Excellent, very compact, but optically no better than Zeiss zoom
6 November 2013
Summary: An excellent lens and very compact. Also a reasonable price, not inflated like the Zeiss line. However, careful comparison with the Zeiss 16-70 zoom set to 20 mm shows that the image quality between the two is about the same - there is no big optical advantage for fixed focal length. So buy the 20 mm for compactness. If you are not concerned with size or cost, the Zeiss zoom is equally good optically, has image stabilization and of course more flexibility.
Summary: I have been using a Sony NEX-7 for about a year and was desperate for a good (yet not too ridiculously expensive) compact prime lens. I chose the NEX-7 to have a great camera that remained portable. I initially used the SEL50F18 (Sony's 50mm f/1.8 E Mount) but found the pictures to be less sharp than expected with that lens; the 50 mm also made the camera more bulky. Then I finally got this lens. The 20mm f/2.8 has been providing much sharper images.
Summary: The best attribute of this lens is it's tiny size. My NEX-7 fits into a coat pocket with this lens attached. That being said the lens is also reasonably sharp, reasonably fast, and the build quality is top notch. I feel that the immage quality is better than what you can get with either of the kit lenses that SONY ships with their NEX cameras.
Summary: Excellent lens. Sharp, light and compact. Purchased it for taking pictures at restaurants during family events like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Flash ruins those kinds of table pictures and now hand-held pictures sharp except in the darkest of places.
Summary: If I'm not mistaken, this is the smallest e-mount lens on the market (smaller than the 16mm). The image quality isn't bad, but certainly not as good as even the 35mm f1.8 (much less the zeiss glass), so don't expect to be blown away. It definitely gets soft when wide open but stopped down a bit it's good, which is where I find myself wanting it most of the time anyway. $350 seems a little high, but $290 or less for a used one is a steal.
Summary: After reading the mediocre reviews for the SEL16F28, I ended up trying this lens (SEL20F28). The lens has proved to be very handy, and I am generally happy with the photos. The photos are sharp, but low light scenes may be a little dark with some vignetting. Two jpeg photos are uploaded for review. There was no post processing except for cropping both pictures to reduce them to the 5mb limit for this review.
Summary: I have a NEX 5R paired with 16-50mm. That combo is pocketable with baggy cargo pants. Yet, I wanted to go even smaller with this 20mm lens. I fully understand there would be some compromises for a small form factor, e.g. price, image quality, no OSS, etc. But, I was surprised that the "Phase Detection AF" feature is automatically turned off (or disabled) when I put on the 20mm lens.