Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 108    << 1 2 3 4
reviewer#8452 date: Dec-26-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:-SAM focuses fast and fairly quiet (unlike the 18-55)
-Sharpness wide open is OK
-light
negative:
missing
comment:Works very well, pictures are great. I don't mind the plastic build. The price can hardly be beaten...
reviewer#8428 date: Dec-20-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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 used to own this lens
compared to:* Sigma 24mm f/1.8
* Sigma 30mm f/1.4
* Sony 50mm f/1.4
price paid:175 USD (new)
positive:* lightweight
* good center sharpness wide open
* SAM focuses at a reasonable speed
* fantastic price/performance ratio
* common 55mm filter size
* appropriately-sized hood
* short MFD
negative:* flimsy build - even the mount itself is plastic
* AF-MF switch on the lens makes switching to manual focus a two-step process
* APS-C only
comment:I used to think that regardless of the brand of your DSLR - be it Sony, Canon, Nikon, or even Pentax or Olympus - the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 was the go-to lens for a fast, normal prime on a crop sensor camera. And until recently, what were the other options for a Sony shooter? The Sony/Minolta 28mm f/2.8 isn't fast enough for low light work, nor is it sharp enough wide open. The Sony/Minolta 35mm f/1.4 is prohibitively expensive for the casual user. The Minolta 28mm f/2 and 35mm f/2 are better options, but are hard to find and carry a price premium as a result. That left the Sigma.

Now, don't get me wrong, the Sigma isn't a bad lens. It's nice to have f/1.4 as an option, even if it's not terribly practical. Center sharpness is good wide open, and it has a nice build. However, it has the same problem that almost every other Sigma lens has - everything has a yellow cast to it, quality control is iffy, and it's not SLT-compatible straight out of the box.

Now, Sony shoters have a new option - the 35mm f/1.8 SAM. Colors are nice and the lens is acceptably sharp at f/1.8. You'll need to stop down to sharpen up the corners, but considering the practical use of such a lens at f/1.8, I doubt that's going to cause anyone any headaches. The SAM motor isn't as sluggish as I was worried it would be - the Sigma is still faster, but that could be due to the fast autofocus motor on the a700. There's a little bit of distortion and flare can be an issue, but it's nothing unexpected or inappropriate. The only real "problem" with this lens is that the build is very, very cheap. It's the opposite end of the spectrum from a Beercan. I don't bang around my lenses, but assuming something did happen, I'd expect this lens to break before anything else in my bag does.

All in all, this is a fantastic lens for the price. I actually sold my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and picked this up instead because, for how and when I need a lens like this, the Sony will perform just as well as the Sigma, if not better. Unless you desperately need something faster than f/1.8 or feel inspired to upgrade to more expensive options, buy this lens - it's a fantastic performer for the price.
reviewer#8426 date: Dec-20-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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:35-105
17-35d
price paid:$179 USD
positive:light
fast
cheap
negative:build quality
QC issue with my copy
comment:I like this lens except my copy front focus.(about 1-2 inches)

Bought it from the BHphoto so hopefully I can return it and get it exchanged.

reviewer#8424 date: Dec-20-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.6
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
price paid:€ 200,- new
positive:Nice, little lens that's cheap but performs better than one expects for this price. Short focussing distance.
negative:Yes, the build is cheap with plastic mount, who cares.
More important is the fringing below F2.8.
comment:Although it has it's limitations, only one focusdistance [35mm] like all primes, plastic build and mount, and abberations at fast speeds, it has far more advantages like it's price, short focussing distance [23 cm], light weight, image quality and so on.

If you want a nice fast lens with good indoor and portrait qualities, this is the one lens you need. Just go out and buy it.

I tried it in the snow, fresly fallen this weekend, and that's always a difficult situation for lenses and cameras.
Together with the 50mm 1.4 that I also had with me it is a nice couple to work with and that forces your inventivity and creativity to a higher level. The 50mm 1.4 slightly performed better in the snow, as far as I could judge. Thumbs up Sony.

Edit 28 dec 2010 : Remarkable : with the Dynax D5D the F-value is 1.7 instead of 1.8.
reviewer#8409 date: Dec-16-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
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:min 50 1.7
min 28 2.8
price paid:175 USD
positive:Price
MFD
Bokeh
negative:nothing for the price
comment:Chose this lens for shooting natural light full body portraits and more group shots as opposed to my 50mm. I've never been thrilled with the Min 28 2.8 for whatever reason... guess I always wished it was larger aperture. This lens really comes through for what I wanted. Very nice colors, bokeh, sharpness. Also, the MFD on this lens is ridiculous... almost bumped my subject in the face with the lens hood. My 50 1.7 is going to be seeing very little use and the 28 is going up for sale. Highly recommended, especially while Sony is selling these at the discounted price through the first of the rear. Just a great little lens on a crop frame.

Edit: I am noticing more CA in high contrast areas than I'd like... not unusable, but a little annoying.
reviewer#8408 date: Dec-16-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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:Tamron 55-200 diII
Sigma 17-70 DS OS HSM
Sony 18-70
Sony 18-55
price paid:153 GBP (new)
positive:Sharp
Bokeh
Light
negative:not a lot so far
comment:Excellent little lens, like many others I always felt a 50/1.8 was a bit too long for an APS-C sensor.The colours are good and its lovely and sharp. After two years of owning this lens its still a great performer and have now shot two Oktoberfests with it. I'm still impressed.
reviewer#8405 date: Dec-14-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
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:Sony DT 50 F1.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Weight
Sharp enought, at center is sharp wide open
Good color and contrast
negative:Wide open corners is less sharp than DT 50 mm F1.8
Too sensitive focusing ring, not very good for manual focusing- small rotation gives too big effect.
comment:It is very good lens for family photo.
reviewer#8395 date: Dec-11-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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 f/3.5 macro
Sony 18-70mm f/3.5-f/5.6 kit
price paid:175 USD from bhphoto
positive:low light capabilities, optical quality, colour is very nice, price
negative:plasticy
comment:I bought this lens about a week ago for its low-light capabilities and it's not left my camera since! My options for lenses less than 50mm was limited to the 18-70mm kit lens and the quality of this lens completely blows that old crappy thing out of the water. This is a great lens, especially considering the price. Its optical qualities I've found are excellent for portraiture and general photography. I suspect this will relegate my beloved Minolta 50mm f/3.5 to close-macro duties only, even then it seems that this lens can even do fairly reasonable macro shots, although I have not tried a direct comparison. The 35mm focal is ideal for APS-C sensors in terms of general photographic work. I actually love shooting with the prime lens most of the time, zooms are over-rated if you ask me.

If you have an APS-C sensor (and that's most of us), what can I say other than BUY THIS LENS!!! You will not regret it, ideal portrait lens, ideal for parties, ambient light settings, etc; a good 'walk about' lens unless you are committed to zooms.
reviewer#8362 date: Dec-6-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:SAM 50 F1.8
SAL 50 F1.4
price paid:250USD
positive:Very Sharp at wide open
Light Weight
Very Smooth AF
Easy to Use
negative:Plastic Build
Color Fringe at F1.8
comment:
missing
reviewer#8322 date: Nov-30-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.1
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 17-35mm f2.8-4
Minolta 50mm f1.7 RS
price paid:250 USD (new)
positive:Sharp wide open
Bokeh
Small and lightweight
Large lens hood
negative:Plasticky build
Color fringe visible @1.8
comment:To be honest I was quite surprised of how sharp this little lens wide open, stopped down to f2.8 you will get nice crisp images with rather smooth bokeh. It replaced 50mm on my lens line up because of the more flexible range and bokeh, and the full sized hood is definitely a yay for daylight outdoor shooting.
And one more thing, have I mentioned about the bokeh?
reviewer#8283 date: Nov-23-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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 18-70
sigma 24mm 2.8
minolta 50 1.7
tamron 70-300
price paid:190 USD
positive:sharp from 1.8 on
contrast
flare control
fast af
negative:build quality
comment:I had serious doubts about buying this lens because I was affraid it wouldn't be significantly better than the lenses I already own. Well it may not be better than the minolta 50mm but this is a great lens. Colors and contrast seem a lot better than the kitlens (which I still use a lot) and it is sharp wide open and razor sharp when stopped down a bit. It also handles sunlight much better than the kitlens. Indoor shooting is also great with this lens, although the AF starts hunting in low light situations. The only negative thing is the build quality, it is decent material i guess but it just feels (and looks) really cheap.

All in all, if you're on a budget like me and you want a cheap but sharp prime you should really buy this lens.
reviewer#8275 date: Nov-19-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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:minonlta 50/1.7
sigma 30/1.4
cz 16-80
price paid:$199 US
positive:quite sharp, even wide open
price
small and light
nice color
great focal length for APS-C
negative:none
comment:had this about a month now and love it! pleasantly surprised at how crisp the images are. perfect "normal" focal length on APS cameras. focuses well and pretty quickly. It just performs as well as you might hope in every way possible for a $200 lens. this one should be a no-brainer for anyone with a sony crop body. I think sony would be smart to start selling it in kits, too....like the maxxum 50/1.7 back in the day.
reviewer#8204 date: Nov-7-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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 1.8 SAM
Sony CZ 85mm 1.4
Sony CZ 24-70 2.8
price paid:£169
positive:Great value
Good sharpness
Small & light
Nice to have a hood included
SAM better for video AF
negative:None at this price
comment:Very much an essential lens for any APS-C camera owner. I replaced my 50mm 1.8 with this as for me it it's a much better focal length. If you've ever felt the 50mm was a bit tight when shooting indoors this lens is for you.

It's a nice small, light normal/wide option for me when I don't want to use the big heavy 24-70. It makes much more sense when paired with the 85mm than the 50mm did.

- Good from f1.8 but great stopped down
- Bokeh appears nice
- AF accuracy/speed is fine, not SSM but what you'd expect from a cheaper SAM lens.
reviewer#8168 date: Nov-2-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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 50/1.7
- Minolta 85/1.4
- Tamron 90/2.8
- Minolta 24/2.8
price paid:240 Euro
positive:- decently sharp from 1.8
- good bokeh
negative:- nothing worth mention so far
comment:Well I got the lens today so the review iwll be update das I gain experience.

So far I love the lens. It is quite sharp at f1.8

Build is ok. Actually I expected worse and what I got is decently build lens. True it does not feel solid like the 85/1.4 but nothing serious to complain about.

Af is ok as speed and accuracy on A700. AF is disappointingly slow on nex-5, but it is hard to achieve this precise AF manualy - indeed contrast AF is amazignly acurate.

Hood is great

I did not see any outraging optical defects like aberrations or severe distortion. It seems to have vignetting, but I need to test more. Well lately for a lens it is important to have superb sharpness, good colors and contrast all else is fixe din software.

So this lens is very very good. Definetly a MUST have for a Sony APS-C fan.

PS I cannot rate distortion and flare so far - I am adding 5 because these were not problems so far.

reviewer#8166 date: Nov-1-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:Most closely I guess to my Maxxum AF 50 1.7 and 28 2.8 primes
price paid:$200
positive:Just received this little lens a few days ago, had a chance to shoot maybe a dozen shots. Like what I see so far, good bokeh, sharp, colors fine and AF speed is fine. Haven't had time to try it on the A 200 yet...comments based on useage with A 700
negative:Plastic but hey it's $200 new!
comment:I purchased this lens primarily to allow me to shoot natural light photos at family gatherings.

It appears that it may get more use than that, looks like a fine choice for overall photography.

Good job Sony, now how about a 20 2.8 in this format?

I will update with/ if any significant new observations develop.....I started a thread on the lens and have posted a few images there.

Recommended.
reviewer#8164 date: Nov-1-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.6
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:SAL50F1.8
price paid:250 USD (new)
positive:Low Price
Light Weight
Nice Bokeh
F1.8
negative:Build
comment:Fantastic little lens for indoor low light situation.
reviewer#8161 date: Oct-30-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:50mm F1.7
SAL24105
price paid:154 GBP (new)
positive:Light weight
Low cost
Sharp
Proper lens hood supplied
negative:SAM focusing is noisy
Plastic mount
Not full frame
comment:Only had this a week. And my feeling is that it's at least as good and possibly a little bit better than my 50mm F1.7 and beats the 24-105mm at 35mm. Around F2.8/F3.2 it is very sharp.

SAM focus feels no better than a screw drive lens on the A700. You feel the same torque effect and it makes as much noise. However the 3m to infinity movement on the lens is very small so unless working under 3m there is hardly any focus movement in the lens.

It's provided with a full size lens hood.

The mount is plastic but overall it feels as well built as the 50mm F1.7 RS - it's just a little bit lighter and despite not being FF is physically similar in size.
reviewer#8047 date: Oct-5-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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 30/1.4
- minolta 35/2
- sony 50/1.4
- sony 50/1.8
price paid:350 SGD (new)
positive:- Sharp at wide open, sharper at f2 and reaches max sharpness at f3.5
- affordable price
- light and small
- quiet sam motor
- good mfd
- low ca even wide open and almost non ca from f2 onwards
negative:- plastic body and mount
- focus ring too small
comment:Bought this lens upon reaching the store. I could be the first in my country (singapore) to own it.

Tested it for the past 5 days and I could only say it's really worth the price.

Sharpness is on par or slightly better than sony 50/1.8 and sigma 30/1.4 and definitely better than minolta 35/2.

CA is surprising well controlled even at F1.8 and disappear almost entirely at F2.

Other than build quality which is similar to 50/1.8 are all plastic and does not seems to take knocks and hits so well, the tradeoff is a very light and small lens to carry around.

Mounted on my A55, its the perfect combo for low light handheld shoots! It seems this lens is designed for A33/55.

With this price (USD260), its really a must buy for all crop frame bodies.

I wonder how Sigma 30/1.4 and 2nd hand Mnolta 35/2 are going to sell with this new gem around.

Just go get it!!!
reviews found: 108    << 1 2 3 4

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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