Today, Sony has added the much-anticipated FE 35mm f/1.8 to their collection of mid-priced prime lenses.
The FE 35mm f/1.8 draws many comparisons to Sony’s FE 85mm f/1.8 in terms of size, build quality, performance, and price range. The new 35mm measures in at 2.87 inches (73 millimeters) long, 2.58 inches (65.6 millimeters) in diameter, and weighs 9.87 ounces (280 grams). This is lighter than both the Nikon Z and Canon RF version (although Canon’s features image stabilization) and shorter than the pricier Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8. The Sony 35mm f/1.8 uses an aluminum based exterior with plastic parts and features a dust and moisture resistance design. The side of the lens has a focus hold button and AF/MF switch, and the front filter threads are 55mm.
Inside, the FE 35mm f/1.8 uses 11 elements in 9 groups including 1 aspherical element. Like the FE 85mm f/1.8, there are 9 aperture blades. The internal focusing mechanism “effectively minimizes” focus breathing to keep the angle of view consistent when changing focus. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 0.72 feet (0.22 meters) which creates a maximum magnification of 0.24x.
Below are some sample images I took with the new FE 35mm f/1.8 lens over the weekend. I’ll have more images and thoughts in a future first impressions review, however I can summarize a couple things here. First, the autofocusing keeps pace with Eye AF and Animal Eye AF with no issues I’ve seen. The out of focus blur quality look really nice in my opinion, and a shallow depth of field paired with a wide-angle view can create some interesting looking work. There is some chromatic aberration that can crop up at f/1.8, but it is not out of hand like I’ve seen with the $248 FE 50mm f/1.8 and manageable with software to cleanly remove it. Overall, I’ve been impressed with the first couple days of using it and will have more to report soon.
The Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 lens is priced at $748 and will start shipping to customers in the beginning of August 2019.