Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)

Sample Images

Click on an image for downloading the full-size variant.

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length35.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/320s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length35.0mm
Aperture:f/1.8
Exposure1/8000s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length35.0mm
Aperture:f/1.8
Exposure1/8000s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length35.0mm
Aperture:f/1.8
Exposure1/160s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length35.0mm
Aperture:f/2.2
Exposure1/8000s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length35.0mm
Aperture:f/1.8
Exposure1/2500s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed200
Focal Length35.0mm
Aperture:f/1.8
Exposure1/800s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed250
Focal Length35.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/320s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed250
Focal Length35.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/200s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed250
Focal Length35.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/400s

Competition

As mentioned in the introduction there are about a gazillion 35mm AF lenses available. The primary competition is probably the highly attractive Sigma 35mm f/2 Contemporary (center, with attached lens hood) and the Samyang AF 35mm f/1.8 (right). We haven't tested these two options yet. However, it's safe to say that the Sigma is at least as good optically and better mechanically. The Samyang is probably not far behind but more affordable and obviously more compact.

Visual comparison courtesy of camerasize.com.

Verdict

The Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 is a decent performer but it doesn't excel in all categories. In terms of resolution, it is basically as good as it gets in the image center but the corners are "only" good to very good at mainstream settings and fairly weak corners at f/1.8. Lateral CAs are on the high side although this can be easily corrected. The slight pincushion distortion isn't an obstacle for auto-correction either. The same can't be said about vignetting which is very high in RAW files and still visible with activated auto-correction. The quality of the bokeh is pretty good, especially in the image background. Bokeh fringing (LoCA) can be visible at large-aperture settings though.

The build quality is pretty good without reaching pro levels. You can feel that the outer metal shell is fairly thin but Sony made a decent effort for a consumer-grade lens. The chassis is dust- and moisture-resistant and it doesn't extend during focusing - as it should be. The broad focus ring is very smooth to operate. The AF is quick and noiseless. It would have been nice if Sony implemented an optical image stabilizer. However, most Sony cameras feature IBIS these days so it's an understandable decision in order to keep the costs at bay.

The Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 is certainly a very reasonable option in this market segment. Thanks to its aperture of f/1.8, it avoids the bulk and costs of f/1.4 or f/1.2 lenses while still being way faster than any zoom lens. As such, it resides in a sweet spot albeit maybe not the most exciting one.


Optical Quality:    
★★★★★
Mechanical Quality:
★★★★★
Price/Performance:
★★★★★

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