Sony Carl Zeiss 35mm F2.8 ZA FE Sonnar T* E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44494 date: Apr-8-2020
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.7
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 30 F1.4 DC DN C & EX DC
Sigma 30 F2.8 DN Art
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Neewer 32 F1.6
Zeiss 32 F1.8 Touit
Rokinon 35 F1.2
Neewer 35 F1.2
Sony FE 35 F1.4 Distagon
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C & Mini
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Tamron SP 35 F1.8 USD
Minolta MD 35 F1.8
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Yongnuo EF 35 F2
7Artisans 35 F2
Minolta AF 35 F2
Tamron 35 F2.8 OSD
Rokinon AF 35 F2.8
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar 35 F2.8
Minolta 40 F1.7
Konica AR 40 F1.8
Sony FE 40 F2.5 G
Canon EF 40 F2.8 STM
Pentax-M 40 F2.8
Pentax-DA 40 F2.8 XS
price paid:300 USD (refurb)
positive:Very little distortion
Quiet focusing
Lens Compensation
"Dust and moisture resistant"
negative:Blue badge
Red shift on edges
Chromatic Aberration
comment:I wasn't planning on buying yet another 35mm F2.8, but this deal was posted on SonyAlphaRumors. I have bought refurbished Sony products from this company previously. This lens did have some minor wear. For example the serial number sticker has a corner worn to white. It came with both lens caps and the original hood in excessive plain packaging. "Made in Japan"

This copy has a worse alignment issue than my Rokinon. It might not be fair to compare an older Sony/Zeiss lenses to more recent third-party lenses that sell for less money. I am not sure why Zeiss allows their badges on this. I don't see anything to lead me to believe a better aligned copy would be as good optically as the smaller Rokinon. The angle-of-view and distortion are very similar to the Rokinon. The Tamron is much wider. The focus motor is much quieter than the Rokinon or Tamron lenses.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 18
  • sharpness: 4.78
  • color: 4.83
  • build: 4.61
  • distortion: 4.83
  • flare control: 4.78
  • overall: 4.77 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania