Lens review

Sony E PZ 10-20 mm f/4 G

6 June 2022
Maciej Latałło

4. Image resolution

As the Sony PZ E 10-20 mm f/4 G is a lens designed to cover the APS-C sensor we decided to check its resolution performance on the Sony A7R III camera set in the APS-C mode. The results, exactly like in our other tests, are still expressed in lpmm, so the values can be directly comparable to results of full frame lenses, tested with that body. For this kind of detector the decency level we set about 39-41 lpmm, the best fixed focal length lenses have been able to reach 75-80 lpmm, and record holders have had results exceeding slightly 80 lpmm. So far, the Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 50 mm f/2 E (81.0 lpmm), the Sigma C 65 mm f/2 GD DN (82.7 lpmm) and the Sony FE 20 mm f/1.8 G (83.7 lpmm) fared the best.

Let's check how the Sony PZ E 10-20 mm f/4 G compares – its results in the frame centre at 10, 15, and 20 mm presents a graph below.

Sony E PZ 10-20 mm f/4 G - Image resolution

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Very even performance is the first thing that sticks out. From f/5.6 aperture onward values for particular focal lengths are practically the same. At the maximum relative aperture you can set a kind of hierarchy, with the highest result of almost 73 lpmm at the shortest focal length and almost 67 lpmm at the longest but you have to admit these differences aren't huge anyway.

The second, very crucial information concerns the performance by f/4.0 and f/5.6, two apertures that might be the most popular among users of this instrument. Here you deal with a level near 70 lpmm so a truly brilliant result for an ultra-wide angle zoom lens. No weak points in this category.

What about the edges of the APS-C sensor – will there be any weak spots? After all they are not so easy to correct with such angles of view.

Sony E PZ 10-20 mm f/4 G - Image resolution

Once again the performance is very even and very good at the same time. Already at the maximum relative aperture you deal with a very high level of 60 lpmm which increases a bit on stopping down the aperture to f/5.6. Then diffraction comes into play and MTFs start to decrease.

To sum up I am very pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Sony PZ E 10-20 mm f/4 G when it comes to resolution. With such an aperture fastness it would be difficult to expect any record values and an ultra-wide angle of view is not that easy to correct. Despite that, Sony did a good job here and offered a lens that is able to provide sharp, crisp images across the frame up from the maximum relative aperture and at every focal length – a trully impressive performance.

At the end of this chapter, traditionally, we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart saved in JPEG format alongside RAW files which we used for the analysis above.

Sony A7R III, JPEG, 10 mm, f/4.0
Sony E PZ 10-20 mm f/4 G - Image resolution
Sony A7R III, JPEG, 20 mm, f/4.0
Sony E PZ 10-20 mm f/4 G - Image resolution