Best wide-angle dslr lenses: 8 tested

Sony DT 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 - £530

Compared with most other lenses in the group, the Sony looks a low-frills affair. Its fairly meagre zoom range is 11-18mm, the shortest focal length equating to 16.5mm on Sony's APS-C bodies.

The autofocus system is quite slow, noisy and lacks full-time manual override, and the distance scale is merely printed around the outside edge of the focus ring. On most other lenses, the scale is neatly positioned behind a viewing window. The maximum aperture of f/4.5 at the shortest focal length is also a little disappointing, making the Sony joint slowest in the group along with the Sigma 8-16mm lens.

Best wide-angle dslr lenses: 8 tested

At f/8, the Sony is one of the sharper lenses in the group at its shortest 11mm focal length, but drops off progressively through the zoom range. A mid-table performer at f/16, sharpness drops more alarmingly at wider apertures. Distortion is higher than average around the middle of the zoom range, with cyan/magenta colour fringing noticeable around high-contrast edges in scenes.

But it's not all bad news - vignetting was minimal even when shooting at the largest available apertures. Given this is a camera manufacturer's own-brand lens, rather than independent competition, the price is reasonable, but we'd still expect better features and performance for the money. It looks a little outclassed and outdated by the cheaper Sigma 10-20mm lens, and the Sony-fit Tamron lens offers greater zoom range for £170 less.

Resolution sharpness test

Best wide-angle dslr lenses: 8 tested

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Centre sharpness at all focal lengths is average for this test. While sharp at the centre it drops off dramatically at the edges.

Fringing test

Best wide-angle dslr lenses: 8 tested

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Fringing is visibly apparent towards the edges at all focal lengths, with green at 11mm and 15mm and red/blue at 18mm.

Distortion test

Best wide-angle dslr lenses: 8 tested

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The Sony shows signs of barrel distortion at all focal lengths. At the widest focal length distortion is acceptable and easily corrected.

Image test verdict

In tests the Sony optic shows good centre sharpness. However, fringing towards the edge of the frame is visible at all focal lengths.

Score: 2/5

Read our full Sony DT 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 review