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

reviewer#44304 date: May-23-2019
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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:Minolta 50mm f1.7 AF(first version)
Sony 16-50 f2.8 SSM
Sony 75-300
Tokina 11-16 f2.8
Sony 18-55 SAM II
Canon 50mm f1.8 II
Canon FD 50mm f1.8 Chrome nose
price paid:200
positive:Very sharp!
Fast Focusing
Light! Very very light!
Nice focus ring
Beautiful Bokeh
negative:You have to stop down to f2.2
VERY plasticky
Lack of sealing
comment:Bought it for a fashion event I had to take some pics. It was my first prime lens that had AF.
SHARPNESS
Well, It's very sharp but I couldn't give it a 5. At f1.8 it's not so sharp. AS if it were a little out of focus. I didn't microadjust it but at f2.2 it's already very sharp and bokeh still very pleasing.
From all lenses I've mentioned, the 35mm is the best. The one which is closer to it is the sony 16-50 f2.8.
COLORS
I shoot raw. So I can't say much about it. But Once I tested it on my a6000 + adapter and it had more pleasing colors "on video" than the other lenses on my a6000.
BUILD RATING
It's the lens obvious weakness. We all know sony lenses aren't cheap. So they had to cut down costs somewhere. Don't see it as bad though, it's a very light lens. I love it this way. Just DON'T drop it. I never did, but I don't think it would survive haha.
Mine has 2 pieces of beard inside of it, it needed a better sealing, but maybe it's the same as the canon 50mm f1.8 II. You can, open the lens and clean it, but it doens't degrade the sharpness.
Focus ring is very good. It's not premium as the 16-50 f2.8 or the tokina 11-16 f2.8, but compared to the canon 50mm f1.8 II it's VERY good. I know it's a canon lens, but we all have friends with a canon lol. Also, the focus ring is better than the minolta 50mm f1.7.
It's very easy to focus fast and I even like it for video. Perfect to use it on my a77 with grip. It's as light as if I had no lens on it lol.
DISTORTION
I really like the distortion. I never turn the correction on lightroom. But it has some distortion and some might not like it. I would give it a 4.5 if possible haha.
FLARE CONTROL
Never had any issues with it. I like to shoot portraits facing the sun.

BOKEH
Well, sometimes a fast lens is all about bokeh isn't it? On the right conditions it renders beautifully. But sometimes I just wish I had more background separation. I guess it's a 35mm f1.8 on an apsc sensor... If you want more blur you might prefer the minolta 50mm f1.7 (which has VERY good looking blur). The 16-50 at 50mm and f2.8 delievers less blur but the bokeh is more rounded. The 35mm f1.8 gives cat eyes bokeh. Which I love.

CONCLUSION
It's a very good lens. I shoot portraits, landscapes, products, events and flowers with it. My favorite lens from all I have. If I'm going to travel and I need to choose only 1 lens I'm not sure if I would bring this or the 16-50 f2.8 (CUZ SELFIES LOL) - But the 35mm is my favorite lens.

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
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