Review

In this Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens review (sel28f2) I will go over everything you need to know using hands-on experience and tons of sample photos! I also had both conversion lenses for the review which includes the 21mm f/2.8 Ultra-Wide Angle Lens (sel075uwc) and the 16mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens converter (sel057fec).

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens is very lightweight and has a small form factor. The consequence to this compact e-mount lens design is some distortion that is noticeable as you will see below.  The $448 US price point is reasonable in my opinion considering the sharpness and overall build quality of the lens. Focus is very fast and near silent which will work out well for video users.

FE 28mm f/2 Lens and A7r

FE 28mm f/2 Lens and A7r

Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens

Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens

 
Key Features:

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2 to 22
  • Aspherical, AA, and ED Elements
  • Linear Actuator Autofocus System
  • Internal Focus; Physical MF Ring
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 11.5″
  • Dust and Moisture Resistant
  • Filter Diameter: 49mm
  • Circular 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Optional Ultra-Wide & Fisheye Converters

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens is a fixed focal length design with 3 aspherical elements including a AA (advanced aspherical) lens and 2 ED elements, plus multi-coating throughout, which helps provide very good optical performance into an overall compact lens design.

I say “very good” optical performance and not excellent, due to the lens distortion present. If you are shooting in Jpeg mode however, the camera does a great job correcting for this. See sample photos below and the video review for more details..

 

Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens – Video Review

I put together this high quality video review for those that prefer watching as opposed to reading 😉 It’s in HD and I highly recommend watching it in full-screen mode and selecting HD 1080P quality. It’s really awesome to watch YouTube videos in the living room on the smart TV as well…

 

High Resolution Sample Photos

I took a ton of sample photos with the 28mm f/2 Lens and with both conversion lenses using my Full Frame 36mp Sony A7r.

 Please Click on the Photos for the ~1200px versions

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2, 1/2000sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2, 1/2000sec

Around the house.

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2, 1/200sec, ISO 800

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2, 1/200sec, ISO 800

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2, 1/5000sec, ISO 800

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2, 1/5000sec, ISO 800

The Basha Kill Wildlife Preserve is always a nice place for some landscape shots.

Please Click on the Photos for the ~1200px versions

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8, 1/100sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8, 1/100sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8, 1/80sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8, 1/80sec

 

Some real world sample photos from this awesome farm that we went to for Layla’s school field trip. Apple Pond Farm

Please Click on the Photos for the ~1200px versions

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/5.6, 1/500sec, ISO 100

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/5.6, 1/500sec, ISO 100

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/4, 1/1250sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/4, 1/1250sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/4, 1/1250sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/4, 1/1250sec

My wife Michele took this frame while I was petting a super soft baby goat with my bud Dominic 😉

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/4, 1/320sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/4, 1/320sec

Some interior barn photos.

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/4.5, 1/60sec, ISO 1250

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/4.5, 1/60sec, ISO 1250

I always enjoy viewing lens fall off, and below is a good example of that.

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2, 1/60sec, ISO 640

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2, 1/60sec, ISO 640

Chickens be clucking… Even @ 1/160sec the head on that chicken below is moving all over the place! Crazy fast head movement captured…

Please Click on the Photos for the ~1200px versions

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8, 1/160sec, ISO 100

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8, 1/160sec, ISO 100

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2, 1/4000sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2, 1/4000sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2.8, 1/2500sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/2.8, 1/2500sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/5.6, 1/800sec

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/5.6, 1/800sec

 

Lens Distortion

Check out the lens distortion in this real world scene when comparing Jpeg vs Raw images as shot by my Sony A7r.

Please Click on the Photos for the ~1200px versions

Lens Distortion Example - Raw

Lens Distortion Example – Raw

Lens Distortion Example - Jpeg

Lens Distortion Example – Jpeg

And another:

Lens Distortion Example - Raw

Lens Distortion Example – Raw

Lens Distortion Example - Jpeg

Lens Distortion Example – Jpeg

 

Lab Testing

In the lab you will also notice the distortion, but more importantly get a much closer look at the lens sharpness you should expect via the 100% crops from around the frame….

Wide Open f/2 Test:

Please Click on the Photos for the ~1200px versions

FE 28mm f/2 lens - Lab Testing @ f/2 - Raw

FE 28mm f/2 lens – Lab Testing @ f/2 – Raw

FE 28mm f/2 lens - Lab Testing @ f/2 - jpeg

FE 28mm f/2 lens – Lab Testing @ f/2 – jpeg

Minimum Focus Distance Test:

FE 28mm f/2 lens - Lab Testing @ f/2

FE 28mm f/2 lens – Lab Testing @ f/2

FE 28mm f/2 lens - Lab Testing @ f/2

100% Crop – FE 28mm f/2 lens – Lab Testing @ f/2

 

 21mm f/2.8 Ultra-Wide Angle Lens (sel075uwc)

Adding the 21mm f/2.8 lens converter gives you a wider view of the world as you will see below. The distortion is fairly heavy, but the camera corrects for this if you are shooting in Jpeg mode.

Please Click on the Photos for the ~1200px versions

Sony FE 28mm F/2 lens w/ 21mm f/2.8 Ultra-Wide Angle Lens

Sony FE 28mm F/2 lens w/ 21mm f/2.8 Ultra-Wide Angle Lens

Note the size increase.

Sony FE 28mm F/2 lens w/ 21mm f/2.8 Ultra-Wide Angle Lens

Sony FE 28mm F/2 lens w/ 21mm f/2.8 Ultra-Wide Angle Lens

The same bridge seen from above, but wider now with the adapter mounted and in jpeg mode.

Please Click on the Photos for the ~1200px versions

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8 w/ 21mm Wide Angle Conversion Lens

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8 w/ 21mm Wide Angle Conversion Lens

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/8

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/8

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/2.8

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/2.8

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

_21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/8 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/8 Jpeg

Please Click on the Photos for the ~1200px versions

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/8 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/8 Jpeg

_21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

_21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

Distortion Testing

Here is a raw vs jpeg so you can see the real distortion that this lens combo has.

Please Click on the Photos for the ~1200px versions

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 RAW

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/5.6 RAW

_21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/8 Jpeg

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/8 Jpeg

_21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/8 RAW

21mm Wide Angle Converter Lens @ F/8 RAW

 

16mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens converter (sel057fec)

Adding the 16mm f/3.5 fisheye converter lens gives you that 180degree wrap around look depending on how the composition is made.

Please Click on the Photos for the ~1200px versions

FE 21mm F/2 Lens w/ 16mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens converter (sel057fec)

FE 21mm F/2 Lens w/ 16mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens converter (sel057fec)

FE 21mm F/2 Lens w/ 16mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens converter (sel057fec)

FE 21mm F/2 Lens w/ 16mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens converter (sel057fec)

And the bridge seen again for reference to the other photos above.

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8 w/ 16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens

FE 28mm f/2 Lens @ f/8 w/ 16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens

Around the house..

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

Note how you can see the edge of the house on the right and the playground on the extreme left, thanks to the 180 degree view.

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

My Nephew David took these photos of Jase and I really like the way they turned out! Perfect to show off what the fisheye lens can do in the real world with some family fun.

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.616mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/5.6

Basha Kill Wildlife Preserve:

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/8

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/8

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/8

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/8

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/8

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/8

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/8

16mm Fisheye Conversion Lens @ F/8

 

Conclusions

For the money I find the FE 28mm f/2 lens a very good value for the dollar. It’s pretty darn sharp across the board and the 21mm f/2.8 ultra wide-angle lens converter gives you a nice boost in width while only slowing down to f/2.8. The 16mm f/3.5 fisheye lens converter is much larger and heavier, plus for the money you could almost get a dedicated fisheye lens that would do the job. It is nice to have the three lens kit though depending on your budget, camera bag size and weight requirements, etc..

These three lenses are a fairly affordable option from Sony, because the G lenses and Zeiss lenses cost a way more in comparison. However, you can always go fully manual with the very affordable and good quality Rokinon, Samyang lenses.

Other Native Lenses Options?

The Zeiss lenses have very little distortion in comparison to standard Sony lenses in my experience. Take for example the new Batis 25mm f/2 Lens from Zeiss. That lens is $1299 US and has some distortion, but not near as much as the $448 FE 28mm f/2 lens. The Batis lens will also be tack sharp corner to corner as opposed to pretty darn sharp like the Sony lens.

On the slightly taller end we have the Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens which goes for $798 US at the time of this review, and it is tack sharp, ultra compact, and has fairly low distortion in my opinion. Then new FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens is also available, but goes for more than the Batis lens @ $1598 US. That lens is killer and I’m currently reviewing it along with the FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens which is also killer!

Lastly we have the Zeiss Loxia Biogon FE 35mm f/2 Lens which is fully manual and goes for $1299 US, but has excellent optics as you can see in my highly detailed review here >>

So, as you can see when comparing to the other lenses available from Sony and Zeiss the FE 28mm f/2 lens is fairly affordable option considering what you get for the money. That is how I feel even though the distortion is fairly heavy.

I hope you got what you needed out of this triple lens review, and please feel free to ask questions or comment below as always,

Jay


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About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!