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Sony has not released APS‑C lens­es for a long time, but it seems that they have decid­ed to improve. Pho­to: journaldugeek.com

This sum­mer, the main man­u­fac­tur­ers again seri­ous­ly took up their APS‑C lines: we saw new crop cam­eras and lens­es from Canon and Nikon, and Fuji­film does not change itself. But what about Sony? Many were sure that the com­pa­ny had com­plete­ly aban­doned its APS‑C sys­tem, and sud­den­ly, like a bolt from the blue, three spe­cial Sony E lens­es appeared at once. And not sim­ple, but tai­lored to the needs of video blog­gers.

Today we’re going to take a look at Sony’s APS‑C blog­ging lens­es: the new 11mm f/1.8, 15mm f/1.4, 10–20mm f/4 PZ, as well as the main alter­na­tives on the mar­ket.

Sony E 11mm f/1.8
Sony E 15mm f/1.8
Sony E 10–20mm f/4 PZ
Pic­ture qual­i­ty
aut­o­fo­cus
Macro
sharp­ness
Alter­na­tive Sony E lens­es for blog­gers
Results

To begin with, none of the new lens­es have opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion. And this, frankly, is not very good news, giv­en that the main APS‑C blog­ging cam­era (which, first of all, the new glass­es fit), the Sony ZV-E10, also does not have a built-in stub. So you will either have to use elec­tron­ic sta­bi­liza­tion, which crops the frame a lit­tle, or shoot with a steadicam.

Hav­ing not­ed this impor­tant point, let’s con­tin­ue.

Sony E 11mm f/1.8

Despite its wide angle and weath­er pro­tec­tion, the Sony 11mm f/1.8 weighs just 180 grams. Pho­to: popphoto.com

11mm f/1.8 gives you a very wide-angle cov­er­age (equiv­a­lent to 17mm at full frame), which is good for the tight space of a home stu­dio, blog­ging on the go, all kinds of trav­el blogs and so on. Even with such a lens, sev­er­al peo­ple will fit into the frame at once, so this is a good option for shoot­ing inter­views.

Of course, this is not a very “por­trait” focal length: if you bring the cam­era close to your face while shoot­ing, you will get char­ac­ter­is­tic dis­tor­tions in pro­por­tions (do you still remem­ber gifs with a big nose?) — this must be borne in mind.

The mod­el is very light — only 180 grams, and very com­pact, with a 55mm thread for ND fil­ters in the front. The lens received pro­tec­tion from dust and mois­ture, and comes with a beau­ti­ful lens hood. In terms of con­trols, there is an autofocus/manual focus switch as well as one cus­tom but­ton.

Sony E 15mm f/1.8

This is a G‑Master series lens, which means you have all the con­trols you need. Pho­to: popphoto.com

This lens on an APS‑C cam­era pro­duces an image equiv­a­lent to 22mm full frame. That is, it is a more ver­sa­tile wide-angle dis­tance com­pared to the pre­vi­ous mod­el and more typ­i­cal for vlog­ging. How­ev­er, keep in mind that if you’re shoot­ing a vlog on the go with the ZV-E10 and turn on the elec­tron­ic sta­bi­liza­tion, you’ll get extra crop­ping that fur­ther “nar­rows” your shot.

The Sony 15mm f/1.8 is part of the advanced G‑Master series, which means you get top-notch body qual­i­ty and a full range of con­trols. First­ly, there is a cool clicky aper­ture ring that can be turned off for video shoot­ing (using the but­ton on the side). There is also a stan­dard autofocus/manual focus switch and an addi­tion­al cus­tom but­ton.

The lens bar­rel is weath­er­proofed and the lens is about the same weight as the 11mm mod­el. It is slight­ly larg­er, but still very com­pact. Front thread for 55mm fil­ter.

Sony E 10–20mm f/4 PZ

The lens does not enlarge when zoom­ing. Pho­to: popphoto.com

There was a zoom in the line­up with an inter­est­ing set of focal lengths. Of course, 20mm can be a bit nar­row for vlog­ging: at arm’s length, you can only fit the head and shoul­ders into the frame. How­ev­er, if you’re shoot­ing a trav­el blog and want to show view­ers the streets of the city or the nat­ur­al land­scapes behind you, this is a very inter­est­ing focal length. At the oth­er end you have 10mm, which is quite wide for vlog­ging. But here we get the beau­ty of zoom — you have a wide range of focal lengths between these extreme points, so you can eas­i­ly find the right option for your sit­u­a­tion.

This is again a glass from the G‑Master series, with con­ve­nient aper­ture, zoom and man­u­al focus rings. Plus, you have a pow­er-zoom rock­er that allows you to smooth­ly zoom in on the pic­ture while shoot­ing a video. As in past mod­els, there is an aut­o­fo­cus / man­u­al focus switch and a cus­tom but­ton.

Despite the fact that this is a wide-angle zoom with a weath­er­proof hous­ing, Sony man­aged to make it very com­pact and light — 180 grams in weight and a thread for a 62mm fil­ter in the front.

So all three new glass­es are very com­pact and light­weight, which is a huge plus for any video film­ing on the go, from trav­el blogs to event report­ing.

Picture quality

autofocus

All three lens­es share the same aut­o­fo­cus motor, allow­ing them to focus quick­ly and accu­rate­ly in both stills and video.

An addi­tion­al bonus for video is smooth refo­cus­ing and almost zero “focus breath­ing” (man­i­fest­ed by notice­able jit­ter dur­ing video shoot­ing when focus­ing from zero to infin­i­ty due to changes in focal length).

Macro

As for the macro capa­bil­i­ties, these are clear­ly not the mod­els you want to use for shoot­ing small objects due to their small zoom fac­tor. Although for sub­ject shoot­ing and var­i­ous reviews of equip­ment it will do.

Sam­ple pho­to on Sony E 11mm f/1.8. Pho­to: dpreview.com/Gannon Bur­gett

Sam­ple video on Sony E 11mm f/1.8. Source: Sony India Youtube Chan­nel

sharpness

In terms of image sharp­ness, the lens­es are very sim­i­lar: both primes, 11mm and 15mm, are very sharp in the cen­ter even at wide open aper­ture, and if you cov­er it a lit­tle, the dif­fer­ence is not very notice­able. But most impor­tant­ly, they are very sharp and in the cor­ners of the frame even wide open — so you can shoot at f / 1.8 and f / 1.4 with­out much wor­ries.

Sam­ple pho­to on Sony E 15mm f/1.4. Pho­to: dpreview.com/Gannon Bur­gett

Sam­ple video on Sony E 15mm f/1.4. Source: Sony India Youtube Chan­nel

A slight­ly dif­fer­ent sto­ry with the 10–20mm f/4 zoom. At the wide end (10mm) it still looks great both in the cen­ter and around the edges, both at f/4 and f/8.

But when shoot­ing at the tele­pho­to end (20mm), the pic­ture changes. If every­thing is exact­ly the same with the cen­tral part of the frame (that is, excel­lent sharp­ness), then at the cor­ners of the frame at an open aper­ture (f / 4) the pic­ture is quite sharp, and at a cov­ered aper­ture (f / 8), on the con­trary, the cor­ners of the frame become soft­er — a very strange effect .

Sam­ple pho­to on Sony E 10–20mm f/4 PZ G. Pho­to: dpreview.com/Gannon Bur­gett

Sam­ple video on Sony E 10–20mm f/4 PZ G. Source: Sony India Youtube chan­nel

In gen­er­al, we can say that all three lens­es are opti­mized for shoot­ing at an open aper­ture — for work­ing in low light and visu­al­ly sep­a­rat­ing the sub­ject (blog­ger) from the back­ground.

Alternative Sony E lenses for bloggers

What makes the new items espe­cial­ly inter­est­ing is that Sony has released quite a few spe­cial­ized APS‑C Sony E lens­es dur­ing the exis­tence of the line that are suit­able for blog­gers. Although there are some inter­est­ing offers from third-par­ty man­u­fac­tur­ers.

Let’s start with the alter­na­tive wide-angle zoom. And here in the lug­gage Sony has native APS‑C glass with inter­est­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics: Sony 10–18mm f/4.

First of all, the lens has built-in opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion, which gives huge advan­tages when shoot­ing on the go.

Sec­ond­ly, it has an excel­lent range of focal lengths for shoot­ing vlogs. It falls short at the far end of the zoom to the new pow­er zoom, but for blogs it’s not that crit­i­cal. The main thing is that at the wide end you still have the same 10mm.

Of the minus­es: Sony 10–18mm f/4 did not receive pro­tec­tion from bad weath­er, while it weighs more: 225 grams ver­sus 180 grams, although it is still a very com­pact and light­weight lens.

Sony 10–18mm f/4 with opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion looks like the most inter­est­ing alter­na­tive for blog­gers. Pho­to: Youtube chan­nel Ste­fan Mal­loch.

A third-par­ty alter­na­tive would be the Tam­ron 11–20mm f/2.8. This lens, although declared as designed for APS‑C cam­eras, still cov­ers the full frame, respec­tive­ly, it is larg­er and heav­ier than its com­peti­tors — 335 grams. Although, of course, this “glass” has an advan­tage in aper­ture ratio, while the lens does not have opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion (like the Sony 10–20mm f / 4). Plus, you lose 1mm at the wide end, which may not seem like much, but some­times that mil­lime­ter may not be enough (espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing crop with elec­tron­ic sta­bi­liza­tion).

As far as wide-angle primes go, Sony has­n’t giv­en much thought to the pro­duc­tion of ded­i­cat­ed APS‑C lens­es at all. All fixed-widths of the com­pa­ny are designed for full-frame cam­eras, which affects their size and weight.

But third-par­ty man­u­fac­tur­ers who have sev­er­al offers are sav­ing.

First­ly, this is the bud­get 7Artisans 12mm f/2.8 wide. Quite a sol­id lens for the mon­ey, from which, nev­er­the­less, you should not expect the same sharp­ness (espe­cial­ly at the edges of the frame) com­pared to native glass­es. It is less fast, heav­ier, but the main prob­lem is the lack of aut­o­fo­cus. How­ev­er, for more or less sta­t­ic frames such as “talk­ing head” and blog inter­views, you can do it this way, hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly cov­ered the aper­ture.

The same goes for the Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero‑D, which also only has man­u­al focus. At the same time, you get an ultra-wide-angle image, which will fit sev­er­al mem­bers of your blog with­out any prob­lems at once. The optics in Laowa are more inter­est­ing than in 7Artisans, but still with­out aut­o­fo­cus, this is not the best option for shoot­ing on the go.

But do not despair — there are still wide-angle aut­o­fo­cus fix­es for Sony E on the mar­ket. So, for Sony 15mm f/1.4 there is an inter­est­ing alter­na­tive in the form of Sig­ma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN. This is a fair­ly heavy mod­el (405 grams) with pro­tec­tion from bad weath­er, excel­lent optics and a very nice price. As in the native “glass”, there is no opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion, how­ev­er, in terms of price and qual­i­ty, the option is very wor­thy.

If you still want a native prime designed specif­i­cal­ly for crop cam­eras, then the clos­est alter­na­tive would be the Sony Son­nar T 24mm f/1.8 ZA. Its equiv­a­lent focal length is 36mm, which is cer­tain­ly not as wide-angle cov­er­age as oth­er mod­els, but it is very close to the “uni­ver­sal” 35mm, which is suit­able for many gen­res of pho­tog­ra­phy and video. For a blog­ger shoot­ing on the go, this will be a head-and-shoul­ders option, while shoot­ing in a home stu­dio will require you to move the cam­era to a decent dis­tance, but you will get excel­lent sharp­ness through­out the frame thanks to high-end optics from Carl Zeiss. The bonus is full com­pat­i­bil­i­ty with Sony’s aut­o­fo­cus cam­era sys­tems, high aper­ture and quite a sane price tag.

Results

With a wide field of view, all three APS‑C lens­es are suit­able for group por­traits and blog inter­views. Pho­to: ephotozine.com

Sony has released a very inter­est­ing trio of lens­es suit­able for shoot­ing vlogs. The mod­els are aimed at use with the Sony ZV-E10 blog­ging cam­era: these are glass­es spe­cial­ly designed for the APS‑C for­mat, which for Sony is more an excep­tion than a rule.

The Sony 11mm f/1.8 may seem too wide for vlog­ging, but once you turn on the ZV-E10’s elec­tron­ic sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem, all the “extra” part of the frame will be instant­ly cropped. So it can be con­sid­ered a nec­es­sary reserve. Oth­er­wise, it’s a very handy com­pact wide-angle prime with excel­lent edge-to-edge sharp­ness — a great choice for shoot­ing on the go and in tight spaces. The cost of the mod­el is 550 dol­lars.

The more expen­sive ($750) Sony E 15mm F1.4 G, although it looks like a more suit­able option for blog­ging in terms of focal length, nev­er­the­less, can be a bit “nar­row” with crop­ping from elec­tron­ic sta­bi­liza­tion. But for pho­tog­ra­phy, it can become an excel­lent uni­ver­sal lens — thanks to its high aper­ture and steep sharp­ness.

The Sony E 10–20mm F/4 PZ G zoom will also retail for $750. And it looks like a very inter­est­ing option for vlog­ging — for video shoot­ing, it pro­vides a pic­ture much sharp­er than any 4K mate­r­i­al, and f / 4 is quite a decent aper­ture for video. It is also very com­pact and light­weight. The zoom fea­ture is a very handy option in many sit­u­a­tions.

As for the alter­na­tives, Sony has anoth­er very inter­est­ing APS‑C zoom with sta­bi­liza­tion: the Sony 10–18mm f/4. From wide-angle fix­es, you can pay atten­tion to the Sig­ma 16mm f / 1.4 DC DN, although this “bar­rel” is not too light. Of the less wide-angle options, the Sony Son­nar T 24mm f / 1.8 ZA boasts its impec­ca­ble optics.

* when prepar­ing the arti­cle, mate­ri­als from the resource dpreview.com were used.

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