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Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G: a versatile wide-angle lens for stills and movie shooting

Adding to its extensive range of native full-frame E-mount lenses, Sony announced recently the launch of a new G Lens series, the FE 20mm F1.8 G (Model name SEL20F18G).

Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G: versatile for still and movie shooting

The small size and light weight make the combination of the new Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G with a compact E-mount body a a well-balanced system that is ideal for use on gimbals or accessory grips.

A compact, lightweight, ultra-wide prime – the widest full-frame prime lens in the E-mount line-up – the new FE 20mm F1.8 G gives gives Sony’s full-frame users more freedom to shoot stunning landscapes and starscapes as well as capturing impressive video. An advanced optical design that includes two AA elements is supported by a refined mechanical system in a G Lens that weighs just 373 grams (13.2 oz.).

Optically, the FE 20mm F1.8 G features a lens design with the two AA (advanced aspherical) elements mentioned, in tandem with three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements for the effective suppression of chromatic aberration and delivery of high corner-to-corner image quality even at the maximum aperture F1.8. According to Sony, the lens has excellent close-up performance with a minimum focus distance of 0.19 metres (max. magnification: 0.2 times) and delivers beautiful bokeh.

Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G: versatile for still and movie shooting

Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G : a de-clickable lens

The compact design and versatility of the FE 20mm F1.8 G make it the perfect all-rounder for photographers and videographers. The use of two XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors delivers fast, precise and quiet auto focusing for both stills and video shooting. The XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motor has been developed, says Sony, “to deliver higher thrust and efficiency than previous types in order to make the most of the rapidly evolving speed performance of current and future camera bodies. Linear motor design and component layout have been thoroughly revised to achieve significantly higher thrust.” New control algorithms make it possible to drive the lens’s large focus group smoothly and without delays for responsive, silent, low-vibration autofocus.

Videographers will also appreciate the presence of I/A click or Iris / Aperture Click Switch, that allows the aperture ring click stops to be engaged or disengaged as required, through a click ON/OFF switch. Engaging the click stops provides tactile feedback that can make it easier to gauge how much the ring has been adjusted by feel and is, therefore, a good choice for still photography. When the click stops are disengaged, the aperture ring moves smoothly and quietly, providing seamless, silent control for moviemaking.

Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G: versatile for still and movie shooting

Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G arrives in March

Designed to be dust and moisture resistant (although not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof) the FE 20mm F1.8 G front lens element is fluorine coated to repel water and grime, providing the reliability needed for outdoor use in challenging conditions. Sony claims the lens is highly reliable and easy to operate. A focus hold button, focus mode switch, aperture ring, and other controls are designed and positioned for easy operation and a smooth workflow. Alternative functions that support the user’s individual shooting needs can be assigned to the focus hold button via camera body menu settings in a matter of seconds, allowing for faster workflows.

“One of the key pillars of our lens development strategy is listening to what our customers want from us and a large amount of landscape photographers who shoot with our E-mount system have asked for a fast, ultra-wide prime lens that is extremely light and versatile,” said Yann Salmon Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging, Sony Europe. “We feel that the new SEL20F18G hits the sweet spot in combining image quality, portability, superb AF performance and price. Being suitable for video shooting on both full-frame and APS-C bodies, it is an important addition to our lens line-up.”

The Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G will be available in North America from March 2020, priced at $900.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…
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