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

reviewer#12100 date: Jan-23-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
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 own this lens
compared to:* Sony 50mm/1.4
* Tamron 17-50/2.8 XR
* Sony 85mm/2.8
price paid:250.00
positive:* Very light.
* Very close focusing.
* Distortion isn't very distracting
* Fairly compact
* Standard sized lens cover
negative:* Sun in view = flaring
* Build quality is pretty bad
* Serious mount wiggle and lens element wiggle
* DT lens. APS-C only. Does not cover full frame.
comment:I got this lens along with the 85mm/2.8 as part of a "go light and go prime" move.

On the plus side, I REALLY like this lens. On the APS-C A77, the lens really shines. I get a fairly normal "50mm-ish" field of view and can focus in very close to a subject. Were this a full frame 35mm lens, this would rock on the A99. However, it is DT and so doesn't provide full frame coverage. :(

The lens isn't 100% tight on the A77. There is some play at both the mount and at the front focal elements. It feels VERY plastic, and not in the high density engineering plastic way.

About 6 months into using this lens, I started noticing that occasionally, the lens doesn't register with the camera and so I get no aperture control and no lens info.

Maybe I got a bad copy, but the copy started out well, but has been progressively more love/hate.

What I love:

VERY detailed photographs and because of the greater DOF, I can photograph small sealife up close and get it relatively in focus.

What I hate:

Due to the somewhat loose feel of the lens, I find that I can focus lock on a subject, but I can just as easily lose actual focus on the subject. This could be a factor of the lens being plastic... or it could be because I got a bad copy.

Would I buy it again if I had to do it over? Sure. It's a good lens. Build quality could use some beefing up, but it's not a bad lens per se. Just won't be able to handle a heavy workload.

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