NOTE: this is for crop sensor (DX) Alpha cameras only.
This is Sony’s ultra wide zoom for crop sensor dSLR cameras. It provides an ultra wide 104 degree field of view at 11mm, making the lens perfect for capturing wide landscape and city street shots. With three aspherical and one Extra Low Dispersion element, chromatic aberration and flare are very well controlled.
For those of you who haven’t tried an ultra wide angle lens, remember that the field of view at 11mm is 50% larger than 18mm. It makes a world of difference.
Comparing the ultra-wide, crop sensor camera lenses is an extremely difficult task, so I’ll put the summary first: they all deliver excellent image quality and you can’t go wrong with any of them. To my “just taking pictures” assessment, they are all excellent. There are some differences though, so I’ll try to point those out (that way you can better choose the one that’s best for you.)
- The Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 is the widest (and remember, 8mm is 20% wider than 10mm, so it’s a very real difference). Not quite as sharp in the corners as the others, and lower maximum aperture, but it’s really pretty good, especially considering it’s the widest of the wide.
- The Sony 11-18 f/4.5-5.6 is a decent lens, although it really isn’t sharp wide open, it needs to be stopped down a stop to give you the images most of us want. It’s nice and small, which is important when you’re only carrying an ultra-wide in the bag “just in case” you need it. Overall, a decent, but not a great performer, possibly the weakest of the ultrawides.
- The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 has a bit more distortion than the others but delivers very nice images. It has a great build quality, and does pretty much everything well.
- The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 gives you the widest aperture if you’ll be working in low light (with ultra wides, depth of field is rarely an important point), but it’s a bit soft at f/2.8, so the aperture advantage isn’t huge (I usually shoot it at f/3.5 if I can to get it sharper). It has very little vignetting and distortion, probably the least of the group. Unfortunately, it does show quite a bit of chromatic aberration at times. Overall it may be the best image quality of the group.
But like I said above: they’re all excellent. We hardly ever get anything but happy comments about any of them.
- Filter Size
- 77mm (nonrotating front element)
- 0.75 lb (without tripod collar)
- Minimum Focusing Distance
- 0.75 feet
- Maximum Magnification
- Angle of view: (crop frame)
- 104 to 76 degrees
- Zoom method
- Barrel Extending
- Image Stabilization
- Focusing System
- Internal/rear elements, Full time active,
- Aperture Blades
- 7, circular
- Low Dispersion Elements
- Aspherical Elements
- Weather Resistant
- Flare and Ghosting
- minimal ghosting, minimal loss of contrast
- Sony Alpha
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