Wide-angle lenses can literally cover a lot of ground if you need to capture the widest of scenes. The best Sony wide-angle lenses under $1000 come in both prime and zoom lens varieties, with high-end optics that will please even the most discerning.
Which version you choose will ultimately be down to your own particular needs, if you prefer a prime or zoom lens and your favored focal lengths. With a $1000 to play with, the examples below aren’t just good lenses that are affordable, but they’re also top-quality lenses that will last a good deal of time. This is important, as it’s very easy to quickly grow out of a budget lens, just for the sake of saving a few pennies.
1. Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS (Overall Winner)
The reasons for choosing the Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS as our top winner is due to its ultimate sharpness, zoom versatility, and low-light capabilities. An f/4 aperture may seem a little slow on longer focal length lenses, but on a wide lens with image stabilization, the difference is more than made up.
This particular Sony lens is designed for the APS-C format E mount, providing a 15-27mm equivalent focal length. One Super ED and three aspherical elements have been included in the optical arrangement of 10 elements in eight groups to correct for all types of lens anomalies. The optical image stabilization system works extremely well with Sony’s own built-in camera version.
The middle of the zoom range with apertures above f/5.6 provides the sharpest results with the lens providing plenty of rich color and detail throughout the depth of field.
Let’s be honest, with any zoom lens we ideally want it to cover as much range as possible, feature the sharpness of a prime lens, and also be a lens under our chosen budget. If it can wash up the dishes as well, that would also help. However, the reality is a lot different, but at least the Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 tries its best to come close.
This lens makes it under our budget only if you buy renewed, but it’s a good lens for both wide and telephoto use. The lens itself features a variable aperture, with one extra-low dispersion and five aspherical elements to correct for lens aberrations.
The optical image stabilization system ensures steady images time after time, and the autofocus system is respectably quick and quiet in use, which will suit video work. The autofocus is very capable in most lighting conditions.
This lens will need a reasonable amount of light to work at its best, but where it really shines is being a good solution for those who want a zoom lens that does a bit of everything.
Another lens that covers a lot of bases is the Sony E 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS. On APS-C-format E-mount cameras, the focal length comes in at 27-202.5mm, which covers the wide to medium telephoto zone.
Optically, this zoom lens features two extra-low dispersion and one aspherical element within an optical arrangement of 16 elements in 12 groups. The lens features Sony’s optical image stabilization system, which is most useful at the longer focal lengths. The reasonable close focusing distance of 45cm and maximum magnification of 0.29x allow this lens to get close up and personal with the subject.
Like most variable aperture zooms, this lens needs a reasonable amount of light to work at its best. But if your subject matter is largely outside, this lens covers a lot of ground, while also providing respectable images for the price point.
If you are more inclined to go all-in with one focal length, then the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 AF provides a surprising amount of quality. Rokinon has really stepped up its game in recent years, offering optics that are now viable options to same-as-camera-make offerings.
The 14mm f/2.8 AF contains three aspherical and two extra-low dispersion glass elements with an Ultra Multi-Coating applied to each element to reduce lens flare and ghosting. The autofocus system is quick to lock onto focus, only being tripped up at times in the lowest of light conditions. It may not be the quietest solution for video work, but it’s very capable for still images.
This lens becomes very sharp after f/4 and is a reasonably priced alternative to the rest of the prime wide-angle lens pack.
5. Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE AF (Budget Winner)
Depending on where you shop, you can pick up the Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE AF for a very reasonable price. This is the best value lens and it works equally well on full-frame and crop sensor cameras, with a very capable f/2 aperture for low-light conditions.
Internally, the lens comprises of three super-low dispersion and two aspherical elements, with a super multi-layered coating applied to all elements. The ultrasonic autofocus motor is surprisingly quick to lock onto focus, but it’s just a bit too noisy for video applications.
This wide-angle lens from Tokina is reasonably sharp in the center at f/2, providing the most detail from f/4 and upwards. For the likes of landscape images, f/8 provides loads of definition throughout the depth of field with plenty of color and contrast where it counts. The f/2 aperture works very well in low light, making it a very useful all-rounder prime lens.
Summing up the Best Sony Wide-Angle Lenses Under $1000
Like any lens choice, the ultimate decision of lens will come down to how you’re going to apply the optics in the real world. For the best balance between sharpness, zoom versatility, and quality, you can’t go wrong with the Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS. The image stabilization further bolsters it’s usefulness, while it also offers the widest angle views on this list.
The other zooms provide the most scope of range, but if prime lenses are more your thing, then the Rokinon and Tokina both provide great value for money.