Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G Review
The Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G is a very compact and lightweight ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for Sony's range of Alpha branded APS-C cropped-sensor mirrorless cameras.
It offers a 15-30mm equivalent focal length in 35mm full-frame terms, making it ideal for vlogging, landscape, interior and architecture photography.
This lens' most notable feature is an electronically controlled internal powered zoom system which provides extremely smooth and quiet zooming that’s vital for smooth movie making.
This E-mount lens has a maximum aperture of f/4, fast and quiet auto focusing thanks to the dual Linear Motor system, and a customizable focus hold button.
The optical formula is comprised of 11 elements arranged in 8 groups, including three aspherical elements to suppress distortion and aberrations., two ED glass elements to subdue chromatic aberrations and one ED Aspherical element to correct a variety of aberrations.
Other highlights include a minimum focusing distance of 13cm and a maximum magnification of 0.18x, a fluorine coating applied to the front element to resist dust, oils, and fingerprints, and a dust- and moisture-resistant design.
The Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G lens is priced at £750 in the UK and $750 in the US. It was launched in June 2022 and is manufactured in China.
Ease of Use
The Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G is a fully weather-sealed, ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with a dedicated Sony E mount that is made of metal. Communication between lens and camera body is provided through 10 electrical contacts.
Note however that in order to take full advantage of the weatherproofing, you will need to mount it on a similarly weather-sealed body, unlike the Sony ZV-E10 camera that we tested it with.
The weather-proofing inspires confidence that the lens will survive all kinds of inclement conditions.
Considering how small and light it is, the E PZ 10-20mm F4 G lens is well built, certainly on a par with the company's other G-branded lenses.
Tipping the scales at just 178g (6.3oz.) and measuring 69.8 x 55.0 mm (2-3/4 x 2-1/4 in.) in diameter and length, the Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G is an incredibly compact and lightweight ultra-wide-angle zoom lens that you can carry around all day without noticing.
The Sony ZV-E10 used for this test proved to be a good match for the lens, offering very pleasing balance and fast and near-silent auto-focusing.
Although the zoom ring appears to operate the lens elements directly as you’d expect from a typical zoom lens, it doesn't here. Instead the ring simply actuates the two internal Linear focusing motors, immediately responding with virtually no delay at all.
The power zoom can be be remotely controlled via compatible camera bodies, a remote commander or accessory grip, and even while the camera is mounted on a gimbal using the Imaging Edge Mobile application.
Unlike most zoom rings on ultra-wide-angle lenses, the FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G is not marked with different focal lengths so you can quickly jump to the focal length you’d like to use.
Instead you have to rely on the horizontal scale and focal length that are displayed in the viewfinder and LCD screen, which rather slows down the operation of the lens.
In addition to the manual zoom ring, there's also a rocker lever for full power zooming. Push the lever up to zoom in and down to zoom out.
It’s a control system much as you’d find on the lens barrel of many superzoom bridge cameras and works very well here, providing steady and completely silent zooming that’s perfect for video work.
Importantly the zooming is completely internal so the lens barrel doesn't extend, making this lens ideally suited to use with a gimbal.
The E PZ 10-20mm F4 G zoom's other main external control is the adequately sized focus ring.
You can quickly and easily use the focus mode switch to toggle the function of the lens between AF and MF.
Manual focusing is done in a traditional fashion, with the focus ring electronically coupled to the moving lens elements and operating with linear-response, although there are no hard stops at either end. Focusing is fully internal and the 62mm filter thread does not rotate on focus.
With the E PZ 10-20mm F4 G lens attached to a Sony ZV-E10 body, focusing proved to be satisfyingly quick in most situations thanks to the Linear Motor system which uses two separate motors.
This combination is capable of locking focus on a subject almost instantly, even when alternating between close and faraway subjects, and it's virtually silent too.
In extreme low-light situations you may experience a little focus hunting at the long end, not helped by the slow F4 maximum aperture.
Despite being immediately adjacent to each other, the focus and zoom rings are easy to differentitate because there is a slight but noticeable "step" between the two, with the focus ring protruding ever so slightly more than the zoom ring. This makes it easier to operate them by feel alone while viewing a monitor.
This lens does not feature built-in image stabilisation, instead relying on the camera body to supply it, which will prove frustrating for owners of Alpha camera bodies without IBIS, again like the ZV-E10 that Sony sent us for testing.
The lens has a customisable focus hold button which keeps the lens locked to the current focusing distance, useful if you're auto-focusing and don't want the lens to try and find focus again. It can also, amongst other things, be usefully set to Eye AF.
Included in the box is a slim petal-shaped lens hood (ALC-SH169), which is easy to attach to the lens - simply line up the red line with the red marking on the lens and twist into place until it clicks. You can also reverse the lens hood for reducing the overall size when transporting the lens. This lens accepts 62mm front filters.
The 10mm focal length provides an angle of view of 109 degrees.
The 20mm focal length provides an angle of view of 70 degrees.
Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not too much of a problem with the Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G lens, except in areas of very high contrast.
With the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/4, there is some light fall-off in the corners, requiring you to stop down by at least 3 f-stops to completely prevent it.
The Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G doesn't exhibit very much barrel distortion in JPEG files, as you can see in the photos below, thanks to in-camera lens distortion controls that are automatically applied (and which can't actually be turned off).
It's a different story for the Raw file, though, which exhibits lots of barrel distortion which you'll need to either correct in post-processing or apply a lens profile.
10mm - JPEG
10mm - RAW
20mm - JPEG
20mm - RAW
Sunstars and Flare
The Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G is capable of producing nice sunstars when stopped-down to f/16 and f/22, as shown below, although the lens is somewhat susceptible to flare when shooting directly into the sun even with the supplied lens hood fitted.
The Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G is not really a macro lens, but it does offer a usefully close focus point of 20cm when auto-focusing and even closer 13cm at 10mm and 17cm at 20mm when manual focusing, with a maximum magnification of 0.14x for AF and 0.18x for MF.
Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc.
Sony have paid close attention to this aspect of lens use, employing a 7-segment diaphragm with rounded blades, which allows for more pleasing bokeh.
In our view, their efforts have been fairly successful for an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens - see the examples below to judge for yourself.
In order to show you how sharp the Sony E PZ 10-20mm F4 G lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.