Sony Announces the FE 20mm f/1.8 G Wide-Angle Prime Lens

Sony has unveiled its thirty-fourth full-frame E-mount lens, the FE 20mm f/1.8 G.

The new 20mm f/1.8 G measures in a 2.90 by 3.33 inches (73.5 x 84.7 millimeters) and weighs 13.2 ounces (373 grams). It has a small form factor given its ultra-wide frame of view and f/1.8 aperture, but has enough weight to it that makes it feel solid in the hand. The exterior controls of the lens include a focus ring, a marked aperture ring with click on-off toggle, a customizable focus hold button, and a AF/MF switch. The front of the lens accepts 67mm filters.

Inside, this is the first non G Master lens to have an XD linear focus motor designed for speed and precision while tracking subjects and for quiet operation when recording video. The optical design incorporates two Advanced Asperic elements and three ED elements, however it does not have an XA element which continues to be used only in the G Master line. The lens has a circular 9-bladed aperture. Minimum focusing distance is only 7.5 inches for a maximum magnification of 0.20x.

The FE 20mm f/1.8 G is priced at $899.99 and will start shipping to customers on March 6, 2020. Check out the latest video from my YouTube channel above for a hands-on look.

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7 Comments

Dylan Zoebelein's picture

I've got a question. I currently have a 16-35mm f2.8 GM that I use for mountaineering and rock climbing photography. Do you think the weight savings, wider aperture and smaller form factor is worth the loss of zoom?

Is it possible to easily "zoom with your feet" to get the difference between 16mm and 35mm with a 20mm?

Phil Wright's picture

I think only you can really answer these questions, however one point I can make is that 'zooming with your feet' isn't a thing. Stepping backwards or forwards with a prime lens, especially wide angle, will give you a VERY different image to just zooming in or out.

How heavy is the 16-35 compared to the new 20mm? Do you find it a heavy lens to carry around? What else do you carry that you could potentially ditch/change to save weight elsewhere?

A wider aperture is useful for low light situations and (potentially) a slightly shallower depth of field, although a wide angle lens isn't often used for it's 'subject isolation' abilities via a shallow dof. Do you shoot astrophotography and/or nightscapes often? If so, this may be a useful upgrade for you in that respect.

Finally the smaller form factor. Without having held and compared the lenses I can't really offer much here except to the point of a weight saving I made above. Do you find your current 16-35 to be excessively large and cumbersome?

Dylan Zoebelein's picture

Thank you for the reply!

It is noticeably heavy when compared to everything else on my mountaineering/climbing pack. But it isn't a limiting factor in my climbs.

My biggest complaint with the 16-35mm f2.8 on a mountaineering trip is my inability to take photos in low light.

I suppose I'll have to get them both in my hands. Selling the 16-35mm f2.8 would give me enough money to cover the cost of the 20mm and another lens.

Dylan Bishop's picture

I just bought the Sigma 20mm f1.4 for the same price. Waiting for it to arrive at my local camera shop, but this announcement makes me feel even better about my purchase.

Jeremy Lusk's picture

That’s a super compelling lens, but man I wish I could put filters on it. Being able to do so with this could make up for losing a little bit of speed. Excited to see some image quality tests with the 1.8!

Ben Preece's picture

I just want to see a 17mm and a 24 mm tilt shift G master. This 20 mm is a phenomenal focal length for real estate video for larger scale properties though. I will probably buy this lens providing the distortion is not unpleasant.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

GAS is starting to rear its ugly head again. I keep trying to convince myself I need a wide angle 20mm or even a 24mm. These Sony versions seem to be pretty compact and light. I have their 28mm f2. I'm starting to use it more again. It became the less used when I bought the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art some time ago. Currently, I typically shoot exclusive 35mm + 85mm. But, I'm wanting to change it up a bit. 20mm + 85mm.