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

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; 61MP61 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:
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 However the design of the lens is quite outdated and if you zoom into pixel levels, although the details are there, it can look soft and doesn't have that crisp of the newly designed lens and that could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.

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