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Fotasy 35mm F1.6 APS-C Lens Review

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    Posted: 28 February 2017 at 01:10
Fotasy 35mm F1.6 APS-C Review

Elements/group: 6/4
Angle of view(AOV): 42°
Aperture blades: 12
Clickless aperture
Glass: Multi-Coated
Minimum focus distance: 300 mm
Front thread diameter: 46 mm
Length: 47 mm

This is a new all manual lens designed for APS-C sensors with a native E mount. There's an older, cheaper 35mm F1.7 C-mount lens sold under this brand that is somewhat popular. I originally thought this was a standard C-mount lens on a C-mount to E-mount adapter, but when I went to remove the adapter. I found I couldn't remove it. There are no C-mount threads on the lens.

I purchased this copy for $45 shipped from Rainbow Imaging out of New York via eBay. It arrived very quickly via first class postal service. It came with a plain 46mm front side-clip lens cap and a black "NEX" rear cap.

The lens looks cheaper than the Discover and Kaxinda/Neewer/Meike lenses. The focus scale is only in meters and there is not even a fake aperture depth scale. The aperture and focus directions match Sony's FE lenses.

The aperture scale starts fairly accurate but seems very pessimistic past f/4. The exposure wide-open is nearly identical to the Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM wide-open and slower than the Discover 25mm F1.8 wide-open. The Discover seems to be more of an F1.6 lens and this one more of F1.8.

The outer lens barrel with the filter threads is fixed, and the deeply set inner barrel moves forward as a unit. The focus mechanism sounds and feel a little rough moving towards infinity. It is more damped and smooth moving the opposite direction. The aperture control is very smooth and not heavily damped.

Image quality is very good other than a slight tilt. The top left corner is a bit soft while the bottom right is very sharp. It is sharper wide-open than my second, sharper Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM. It has very minimal barrel distortion compared to the DT lens.

I suspect the Kaxinda 35mm F1.7 shown here was actually defective. The seller claimed they test their lenses. The focus plane seemed to get more curved as the lens was stopped down. It ended up costing me $31 to return it to China.

Overall, I am very happy with the performance of this Fotasy. I also own the very similar looking 50mm F1.8. There are also versions with C-mounts. Unfortunately, there is very little information about any of these Chinese lenses in English.

Wide-open Center

Yes, this $45 lens is sharper wide-open than the $220 Sony DT.

Wide-open Mid

Wide-open Extreme Top Left

Not much difference in sharpness here, but this is the worst performing corner of the Fotasy, and it is matching the Sony lens pretty well.

The border thickness is a clue to the amount of barrel distortion each lens exibits. The Fotasy has much less than the Sony, which has much less the Kaxinda.

Wide-open Top Left

Wide-open Bottom Right

The Kaxinda focal plane seems reasonably flat wide-open, but it just isn't sharp. The Fotasy is sharper in the center than the Sony, but the top left quadrant is obvious soft even at mid-frame.

F/2.8 Center

F/2.8 Mid

F/2.8 Top Left

F/2.8 Bottom Right

The Kaxinda has pretty extreme focus shit when stopping down and refocusing the center makes the corners worse. The focus plane becomes increasingly curved. I woder if one of the elements was assembled backwards. The Fotasy behaves much like the Sony lens.

F/5.6 Center

F/5.6 Mid

F/5.6 Top Left

F/5.6 Bottom Right

Edited by QuietOC - 04 July 2019 at 14:45
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9

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