First shots with Sony’s FE 20mm F1.8 G wide-angle prime lens

First impressions of Sony’s wide prime.

Sony’s FE 20mm F1.8 G wide-angle prime lens
Sony’s FE 20mm F1.8 G wide-angle prime lens.Jeanette D. Moses

This morning Sony announced the FE 20mm F1.8 G lens—a compact and super-fast piece of wide glass for Sony’s full-frame E-mount cameras. At 0.82 lbs its smaller than Sony’s FE 24mm F1.4 GM lens and at only $900 it’s significantly cheaper too.

The lens has two advanced aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements to cut down on chromatic aberration. It has a minimum focusing distance of 7.5 inches and a 9 blade aperture for delivering pictures with smooth, beautiful bokeh. We had a chance to check the lens out in person prior to its release. Keep reading to check out sample images and our initial impressions of this piece of fast glass.

Sample image shot with the new Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens and a a7R iV body.
Sample image shot with the new Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens and a a7R iV body.Jeanette D. Moses

Wide primes have a tendency to be very sharp in the center and softer on the edges—that’s not the case here. Sony promises sharp images across the frame and, based on our time with the lens, they were not kidding. The pictures that we shot during our time with this lens were sharp and contrasty—exactly what we were looking for. The lens does a nice job of controlling chromatic aberrations as well. The ugly green and purple fringing that can be difficult to remove in post-processing and is common in some wide primes.

The fast 1.8 aperture on the lens made it a great option for shooting nightlife in New York City. A wide prime like this thrives when shooting live music inside an intimate music venue with low lighting. Although it might seem strange to use such a wide lens to shoot portraits, when working with musicians this is actually a lovely choice. I didn’t have a chance to escape New York City during our time with the lens, we suspect this would be an excellent option for landscape and astrophotographers. I certainly appreciated the wide perspective that it offered in crowded spaces around New York City.

Band portrait shot in wide angle.
This wide-angle prime isn't going to be ideal for every kind of portrait, but we love the effect this band portrait.Jeanette D. Moses

It’s very lightweight and has a low profile, making it easy to carry around for a day of shooting without feeling weighed down. The aperture ring can turn without clicks making it an excellent tool for video shooters too. Ultimately we are very impressed with all that this $900 lens can do. Keep scrolling to see the rest of the sample images that were shot with this new lens.

The wide field of view was great for capturing Union Square during rush hour in Manhattan.
The wide field of view was great for capturing Union Square during rush hour in Manhattan.Jeanette D. Moses
Manhattan in mid-February, captured on the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.
Manhattan in mid-February, captured on the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.Jeanette D. Moses
The lenses wide angle makes it great for shooting cityscapes.
The lenses wide angle makes it great for shooting cityscapes.Jeanette D. Moses
Cat potrait captured with the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.
Cat potrait captured with the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.Jeanette D. Moses
The 20mm lens is great for capturing the expansive ceiling of Grand Central Station.
The 20mm lens is great for capturing the expansive ceiling of Grand Central Station.Jeanette D. Moses
Grand Central Station during rush hour in Manhattan, shot with the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.
Grand Central Station during rush hour in Manhattan, shot with the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.Jeanette D. Moses
The wide-angle prime isn't going to be a go to portrait lens, but iit's a fun option for environmental portraits.
The wide-angle prime isn't going to be a go to portrait lens, but iit's a fun option for environmental portraits.Jeanette D. Moses
Music venue before showtime shot with the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.
Music venue before showtime shot with the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.Jeanette D. Moses
Wide primes like the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens are excellent for shooting concerts in intimate spaces.
Wide primes like the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens are excellent for shooting concerts in intimate spaces.Jeanette D. Moses
The wide field of view on the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens made it possible to capture all the members of this band.
The wide field of view on the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens made it possible to capture all the members of this band.Jeanette D. Moses
Shot with the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.
Shot with the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.Jeanette D. Moses
Detail shot at the end of the show captured on the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.
Detail shot at the end of the show captured on the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G lens.Jeanette D. Moses