Recommendation: Wide-angle (zoom/prime) for Sony A7

Hi everyone,
It’s been a while since my last post :slight_smile: Nonetheless, I’m still using OSS :slight_smile:
I just bought Sony A7 camera and am looking for wide-angle lens. Either zoom or prime.
For the start I got myself used Tokina 16-28 f2.8. It is incredibly sharp lens, but does not work well through Commlite adapter. Also really heavy and the adapter just adds to the length of the lens.
Now I consider to put Tokina 16-28 on sale and opt for other lens.
Considering the below input, which lens would you recommend?

  • wide angle, below 21 mm focal length
  • the lens must be optically good
  • must work well with the camera (either native E-mount or a different bayonet, but only proven to work correctly through an adapter)
  • I cannot afford G-master series :blush:

Hi @mosaster,

I am presently playing with oldest son’s Samyang 12mm 1:2.0
(on a Fuji X-T1, but I believe that there also is a mount for your Sony A7).
It is 100% manual, though, but I am impressed by the optics…

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

@Claes it is only for cropped sensors. I owned that lens and I can confirm it is superb. I’m looking something for full-frame now :wink:

Have found 2 FF UWA lenses for Sony E on Amazon: Samyang 14mm and Sigma 16mm. I think I would go for the Sigma. It is actually quite cheap though also quite heavy I imagine.
Edit: Maybe the Sigma is for APS-C. So you do not really have a choice.

you should mention a few things more:

  • how fast should the lens be?
  • what is your desired price point?
  • what is your use case?
  • Do you need AF or are MF lenses ok?

For astrophotography @asn seems to be quite happy with the Sigma 20mm/f1.4

My usual go to place for lens search is:

The Sigma 20mm/f1.4 the lens I use for astro photography, however it you can’t put a filter in front of it as the from glass is curved and it has a fixed lens hood.

However the quality of the Sigma is really good but they are heavy. An advantage of Sigma lenses is, that if you move to another camera vendor, you can exchange the mount of the lens.

A cheaper variant is Samyang, however you might not get a good quality lens and have to send it back.

I owned a Tokina before, it is acceptably sharp but it isn’t really sharp (compared to a GM lens). The Sigma prime is as sharp as the GM zoom lenses.

@mosaster I can provide some raw samples shot using a Sigma 12-24mm on my D700 in case you’re interested. Don’t know how sharp the lens is at higher MP sensors.

I have the 8mm (or 8.5mm?!) Samyang Fisheye for my Fuji X-T20, and have been impressed with how sharp it is. They make an equivalent fisheye for sony too. If you need a fisheye, this one is sharp and cheap.

  • no darker than f4-5.6
  • 600USD, I don’t mind purchasing used lens
  • landscape photography
  • MF are ok too

whoaaah! what a precise search engine

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I was looking into bying this Sigma 20, but considering only 600USD I cannot afford it new, while it is very rare at Polish used lens market juast as Samyang 20. I’d pick them if available.

Hi @mosaster

If you got the A7 because you require light gear, e.g. you climb mountains, then there is not much wiggle-room: you need the Vario-Tessar T* FE 16–35 mm F4 ZA OSS (SEL1635Z) or the Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70 mm F4 ZA OSS (SEL2470Z). I saw a used SEL1635Z for half the price of a new one.

We’re in the same boat, I’m also looking for a wide angle high quality lens for the Sony α7 II, and currently I’m trying to decide whether I should get one of those two lenses (leaning towards the SEL1635Z), or whether I should get a cheaper, smaller, better prime.

Currently I use an old manual Nikon 24mm f/2.8.

The Rokinon/Samyang SP 14mm f/2.4 has a very good reputation for astrophotography.

If size and weight is not a concern, there are many choices:
Ultimate Fullframe E-mount FE Lens Guide for Sony a1, a7 & a9 Cameras
Sony FE lenses: The honest Guide for the A7/A7II/A7III A7rII/A7rIII/A7rIV A7c A9 -

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I shot this using the Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AI-s:


If 24mm is not wide enough and manual focusing is not an issue, the Nikkor Ais 2.8/20 mm also has good reputations.

For reference: Wide-Angle Lenses For Nikon 'F' Mount

Bullseye Morgan!
Same question is in my mind. It’s not even about the weight, I am a big guy, it’s about quick lens setup - I wish to forget about adapters and all that jazz. With that said, I short list Sony Zeiss 16-35 zoom to be no other option of a wide-angle zoom working out of the box. Also, this is where manual focus shines at its brightest - no autofocus issues, aperture, smaller price tag, etc.
I have overlooked Nikon 20, thanks for reminding of it.

If you do not need a very fast one, i used very much the Voigtländer 15mm f4.5 in E-mount. It is light and small enough to carry it everywhere, very solid built, transmits data regarding aperture and lens name electronically and very fun to use. There are also 10mm and 12mm versions if you want to get even more wide. Good reviews are all over the internet.

And as a bonus, it has great sun stars :wink:

The closest matches for the (indeed affordable, small, fast and optically very, very good Samyang 12mm) on full frame seem to be the

  • Laowa 15mm f2 Zero-D
  • Zeiss Batis 18mm f2.8
  • Tokina 20mm f2 FiRIN (AF or MF, whatever you prefer)
  • Samyang 20mm f1.8
  • Zeiss Loxia 21mm f2.8

The Sigma 20mm has already been mentioned but is too heavy (for my taste at least).

This could also help:

A year ago I made a short list of wide angle lenses I wanted to have for my Sony a7.

It came down to three options; either Samyang 14 mil manual or the auto focus one, ranging from cheap to middle priced.
Auto focus was not high on the wish list as I would mainly wanted it for landscapes.
Also a fast lens was not really required, again a landscape is not demanding (if your on a tripod)

In the end I decided to go for flexibility of the Sony Zeiss (SEL1635Z) and due to the coatings on the lens.
The color rendering is amazing, it is my standard lens for almost all of my trips.

I did had a hurdle to take regarding the price (and had a hard time convincing others close to me ;-)) but I never regretted buying this lens.

Philip Reeves site was very helpful in deciding also.

I was in hiatus whether I shall really opt for Sony 16-35 Zeiss OSS and eventually decided to withdraw. It’s not the first time I see Zeiss making really bad lens blowing up the price tag more than the actual quality. Look at its vignetting - up to 3 stops. None of its competitors has vignetting as terribly much. This is, technically, a half-baked product not covering camera sensor well.
So I stay with Tokina 16-28 until anything appears in the same range with reasonable price. Also will get myself a prime as a backup.

I have replied to Morgan above, after checking SEL1635Z has this much vignetting, it’s not worth even half the money they ask for it.

Vignetting is the usual price you have to pay if you are buying a small lightweight lens.

According to Bryan’s site, you don’t even really get rid of vignetting by stopping down the lens to f/8. It seems to penetrate visibly rather deep in the frame. But is it a real problem? In other respects the lens seems to be fine and small in its class. If you’re shooting landscapes on tripod or in reasonable good light hand held and stop down the lens at least a little bit, you can always remove vignetting without doing too much damage to IQ. In the corners where the vignetting is at its worst, the IQ won’t be that tasty anyway and it usually isn’t the place where you want to guide viewer’s eyes in the first place.

BTW, dxo is giving us very different numbers. Maybe they are using autocorrected jpegs…

I am shooting with Sigma 20/1.4 Art (with Nikon D600). It is a bulky (close to 1 kg) lens, but handles well in a full-frame DSLR. I wouldn’t buy it for landscape shooting, because IQ close to borders isn’t any good at wide apertures and it has issues with field curvature => you have to stop it down and IMHO it doesn’t make much sense to buy a bulky fast prime and use it stopped down when you can do the same and much more with a more versatile zoom. Other problems are coma, which is rather severe wide open, and performance against bright light could be better, especially when the lens is stopped down.

I bought it for portraiture, event photography and creative low light shooting and for these purposes it is a good lense. IQ in central region is good wide open and “look” and bokeh are nice.