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

reviews found: 18   
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
Alignment/variation
Red shift on edges
Softness
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.
reviewer#42991 date: Jan-21-2018
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:none
price paid:EURO 650,-
positive:small and light
stealth appearance
Flare control
negative:the Zeiss logo attracts the wrong people. A bit of gaffer tape did the job
comment:non obtrusive design with a funny hood
reviewer#36801 date: Mar-26-2017
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:RX1r
price paid:
missing
positive:Lightweight and sharp.
negative:Could be better faster glass.
comment:I prefer the RX1r because of the faster glass and awesome bokeh.
reviewer#32715 date: Nov-29-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:sel55f18
price paid:620 euro sh
positive:small, sharp
negative:price, only 2.8
comment:best lens for street
reviewer#19380 date: Oct-15-2015
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony E 10-18mm. Voigtlander FE 15mm. Batis 18mm. Batis 25mm. Zeiss 16-35mm f4. 16-35mm GM. Sony FE 28mm. Zeiss FE 35mm. Batis 40mm. Samyang FE AF 45mm. Sony FE 50mm. Sony FE 50mm macro. Zeiss FE 55. Sony FE 85. Sigma A FE 135mm. Sony 70-200 GM. Sony 100-400mm GM.
price paid:£405.00
positive:Sharp in the middle, Sharp at the edges. Small, light and easy to live with.
negative:vignetting means added noise in corner shadows when corrected.
comment:Brilliant walk around lens and the smallest autofocus lens SONY Zeiss make. only 120 grams. Makes stunning images when pared with the A7r3...Vignetting is it's only real issue.

I have updated this review as I have a new copy of this lens.

reviewer#18366 date: Oct-4-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:A bunch of 35mm lenses and zooms, including the FE35/1.4 :)
price paid:
missing
positive:Small
Light
Lens hood
Image quality
Good AF performance on a7rii
negative:No focus scale
No hard stops on focus ring
comment:The FE35/1.4 is a better lens hands down apart from two things, Size/weight and price (1/5th of the wight and a1/4th of the price, used)
This little gem deliver what I want, yes f/1.4 is nice when needed, but not for my shooting style.
I put the lens hood on the "positive" because it keep lens size down and I like that.
Bad part is the lack of focus scale, don't like the focus-by-wire with no hard stops.
reviewer#18365 date: Oct-3-2015
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Sony SEL 1,8/35 mm
- Minolta AF 2,0/35 mm
price paid:611,00 €
positive:- sharpness
- size
- weight
- colors
negative:- no OSS
- lens hood
comment:The ideal lens for inconspicuous street photography. With the A7II it is a perfect and light equipment. The lack of OSS does not matter at the A7II. The 4 points for the "build rating" refers to the ugly lens hood. I have replaced it with a lens hood made ​​of metal in the style of the hood for the RX1! So I have a feeling where the lens ends.
Conclusion : Highly recommended for your A7...
reviewer#18362 date: Sep-30-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 20mm f2.8 RS on both A900 and A7S - Fuji X100 - some other primes (but from different focal ranges)
price paid:385 Euro (used)
positive:-Sharpness
-Colour rendition
-Character, images coming from this have its own appeal
-Size (you won't notice it, very light)
-Build
negative:-Nothing really. The hood is awkward but that's all...
comment:I fell in love with this focal length, which at first was challenging and strange for me. After acquiring the A7S and owning (and loving) the Fuji X100 as a light, quality camera, I wanted to own my first 35mm lens.
I own and have owned a large number of primes, but all of them were wider (20mm, 24mm etc) or longer (50mm, 85mm, 100mm, 135mm) than 35mm. I looked for the Minolta 35mm f2 and for the Carl Zeiss Flektogon 35mm f2.4 (M42) as they were two of the most renowned 35's, but I wanted to keep it light. I tried this on MapCamera in Tokyo and it had a fantastic price (385 euro).
It was a no brainer and I cannot be happier. Size is really tiny, optically performs amazingly, it is a Zeiss despite it is made in Japan. It is a lens with character, colours are very powerful with this lens. I can't notice any distortion and it is very, very sharp even at f2.8. Not a bokeh monster but it is very pleasant, not nervous at all.
I would have even paid its full price because it is really worth it, but I got this amazing offer so... what can I say?
reviewer#16334 date: Aug-11-2015
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:ZA24mm on A57
price paid:500 used
positive:small, light, perfect fit on A7
focus magification posibility
negative:non so far
comment:Very nice lens on the A7s. quick focus and very sharp images. Happy camper (-:
Only wished it have a better(closer) minimum distance of focus (as with my ZA24 on the A57)
Now sold for the (much better) Voigtlander 1.7/35 Ultron VM
reviewer#16287 date: Jun-30-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:38mm Minolta f/2, 24mm Minolta f/2.8, 28-70mm Sony FE zoom
price paid:$A676
positive:Very light, sharp, good mid-range lens for FF
negative:No IS
comment:A very good walk around lens, small and light but sharp and reasonably fast. Lens hood and cap are a bit fiddly.
reviewer#12178 date: Mar-10-2015
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Various zooms and other small primes with different focal lengths
price paid:EUR 770 (new)
positive:+ Very compact
+ Good image quality
negative:- No optical stabilization
- No focus distance scale on the lens
- F2.8 is bit on the slow side
comment:A nice, small companion for α7 series.
reviewer#12063 date: Dec-18-2014
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SEL55mmf1.8Z
price paid:£399
positive:Sharp, beautiful colour, solid, compact, light.
negative:NO IS
comment:Fixed to my A7R with the SEL55 F1.8Z in my pocket.
reviewer#11881 date: Jun-25-2014
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:cron 35/2
voigtlander color skopar 35/2,5
sel 35/1,8
price paid:890 sgd
positive:compact
solid
great colors
great sharpness
negative:no oss
comment:it perfectly fits a7r for a walk around top quality combo
maybe one stop faster could have been better, but it would have probably increased price furtherly up
I love colors and sharpness
it pops up wide open if you are enough close to your subject
maybe cron 35/2 is little bit more natural but if you test this one coupled to a7r vs. m9+35/2 the former wins hands down if price matters
reviewer#11855 date: Jun-2-2014
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35mm f2
Nikkor 35mm f2.8 (non-AI)
PC-Nikkor 35mm f2.8 (non-AI)
Sony 50mm f1.4
price paid:799USD
positive:+resolution
+contrast
+color
+size & weight
negative:-price (ouch!)
-yes, it would be better for it to be f2
comment:I actually have four 35mm lenses all FF: Sony FE 35mm f2.8, Minolta Maxxum 35mm f2, Nikkor 35mm f2.8, and a PC-Nikkor 35mm f2.8. When I first purchased the a7 and the LA-AE4 adapter I thought the Minolta would be my favorite lens and the initial results were excellent. It is truly a wonderful lens. I borrowed the Sony 35mm from my local camera store so I could test it against the Minolta. They were very, very close but the Zeiss seemed to render the images with a bit more resolution of detail and contrast. Instead of returning the lens, I wrote them a check and have been very pleased with it ever since. The size and weight are perfect on the camera (maybe it's time to sell the Minolta). The old Nikkor lenses are very good, and the advantage of the PC has led me to keep that lens, but neither matches the Minolta or Sony for resolution and contrast. The Sony 50mm f1.4 (based on the old Minolta design) is still an outstanding performer using the LA-AE4 adapter. Center sharpness is great at f1.4 to f2.8, but the corners are barely making it at f2.8 and really need f4. So this Zeiss 35mm is doing just as well and maybe better at f2.8. It is on my a7 more than any other lens.
reviewer#11854 date: Jun-1-2014
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:SAL2470Z at 35mm (I know it's a zoom, but have no other comparison).
The FE35Z outperforms the SAL in nearly every aspect, although I had not much to rave about the SAL on my A99.
price paid:699,-€ new
positive:Size, weight, clever lenshood.
IQ, sharpness, colors, contrast
negative:AF operation quite slow on the A7R - but that's far more a criticism to the camera.
comment:The FE35Z is the perfect "always-on" companion for the A7R.
Maybe one stop faster would have been a more reasonable compromise.

IQ is on a exceptional high level. Already wide open sharpness and contrast is on a high level, and is top when slightly stopped down. On the high MP sensor drop of sharpness towards the borders is quite visible up to f5.6.

CAs and distortions are also almost a non-issue for most situations.


reviewer#11732 date: Mar-18-2014
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Sony 20mm f/2.8 (A-mount)
- Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 (FE-mount)
- MIR 1B 37mm f/2.8 (M42)
- Sony 28-75 f/2.8 (A-mount)
- Sony Zelss 16-80 f/3.5-4.5 (A-mount)
price paid:1000 USD (new)
positive:- Sharp at every aperture
- Extreme corners already very sharp from f/4
- OK bokeh for a wideangle not meant for bokeh-situations
- Very low to non-existing chromatic aberration
- VERY small and light-weight
negative:- No OSS
- No SSM
comment:Tested on Alpha 7R and NEX 6N:
Along with the Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8, this 35mm is the perfect match for the Alpha 7R. It's so small and light-weight, and fit onto either the Alpha 7R or the NEX 6, it makes either camera look and feel like a bridge-size camera.

The optical qualities are all very desirable, and when pixel peeping to test sharpness, you're in for a nice surprise: The 35mm is sharp. Period. Some will then ask: How about the corners, how about f/2.8 etc. - but when I say the 35mm is sharp - period - that's what I mean. ;)

Colors and contrasts are the ones we know and love from Zeiss; punchy with a mild rolloff towards the whites, and naturally powerful color rendition.

For landscape and architecture, this lens is superb. But also general cityscaping and urban purposes are in this lens' prime league, making this the preferred walk-around lens.

Compared to the Sony 20mm f/2.8, there's no contest at all. The 20mm looks downright flat and boring compared to this vivid 35mm, and the only thing that makes me keep the Sony, is the 20mm wideangle.

The old MIR 1B 37mm lost to even the Sony 20mm, so obviously it gets solidly outperformed by the 35mm.

Compared to the Zeiss 55mm FE-sibling, the 35mm behaves much the same at first look. Digging a little further reveals that the 35mm is not meant for closeup/portrait-work. Well, the f/2.8 and the focal length at 35mm, should be strong indicators; but the bokeh of the 35mm is also not as smooth and great, as the 55mm can deliver. What the 35mm delivers however, is corner sharpness. Which is a thing that most portrait- and model oriented lenses (such as the 55mm) doesn't care about.

Compared to the Sony 28-75 zoom lens, the Zeiss 35mm wins visibly in sharpness and contrasts, which gives the final images a more crispy look and feel. If truth be told, the comfort of having a zoom lens could very easily make some zoom-lovers prefer the 28-75 over the 35mm, but then you factor in the added size and weight (also because the 28-75 requires the LA-EA4-adapter) and bam - you fall immediately in love with the 35mm and forget about the Sony 28-75mm as an option.

The build quality of the 35mm is a little plasticky, even though the plastic is of high quality when inspected more closely. The flower hood isn't a flower hood at all, but a very unique contraption that saves a lot of space in your camera bag or pocket, making the 35mm stay small in size, no matter what you do. Indeed, the hood is meant to just stay on at all times, so big applause to Sony and Zeiss for making it this way.

No OSS and no SSM; not that big an issue as on the 55mm, but still it's a little annoying that a premium lens such as this one, doesn't have these features.
reviewer#11720 date: Mar-11-2014
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma DN ART 30/2.8
Zeiss FE 55/1.8
price paid:800 USD
positive:Small, light, great build quality, great IQ and microcontrast.
negative:Slow F2.8 aperure
comment:Small and great build quality. The sharpness, contrast and microcontrast is a real Zeiss. I know that size and maximum aperture have a direct relantionship, but I would have liked it at least 1 stop faster. The size would have lost a little, but not to fall in the unacceptable rating.
I really love it for what it is: a small / daily companion .
reviewer#11546 date: Dec-17-2013
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss Biogon 35/2
Zeiss Biogon 28/2.8
Zeiss Planar 35/2
Leica Summarit 35/2.5
Leica Summicron-C 40/2
Voigtländer Nokton 35/1.4 (what an overpriced crap lens)
Sony SAL 35/1.8
price paid:599€ (new)
positive:-Very high resolution
-Great CA control
-Decent corner performance
-Very contrasty
-I like the compact hood
-Compact compared to SLR 35mm lenses
-Abbility to use more than one filter size due nice hood
negative:-Only F2.8; F2 would be better ;)
-Quite long MFD
-IQ suffers a little on closeups (only noticable on repro-work)
-Some distortion (easily corrected)
-Slight colors fringing and vignetting wide open on A7 (correctable aswell), but it does better than any othe lens I know.
-Slight distortion (but less than average) but it's well corrected by in-camera-automatic and in RAW format only visible on architecture if at all.

comment:Extreme resolution, even better than the 35mm Biogon. I'm missing Biogon 28 3D pop and fine natural Leitz colors a bit though. Contrast ist almost too high. It has very good CA- and flare control. Highlights can produce slightly weird flares, especially when in OOF areas. It also has some distortion (very easily correctable in camera!) and close to the MFD the resolution suffers a little - so it's not usable for closeups or repro work etc.!
Overall good
reviews found: 18   

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

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