Sony AF 35mm F1.4 G A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 46    1 2 >>
reviewer#39930 date: Sep-6-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28 mm f/2
Sony 50 mm f/1.4
Minolta 50 mm f/1.4
price paid:€464 (used, EBAY)
positive:Color - The rendition is beyond beautiful! Magical! Superb contrast and saturation, wow!

Bokeh - Absolutely stunning, a dream lens for artistic and dream-like creaminess. I can't praise this enough!

Sharpness - Creates very sharp pictures on my A99 II at 42 MP

Size/weight - Quite compact and easy to carry

Versatility - Incredible walk-around-lens for street photography and almost anything and everything.

Smooth manual focusing

Quick auto focus
negative:The build quality is a bit of a letdown for me, considering the price. The rubber on the bottom side of the lens is about to come off (bad glue?) which seems like a very common issue.
comment:Very usable at f/1.4 but noticeably sharper from f/2, but the bokeh and artistic possibilities you get at f/1.4 are absolutely stunning. Not really usable for portraits in my opinion because of the focal length and distortion, where the 50 mm f/1.4 really shines. Many many leagues better than my Minolta 28 mm f/2 which I never use anymore.

I would never ever pay full price for this lens new, but it's easily worth at least ~500-600 Euros (600-700 USD).
reviewer#37846 date: Apr-27-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-200mm f2.8,
Sony 70-400mm f4-5.6,
Minolta 400mm f4.5,
Minolta 600mm f4.0,
Sigma 500mm f4.5,
Sigma 10-20mm F4 - 5.6
Sigma 105mm F2.8,
Sigma 85mm f1.4,
price paid:340.00 used
positive:Everything, the sharpness, color, build, distortion & flare control!!!
negative:Nothing
comment:None
reviewer#36823 date: Apr-9-2017
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 85mm F/1.4 G (d)
SAL70200G2
SAL50M28
SAL50F14
Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4
SAL35F18
SAL30F28
SAL2470Z
SAL20F28
price paid:$899.99CDN
positive:This lens is perfect for portraiture and produces stunning results. It's combination of "Minolta's Blue" colour rendition and bokeh gives it a 3D effect like the 85G (d) that I can't produce with any of my Sony primes. That makes this lens a winner in my books.

It's absolutely tiny compared to the Sigma Art it's replacing, and I can fit it and my 85G in my camera bag.

It doesn't hunt in low light like the Sigma. The focusing is fast and decisive. It's nowheres near as loud as my 20mm when focusing.
negative:The current retail price for this lens is $1799.99 CDN. Which is lunacy.

The lens isn't weather sealed.

It doesn't have modern lens coatings like my 70200G2.

It's screw driven.
comment:I bought this on Henry's eBay site for $899.99 and after reading the reviews I wasn't expecting it to be a top tier lens for the a-mount. I was wrong. The body is very well designed. Unfortunately it's not identified as being weather sealed.

My only regret is not buying it sooner. I bought into the web reviews. Unfortunately I've never had a chance to test it on any other Sony full frame because I had to sell them in order to pay for the A99II.
reviewer#27579 date: May-20-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 50mm f1.4, Minolta 85 f1.4 RS G lens and many Minolta & sony alpha f1.4 f2 prime lens.
price paid:Clearance- brand new
positive:-Superb bokeh machine especially on my Sony A7R full frame.
- almost f1.2 similar bokeh at wide open
- excellent optics, low distortion and amazing clarity.
- much physically smaller compared to sigma 35mm f1.4 art or Sony zeiss Fe 35mm f1.4
negative:- if you buy it thinking its Zeiss like clinical sharpness then you might be a little disappointed

- focus is old screw style, a little noisy during focusing but again, it will sure outlive any Sam or SSM built-in motors.
comment:Came across this brand new lens at clearance price at a small local photography store.

Decided to buy it instead of the new Sony zeiss Fe 35mm f1.4 that would cost me double the price.

Read and researched many reviews that it was soft wide open and initially was hesitant prior to purchase. On my Sony A7R -36mp body with Sony la-ea4, it exceeded my sharpness expectations wide open at f1.4. At f1.4, Centre sharpness is relatively good and corners are acceptable. It's not those soft corners where it smudges and you cannot make anything out of it. Again, It does not have Zeiss like micro contrast nor micro details. However , at wide open, it is Sharper and outresolve my Sony 50mm f1.4. Almost close to Minolta 85mm f1.4 Rs g and that is a medium telephoto lens which clearly show the capabilities of this 35mm G lens.. If ever I need to stop the aperture down, it's not purely because it is unsharp, but probably needed to achieve deeper the depth of field.

This lens deserve the G grade tag. The bokeh and superb optics is indeed the why anyone would pay a fortune for this lens. It has far smoother bokeh than my Sony 50mm f1.4 and voitglander 35mm f1.2 ii. I would rate this lens to be in the same league as top 3 bokeh Kings from Sony Alpha series. (85mm f1.4 , Sony 135mm f1.8 and 135mm STF)

Not known to many photographers, it is extremely difficult to manufacture a physically small size 35mm lens and yet possessed large f1.4 aperture with smooth rendering bokeh and good sharpness. In addition, the lens closet focus distance is merely 30cm. This is simply amazing and considered an optics design and enginering feat during the 1990s era. Simply one of the works of marvel from Minolta engineer s

The advanced aspherical glass elements must have contributed to the coma control and perfect bokeh reproduction.

Although the image outputs are not zeiss-like , where Zeiss has high contrast and micro details, this lens produce beautiful sharp images that are classic Minolta/ rokkor generation. The lens strengths are for portraits, modelling and creative streets photography where you obliterate any background from the subject. Perfect subject isolation.

Haven't had time to try b&W shots yet on this lens but judging from the rendering of soft bokeh , tone and subject isolation wide open , it should do well even for bw photography.

Not suitable for video work using AF. Not SSM speed demon type of lens. Still focus slightly faster than my Sony 50mm and 85mm though.

If you appreciate good glass and not a pixel peeper photog, you will love this lens for sure.

Updated : September 2016
The Sony 35mm G lens - at F1.4, f1.8, F2. You should not attempt to AF in middle frame and recompose and shoot. Very likely you will end up having soft images. The lens has curvature characteristics and attempting to AF in centre spot and recompose ( at very low F-stops) with that razor thin depth of field explains why some photographers claims this lens is soft wide open.

Try choosing the AF Points on your camera accordingly and ensure the lens is parallel to the subject before you take the shot and this will produce excellent sharpness and bokeh.

Again, from the hundred of shots taken , this lens can produce bokeh that is close to my f1.2 lens.
reviewer#11918 date: Jul-24-2014
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:DP2 Merrill 30mm F2.8
Tamron 17-50mm F2.8
price paid:xxx EUR
positive:Rich colours
Size & filter diameter
Focus hold button


negative:Not that sharp when focused to longer than portrait distances
Loud focusing
comment:I tried to use it as a "one lens" option for a few times and as a landscape lens too; apart from portraits, it didn`t deliver ... it is just not sharp enough, especially for a prime lens.

I sold it and bought DP2 Merrill - apart from the sheer resulution of its sensor, its lens is living up to the reputation - plenty sharp, corner to corner at what ever distance; the only advantage of Sony was the maximum aperture
reviewer#11365 date: Oct-2-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Lenses.
price paid:Traded
positive:+ Characterful or even quite smooth bokeh at wider apertures
+ Quite compact for a 35/1.4
+ Quite quick to focus
+ Great focal length
negative:- My particular copy can be inaccurate focusing between f1.4 and f2.5 (will describe below).
- Vignetting can be very strong at 1.4 (and this isn't something that would usually bother me)
- Build isn't terrific. Focus ring has came loose, and the rubber grip on the barrel has too.
- CA and LaCA can sometimes be bothersome.
comment:I've used this lens extensively 'in the field' since around Nov 2011, writing this review in Oct 2013. There were some initial frustrations with focusing, but it certainly grew on me and I've become quite fond of it. I should mention that although I've dabbled with many lenses like anyone has, and a fair share of 35mm type, part of the reason I've came to like this lens is how I've learnt to use the 35mm focal length. That's a big part of it really. So the fact that it's a 35/1.4 G isn't irrelevant, but not everything, if you get what I mean.

I think the strong points are obvious. Colour, bokeh, quite small, quick to focus, easy focal length. It's rendering has never exactly "taken" me, but it is nice. It has a look, like many lenses do. And with it being 1.4, and 35mm, you can really take this lens with you anywhere and everywhere - very versatile.

I had trouble with focusing when I first bought it, or shortly after buying it. I would get along fine, but occasionally something would be off at wider apertures. Wide open, almost always fine, but stopped down a little things would be off - so I assumed it was focus shift and tested this, but couldn't replicate it. So I assumed it was some sort of user/lens quirk and moved on. Overtime it became less of an issue and I don't really have any trouble with it anymore, so perhaps just a case of learning how to get on with it.

Vignetting can be quite strong. You can tweak this after, but that does depend upon the situation. This is at 1.4... so if you think that could be a problem, consider carefully. For me, I can usually compensate by stopping down or brightening the corners, and it isn't very common that you'd have a subject right in the corner. The rubber grip on the barrel is loose, and the rubber focusing ring. I'm not rough with my equipment at all, but it is often on my side all day so can take knocks etc. But still, I'm surprised given it's had a very short life so far.

What I love about the 35mm focal length is it doesn't present any "tricks". It doesn't try to do anything different. It just is what it is, and asks you do use it with purpose. The same could be said for 50mm, but with that you really can still isolate people. With 35mm, you have to accept a certain level of insertion, to consider the frame carefully (as you can't simply blur out distractions). It eventually becomes quite familiar, like an old friend, and you no longer think about framing the image, but about anticipating, inserting, waiting. When you come to actually life the camera to your eye, it's already there. // This may make absolutely no sense if you're not a die-hard-disturbed 35mm lover //
reviewer#11182 date: Jun-9-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 1.4 50mm
Minolta 1.7 50mm
price paid:940 USD MINT
positive:Very Sharp
Great in low light
BOKEH, BOKEH, BOKEH!!!
negative:Focus ring size and placement
Too nosiy for videos on A99
comment:Razor thin DOF but you would expect that with a 1.4 prime lens...What is in focus is sharp! Just got this gem and still playing! It was a great find! Thought the hood would prevent more lens flare since it isn't a super wide prime.
reviewer#10943 date: Feb-26-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 24, CZ 85
price paid:
missing
positive:soft at 1.4, sharp from 2.0
Colors
quick AF
negative:expensiv
comment:My Dreamteam is complete: CZ 24, 35 G, CZ 85, SLT 99 :-))
reviewer#10120 date: Apr-15-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- Sony Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 SSM T*
price paid:
missing
positive:- well built
- quite sharp once stopped down to f/2.8-4
negative:- not so sharp at f/1.4-2
- vignetting at large apertures
- lateral and axial CA
comment:dated design, but still capable of delivering excellent results once stopped down to f/2.8-4. the problem, however, is that my 24-70/2.8 ZA offers comparable performance at 35mm and same apertures.

i do see the use of this lens at f/1.4-2 for low light, environment portraits, though its dated design does reveal itself in these situations (i.e. not so sharp, less contrasty, lateral and axial CAs).

all in all, an updated version would be welcome.
reviewer#9930 date: Feb-13-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sony 35mm f1.8 SAM
Sony Carl Zeiss 24mm f2.0 SSM ZA
Samyang 35mm f1.4 manual
price paid:
missing
positive:Great image dimension.
Excellent bokeh.
negative:Not for pixel peepers.
If you like to crop image a lot, this lens is not for you.
comment:This is a very odd lens and gives mixed reviews... I had a chance to test this lens and my take is the 35mm f1.4 G can render a very beautiful photo with clear subject-background distinction with stunning contrast and colors. Images at f1.4 are perfectly usable. However the design of the lens is quite outdated and if you zoom into pixel levels, although the details are there, it can look soft and doesn't have that crisp of the newly designed lens and that could disappoint a lot of people, especially considering the cost of this lens. After I tested, I found no wonder why this isn't for everyone.

So that kinda gives this lens a specialist position. Only those who are making money from photojournalism in low light will find it worth investing. The new lens is retailed in Thailand for 1700 USD. I could find a demo one for 1300 USD and a used one at 1100 USD. For this price, although I'm very fond of what the lens can do, I can't justify buying it used or new... why?

For APSC cameras, the advantage of this lens is lost and it's wiser to go with the excellent and much cheaper Sony 35mm f1.8 SAM.

For full frame, there is also the marvelous Samyang 35f1.4 which is much cheaper although fully manual. I have been thinking if I really need a 35mm FOV on full frame?

For the same money or even cheaper, I could get the latest, and much better Carl Zeiss 24mm f2 SSM and if I put this lens on my A77 APSC, it will be a great 36mm f2. With this logics, the Sony 35f1.4G becomes even less appealing.

If I invest the same money and buy Sony 35mm f1.4G, I'd get 35mm f1.4 on my A850, and 52mm f1.4 on my A77. and I honestly believe the Sony 35f1.8 SAM will do better on A77.

If I buy CZ 24f2 SSM, I'd get a wider angle 24mm f2 on A850 and normal 36mm f2 on A77 for photo-journalistic works and can do the same as A850 + 35f1.4 G.

I think the 2nd choice is clearly better and I will go with this option instead.
reviewer#9833 date: Jan-23-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 35/1.8 DT
Minolta 50/1.7
Sony-Zeiss 16-35/2.8CZ
Sigma 85/1.4
price paid:GBP1250 new
positive:That 1.4 aperture is so useful
Close focus capability
Small and light(ish)
Never mis-focuses
negative:Lens hood design is stupid
Filter thread is dumb too
Focus ring isn't amazing
comment:I registered with Dyxum primarily just to leave a review of this lens.

I went back and forth for AGES about whether to buy it or not. All the reviews say that it's terrible and soft. Most owners and users say that they love it. I didn't know who to believe, and when I found it in a store for gbp900 new (normal retail is 1300-ish) I tried it out. I took my a850 to the store, took the pictures home to look at on my computer, and the next day I went to buy the lens.

The lens is NOT soft at 1.4. Let's get that clear. It does have spherical abberation though, which can smooth out some areas, particularly highlights. For instance, shooting a test chart or a which sheet of paper, the image quality at 100% will look poor, because the white paper kinda "bleeds" into the text, softening it. But for skin, it looks amazing - it adds a warm glow but leaves plenty of sharpness.

Also, I needed a microadjust of -6 on my a850. At the default setting it *was* soft, but that was slight mis-focus and not the optical faults of the lens. With a depth of field this thin, the slightest mis-focus will ruin your image.

The lens IS sharp and it DOES capture a lot of detail at f1.4. Therefore it responds well to sharpening in Lightroom. I gave the lens 4.5/5 for sharpness.

Compared to the Zeiss 16-35/2.8 (which I also own), I think the Sony G is sharper at 2.8 than the Zeiss at 35/2.8. F2 is comparable. F1.4 is softer, as you would reasonably expect.

The good:
TWO more stops, even compared to an f2.8 lens. That's ISO800 instead of 3200. That means your flash can work at 1/16 instead of 1/4. Less noise. More battery life. More rapid shooting. The usefulness of this focal length and speed cannot be understated. If you're upgrading from an f4 lens, the difference is extraordinary. I know this is obvious stuff, but those extra stops are useful - from f4 you're talking ISO 400 instead of 3200. Now imagine what you can shoot back at iso3200!

Almost no distortion as far as I can tell. I don't shoot architecture, but the insides of rooms look natural to me. The Zeiss 16-35/2.8 has considerable distortion at 35mm.

Resistant to flare. I certainly haven't had any problems with bright inside lights, or the sun.

The bokeh. Very smooth. Circular highlights. The transition between in and out of focus is very nice.

Stopped down between f4-f11 it is extraordinarily sharp.

The focus is decisive. It's the screw-drive, so it isn't quiet like SSM, but it generally zips to the target and locks straight away. With moving targets it performs well. Occasionally it judders back and forth before locking, but that's rare.

The bad:
Vignetting. Heavy at 1.4. Moderate at f2. Gone by 2.8. I guess this isn't always a bad thing, but for city shots or hand-held low light landscape shots, it is noticeable. For portraits, wedding reception shots etc it isn't a problem.

The lens hood is stupid. It attaches in front of the filter thread, instead of around it. You can't use a polariser with the hood reversed, which is very annoying if you want to take the filter off and use the hood later in the day.

The manual focus ring isn't amazing. At least it doesn't rotate during focusing, but for the occasional bit of manual focus or video (a580), the Zeiss 16-35 focus ring is FAR better.


Compared to the Sony 35/1.8DT, the G is around the same sharpness wide open at 1.4 as the DT is at 1.8. This is great. The DT lens vignettes even more, and on full frame it is totally un-useable. Even if you tape over the contacts and manually focus it, the corners are black because the image circle is not large enough. The DT also has more purple fringing.

I already compared to the Zeiss above

Compared to the Sigma 85/1.4, the sigma is pixel level sharper, and has less spherical abberation. The 35 vignettes more too. But the 35 is a more versatile focal length, so I use it more than 85.
reviewer#9488 date: Oct-11-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZJ Flektogon 35mm
Minolta 35-105mm f3.5-4.5
85mm ZA
Minolta 100mm f2.0
price paid:£675 (used)
positive:Lovely 3D rendering
Great bokeh
Great colour
negative:Expensive
CA when used open
comment:I used this lens for a while before I decided to review it because I was initially a little disappointed especially when compared to my Zeiss 85 IQ - it doesn't have the same microcontrast or uber-sharpness wide open but this is to miss the point of this lens. Apart from obviously having a totally different focal length, it has totally different qualities as a lens. I love the rendering and bokeh and the colours are great. I find it's a great "people lens". It can be used in extremely low light (ISO permitting) with great results. Always in my bag with either the 85mm ZA or the MinO 100mm. It does get cyan fringing wide-open but most ultra-wide aperture lenses suffer from this to some extent. I haven't found flare to be a problem.
reviewer#9456 date: Sep-30-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:1300
positive:wonderful dreamy bokeh,3D feel, fast AF, light weight, great colors !
negative:expensive
comment:bought and used this lens for wedding assignments, the results are great ! the f1.4 creates the feel of isolation in the pictures, 3D feel effect obtained, this is a great lens for a wedding photographer.

was initially offered a Minolta copy but picked up Sony instead for warranty and support, such a good lens so must buy it with Sony support !
reviewer#8979 date: Apr-30-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:1100 USD (demo)
positive:Great Bokeh, portrait lens, Build quality, Fast Focus.
negative:Price
comment:I used my friend's copy, which was wonderful on my Dynax 7. Man this lens has an old zeiss Sonnar Rendering wide open..I JUST LOVED IT. it's my next purchase for sure.
I find it draws its best at F2 or F2.8 and from 5.6 it's Sharp all over.

On a700 I only tried for few shots which was also great but not that wide due to crop factor.

This lens will shine on 35mm Film or Full Frame camera like no other.

I finally bought it.
reviewer#8677 date: Feb-19-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:1200 USD (new)
positive:Colors are excellent
Very useful focal length
Perfect bokeh (in my opinion)
Perfectly built
Short MFD
negative:Not razor sharp (until f/2.8)
comment:One of my favorite lens. (other ones- Minolta 85/1.4, CZ135/1.8, Minolta 200/2.8G APO HS)
This lens is always in my bag - I like portraits and street photos, landscapes and even pseudo-macro...
Perfect in everything, produce photos with volume even if there is no any volume in real life.
reviewer#8261 date: Nov-17-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:1100Euro
positive:Color, Bokeh, build, sharp
negative:expensive
comment:I have this lens quite some time and I can say it is a good friend indeed. Great color, sharp with pleasant bokeh, this lens has its own "stamp" when looking at the photos taken with this lens. Little bit soft at 1.4 - 1.7 , but still usable pictures. At 2.8 sharper than my 16-35CZ. Love this lens.....
reviewer#8211 date: Nov-8-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony CZ 16-35mm f2.8 SSM
Sony CZ 24-70mm f2.8 SSM
Minolta 35mm f2
Sony 50mm f1.4
Sony CZ 85mm f1.4
Sony CZ 135mm f1.4
price paid:€ 700 (2nd hand)
positive:3D effect
Bokeh
Sharp
Color rendition
negative:None as far as I'm concerned, well.. ok the price maybe.
comment:I had a Minolta 35 f2, a great lens but oh boy this 35 f1.4 G is so much better and therefore worth the money.

People usually report this lens as "soft" at 1.4 and so was in doubt. I have always lusted this lens, now that I have it I’m really happy.

My lens is sharp at 1.4 (not the sharpest one), gets better as you stop down, but between f1.4 and f2.8 this lens is magical, produces a 3D effect and bokeh that is worth each single $
reviewer#7659 date: Jul-4-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 35mm f2.0
Sony 50mm f1.4
Min 85mm f1.4
ZA 135m f1.8 Sonnar T*
price paid:$741 USD
positive:Tonality, painterly, color, sharpness and misleading contrast
negative:Price & CA wide open [fixable in post]
comment:This lens has such shallow DOF that it is easy to miss the target, which leads one to believe it is not sharp wide open. I may have gotten lucky here? It is not as contrasty or sharp as the 35f2. It presents very similar in color and contrast to the Sony 50f1.4 and Minolta 85f1.4 [original].

This is a most excellent portrait lens! It compares quite well to the Sony 50f1.4 and the Minolta 85f1.4. These three are the Magic Trinity! If you want lush supple yet powerful portraits these three will deliver! On the other hand I would use the 35f2 with the Minolta 100 f2 as they present more closely than would the 35G and 100f2 would in terms of color, sharpness and contrast.

This lens is not for everyone. If you like people pictures with lush colorful bokeh backgrounds then this is what you are looking for and I highly recommend it.
reviewer#7472 date: May-25-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:35/2
28/2
24-70CZ
price paid:1000 euro
positive:- Colours
- Tonality
- Sharpness
negative:- When using CPL hood is hard to fit
comment:My most used lens. 35mm on full frame is very versatile. Colour and tones are absolutely fabulous. I have read some reviews where sharpness is questioned. My copy is sharp wide open at f1.4 - but the depth of field is extremely narrow - and the rendering of what is out of focus is obviously soft.
I have previously had the 35/2. Sharp wide open as is raved about in the reviews, but not as good in the corners as 35G.
reviewer#7203 date: Mar-31-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:1200 $
positive:Color
image quality
build
negative:price
Soft at f/1.4
comment:A must have on FF (a900), a good replacement for 50mm on APSC (a700). Very sharp from f2 and soft f1.4.
The lens makes sense only on FF !!!
reviewer#7171 date: Mar-27-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:50/1.7
50/1.4
price paid:1300 EUR
positive:very sharp under the right circumstances
great, unique bokeh
lovely color
short MFD
negative:lens is soft at wider apertures on distant subjects
comment:OK you guys ready for the final word on the 35G?? ;)

See the sample images post here to look at the images I'm referring to below:
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/sony-af-35mm-f14-g-sal35f14g_topic12896_post1266979.html#1266979

I feel that a lot of the talk and questioning and soul searching around this lens can be dispelled with a couple important pieces of information concerning its sharpness:

At wide apertures it is both sharp and not sharp. Specifically it is (relatively) sharp at wide apertures when the object you focus on is near. As soon as you move away, that sharpness falls away. So for instance:

f1.7, very close to object in question, very reasonably sharp (and I've since changed my sharpening technique when resizing photos so I could have made this image pop even better)


f2, move away from the the object you focus on and the lens has had it, it's just not sharp (and believe me 100% crop of this image proves it's not a question of the focal plane or anything, this image is sharp nowhere, the focus was spot on the subject)


f7.1 Stopped down and it's razor sharp no matter the distance


f2.8 This is close enough that I could have opened up to f2 and the image would still have been nice and sharp



f3.2 and it looks absolutely lovely at close distances



f4 and slightly farther away it looks fantastic



f2.2 back wider open again and the lens is really problematic: almost impossible, in this iffy light, to get the camera to focus properly on the subject and even when it does, the focus point is quite soft. This shot went through several levels of sharpening.


f3.5, even here, at this distance to the subject the sharpness is not optimal and this image went through several levels of sharpening


f1.4 Sometimes sharpness isn't what you're after and you're just happy to capture the moment [IMG]smileys/smiley1.gif" align="middle[/IMG]

Anyway I hope this range of photos shows what this lens is good at and what it is not so good at: it's very sharp when focusing on close subjects, and needs to be stopped down considerably to be sharp when focusing on subjects far away.

I've always loved its bokeh and that's why I've always enjoyed shooting images with it, but it's got definite limitations. I shoot around them and when shooting street photography, I grab the 50/1.4, never the 35G. But at a party in low light? Always the 35G, never the 50.
reviewer#6953 date: Feb-23-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35/2
Sigma 50/1.4
Minolta 80/1.4
price paid:L675 used
positive:Image quality
Bokeh
Weight/build
negative:none
comment:I had a Minolta 35/2 original. This is a great lens and I was unsure of whether the 35/1.4 was so much better and therefore worth the money.

I had read that this lens is "soft" at 1.4 and so was worried. All I can say is that as far as my copy is concerned, it is sharp at 1.4. Yes, it gets better as you stop down, then they all do, don't they?

I want to reassure readers that the softness reported isn't a problem and may well be missed focus, subject motion blur or camera shake. I think this lens is comparable to the Minolta 85mm and Sigma 50mm at f1.4.

I have always wanted this lens, now I'm happy.

Update: I have sold this lens and gone back to the 35/2 purely for reasons of size/bulk in my camera bag. I'm not sure this is the best decision I've ever made, but it would be beyond my means to have both lenses.
reviewer#6714 date: Jan-8-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:800 EUR (new)
positive:Almost everything
negative:Pricey
Soft at f/1.4
comment:A must have on FF, a good replacement for 50mm on APSC
Very sharp from f2, soft @ 1.4 but it's normal.

Very recommended
reviewer#6528 date: Dec-5-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 50mm f/1.4
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8
price paid:700 GBP new
positive:Colours, fast AF, really bright, sharp from f/2
negative:Soft at f/1.4
comment:My walkaround / do anything lens, pretty much only comes off the camera if I'm attending a sports event and need a telephoto
reviewer#6418 date: Nov-20-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm F1.4
price paid:900 CAN (used)
positive:- Fast lens
negative:- pricey
- Sharpness drops slightly at 1.4
comment:This is my new favourite prime.

I bought this lens used a couple of months ago and am very impressed. It replaced my 24-70CZ as the main lens on my camera and I love this lens.

I like to take a lot of available light shots, especially of the kids, indoors so I was attracted to it for its speed. When I got it and started to use it, I was in heaven.

It focuses fast (and apparently much faster on an a700) and the focal length (50mm equivalent) is great for taking shots indoors.

Yes, I wish it wasn't so expensive, but I do not consider that a negative. Quality costs and this lens IS quality.

The bokeh on this lens is wonderful. Just astounding.

One day, when the wife will let me, I wold love to get an a900 and see what this would do. FF wide angle with creamy bokeh……. yummy.
reviewer#6225 date: Oct-15-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 16-80 F3.5-4.5
(no direct comparison but within focal range)
CZ 85 F1.4 (my other prime)
price paid:1300 USD (approx)
positive:Available light capability
Good focal length for indoor
negative:Expensive
Heavy
comment:This was my first prime lens after starting out with a 18-200 F3.5-6.3 on an a100. My goal was to have better indoor available light capability to take photos of my young kids. The combination of bright aperture and short focal length (50mm in full-frame terms) seems very well suited for that purpose, and this lens performs very well for my intended goal. I have since moved to an a700 and the lens is just as capable on that body, and focuses faster. I have not tried it on a full-frame body.

I like the capability to shoot at F1.4 or F1.7, but I must say that it's very hard to do so with a moving target that's relatively close, such as kids in action. The DOF is incredibly shallow and any misfocusing results in blurry results. But boy, when the focus is correct, the results are outstanding. Great sharpness in the center, lovely bokeh in the background, nice popping 3D effect and very realistic skin tones.

Stopping the lens down to F2.5, F3.2 or so makes things a bit easier and still produces great results, perhaps a tad less spectacular but a bit more reliable.

Although the build quality of the lens is solid, it is not quite as good as the CZ 85 F1.4, which is in roughly the same price range. The 35 doesn't have the nice metal hood, and the rubber zoom ring doesn't have the same feel as the metal one on the 85.

I never use this lens outdoors in anything approximating bright conditions. When stopping the lens down to F6 or beyond, I just don't see the advantage of using it over my CZ 16-80, which is also sharp and gives me zoom capability. So in my case, the 35 F1.4 is a special purpose lens and I really enjoy its qualities.
reviewer#5532 date: Jun-15-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:20mm f2.8.
CZ 24-70 f2.8.

price paid:1000 USD
positive:Almost everything!!!
Build.
Sharp from f2.
Excelent contrast.
Amazing colors.
Almost no distorsion or flare.
negative:Coma wide open.

comment:t f1.4 the colors and transitions are just amazing, good contrast and lower shapness but very sustained in all the frame on a FF. The way this lens captures colors and light is just amazing, photos really look different.

The lens makes sense only on FF.

Build is superb, as a G should be, only Hood should be improved.

reviewer#5095 date: Mar-25-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:$1300ish
positive:Brings in so much light.
negative:Can be a little soft closest to 1.4 but I can't complain
comment:I absolutely love this lens. I use it for photographing children mostly and is perfect for that. I have also used it for a couple of wedding closeups. I do all natural lighting and is just amazing for that. Love, love, love it!
reviewer#4989 date: Mar-10-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 85/1.4 G (D)
Minolta 17-35/3.5 G
Minolta 28-70/2.8 G
Minolta 80-200/2.8 G
Minolta 16/2.8 FE
price paid:830 USD as new
positive:Sharp
Fast
Accurate
negative:Build
Case
Price
comment:I've been eyeballing this lens for quite some time. I wanted it as a normal lens for indoor use shooting at APS-C and for indoor WA at full frame. I had been deferring purchase due to the price but I was able to snipe a perfect copy from eBay for such a low price I had to buy it. For indoor use, this lens and the 85/1.4G (D) are the best you can do. I would have got the Minolta version of the 35/1.4 if it was flash compatible. My fine Minolta glass is the whole reason I bought the a900. This lens is terrific in terms of functionality, performance and image quality but I have to take a shot at Sony here. This is my first Sony lens and compared with my bag full of classic Minolta G glass, it doesn't measure up. This lens is very pricey at full retail. The build is fair at best. There's too much plastic and it comes with a cheesy soft vinyl case. The Sony focus ring is acceptable but the old Minolta style seems more resistant to dust and oil from fingers. Holding it next to my 85/1.4G (D), the old Minolta construction quality is just not there on the Sony but they've jacked up the price considerably. If you're going to give this lens a 5 for build then the old Minolta G's deserve a 7 or better. The old Minolta A lenses like the beer can and fisheye are built better. NOTE - I noticed another contributor lamenting about fitting the hood over a CZ filter. My filter is an old Minolta AC L37 slim profile UV and the hood slides over it perfectly.
reviewer#4980 date: Mar-8-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- CZJ Flektogon 35mm/2.4 (m42)
- Takumar 3.5/35mm
price paid:1000 EUR (new)
positive:- sharp and contrasty
- "classic" / normal focal length on FF
- fast AF
- great colors
- nice bokeh
- good flare control
- build is excellent
- somehow smaller than a zoom
negative:- some vignetting wide open
- sort of bulky for a prime
- plastic shade
- chromatic aberrations
comment:This lens was initially sold for film, and is therefore very adapted to full frame digital.

Very good lens. I have been using this lens only on full frame, I guess it is a different kettle of fish with APS sensor. As a full frame lens, the 35mm is a very nice and useful focal length. I use it in conjunction with a 85mm and do 90% of my shots with either of these two lenses. It is nice to have the possibility to shoot at large apertures, which helps isolate the subject.

Difficult to focus wide open because of the very shallow DoF. It can feel soft wide open, sometimes, and certainly is to some extent, but the majority of times the picture feels soft because the focus is off.

It has a tendency to show CA with some high contrast (e.g. sunlit) subjects, even closed down a bit, which is annoying. This can be corrected in post-production, but still is a pain.

Lens build is excellent, but the plastic hood is clearly not the same league.
reviews found: 46    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 46
  • sharpness: 4.57
  • color: 4.98
  • build: 4.83
  • distortion: 4.76
  • flare control: 4.72
  • overall: 4.77

to add your review
you need to login

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania

Find us on Google+