Lens review

Sony E 15 mm f/1.4 G

Sony E 15 mm f/1.4 G
1 June 2022
Maciej Latałło

1. Introduction

To be honest, I've always considered the APS-C format a very sensible choice. In my view it is a well-thought-out compromise: you get a sensor with such big pixels that ensure you low image noise and wide dynamic range. It allows to construct small bodies and lenses of moderate weight. What's more, these lenses can surprise you with excellent performance as they feature good aperture fastness and shallow depth of field even though their physical dimensions are sensibly limited.

There's just one condition to achieve that much – you have to treat that system seriously. Believe it or not, it is a problem. At the beginning of the digital era Nikon tried to do that but only because they had no choice, being left without any access to bigger sensors. When they got that access they dropped the DX system developpment in no time without any regrets.

Sony E 15 mm f/1.4 G - Introduction

At the same time Canon treated their full frame system very seriously while EF-S lenses, designed for the smaller sensor, were mostly just cheap, entry-level zooms for amateur photographers.

Please Support Us

If you enjoy our reviews and articles, and you want us to continue our work please, support our website by donating through PayPal. The funds are going to be used for paying our editorial team, renting servers, and equipping our testing studio; only that way we will be able to continue providing you interesting content for free.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - advertisement - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Pentax has never occupied a leading position on the market and Sony, like Canon, tended to focus more on full frame than on APS-C.

With the launch of mirrorless devices a light appeared at the end of the tunnel – or even two lights. In May 2010 Sony showed their newest cameras without a mirror but with the APS-C sensor, the NEX-3 and the NEX-5 models. One year later, their line-up was enlarged by the simpler NEX-3N and the most advanced NEX-7. The new system needed new lenses and these started to appear like mushrooms after rain. Only in 2010-2013 there were as many as 15 new launches of Sony E lenses. It was an enjoyable trend but different killjoys could carp about the fact that these were mainly zoom devices and the primes among them weren't especially impressive when it came to aperture fastness. After all a sensor smaller than full frame encourages you to construct f/1.0-1.2 instruments whereas the fastest Sony lens, showed in that period of time, had a maximum relative aperture of just f/1.8.

Sony E 15 mm f/1.4 G - Introduction

It was not the end of bad news for APS-C sensor fans. In 2013 the Sony A7 and the Sony A7R were launched – two brand new mirrorless cameras featuring full frame. Sony decided to focus on full frame optics. From 28 August 2013, the day of the launch of the Sony Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70 mm f/4 ZA OSS and the Sony E 18-105 mm f/4 PZ G OSS, you had to wait three years for another lens designed for a smaller sensor and when it was already launched it wasn't a fast prime but the Sony E 18-110 mm f/4 G PZ OSS, aimed mainly at videographers. After two years more we were given just another simple zoom, the Sony E 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS.

We had to wait till August 2019 for something really interesting – like two zoom lenses from the G series, the Sony E 16-55 mm f/2.8 G and the Sony E 70-350 mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS.

Sony E 15 mm f/1.4 G - Introduction

In the first half of 2022 we had an access to 19 Sony E lenses but the majority of them were universal zooms or megazooms. There were just six primes among them, and the fastest three among them had an aperture of f/1.8. Compare it to the Fujifilm X system, the only one that treated the APS-C format seriously; even if it was launched in 2012, one year and a half after Sony, they offered 38 lenses, 21 primes among them, some with apertures ranging from f/1.0 to f/1.4.

I suppose just because of that many people stopped counting on any serious launches of Sony E lenses. And on 1st June 2022 they were very nicely surprised. Sony made their fans a great gift on Children's Day, by presenting three new models designed for smaller sensors – the E PZ 10-20 mm f/4G, the E 15 mm f/1.4G, and the E 11 mm f/1.8.

Sony E 15 mm f/1.4 G - Introduction

We were shown the successor of the worn-out E 10-18 mm f/4 OSS but also, what's more interesting, two new primes – the very shapely, ultra wide-anlge, fast 1.8/11 model, and a G series 15 mm lens with the fastest aperture so far, that of f/1.4.

Our joy was twofold: not only we got so many excellent new launches but also Sony proved that they still treat the APS-C system seriously, and they intended to develop it, with new launches of both cameras and lenses hovering on the horizon. What's more, the lenses equipped with the final software managed to find the way to our editorial office even before their official launch and we could test them thoroughly. How that faster model of these two, the Sony E 15 mm f/1.4G, fared in our test? The answer you'll find in the following chapters – enjoy your lecture!

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Previous chapter