Sony FE 35mm F1.8 E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#45648 date: Feb-20-2021
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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:Sigma 30 F1.4 DC DN C & EX DC
Sigma 30 F2.8 DN Art
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Neewer 32 F1.6
Zeiss 32 F1.8 Touit
Rokinon 35 F1.2
Neewer 35 F1.2
Sony FE 35 F1.4 Distagon
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C & Mini
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Rokinon 35 F1.8
Tamron SP 35 F1.8 USD
Minolta MD 35 F1.8
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Yongnuo EF 35 F2
7Artisans 35 F2
Minolta AF 35 F2
Tamron 35 F2.8 OSD
Rokinon AF 35 F2.8
Sony FE 35 F2.8 Sonnar
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar 35 F2.8
Minolta 40 F1.7
Konica AR 40 F1.8
Sony FE 40 F2.5 G
Canon EF 40 F2.8 STM
Pentax-M 40 F2.8
Pentax-DA 40 F2.8 XS
Pentax-FA 43 F1.8 Limited
price paid:525 USD (used)
Flat field
Petzval swirl
Very little breathing
Very quick AF
Close focusing
30 FPS tracking
Aperture Drive in AF
Dust and moisture-resistant
Lens Compensation
High mechanical vignette
Chromatic aberration
Complex distortion
Metal surfaces
Plastic filter threads
comment:Purchased through a winning bid on an individual eBay seller listing. Very minor disclosed cosmetic wear. Full retail packaging.

At the time of purchase this was Sony's fifth least expensive FE prime lens sitting between the 85 F1.8 and the 20 F1.8 G. The old 35 F2.8 and 55 F1.8 ZA primes are generally less expensive used. Many erroneously refer to this as a G lens. It is less than half the price of the original A-mount 35 F1.4 G prime and currently half the price of the newer 35 F1.4 GM. It is styled very similarly to the older 28 F2 and 55 F1.8 ZA with the additions of an AF/MF switch and a focus hold button. It looks like a 25% enlarged version of the 28 F2. It feels substantially heavier than the Rokinon 35 F1.8. "Made in China"

This lens is a bit brighter wide-open in the center than the Rokinon or Tamron SP 35 F1.8 primes with better contrast than either of them. It is sharp wide-open across the frame, but it has more lateral chromatic aberration. The corners also brighten less than the other 35's when stopped down. There is a lot of mechanical vignetting and bokeh swirl. The older 2/28 has smoother rendering. The corner shading looks very neutral--perhaps Sony is adjusting the raw to correct color shifts.

It has more distortion than the other native 35's, mostly noticeable as pincushion in the extreme corners. The distortion shifts with focus, which is about the extent of its breathing. It focuses very quickly especially off center. The 2.5/40 G may have faster motors, but this lens hunts much less.

Video recording is the strongest use case for this lens--though it lacks an additional aperture control. The corner shading, lateral CA, and pincushion distortion make it less suited for stills use. Though those can qualify as character. The Sigma and Samyang primes produce more natural looking images.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 3
  • sharpness: 4.67
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.67
  • distortion: 4.67
  • flare control: 4.67
  • overall: 4.73 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania