Sony Unveils “New Concept” FE 20-70mm F4 G standard zoom lens

photo of Sony FE 20-70mm zoom lens

The latest creation by Sony for the world of ultra-wide zoom lenses makes for a unique new addition to the brand’s existing FE lens lineup.

The concept behind the new zoom lens isn’t completely new, but it is a departure from the usual among these types of Sony lenses. This makes it particularly noteworthy for photographers.

With many standard zoom lenses, the main problem is a lack of a wide-enough angle of view. This often means having to switch out one lens for another on the fly in versatile shooting environments. This can be especially tedious during all the suddenly changing needs of street photography.

This new FE 20-70mm F/4 G lens is designed to handle this problem with aplomb. It does so by being ready with an abnormally wide viewing angle at its 20mm focal length while still delivering plenty of zoom capacity if it’s taken towards 70mm.

The particularly cool thing about the FE 20-70mm is that it not only provides a wide angle of view but actually delivers a better one than many other standard zoom lenses.

Most typically reach only 24mm compared to this model’s 20mm. That 4mm difference makes for some wonderfully wide angles for a much broader range of subjects.

While the FE 20-70MM isn’t a part of Sony’s G Master lens range, what it delivers with its specs will almost certainly be worth a lot to many photographers, especially those with rapidly shifting needs in the field.

Sony fe 20-70mm lens mounted to camera

One potential downside of the FE 20-700mm is its constant maximum aperture of f/2.8, but even this shouldn’t be a problem for many users.

In terms of design, Sony has given the new FE lens quite a bit that’s worth appreciating. The brand claims that its resolution is excellent right from edge to edge along the lens surface and it features a very fast, whisper-silent AF motor.

The FE 20-70mm is also light and just small enough to be easily portable with its 17.2 oz / 488 g weight and its 7.8 x 9.9 cm dimensions (3.1 x 3.9 inches.) The body of the FE 20-70mm is made of both plastic and metal to maximize lightness.

Sony has also given this lens a moisture and dust-resistant coating while putting a fluorine coating on the front lens for resisting dirt, water spots, fingerprints, dust and smudges.

Within the lens, Sony has created a sophisticated optical construction that consists of dual advanced aspherical elements, one standard aspherical element and three extra-low dispersion ED elements and a regular ED element.

There’s also a 9-bladed diaphragm and dual XD Linear motors inside the Sony FE 20-70mm.

According to Sony, this particular combo of motors makes the lens 60% faster than its predecessor at tracking subjects, but this comparison doesn’t include more recent alternative Sony lenses.

sony standard zoom lens fe 20-70mm

Sony also claims that the FE lens’s focal range of 0.25 meters makes it a sort of “half-macro” lens, but maybe photographers themselves should decide what they think of that claim.

Finally, the new lens comes with a de-clickable aperture ring, an iris lock switch and linear response manual focus. These features make it useful for both still photo shooting and video recording. So too does the lens’s internal optical focus breathing suppression.

Basically, the focal range of the new FE 20-70mm makes it one of the most diversely useful of all Sony lenses on the market so far and this is worth more than many other specs like speed and fine trimmings.

Given all of the above features, Sony’s new FE 20-70mm F4 G lens is unsurprisingly on the expensive side with a current retail price of $ 1,099 USD upon availability. It will start shipping in February or March.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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