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

reviewer#44331 date: Jul-12-2019
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
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:Minolta AF 20mm f2.8 RS
Minolta AF 24mm f2.8
Minolta AF 28mm f2.8
Sony DT 30mm f2.8 macro
Minolta AF 50mm f1.4
Minolta AF 50mm f1.7
Minolta AF 50mm f1.7 RS
Sony DT 50mm f1.8
+ numerous zooms covering 35mm.
price paid:80 GBP
positive:Ideal focal length for a standard prime on APS - and f1.8 too!
APS-C only.
Build - manual focus slips.
comment:This is the classic standard lens for APS-C - roughly equivalent to the 50mm f1.7 on 35mm film SLRs. As such it does much the same job and is a great walk-around prime at a very affordable price.
The drawbacks are mostly obvious - APS only and the toy like build quality that make it pretty obvious where costs were kept down. Not obvious is the unstable manual focus - when copying documents I set up camera and lens on a copying stand (35mm is an ideal FL for most of my needs), manually focus and use a remote trigger. There should be no need to change focus, perhaps a check every 100 or so images - this lens goes way out of focus within 10 shots. Using AF it is great until the document lacks central contrast (not uncommon in my use).
The positives are there aplenty - a sharp, fast standard prime - everyone should have one!
My copy came without a hood, so I use the one from my Sony 85mm f2.8 - which does the job nicely without any obvious vignetting.
All in all I'm very happy to have one, but I still want a Min 35/2!
In comparison with my other primes it shares the build quality and modern coatings with the Sony 30mm macro and DT 50mm, add in the 85mm f2.8 and you have a very nice set of very affordable primes - all good performers, but not lenses that give one confidence in a long life. The Minolta primes are far stronger, more solid beasts that one feels might last forever - the downside is that the Minolta 35mm primes (f1.4 & f2) are still pricey, the Sony offers a bargain alternative.

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