Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM A-mount lens review by MinoltaMaxxum

reviewer#11661 date: Feb-1-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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 used to own this lens
compared to:* Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX
* Sony 35mm f/1.8 DT SAM
* Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAM II
* Sony 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DT SAM II
* Minolta 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 (Original)
* Minolta 70-210mm f/4 (Beercan)
* Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX-II
price paid:200 AUD
positive:* Sharp at f/2.8, reaches close to peak sharpness closer to f/5.6
* Good bokeh
* Excellent colours and good flare control
* Relatively light and small
* Common 55mm filter thread
* Comes with lens hood
* Great for both indoor and outdoor street low light shooting
negative:* Average image quality wide open at f/1.8
* Average focus speed, though faster than 50mm f/1.8 DT and shorter minimum focus distance
* Chromatic aberration and severe coma at wide open apertures
* Plastic fantastic build quality
comment:Compared to the popular Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX, the Sony is almost identical with slightly better image quality however you would be hard pressed to see the difference in normal prints. The Sony is also generally cheaper and that is reflected in the Nikon having better build quality.

Compared to the Sony 50mm f/1.8 DT, the 35mm is slightly larger and sharper however it also shows high amount of purple fringing and severe coma especially at wide open apertures.

Being a 35mm, there is also noticeable distortion with subjects at close distances.

The wider aperture has an almost two stop advantage over the Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DT at the equivalent focal length or in other words about four hundred percent more light. This will allow you to shoot at faster shutter speeds and/or lower ISO settings in low light conditions than the zoom kit can and along with the sharpness it makes for a fantastic bang for buck lens especially for indoor or outdoor street photography.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 108
  • sharpness: 4.71
  • color: 4.62
  • build: 3.42
  • distortion: 4.48
  • flare control: 4.35
  • overall: 4.32 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania