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Sony E 11mm f/1.8 Review by Opticallimits: “nothing short of a bargain in this class”

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11mm f/1.8 at BHphoto. Adorama. Amazon. FocusCamera. FotoKoch DE. FotoErhardt DE. Calumet DE. WexUK.

Opticallimits tested the Sony 11mm lens and concluded:

If you believe the hype around the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 over on YouTube, it has to be the best lens ever since sliced bread. Well, YouTube videos tend to be a little -say- overenthusiastic at times. The Sony lens is undoubtedly very good, but there are reasons why Sony didn’t classify this lens with a “G” in the name. In terms of sharpness, the E 11mm f/1.8 leaves little to be desired. It produces a very consistent performance from f/1.8 all the way up to f/8. The center quality is generally excellent, combined with a good to very good outer image field. You can’t expect much more from a lens of this focal length class, but it’s not standing out either except for its speed. The lens relies heavily on image auto-correction, especially to handle the massive native barrel distortions. These are tamed down nicely, but it is a lossy correction that also costs a bit of sharpness potential. The original vignetting is also heavy. Once again, auto-correction comes to the rescue, although some vignetting remains at large aperture settings. Flare is well controlled for such a lens. We haven’t formally tested the bokeh but based on the sample images that we have taken, it is surprisingly smooth for an ultra-wide lens.

It may not be a designated professional lens, but the mechanical quality is actually pretty solid despite the extremely low weight. Sony incorporated decent-quality plastics into the barrel based on a metal mount. Nothing wobbles, and the focus ring operates smoothly. Sealing against dust and moisture as well as an inner focusing system provides reasonable protection against the elements. The dual linear AF motor is fast and silent. If you are into vlogging, the lens is certainly capable of keeping you in focus while moving around. The minimal focus breathing is also a plus when it comes to videos.

One of the most surprising aspects of the lens is certainly its price tag. At “just” $550/550EUR, it’s nothing short of a bargain in this class. Third-party options aren’t really any cheaper, and the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 is the obvious choice if you are in the market for an APS-C ultra-wide prime lens.

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