The FE 28mm f/2, the smallest of Sony’s latest round of FE lenses, is well worth considering, as Andy Westlake finds out
It may be a plain-looking lens on the outside, but the 28mm optic doesn’t skimp when it comes to the optics. The nine-element, eight-group design includes two ED glass elements, two aspheric elements and an advanced aspheric element to suppress distortion and chromatic aberration. Unusually for a full-frame 28mm, it uses an approximately symmetric optical formula, which should also help minimise any optical flaws.
An internal focus design is employed, with a silent linear stepper motor to drive the focus group. As with other FE lenses, manual focus is electronically driven, and the focus ring has no end-stops to its movement. At the lens’s minimum focus distance of 29cm, a maximum magnification of 0.13x is achieved. It’s worth noting that there’s no optical image stabilisation.
Nine curved blades make up the aperture diaphragm, which is capable of stopping down to f/22 in 1/3-stop increments. Filters can be attached to the lens via a 49mm thread that does not rotate on focusing, which should be welcomed by users of polarisers and grads. The bayonet mount accepts the supplied petal-shaped plastic hood, as well as the two converter lenses.
The 28mm is designated an FE lens for full frame, but with a standard E-mount it will also fit onto Sony’s APS-C-sensor compact system cameras. On these it will give a 42mm (equivalent) angle of view, making it an attractive option as a fast normal prime that offers a very natural perspective to images. It is therefore a particularly attractive option for anyone using both formats side-by-side.