Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM E-mount lens review by nandbytes

reviewer#45684 date: Apr-2-2021
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 Zeiss 35mm f1.4
Sony 35mm f1.8
Sony Zeiss 35mm f2.8
Sigma ART 35mm f1.4
Samyang 35mm f1.4 AF FE
Samyang 35mm f2.8 AF FE
Sony 24mm f1.4 GM
price paid:£1500 (new)
positive:- Sharp, small, great rendering and quick AF
- Good close focus ability
negative:- Vignetting
comment:As above I have used quite a lot of 35mm lenses. I was particularly looking for a fast one at this focal length for shooting indoors and shallow f1.4-f2 DoF.
The ziess version was great AF wise and was also fairly sharp in the centre and mid frame. It had terrible CA and LoCA and very large. The sony 35mm f1.8 version was actually sharper than the Zeiss but still have the CA problems. Not to mention with busy backgrounds the bokeh got a but messy. The samyang and sigma equivalents were also large, heavy and AF not as good as Sony version but sharper.
This lens solves all the issues of the other lenses while being smaller and lighter.
For a while I was using the Sony 24mm f1.4 GM in crop mode whenever I needed 35mm FoV. It rendered very nicely and gave great sharpness. This lens is sharper and renders better too (well its not a wide angle like 24mm so no surprise there).
The main downside to this lens is the vignetting. Corrected easily enough in post-processing but it never really disappears even stopped down a fair amount to f8. I personally do not mind this for keeping the lens small and light. Sony sensors have more than enough dynamic range to correct for this easily. Beside if this was like a Voigtlander or Leica lens people would be selling it as "character" :-D

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 1
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 5.00
  • overall: 5.00 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania