Sony has a lot of great lenses that can be used for wideangle photography.
In this guide, we looked through all available zooms and primes, and selected the ones that give you the most for the money. Image quality, sharpness, colors and distortion were our main priority.
The term “best” is very relative though, especially when it comes to wide lenses. You might need something for exclusively indoor photography, whereas someone else wants to do landscape photography. Perhaps you want to do both.
To help you with this, we made sure to include a couple of recommended photography styles for each lens in their description.
This guide is for E-mount cameras; A6, A7 and A9 series.
Best Sony Wideangle Zoom Lenses:
Best Sony Wideangle Prime Lenses:
10 Best Sony Wideangle Lenses
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The Sony 10-18mm f/4 G OSS is the widest zoom lens available for APS-C Sony cameras.
Aperture stays fixed at f/4 regardless of your length, which seems to be a standard for almost all Sony’s zooms and it’s something we really like. While f/4 is not the best aperture for low light, it’s still better than f/5.6 or f/6.3, something that’s common when zooms under $1000.
If you like photographing landscape, cities, architecture and indoors, you’ll love the field of view. Auto focus is also quick and usable for shots on the go even though this isn’t aimed at sports shooters.
Distortion is very well controlled for a lens this wide, but vignetting at f/4 and 10mm will have to be corrected either in the camera or in post process, as you’ll most likely find it too strong.
The lens is also really light, yet feels solid and is mostly made of metal. It’s far from heavy at 0.50 lb (225g). The minimum focus distance is 0.82 ft (0.25m) and it takes 62mm filters.
It’s a perfect lens for landscape, streets, buildings, nature and even for traveling. It’ll be fine indoors too, but you will probably have to raise the ISO when in dim light.
A really useful feature is the OSS (stabilization) so if your camera doesn’t have it built-in, you can rely on getting around 4 stops of extra stabilization if you’re not stable enough.
2. Sony 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS
The Sony 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS is a versatile, sharp lens for all sorts of landscape and wide angle situations and it’s designed for full frame Sony cameras.
If you prefer wide zooms over primes, there’s no better lens, especially at this price. The colors, contrast and sharpness are all great. While it’s usable at f/4, the corners might be a little too soft for some, at least when above 28mm.
Specification wise, the 16-35mm f/4 features AA (advanced apsherical) and 3 ED elements that help control the chromatic aberration and show less distortion. There’s also T* coating to reduce the flare and ghosting. It displays normal signs of vignetting and distortion for when under 20mm, but both can be corrected if needed.
It weighs 18.3 oz (518g) and it balances nicely on all A7 bodies. Its minimum focus distance is 0.92 ft (0.28m) but it’s nothing to use as a lens for close up shots with 0.19x magnification. The lens is aimed at indoor, street, landscape and group shots scenarios and it excels at that.
Aperture stays fixed at f/4 at all lengths which seems to be a standard with the majority of Sony’s lenses. If most of your work is done outdoors then there’s no point in buying the bigger, heavier and more expensive f/2.8 version.
3. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8
High quality zooms with f/2.8 aperture aren’t that cheap. Combined with the fact many Sony lenses tend to cost more than from other brands, it’s no wonder that the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM costs over $2,000.
Is it worth it?
The 16-35mm range is for group shots, landscape, environmental portraits, indoor scenes and such. If you know you’ll be shooting in low light quite often, and that f/4 is not an option for your high ISO performance, then this is your only zoom choice. There’s always prime lenses, but at the cost of no zoom. This is something you’ll have to decide on your own, but the 16-35mm is a fantastic lens nonetheless.
The 16-35mm features two XA (extreme aspherical) elements and 3 aspherical elements to reduce distortion, aberration and loss of sharpness in corners. At this price range, this is expected.
While wide angle lenses aren’t something you’d use for portraits, it helps knowing there’s an 11-blade circular aperture to make bokeh look more appealing than with most other wider choices.
There’s not much else to say; auto focus is quick and accurate thanks to DDSSM (direct drive supersonic wave motor). Because of its f/2.8 aperture, this is good if you often shoot landscape without a tripod, and also do weddings or other low light work.
4. Sony 24-70mm /4 OSS
The Sony 24-70mm f/4 OSS provides a range perfect for a lot of popular types of photography, from landscape, food, portraits, to weddings, traveling and more.
It’s a lens you can carry as an all-around choice, although it’s not the most suitable for indoors due to its fixed f/4 aperture. It’s not bad, it’s just that you’d have to spend a whole lot more on the 24-70mm f/2.8 to get that 1 stop bigger aperture.
Since landscape photography is 99% outdoors, there’s no need to spend so much unless you’re also into astrophotography and need every little bit of light. Otherwise, we shoot landscape with smaller aperture anyways, in order to have a big depth of field (everything appears in focus and sharp).
Image quality wise, the lens is fairy sharp. Corners might appear soft at most lengths, even when stopped down a bit, but overall it performs solid. You will also notice some distortion and vignetting at 24 to around 35mm. Auto focus is relatively quick and quiet, so that’s a nice plus.
To sum up, this is a lens you buy because of its versatile range. It won’t blow you away with its performance, and while we think it could be slightly cheaper, it’s still a solid purchase. You’ve also got OSS which helps stabilize the image if you’re not stable (after a long day of walking, it’s easy to get tired).
5. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
The Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM has the range, image quality and aperture size that make it perfect for traveling, weddings, portraits; pretty much everything you can think of.
This is why the price is higher than most other lenses on this list. It’s something you buy and never have to replace, and you get it because you know it will complement your shooting style.
Compared to the f/4 above, it’s got better optical performance, especially in corners, and of course goes up to f/2.8. As we mentioned previously, you rarely shoot landscape with such big apertures, but if you’re into other types of wideangle work (night time, indoors etc.) then this is a helping factor. This also makes it good for portrait photography!
On the inside it has 1 x Extreme Aspherical element (XA), 2 x Aspherical elements, 1 x Super ED and 1 x ED element. You’re looking at 18 elements in 13 groups so the size and weight are no surprise (31.25 oz/885g)
Yes, it’s big and heavy, so if these two are your main concerns then an f/2.8 zoom will probably never be a part of your kit. It’s also expensive, sitting at $1000 more than the f/4 version.
The auto focus is really fast and accurate thanks to DDSSM and it’s perfect for locking on fast moving subjects. All of that comes with a big price tag, but it’s worth it.
Batis lenses are designed by Zeiss and offer auto focus, as well as bunch of other solid features (weather sealing etc.). Image quality, as expected from this company, is also top notch in the Batis line.
The Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 is our top pick for the ultra-wide photographer shooting landscape, streets and astrophotography. It is sharp across the entire frame and is usable at f/2.8. Definitely worth the price and the contrast and colors are also superb.
It has Zeiss’ T* coating for reduced flare and it also displays minimal amount of chromatic aberration. We mentioned it’s appropriate for astrophotography too, mostly thanks to near-zero visible coma.
Some other cool features; there’s an OLED screen on top that you can turn on/off, it has good auto focus and it feels very solid.
Because of the big aperture (f/2.8 to f/22) and good sharpness, the Batis 18mm is great for interior, street, architectural and nature photography. While auto focus is usually not a concern for landscape uses, it helps knowing that when needed, it’s quick and quiet. The ring for manual is focusing is rubberized although we find AF to be a better choice due to the way it’s designed.
2. Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN
The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN is designed for APS-C cameras only (the A6 series) and it’s super affordable.
Mounted on the A6, its field of view is equivalent to a 28.5mm lens. It’s cheap, extremely small and light, and offers great image quality for the price.
Colors, contrast and sharpness are are good and if you really don’t want to spend a lot, this should be your first lens to explore landscape photography. You’re not limited to that only of course, the focal length makes it great for indoor shots, traveling, streets and much more.
The f/2.8 aperture also allows you to shoot in low light without a flash!
Auto focus is also quick and quite accurate, although we don’t recommend this lens for professional video work. If you’re buying it for 100% photography work, you’ll be happy with it.
We couldn’t find any other bad points, and to be honest that video part isn’t really a disadvantage or anything. This lens features very little problems; distortion and aberrations are well controlled.
The Sigma 19mm is a compact lens you take with you when you want good images and barely feel like you’ve got any weight on you (it weighs 5.6 oz/160g)
3. Sony 24mm f/1.8 Zeiss
If you you don’t want to spend too much on a zoom lens, or prefer using prime lenses due to their bigger aperture and smaller design, the Sony 24mm f/1.8 is our widest pick.
Weddings, street photography, group shots, anything indoors, traveling… you name it. On an APS-C camera, it’s equivalent to a 36mm lens which is still quite wide and usable.
There’s no OSS (stabilzation) but at 24mm the depth of field is a lot bigger which means you can shoot with long shutter speeds and still get crisp results. If your camera has stabilization built-in, then there’s nothing worry about at all.
The lens is very sharp, images have rich colors and contrast. It’s also usable at f/1.8 but corner sharpness gets better as you stop down of course. Auto focus is also quick and silent, and it rarely hunts in bad light (review at PhotographyBlog).
Best of all, it’s compact, light and easy to use for both manual and auto focus. Lenses can hunt indoors, and at such moments you’ll have to focus manually.
4. Sony 35mm f/2.8
The 35mm length has always been considered the perfect choice for street shots and environmental portraits. The Sony 35mm f/2.8 OSS is probably your best lens if you’re looking for a small, affordable but sharp prime.
It was tough choosing between the 35mm f/2.8 and Sony 35mm f/1.4, so we went with both even though the latter weighs 4.5x more. Unless you shoot in low light and absolutely need the big f/1.4 aperture, you’ll be more than fine with f/2.8 even when shooting indoors.
The 35mm f/2.8 has 7 diaphragm blades, while the f/1.4 has 9. Bokeh looks good on both, but the f/1.4 is the winner here. If that’s worth the extra money depends on how much bokeh is important to you.
Besides streets, you can use it as an all-around compact prime for just about anything; travel, indoors, nature, events and casual photography.
If you have the budget for both versions, you’ll need to ask yourself whether a bigger, heavier, more expensive and slightly sharper lens is better than an extremely light, compact, sharp with 2 stops smaller aperture.
5. Sony 35mm f/1.4 ZA
The Sony 35mm f/1.4 ZA is a brilliant piece of glass. It’s tack sharp, focuses quickly and has great image quality.
There’s 3 spherical elements inside, as well as Zeiss anti-reflective coating that improves contrast from center to the edges.
Due to its length, it’s great for both landscape, indoors, as well as portraits and group shots. The f/1.4 aperture makes it good to shoot in low light, while a 9 blade aperture will make that bokeh appear soft.
It’s quite big and expensive though, so if you’re against bigger lenses then this is not for you. Nothing abnormal of course, just, bigger than the average.
However, if you’re looking for the ultimate image quality, with very little distortion and chromatic aberration, the Sony 35mm f/1.4 ZA is the one.
How to Buy a Wideangle Lens?
The difference between a 14mm and a 16mm lens may not seem like a lot on paper, but when dealing with such small numbers, every millimeter makes a difference. This is especially important if you’re shooting in tight spaces and don’t want to do panoramas (real estate photography for example).
Anything up to 35mm is considered wide angle, but the size of your sensor is also important. This statement holds true for full frame cameras, but if you’ve got an APS-C Sony, you need to multiply the focal length x 1.5x to get the actual field of view. All of a sudden, your wide 24mm lens now becomes a 36mm lens!
Thankfully you’ve got a few lenses created specifically for the APS-C mount, meaning that when you mount them on they’re still wide enough for everything you want despite the 1.5x crop. As you can see from our list above, we have 1 zooms and 2 prime lens specifically created for APS-C cameras. You can still buy other lenses of course, it’s just that they won’t be as wide.
- If you’ve got an APS-C camera, always remember the x1.5crop factor
- Under 20mm is considered extremely wide, 20-35mm is wide, over 35mm is normal
Plan on using wide lenses mostly outdoors and rarely in bad light? If your Sony is also good at high ISO speeds and you don’t care about blurring the background, there’s no need to buy an f/2.8 wide zoom.
On the other hand, if you shoot indoors and want to stick to low ISO levels to get the cleanest images, having a big aperture helps a lot.
This is especially true if you’re into astrophotography, and prime lenses are often better for this thanks to their 2-3 stops bigger max. apertures.
- Often shoot in low light? A lens with f/2.8 or bigger is recommended
- Mostly shoot outdoors and have good high ISO performance? Aperture f/4 is totally fine and you’re most likely going to stop down anyways
Generally speaking, most photographers use wide lenses for landscape and more static subjects. Quite often, you use manual focus simply because you can; combined with the Live View feature and a tripod, you can make sure your focus is spot on.
However, that doesn’t mean auto focus is not important here. Sometimes you simply don’t have enough time to do all of that, and not everyone shoots nature only. Many people use them as walk-around lenses, or for weddings, clubs, group shots etc.
Luckily, all lenses have auto focus that is quick and accurate, and unless you shoot action as well, you shouldn’t worry that much here.
- Luckily today’s wide lenses have quick and accurate auto focus, but for many landscape shooters it’s not a priority
Weight & Size
Extreme wide angles = big front element, heavy glass.
If you travel and hike, or just dislike carrying around a lot of weight, you’ll have to find the compromise between the weight and focal length (zoom or prime) offered. There’s no point in owning an optically superb, but heavy lens, if you never find the reason to take it out because you know it’ll make you tired. If you don’t want to carry a tripod with you but would still love something to add extra stability, check out our list of best monopods for cameras.
These dimensions and weights are nothing compared to telephoto lenses, but it’s still something you shouldn’t forget when making a purchase.
The lenses we chose are very well suited for a whole different variety of photography; landscape, architecture, indoors and interiors, nature, astrophotography etc. You could even use them for weddings if you need a lens for group shots or environmental portraits.