Sony announces FE 20-70mm F4 G standard + ultrawide zoom lens: Digital Photography Review

Sony has announced the FE 20-70mm F4 G, a standard zoom that extends out to the ultra-wide region while maintaining its reach at the long end. The unstabilized lens offers a constant F4 aperture in a relatively compact and lightweight body.

The 20mm starting point gives an additional ten degrees of diagonal angle-of-view compared to 24mm (for reference, the difference between 28 and 24 is around eight degrees). Sony points out that this means you can still maintain a wide angle of view even with the additional crop applied by engaging digital stabilization in video.

We found the combination of standard range with extension out to the ultra-wide valuable for both stills and video when we used Panasonic’s Lumix 20-60mm F3.5-5.6, and the addition of more reach at the long end only expands that flexibility.

The lens has a dedicated aperture ring, as well as zoom and focus rings. The aperture ring has a lock switch to keep in in (or out of) its ‘A’ setting, that passes aperture control to the camera body. There’s also a switch on the opposite side of the body that de-clicks the aperture ring, allowing smooth changes when shooting video.

The FE 20-70mm F4 G uses twin ‘XD’ linear motors, with Sony claiming its focus is 60% faster than the FE 24-70mm F4 ZA, whose focus is driven by a similar technology.

It offers a minimum focus distance of 0.25m (9.8″) in manual focus mode, and delivers a maximum magnification of 0.39x, at the 70mm end of the zoom.

The lens weighs 488g (including the supplied hood), is 78.7mm (3.1″) wide and 99mm (3.9″), extending to around 139mm (5.5″) when fully zoomed-in. It has a 72mm front filter thread. As you might expect for a modern zoom that covers the ultra-wide range, it requires digital correction as part of its design.

The Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G will be available around the start of February at a recommended price of $1099.

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