Sony 11mm f/1.8 Review | A Tiny BEAST


The Sony 11mm prime lens is a compact wide-angle prime for Sony APS-C cameras. This lens is great for vlogging, landscape, and general walking around photos. The compact profile fits perfectly in line with the compact Sony APS-C bodies for a really lightweight and small kit. If you don’t like lugging around heavy cameras, and are a fan of wide-angle images and want some bokeh and good low light capabilities - this is a great lens to check out.

Price, Weight & Dimensions

The 11mm costs $548 USD, and it a 16.5mm full frame equivalent lens. It weighs just 6.4 ounces and measures 2.6 by 2.3 inches. A very lightweight kit that takes up very little space. I took this lens on an a6600 walking around Toronto for a day and didn't even realize it was on my shoulder some times. A very small kit especially when compared to my larger full frame sony cameras and lenses.

Build Quality

The build quality of the 11mm is very plasticky. I suspect this was done to keep the weight of the lens down, which is a benefit. In such a small and lightweight lens it feels nice to have on the camera for long periods of time. There is some weather sealing on the lens, but I wouldn't trust this is anything harder than light rain or mist.

The lens has 7 aperture blades, a 55mm front thread, a focus ring, a focus hold button and af/mf switch.


The autofocus on the 11mm 1.8 is snappy and reliable. You can definitely lean on the autofocus with this lens. Since the lens is so wide, you’ll probably rarely be rack focusing from an upclose subject to a far away subject, but this lens can make that focus reliably in my testing. This lens does not hunt for focus which really helps for video. For photography, the 11mm has done well for the street photography I’ve done with it.

Focus Noise

For focus noise, this lens has been focusing silently and I haven't been able to hear it on camera in a quiet room.

Sharpness & Image Quality

The sharpness and image quality on the 11mm 1.8 is sharp in the center throughout the entire aperture range. At 1.8 the corners are slightly softer, but still retain good contrast. The corners sharpen up around f2 and 2.8. This lens is so wide that the corners have some distortion, so the corners are not as sharp as the center but the soft corners wouldn't be distracting, the distortion is what would be distracting if you’re placing objects at the extreme edges of the frame.


The 11mm has great flare control for being such a wide angle lens. There are a lot of points for light to enter the lens being so wide, but there is minimal flaring. There is some flaring while pointing directly at a light source, but when you move the lens away from the direction of the light, the flare is well controlled for a wide-angle lens.

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Chromatic Abberation

For chromatic aberration with this lens, I haven't been able to find much in the high-contrast areas of this lens. Wide-open there may be a touch of color fringing, but even while pixel peeping, I haven't been able to find much.


For bokeh on the 11mm, you’ll have to get very close to your subject and have your background far away or vice versa to get any bokeh with this lens. This is pretty common with such wide-angle lenses, but the 1.8 aperture helps to get good out-of-focus bokeh balls with this lens.

Minimum Focusing Distance

A very nice feature of this lens is it’s incredibly close minimum focusing distance. This lens can focus 4.7 inches away from the sensor, or just over 2 inches away from the front of the lens. Going back to the bokeh section, this allows you to get very close to your subjects and get some bokeh in the background.

If you're doing this however, be careful of the distortion this lens puts out though. The close you get to your subject, the more distortion you’ll have. This can be a creative decision, but if you’re shooting portraits of someone, they probably will not enjoy the distortion this thing has towards the edges of the frame.

Focus Breathing

This lens has very little focus breathing and since it’s such a wide-angle lens, rack focusing should be a very rare occurrence with this lens. But good to know if you will be focusing like that, it will not have much distracting focus breathing.


The 11mm 1.8 has no optical stabilization, like most Sony lenses. However, you can still use your cameras in-body stabilization on newer Sony bodies.


The 11mm 1.8 is a great addition to the APS-C line of Sony lenses. There have been a lot of full frame lenses coming out lately, but the smaller and more lightweight APS-C lenses have been stagnant for a while. After using my APS-C cameras on a trip to test this lens out, I forgot how much easier they are to travel with and use. This lens pairs well with the smaller sony cameras when you’re looking for great performance and a small footprint.

It’s great for low light situations, capturing wide city or landscape photos, and is great for video with it’s fast and reliable autofocus and minimal focus breathing. I’m not really into Astro photography, but a lens this wide and fast with little chromatic aberration would make for a great astrophotography lens as well. The minimal flaring and close focusing distance make this a great addition to an APS-C camera bag.

If you liked this video, here is a video about the 15mm G APS-C lens or my tips and tricks for my Sony A6600 that you’ll probably enjoy as well. Thanks for sticking around until the end, and I’ll see you in the next one.

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About Keith Knittel

I'm a designer from Cleveland, Ohio and love to shoot photos & videos. I made my first website in 2004 to show friends photos & videos (before YouTube/Flickr/Instagram were things) and have been shooting and designing ever since! I have a deep passion for making and helping others create.

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