Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 review: widest-angle prime lens from Zeiss’s Loxia family

The Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 is a classy ultra-wide-angle, manual-focus prime lens for Sony E-mount cameras.

Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8
(Image: © Zeiss)

Digital Camera World Verdict

I love the retro look and feel of the Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 manual-focus lens. Unlike ‘dumb’ lenses, however, it boasts a full complement of built-in electronics for communication with the host camera body. Build quality and handling are sublime and optical performance is top-drawer. It’s pretty compact and lightweight as well, making it a highly desirable prime if you can give up your autofocus habit.


  • +

    Superb image quality

  • +

    Refined build and handling

  • +

    Compact and lightweight


  • -

    No autofocus

  • -

    F2.8 aperture isn’t the fastest

  • -

    Pricey to buy

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The Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 is the most wide-angle lens in the Zeiss collection of Loxia lenses. They take their name from a classification of bird, which I’ve grown used to seeing in Zeiss lenses, this time of a ‘chunky finch’. There’s nothing chunky about the lens, however, as it’s refreshingly compact and lightweight for such an ultra-wide-angle prime. Like the longer 25mm F2.4, 35mm F2, 50mm F2 and 85mm F2.4 lenses in the Loxia family, this one has a 52mm filter thread which makes it easy to mix and match filters across the board.


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Mount optionsSony E (FE)
Lens construction11 elements in 9 groups
Angle of view91 degrees
Focus typeManual focus
Minimum aperturef/22
Minimum focus distance0.25m
Maximum magnification0.13x
Filter size52mm

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.