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Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Review

Gary Wolstenholme reviews the Sony Ultra Wide SEL075UWB for full-frame mirrorrless cameras.

| Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC in Interchangeable Lenses
BUY NOW SONY Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC

Handling and Features

Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Review: Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWCLaunched alongside Sony's 28mm f/2 lens for their full frame E-mount cameras, this dedicated converter provides a field of view similar to a 21mm lens and a maximum aperture of f/2.8. It's interesting that Sony have chosen this route, as it is an inexpensive way of adding extra flexibility to your kit, as the converter only costs £220. It is also interesting as converters have generally speaking, had a poor reputation for image quality when compared to dedicated lenses. As this converter is designed specifically for the 28mm lens, maybe it will buck the trend? In this review we'll take a look at how it performs.

Sony Ultra Wide SEL075UWB Converter Handling and Features

Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Review: Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL07SUWC (2)
The outer barrel of the lens is constructed from high quality plastics that feel solid and give a good impression of robustness as does the dust and moisture resistant design. The converter fits to the plastic bayonet on the front of the lens via its own plastic bayonet. As the converter weighs 267g, it isn't overly heavy, but you'd be forgiven for being concerned about the longevity of the connection between the two lenses. No electronic contacts are exposed and the camera automatically detects the presence of the converter, limiting the maximum aperture and adjusting the EXIF data, as if by magic. When coupled with the 28mm lens, the pair balance reasonably well with the Alpha 7R body used for testing.

Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Review: Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL07SUWC (1)
Auto focus speeds seem to be largely unaffected by the converter. Closest focus distance of the pair is closer than with the 28mm lens used on its own. Minimum focus distance with the converter is 24cm when using AF and 20cm when focusing manually. There is no filter thread on the converter and the filter thread on the 28mm lens cannot be used, which may disappoint those wishing to use graduated, polarising or any other special effect filters with this lens combination. A shallow, permanent shade is built into the front of the converter lens.

Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Review: Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL07SUWC (4)

Sony Ultra Wide SEL075UWB ConverterPerformance

With the converter in place, sharpness at maximum aperture is just about acceptable, with sharpness falling just short of good levels in the centre and only reaching fairly poor levels towards the edges of the frame. Stop down by just one full stop and sharpness is dramatically improved in the centre, reaching outstanding levels. Peak performance of the combination across the frame is at f/8, where clarity is outstanding in the centre of the frame and excellent towards the edges.


Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Review: MTF

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony Alpha A7R using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are quite high, towards the edges of the frame at maximum aperture with fringing reaching 2.5 pixel widths. This level of fringing may be visible along high contrast edges placed near the edges of the frame. Stopping down improves control of fringing with it falling below one pixel width between f/8 and f/11.


Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Review: CA

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony Alpha A7R using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame is well controlled. At maximum aperture the corners of the frame are 1.94 stops darker than the image centre with visually uniform illumination being achieved with the lens stopped down to f/5.6 or beyond.

Impressively for a combination using a wide converter, distortion is very well controlled with only 0.729% barrel distortion being detected by Imatest. If you require absolutely straight lines, you'll be glad to know that the distortion pattern is uniform across the frame, which should make applying correction in image editing software afterwards a breeze.

Due to the extra refractive surfaces being placed in the optical path, this combination can suffer with loss of contrast when shooting into the light, although it certainly isn't terrible with this. Surprisingly, the combination is reasonably resistant to flare.

Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Sample Photos

Value For Money

This converter can be picked up for around £220, which is certainly a lot less than you'd normally expect to pay for a 21mm f/2.8 prime lens. As Sony's burgeoning mirrorless full frame system is quite new, there are no dedicated lenses covering this focal length at the moment. You may consider using Sony's 20mm f/2.8 lens meant for their SLR and SLT cameras with an adapter, although the lens alone costs around £460 on its own and the adapter costs around £300.

Sony Ultra Wide SEL075UWB Converter Verdict

Although, for some, this converter will never give them the performance they expect from a dedicated prime lens, so long as you're aware of its few weaknesses and use it accordingly, it can yield excellent quality images.

Performance at maximum aperture is less than stellar, but stop down to f/4 and beyond to dramatically improve sharpness and keep chromatic aberrations under control. It's worth noting that there is no filter thread too, which may be a consideration for some.

The compact size, convenience and relatively low price of this converter, when compared to a dedicated lens, will win it many fans.

Sony Ultra Wide SEL075UWB Converter Pros

Good build quality
Excellent sharpness when stopped down
Focusing seem unaffected by the converter
Automatically detected by the camera/lens
Not too expensive
Low distortion

Sony Ultra Wide SEL075UWB Converter Cons

Sharpness at maximum aperture
CA at maximum aperture
No filter thread


Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Review:

The Sony Ultra Wide SEL075UWB is compact, convenient, good value for money, and capable of excellent quality images.


Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Specifications

Effective Magnification0.75x
Box Contents
Box ContentsFront and rear caps, Case

View Full Product Details

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10 Jun 2015 11:58AM
Does this converter really perform better at f/8 at the edges than the 28mm lens does on its own at f/8? In fact, comparing the graphs in the two reviews, the edges seem to be better across most of the aperture range with the converter attached.

The image samples don't really seem to match the claim that CAs are only a problem at max aperture. The samples have horrible CAs at narrower apertures too - so bad that they seem to affect the perception of sharpness. I'm wondering if you applied corrections, either in camera for JPEGs or in the RAW converter - it certainly doesn't look like it.

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