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Sony E 10-20mm F/4 PZ G Lens Review

John Riley has been putting the Sony E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G ultra-wide zoom lens to the test on the Sony A5100. Let's find out how it performed...

| Sony E PZ 10-20MM F4 G in Interchangeable Lenses

Sony E 10-20mm F/4 PZ G Lens Review: Sony E 10 20mm F4 PZ G Front Oblique View | 1/5 sec | f/16.0 | 135.0 mm | ISO 100
Re-establishing their support of the crop sensor APS-C format after a flurry of full-frame releases, Sony introduce three compact, high-performance lenses (11mm f/1.8, 15mm f/1.4 and 10-20mm f/4) intended for content creators, stills photographers and vloggers. Here we have the Sony E 10-20mm f/4 PZ G lens, the smallest and lightest ultra-wide f/4 Power Zoom lens in the world. This equates to a 35mm-format equivalent field of view of 15-30mm, covering from ultra-wide to wide standard in one tiny lens. Intriguingly, this is also a Power Zoom, which opens up some extra possibilities. We take the 24MP Sony A5100 crop sensor body and the new lens to see how it performs in the field, as well as running all the usual technical tests.


Sony E 10-20mm F/4 PZ G Handling and Features

Sony E 10-20mm F/4 PZ G Lens Review: Sony E 10 20mm F4 PZ G On Sony A5100 Front View | 1/5 sec | f/16.0 | 115.0 mm | ISO 100


The lens looks well made, very compact at just 55mm long, and very light at just 178g. A bayonet fit petal lens hood is provided and this clicks securely into place. It is unlikely to become accidentally dislodged in use, so no need for a locking catch. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a conventional 62mm filter thread.

The slim focusing ring is electronic and ultra-smooth in operation. Just behind it is the first of three ways to actually perform the zooming action. Firstly the zoom ring itself, again operating electronically. The focusing and zooming are both internal, so the lens itself does not change length or rotate. It does mean that there is no change to the centre of gravity of the lens, theoretically handy when shooting video, but frankly, the lens is so light it really hardly makes any difference.

Looking at the focusing in more detail, the AF is driven by two linear motors, which are fast, virtually silent, highly accurate and quite capable of keeping up with rapid changes in-focus position. There is tight control of focus breathing and the design is parfocal so the focus point is maintained during zooming. Focusing is down to 0.2m (0.66') with AF, for a maximum magnification of 0.14x. With MF, at the wide end focusing is down to 0.13m (0.43') and at the tele end down to 0.17m (0.56'). The MF maximum magnification is 0.18x.

Sony E 10-20mm F/4 PZ G Lens Review: Sony E 10 20mm F4 PZ G Side View | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 78.0 mm | ISO 100

Behind the zoom ring, there are three controls. The AF/MF switch is self-explanatory. There is also a focus lock button, and this can be programmed to other functions from the camera body. There is also the Power Zoom lever, which can be eased into use for slow zooming, or pressed fully for fast zooming. The action is very controllable and results in a very smooth zoom, perfect for videographers, especially as the process is silent. This power zoom can also be controlled remotely from the optional GRV-PT2BT grip, the RMT-P1BT remote commander or via a smartphone using the Imaging Edge Mobile App. With the test camera used, the third control option turns out to be the zoom lever of the camera body, which also works, albeit with quite a slow zoom.

Optical construction is 11 elements in 8 groups, including 2 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion), 3 Aspherical and 1 ED Aspherical. The diaphragm comprises 7 rounded blades for improved bokeh. The lens is also dust and moisture resistant, something that is always welcome in our changeable climate. One thing the lens cannot do is accommodate teleconverters, as it is not compatible. There is also no inbuilt shake reduction, so the camera body will need to have SteadyShot built-in.

Sony E 10-20mm F/4 PZ G Lens Review: Sony E 10 20mm F4 PZ G Rear Element View | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 88.0 mm | ISO 100

This is obviously a lens with huge potential for content creators, stills photographers, videographers and vloggers alike, the remote operation features also bring more potential to the table. Now on to the technical tests to see whether the performance matches up.


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