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Sony E 11mm F/1.8 Lens Review

John Riley has been putting the Sony E 11mm f/1.8 lens to the test in the Cotswolds, capturing landscapes and more to find out how the lens performs.


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Sony E 11mm F1,8 Front Oblique View | 1/6 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 11mm f/1.8, the widest prime lens in the Sony APS-C range. This equates to a 35mm-format equivalent field of view of 16.5mm, a definitely ultra-wide lens. Let's couple that up with the 24MP Sony A5100 crop format camera body and see how it handles and performs, as we continue our foray into the locations of the Cotswolds and beyond.

 

Sony E 11mm F/1.8 Handling and Features

Sony E 11mm F1,8 With Hood On Sony A5100 | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 88.0 mm | ISO 100
Starting our tour of the lens with the provided petal lens hood, this bayonets slickly into place and shows no sign that it could be accidentally dislodged in use. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a standard 55mm filter thread. The lens is chunky looking - 66mm in diameter, just 57.5mm long and weighing in at a svelte 181g.

The focusing ring is electronic, utterly smooth in operation and compatible with all the usual Sony focus modes, such as AF-S, AF-A, AF-C, DMF and MF. AF is via two linear motors and is fast, accurate and virtually silent. Focusing is down to 0.15m (0.5') in AF mode, for a maximum magnification of 0.13x. In MF mode we can get slightly closer, to 0.12m (0.4') for a maximum magnification of 0.20x. Especially for the benefit of videographers and vloggers, there is minimal focus breathing.

 

Sony E 11mm F1,8 On Sony A5100 Front View | 1/5 sec | f/16.0 | 88.0 mm | ISO 100
The only other controls on the lens are the focus hold button and the AF/MF selection switch. Everything else is controlled by the camera body. There is no OIS, so any shake reduction will be handled by the SteadyShot within the camera body. This helps to keep the lens compact. The lens is not compatible with teleconverters.

Optical construction is 12 elements in 11 groups, including 3 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) and 3 Aspherical. The diaphragm comprises 7 blades, giving a rounded aperture at wider values. This is intended to enhance bokeh, the quality of the out-of-focus areas in an image. Of great value to vloggers and all those shooting in the outdoors is the inclusion of dust and moisture resistance.

 

Sony E 11mm F1,8 Front Element View | 0.5 sec | f/16.0 | 100.0 mm | ISO 100
 

In terms of handling, the lens is an absolute breeze, totally smooth and integrated with the Sony camera bodies and it could be ideal for vloggers with its close focus and its incredibly wide angle of view. Let's see if the performance clinches the deal.

 


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