Hands on: Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G review

The new Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G ultra-wide zoom looks like a dream lens for travel and vlogging, but is it worth the money?

Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G
(Image: © Rod Lawton)

Early Verdict

The Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G covers an extremely useful focal range – much more so than a standard kit lens – and it delivers both optical quality, handling and portability. The f/4 maximum aperture is not much of a compromise for the extended focal range and light weight either. The only drawback is the price, at least in some territories – it’s a lot to pay for an f/4 standard zoom, no matter how good or useful.


  • +

    Extra wide angle of view

  • +

    Good 3.5x zoom range

  • +

    Close focusing capability

  • +

    Optical quality

  • +

    Size and weight


  • -

    Strong distortion if uncorrected

  • -

    Expensive for a regular G lens

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

With the Sony FE 20-70mm F4 G, the company has launched what it considers a new type of lens, an ultra-wide standard zoom which offers a regular ‘standard’ zoom range but a much wider angle of view at its shortest focal length.

I'm going to stick my neck out and say that this is one of the best Sony lenses to buy, even after using it for only a couple of days. Better even (for me) than the monster-sized FE 24-70mm F2.8 G Master II. But why? It's true that if you invest in the best professional cameras you would normally seek out the best professional lenses to go with them, but sometimes it's more important to get the right lens not the 'best' one.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com