When we find ourselves staring down a limited budget, we have to pay very close attention to what we are actually getting for our money. As we are dealing today with the best Sony wide-angle lenses under $250, the options available with Sony branding drop dramatically, as most of their offerings are in the higher price brackets.
Sony has always tended to keep its lens range in the upper echelon of optic quality, which results in high price tags. Because of that, the bulk of our examples today will come from third-party makers which can fit Sony cameras, while still providing quite good optics at very affordable prices.
A lens such as the Samyang AF 24mm f/2.8 FE usually slots in as a good choice for those on a budget who want a good lens for wide-angle shots, while still providing the optics of a quality prime. This is a good lens to use on crop sensor camera bodies, providing a 36mm viewpoint.
This 24mm lens comes with a very usable, fast, and bright f/2.8 aperture, which works very well in dimly-lit scenarios, and produces better-than-expected bokeh effects. To maintain the overall optical pathway, three aspherical and two high reflective index elements have been included in the total arrangement of seven elements in seven groups. Other plus points to this lens are the respectable close focusing distance of 24cm and the very light weight of just 120g.
This lens is reasonably sharp in the center with the aperture wide open at f/2.8, but it produces its sharpest results across the frame from f/4. The autofocus system is respectably fast to lock on target for such a small lens and it’s a great budget option with reasonable optics.
We found at least one Sony wide-angle lens which provides good quality images at a very reasonable price. The Sony E 16mm f/2.8 is designed specifically for APS-C cameras providing a 24mm viewpoint, which is still wide enough for most scenic and environmental shots. Just like the other lenses on this list, the Sony features a f/2.8 aperture and somehow they have managed to cram in autofocus to the very flat design.
Weighing in at just 68g, the camera doesn’t even feel like it has a lens attached, making it an excellent walk-around solution. This lens will need stopping down to at least f/4 for the sharpest results, but it still works well at f/2.8 if you don’t mind a bit of softness in the corners.
This means you have to evaluate this lens for what you’re getting for the money, which is reasonable optics at a very cheap price point, considering it is Sony-branded.
4. Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE (Budget Winner)
Our top budget choice goes to the Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE, which will provide you a standard 35mm viewpoint for environmental shots on full-frame cameras while offering a 52.5mm viewpoint on APS-C models.
Following the trend on this list, the aperture comes in at f/2.8, along with seven rounded diaphragm blades, all housed in an aluminum alloy lens barrel.
The lens also features a reasonably quick and accurate autofocus motor with full-time manual override. The whole optical arrangement consists of two aspherical and a highly reflective index element to maintain overall image quality. With each lens element being treated to an ultra-multi-coating to stop the overall effects of lens flare and ghosting.
The weight of this lens at only 85.6g makes it a great all day walkabout lens and when the aperture is stopped down to f/4, the results are far better than the price would suggest. The lens provides respectable amounts of sharpness, color, and contrast, which makes a good start point for post-processing.
The autofocus system is also reasonably good for the price, quickly locking on to focus and only tripping up from time to time in low-light conditions. Our Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE review covers this lens in more depth.
Sony Wide-Angle Lenses Under $250: A Shallow Pool with Solid Options
If you really want to open up the possibilities of choice for the Sony wide-angle lenses under $250, you will have to start saving up the pennies for the widest array of choice. Sony has always seemed to pitch its products in the higher-priced categories. You will get good quality stuff in exchange for your investment, but you’ll have to pay for the privilege.
As shown by the examples above, Samyang is the main contender in this arena, as the company is well adept at offering good quality optics at very reasonable prices. The company may hog the market at this end of the spectrum, but luckily what they do offer is surprisingly good for the money.