Sony AF 35mm F1.4 G A-mount lens review by glass-hoper

reviewer#44064 date: May-21-2018
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm 1.7
Sony 20mm 2.8 APS E
Sigma 30mm 2.8 APS E
Sony 35mm 1.8 APS A
Minolta 85mm 1.4 O
price paid:600 like new
positive:Great fov for indoor portraits and for me, most other situations
Fantastic bokeh and color
Compact for its speed
Fast focussing
negative:Bigger and heavier package than APS E mount.
Narrow focus ring (I don't use manual focus with this lens).
Fiddly focus at large aperture and close up distance
comment:Bought this lens in 2016 soon after the Sony A99 original and it became my favorite lens. I got the A99 when the prices came down to be able to use my modest collection of Minolta A lenses on full frame format but now I use this one more than then other lenses I already had.

The bokeh is similar with Minolta 85mm O, which is quite a feat for a short focal. The build quality is similar or better than Minolta 100mm 2.8 Macro D. The sharpness, when focused correctly is good / excellent at f 1.4 -2 and excellent / outstanding above 2.4-2.8. Of note getting the correct focus on the A99 O at f 1.4 - 2 on on close up subjects requires some practice. Using the center focus and recomposing leads frequently to out of focus images due to the shallow depth of field (as described by other reviewers - thanks for pointing this out!). Unfortunately the focus points out of the center cluster is not stellar with the Alpha 99 and so this kit works best with cooperating subjects. (I would imagine it works much better on the A99II with more focus points and face / eye tracking).
There is a fair amount of fringing at large apertures but this is quite common for this type of lens.

Fantastic color, 3D rendering and bokeh that allow for some “magic” to be had under the right circumstances.

Blows out of the water the APS lenses listed in comparison (also partly because of format difference - most APS lenses are plenty sharp but they lack in “magic”) and also the Minolta 50mm 1.7 (although that one for prints and small screens it quite ok in its own right especially for its negligible price and ubiquity).

Overall my favorite general use lens, the one I would keep if I could only have one. Also good for GAS prevention - no real interest to change to FF E mount.

EDIT 5/21 typos and rephrasing of lousy writing.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 50
  • sharpness: 4.57
  • color: 4.96
  • build: 4.84
  • distortion: 4.74
  • flare control: 4.72
  • overall: 4.77 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania