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Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus other lenses
After finally receiving a well-centered copy of the FE 20mm f/1.8 G, and the weather cooperating today, I tested the new Sony ultra wide prime to several of my own lenses: Loxia 21/2.8 Distagon, Sigma 14-24/2.8 Art @20mm and FE 24/1.4 GM.

Update: The new Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 is now on sale for $798! ($100 off)

B&H Photo | Adorama | Amazon


Sony FE 20mm F/1.8 G Specs
  1. Focal Length 20mm
  2. Maximum Aperture f/1.8
  3. Minimum Aperture f/22
  4. Angle of View 94į
  5. Minimum Focus Distance 7.09" / 18 cm
  6. Maximum Magnification 0.2x
  7. Optical Design 14 Elements in 12 Groups
  8. Diaphragm Blades 9, Rounded
  9. Focus Type Autofocus
  10. Image Stabilization No
  11. Filter Size 67 mm (Front)
  12. Dimensions (Ý x L) 2.89 x 3.33" / 73.5 x 84.7 mm
  13. Weight 13.16 oz / 373 g









From left to right: Loxia 21/2.8, Sony 20/1.8 G, Sony 24/1.4 GM, Sigma 14-24/2.8 Art


___________________


Here is the full image thumbnail showing the areas demonstrated at 1:1 magnification.



Distance: Infinity
Camera: Sony A7R IV
Focus: Center - Best of three @ 12.4x magnification
WB: Daylight for all lenses
All Lenses perfectly centered using my decentering test
Software: Lightroom FM Default Landscape Sharpening. All other settings set to default
PS: Vignetting and distortion NOT corrected

___________________



Sony FE 20/1.8 G vs. Loxia 21/2.8










Center resolution comparison between Sony 20mm f/1.8 G vs Loxia 21mm f/2.8:






Center at f/2.8: The Sony is capable of higher resolution (Keep in mind that the Loxia is wide open and the Sony is stopped down to f/2.8)







Center at f/4: The Loxia improves and both are now very similar at center and f/4







Center at f/5.6: Both lenses improve a little bit and perform very similarly







Center at f/8: Strong performance for both, although diffraction starts to reduce micro-contrast




Mar 15, 2020 at 04:56 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Mid-zone resolution comparison between Sony 20mm f/1.8 G vs Loxia 21mm f/2.8:






Mid-field at f/2.8: Strong performance for both, although the Loxia has the edge in resolution







Mid-field at f/4: The Sony FE 20/1.8 G improves at f/4 and it's now neck and neck with the Zeiss







Mid-field at f/5.6: Very similar performance with Sony slightly better







Mid-field at f/8: Very small difference from f/5.6. Both very strong




Mar 15, 2020 at 05:04 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Extreme corner resolution comparison between Sony 20mm f/1.8 G vs Loxia 21mm f/2.8:






Extreme corner at f/2.8: The Loxia has a noticeable advantage even though it's wide open







Extreme corner at f/4: The Sony improves greatly and now matches the Loxia. There is also less lateral CA for the Sony.







Extreme corner at f/5.6: Similar performance. Amazing performance for both lenses







Extreme corner at f/8: Diffraction is now visible but still strong performance for both lenses




Mar 15, 2020 at 05:04 PM
chez
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Fred, any idea wide open how the Sony looks, particularly in the center.


Mar 15, 2020 at 09:51 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


chez wrote:
Fred, any idea wide open how the Sony looks, particularly in the center.


Here is a comparison at center:

FE 20/1.8: f/1.8 vs f/2.8:
The 20/1.8 is already very sharp from wide open at center and improves slightly at f/2.8






FE 20/1.8 @f/1.8 vs FE 20/1.8 @f/2.8




Mar 15, 2020 at 10:21 PM
chez
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Thank you. Looks very good.


Mar 15, 2020 at 10:29 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


chez wrote:
Thank you. Looks very good.


Indeed. At center and wide open, it looks to be just as sharp as the Voigtlander 21/1.4 @f/1.8 and sharper than the FE 24/1.4 GM @f/1.8. I consider this performance outstanding. The mid-zone and corners look great at f/2.8 and outstanding after f/4. (Loxia 21 level)

I will post more comparisons tomorrow.



Mar 15, 2020 at 10:50 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


My 20/1.8G (and 21Lox) seems to perform about the same as Fred's.

I plan on comparing the 21/3.5 CV to the 20/1.8G and 21/2.8Lox this week since we are supposed to get some sun all week (and Seattle will be shut down).



Mar 15, 2020 at 11:16 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Fred, will you be posting flare comparisons?



Mar 16, 2020 at 12:49 AM
chez
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Fred Miranda wrote:
Indeed. At center and wide open, it looks to be just as sharp as the Voigtlander 21/1.4 @f/1.8 and sharper than the FE 24/1.4 GM @f/1.8. I consider this performance outstanding. The mid-zone and corners look great at f/2.8 and outstanding after f/4. (Loxia 21 level)

I will post more comparisons tomorrow.


Great. Thanks.

Looks like a perfect lens for me. Small, fast and great image quality wide open...nice for my travel photography...and great overall image quality stopped down, good for landscapes. Maybe I'll finally sell my Zeiss 21 fe which is my bread & butter landscape lens.

How does manual focus feel?



Mar 16, 2020 at 10:25 AM
 


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Blueshound
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


I'm also interested in the Sony FE 21, primarily compared to the Loxia 21. I'd include the Batis 18 in that, except it is too bulky for the bags that I prefer to use for travel (thinking mostly of my Mindshift Panorama 22L here, and I believe that the Batis won't fit in the belt pouch).

So far the testing seems to show that the Sony is in the league of the Loxia for sharpness from f4 and up . . . I think . . . .

Thanks for the effort and reporting, Fred.

Brian



Mar 16, 2020 at 11:03 AM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


I have owned and shot both. While the g20 sharpness is great and rivals the Loxia 21 at small apertures, the Zeiss colors and contrast are preferable to me, and the Loxia flare resistance is better. The Sony has distinct advantages with better ergo and f1.8 and MFD.

Curious to see what Fred says.

I prefer the renderings of the Batis 18, Loxia 21, Contax G21 and GM 24 to the G 20. All these lenses are easily sharp enough even for large prints or on high res sensors. I think size, ergo, price and rendering are more important unless specific needs like low light, AF, astro, genre or FL specific.



Mar 16, 2020 at 11:58 AM
Holger
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


nehemiahphoto wrote:
I have owned and shot both. While the g20 sharpness is great and rivals the Loxia 21 at small apertures, the Zeiss colors and contrast are preferable to me, and the Loxia flare resistance is better. The Sony has distinct advantages with better ergo and f1.8 and MFD.

Curious to see what Fred says.

I prefer the renderings of the Batis 18, Loxia 21, Contax G21 and GM 24 to the G 20. All these lenses are easily sharp enough even for large prints or on high res sensors. I think size, ergo, price and rendering are more important unless specific needs
...Show more

I prefer the Sony. I prefer AF, speeds up my work drastically. I prefer the standard 67mm filter size of the Sony vs. the Loxia 21 or Batis 18. Price is lower than Loxia and Batis and GM where I live, the Contax is available used.
Rendering is subjective, I like both. I think PP to be much more important than minor rendering differences. The Loxia is too small for me. Mounting and unmounting is difficult. I resorted to doing so with the lens hood at weddings, using it to mount demount the lens.
So the 24GM and 20G are the ones we are using, for different purposes. Both fantastic lenses, imo!


I want to add: We have now a really huge choice of WA lenses, with (imo) only few things missing. So (almost) everybody can be happy now regarding the lens choice available.

Edited on Mar 16, 2020 at 12:42 PM · View previous versions



Mar 16, 2020 at 12:36 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Holger wrote:
I prefer the Sony. I prefer AF, speeds up my work drastically. I prefer the standard 67mm filter size of the Sony vs. the Loxia 21 or Batis 18. Price is lower than Loxia and Batis and GM where I live, the Contax is available used.
Rendering is subjective, I like both. I think PP to be much more important than minor rendering differences. The Loxia is too small for me. Mounting and unmounting is difficult. I resorted to doing so with the lens hood at weddings, using it to mount demount the lens.
So the 24GM and 20G are the
...Show more

For sureóthere is no bad lens in that group, in fact, all those lenses are pretty impressive. Itís preferences like yours or mine that will dictate which lens we really use. Thatís what my post was (or intended) to communicate. Iíd take the Zeissís for nature and urban, the Sonyís for event or low light, but I donít do these as much. I do think the Loxia 21ís ergo are low key annoying and itís heavier than it needs to be (Loxiaís as a whole it seems)

Funny, I remember when the A7 first came out with only the 35 and 55, and wide angle options were so limited, unless you wanted big adapted SLR wides.



Mar 16, 2020 at 12:41 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


nehemiahphoto wrote:
I have owned and shot both. While the g20 sharpness is great and rivals the Loxia 21 at small apertures, the Zeiss colors and contrast are preferable to me, and the Loxia flare resistance is better. The Sony has distinct advantages with better ergo and f1.8 and MFD.

Curious to see what Fred says.

I prefer the renderings of the Batis 18, Loxia 21, Contax G21 and GM 24 to the G 20. All these lenses are easily sharp enough even for large prints or on high res sensors. I think size, ergo, price and rendering are more important unless specific needs
...Show more

It's still raining here but once the sun comes up, I will do a flare test. Today I will post more infinity comparisons.



Mar 16, 2020 at 01:02 PM
psharvic
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Thanks for the tests, Fred. Impressive performance! I'm relieved that I don't need to consider parting with my Lox21


Mar 16, 2020 at 02:05 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Sony FE 20/1.8 G vs. Sigma 14-24/2.8 Art @20mm










Center resolution comparison between Sony 20mm f/1.8 G vs Sigma 14-24/2.8 Art @20mm:






Center at f/2.8: The new Sony 20/1.8G is outstanding at center and f/2.8 and noticeably better than the Sigma zoom wide open







Center at f/4: The zoom improves greatly and matches the prime. There are difference in color rendition as well.







Center at f/5.6: Both lenses are equal at center







Center at f/8: Both diffract slightly




Mar 16, 2020 at 02:35 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Mid-zone resolution comparison between Sony 20mm f/1.8 G vs Sigma 14-24/2.8 Art @20mm:






Mid-zone at f/2.8: Both are very similar and the zoom is wide open







Mid-zone at f/4: The Sigma [email protected] does slightly better at mid-zone and f/4 with slightly better contrast and resolution







Mid-zone at f/5.6: Zoom still ahead







Mid-zone at f/8: Not much changes from f/5.6, except for a tad less micro-contrast due to diffraction




Mar 16, 2020 at 02:35 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


Extreme corner resolution comparison between Sony 20mm f/1.8 G vs Sigma 14-24/2.8 Art @20mm:






Extreme corner at f/2.8: The Sigma zoom does slightly better wide open







Extreme corner at f/4: Both improve greatly and are pretty similar now







Extreme corner at f/5.6: The Sigma has less vignetting and higher contrast and slightly higher resolution







Extreme corner at f/8: The Sigma continues the f/5.6 trend and performs better at f/8 at the corners




Mar 16, 2020 at 02:35 PM
Bob_S
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Versus Other Lenses


So the prime loses to a zoom?


Mar 16, 2020 at 03:31 PM
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