thoughts in the Comments section, below!