Sony E 11mm F1.8 Review
The E 11mm F1.8 is a very welcome ultra-wide-angle addition to the rather neglected Sony APS-C sensor mirrorless camera system. This tiny lens is one of the more affordable Sony primes available, yet it still offers a lot of features and performance for the reasonable asking price.
The main attraction is the combination of a fast F1.8 maximum aperture with the 16.5mm equivalent field of view, making it one of the fastest ultra-wide-angle lenses available for Sony APSC sensor cameras.
It's more versatile than a slower or narrower optic, ideal for both handheld vlogging to camera where you want to throw out the background and for more traditional landscape and architecture stills photography where you want to stop down the aperture.
The build quality is acceptably good, including full weather-sealing, although you'll ideally want to pair it with an equally weather-sealed lens for full peace of mind (unlike the ZV-E10 that we tested it with).
You'll also ideally want to pair it with a stabilized camera body like the Alpha A6600 as it doesn't have any OIS, which again meant that the non-stabilized ZV-E10 was a less than ideal partner.
The E 11mm F1.8 and ZVE10 did prove to be a great match when it came to auto-focusing, though, which proved to be be fast, reliable and virtually silent thanks to the dual motor system.
Optically, the centre sharpness was very high throughout all of the aperture range, even wide-open at F1.8. Edge sharpness doesn't quite match the center, though, requiring you to stop down to F2.8 to get the best results.
Chromatic aberrations are almost completely absent, vignetting isn't too obvious, and flare is present but well controlled even when shooting directly into the sun.
The only real notable optical issue is some very obvious barrel distortion in the RAW files, which is automatically corrected in-camera for the JPEG files, meaning that you'll need to do some post-processing or apply a lens correction profile if you shoot using the former file type.
This lens' main rival is the Samyang AF 12mm F2, a similarly sized lens which offers a slightly slower maximum aperture but is £100 / £50 cheaper than the new Sony 11mm, making it well worth considering if you're in the market for a 16mm prime.
Overall, the new E 11mm F1.8 is an excellent, affordable ultra-wide-angle addition to the Sony APS-C sensor mirrorless camera system that offers a lot of bang for your buck...
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||4.5|