Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G Review

February 20, 2023 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


We can still remember the days when a 24-70mm lens was considered to be daringly wide in comparison with the usual 28-70mm models, so it's perhaps no surprise to see the debut of a standard zoom that starts at 20mm in the form of the new Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G.

It may not look like much to the casual observer, but that extra 4mm makes a big difference in practice, so much so that it could remove the need to also carry an ultra-wide angle zoom for some users.

What's more, there's no loss of image quality by going from 24mm to 20mm with this lens - the optical performance only really drops off at the longer 70mm end of the range where it's not quite so sharp wide open as at all the other focal lengths.

It produces some nice bokeh effects thanks to the 9-blade iris diaphragm, vignetting is not too obvious and chromatic aberrations are almost non-existent. Even the close-up performance is great, especially at the telephoto end, which adds even more to the lens' versatility.

Auto-focusing proved to be satisfyingly quick on the Sony Alpha A7R IV that we tested the lens with, and it offers a near silent experience that will suit movie shooters and candid street photographers alike.

Build quality is very good, despite the lightweight hybrid plastic and metal design, and this lens is also very usefully weather-proof thanks to seals around all the buttons and switches and a rubber gasket around the lens mount.

The aperture ring is a very welcome inclusion, especially as it can be de-clicked for video and also locked into place. With two focus hold buttons and an AF/MF switch, this is a well featured lens indeed. Sony have also included a decent lens hood and a good quality soft case in the overall package.

Sony and the other third-party lens manufactures offer a bewildering choice of standard zoom lenses, but none of them extend as wide as 20mm, with the exception of the Tamron 20-40mm F/2.8 Di III VXD which offers a much shorter telephoto reach.

If you've always wanted a standard zoom lens which offers a uniquely wider angle of view that's perfect for both landscapes and vlogging, then you need look no further than the excellent new Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 4.5