I really enjoy wider focal lengths. They are versatile, lightweight, perfect everyday lenses. Wider focal lengths are suited for a variety of applications and are wonderful storytellers. The Sony 15mm f1.4 G lens was created with mixed media artists in mind. It promises to bridge the gap between video and stills. It’s ideal for creating impactful portraits and events. And you can also turn it around for fun, spontaneous selfies.
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The 15mm f1.4 G lens is equivalent to a full-frame 23mm f2.2 lens. It is the perfect focal length for many applications and offers a lot of utilty. The sticker price is $799, which will make APS-C users happy. There are many other reasons to smile with this lens. Keep reading to find out more.
The Big Picture
Sony has a winner on its hands with the newest 15mm f1.4 G lens. It is an ideal choice for environmental portraits, weddings, events, architecture, landscape, travel, and mixed media. You can also turn it around and grab a quick selfie with your friends. It’s a great lens to leave on your camera and take everywhere with you. The lens is fast, sharp, and produces beautiful images with minimal distortion. It handles superbly in low light, mixed-light, and moderate rain. Plus the price is right.
We are giving the Sony 15mm f1.4G lens four out of five stars. What one? You can pick one up for $799 or rent one from LensRentals. Unfortuantely, it shipped to us with Peak Design straps, and we’d never use them for ethical reasons that we’ve cited before. These are all we had available at the moment.
- Lightweight and compact
- Great focal length for many applications
- Minimal distortion
- Poppy colors with sufficient contrast
- Quick focusing and rarely misses in AF-S and AF-A
- Handles well in moderate rain and low light
- It needs a better pairing than the A6600, and I hope something is in the works.
- It is a hair slower to focus in AF-C with facial recognition turned on.
We tested the Sony 15mm f1.4 G lens with a Sony a6600. The review units were provided by Sony and LensRentals.
In terms of design, this lens isn’t groundbreaking. However, it’s a great little lens that handles itself quite well. Multi-media users are sure to appreciate using this seamlessly between video and stills. The linear motors are barely audible. Plus, the minimal focal length is excellent for taking selfies of smaller groups.
The Sony 15mm f1.4 lens is lightweight and compact. It fits comfortably in your hands and is comfortable enough to shoot an entire wedding day.
There is a textured aperture ring with an A-setting to control the aperture in the camera. Next is a larger focus ring.
You will have the option to choose whether or not the aperture ring is clickless with the switch on the lower right.
On the left of the lens is an AF/MF switch and a focus lock button. This button has several programmable options to fit your needs. I opted for Eye AF when I was shooting.
The 15mm f1.4 lens has a 55mm filter size, and it ships with a lens hood. That means it’s a pretty small lens overall.
Sony’s 15mm f1.4 G lens is dust and moisture resistant. It handled perfectly during a rainy wedding without any fogging or focusing issues. Sensor dust hasn’t been an issue. It should be able to handle more rugged shooting environments just fine, but I would opt for an umbrella when shooting in a downpour.
The Sony 15mm f1.4 G lens is snappy and responsive, especially in AF-S And AF-A modes in perfect light. I switched it to AF-C with animal recognition to see how it kept up with my cat, and it did pretty well. There were a few misses when he was really squirrely. The results were slightly soft, but the images were still usable.
Sony’s 15mm f1.4 G lens also handled exceptionally well during a recent wedding. One of the things I don’t like about the a6600 is the lack of a joystick to switch between focus points quickly. I opted to put it in AF-A and AF-C with face detection on. The lens is a hair slower to achieve focus than when shooting in AF-S with my preferred focal point.
The lens responded quickly in soft, overcast natural light. I was very thankful for how swift and quiet the linear motors are while vows were being exchanged at the wedding I photographed. It also handled succinctly in mixed lighting with very few missed shots during the reception. The lens rarely missed focus.
It is also simple to achieve manual focus with this lens. The focus ring glides effortlessly and tracks well. Mixed media users will enjoy this feature while shooting videos.
Ease of Use
The Sony 15mm f1.4 G lens has a straightforward design and is easy to use. It has a 23mm equivalent focal length, making it a great storytelling lens for events and environmental portraits. It feels familiar and works well. I trusted the lens to second shoot a wedding after only shooting with it for a few days.
The 15mm lens is fast to focus when you need it for those pivotal moments without hunting. Distortion can be embraced or toned down, depending on your preference. It also has a minimum focusing distance of .66 feet to get close to your subject. And you can flip it around for a selfie with your friends. I also really enjoy an aperture ring to make swift adjustments while shooting.
Images created with this 15mm f1.4 lens are beautifully sharp with vibrant colors and sufficient contrast. It shines in bright light. The vignette is minimal, and it can be easily corrected in post if you prefer. There is a bit of distortion, which is expected with a wider focal length. You can choose to lean into it and play with fun angles or mitigate it by shooting straight on. It is possible to create light stars and sun stars with this lens. Lens flare and highlight fringing are very minimal.
This lens can create beautiful bokeh, especially for a wider focal length. Take advantage of the minimum focusing distance paired with the widest aperture for the best bokeh when shooting close up. You can also create a velvety smooth background when there is plenty of separation from the subject.
Sony is notorious for its mirrorless lineup’s sharpness, and this lens is no exception. The 15mm f1.4 G lens is very sharp when focused to infinity and shooting wide open. Only the outermost perimeter is a little soft. Stop down to f2, and only the corners have a soft blur. Shoot between f2.8 and f8 for optimal sharpness.
The lens strikes an outstanding balance with impressively sharp images and slightly out-of-focus backgrounds. It’s great for storytelling, environmental portraits, and events.
The Sony 15mm f1.4 G lens can create fun distortion when you want it. Shoot your subjects head-on to mitigate distortion. There is a also slight vignette that works well. And you can create sun stars and light stars with a little lens flare. Chromatic aberrations are minimal and easy to correct in post-production if you don’t enjoy them. The contrast is perfect for moody black and white images.
The 15mm f1.4 G lens produces wonderfully true-to-life tones that we expect from Sony. It boasts vibrant colors without being over the top. Skin tones are accurate and easy to work with, no matter the color temperature. It produces lovely shadows without losing details in the blacks in high-contrast environments. Shooting in the springtime while everything is blossoming is quite enjoyable.
Extra Image Samples
From day one, The Phoblographer has been huge on transparency. Nothing from this review is sponsored. Lots of folks will post reviews that show lots of editing in the photos. The problem then becomes that anyone and everyone can do the same thing. It’s not showing what the lens can do. So, our Extra Image Samples section shows edited and unedited photos. From this, you can make a decision for yourself.
Who Should Buy the Sony 15mm f1.4 G Lens?
The Sony 15mm f1.4 G lens is a great asset for APS-C shooters. It performs how you hope it will, if not better. The lens is an excellent addition for weddings, events, environmental portraits, architecture, landscape, and mixed media. It’s lightweight and comfortable enough to shoot with all day. If I were shooting with a Sony crop sensor, I’d definitely pick this gem up. It’s a great option to travel with and document life.
Tech specs are from the manufacturer.
- Wide Field-Of-View
- incredible Resolution and Corner -to-corner Sharpness – Three aspherical elements in an optically advanced design
- High-Performance Internal focus – Ouick. quiet. and reliable thanks to two linear motors
- Minimal Focus Breathing
- Seven-Blade Aperture – Smooth, pleasing bokeh
- Multiple Controls -Aperture Ring with de-click switch, MF/AF Switch, Focus Hold Button
- Linear Manual, focus – repeatable focus changes
- Dust and Moisture Resistance
- Excellent Minimum Focus – 0.2m AF (.12x), 0.17m MF (.15x)
- Lightweight and Small Size – 46% lighter & 25% shorter than the competition