What is the ultimate Sony FE (full-frame, E-mount) wide-angle lens?
As a generalization, the above list is sorted in performance and price descending sequence.
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, G Master Build
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.
2. Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Outstanding Image Quality, Exceptionally-Wide Angles of View, G Master Build
While not inexpensive, this lens delivers incredible image quality, despite the extremely-wide angles of view it avails. With f/2.8 available, this Sony lens is a great choice for photographing the night sky, along with low light events. Take this lens to the most beautiful locations and it is sure to enable you to bring home exceptional results. Note that this does not accept front filters.
3. Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G Lens
Compact, Lightweight, Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
The diminutive, lightweight Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G Lens is a great option for the frequently needed ultra-wide through wide-angle coverage.
Only the strong barrel distortion at the wide end of the focal length range detracts from the otherwise stellar optical performance this lens delivers. Plan on utilizing the correction options provided.
Additional features this lens avails include power zoom, dual XD linear drive AF, and reduced focus breathing, make this lens a highly attractive choice for video capture.
The moderate price ensures high popularity for this lens.
4. Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens
An Exceptional Bargain
The Tamron 17-28 Di III lens provides professional-grade image quality in a compact, lightweight package with a very low price. 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.
5. Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens
Outstanding Image Quality, Ultra-Wide Angles of View, Relatively Affordable, Beautifully Designed
While this lens's focal length range is not as dramatic as the Sony equivalent, the cost is not as dramatic either. The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens impresses with the image quality it delivers, the build and aesthetic qualities are excellent, and AF is fast and quiet. Note that this does not accept front filters.
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.
Extremely Wide-Angle Focal Length, Compact Size, Light Weight, Ultra-Wide Aperture, GM Professional Grade Build, Great Image Quality
The Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM is one of those lenses that make one grateful to be photographing at this time. Those photographing architecture, real estate, large products, or other subjects in a confined space, those photographing the great outdoors, including landscape and night sky photography, and those who simply want to get creative with ultra-wide-angles will want the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens in their kit.
Awesome Image Quality, Great Build Quality, Ultra-Wide Aperture, G Master Build
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.
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.
10. Sigma 17mm F4 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Compact, Lightweight, Well-Constructed, Sharp Image Quality, Affordable — It's a Bargain
The Sigma 17mm F4 DG DN is attractive in numerous regards. It physically looks great, and its build quality backs up that aspect.
This lens is easy to take with you, and it is easy on your wallet. The 17mm F4 DG DN lens's sharp image quality combines with an affordable price to create a bargain.
Visit the Sony Lens Recommendations page for more recommendations.