What is the ultimate Sony FE (full-frame, E-mount) wide-angle lens?
You want a wide-angle (35mm focal length or wider) or an ultra-wide-angle (24mm or wider) lens to photograph the big scene, to capture a smaller scene in a limited amount of space, or, my favorite use, to create a close-to-subject perspective that gives the viewer a sense of presence in the image.
Since most of us have at least one general-purpose/standard zoom lens that has wide-angle focal lengths built in (a 24-70mm lens for example), an additional wide-angle lens is needed to gain even wider angles of view. If your standard zoom has an f/2.8 max aperture, you may also desire a fixed focal length/prime wide-angle lens to gain a wider aperture.
I very frequently encounter the need for focal lengths wider than those in my standard zoom lens and seldom go on a shoot without having the wide angles covered. Some specific subjects requiring a wide-angle lens include landscape, real estate/architecture, and interior photography. Interiors can include those of a building, vehicle, aircraft, etc.
Here is what the full-frame 16-35mm focal length range looks like:
The Best Sony Full-Frame Wide-Angle Zoom Lenses
1. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Sony's Best Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens is the ultra-wide-angle zoom lens you want. It is the perfect choice for a wide variety of uses. The image quality it creates is impressive. The lens is well built and includes weather sealing. If weddings and other indoor events are on your to-do list, this lens should be in your kit. Those photographing the night sky will also find the f/2.8 aperture advantageous. This lens's biggest downside is the high price tag.
For a very low price, the Tamron 17-28 Di III lens provides professional-grade image quality in a compact, lightweight package. There is little this lens lacks aside from switches. The focal length range does not reach the widest or the longest in the class, but it matches perfectly with another exceptional bargain lens, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens.
3. Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens
An Exceptionally Wide-Angle Lens
The focal lengths available in this lens are incredibly wide, and photographing with these angles of view is very fun. Especially the 12mm end provides the opportunity to set one's work apart from the crowd. I shared a 16mm example earlier, but 12mm is in another class of wide. The FE 12-24 is a quality lens, but note that it does not accept front filters.
4. Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens
Awesome Image Quality, Great Build Quality, Ultra-Wide Aperture
While this lens's 24mm focal length may not be eye-opening and may already be covered in your general-purpose zoom lens, the f/1.4 aperture should garner your attention. As I write this recommendation, I consider the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens to be my ultimate astrophotography lens. The 24mm focal length is very commonly used, and the image quality this lens creates is outstanding. This compact lens is reasonably priced, especially for its performance.
5. Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Lens
Ultra-wide Angle, Great Image Quality, Wide f/1.8 Aperture, Modest Price
The Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Lens is like a smaller Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens. While the 24 optically outperforms the 20 by a small amount, the 20 is smaller, lighter, and less expensive. The 20's aperture is 2/3-stop narrower, and its price is about 2/3 as much — making it a bargain.
Visit the Sony Lens Recommendations page for more recommendations.