Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss Review: The A7-series finally gets some low-light love


posted Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 5:19 PM EST


When the A7 and A7R were first announced, alongside them was the FE 35mm f/2.8 Zeiss lens. We reviewed this lens and found it to be an excellent optic: sharp images even wide-open and a super compact design. But despite its compactness, the f/2.8 maximum aperture was a bit underwhelming for those looking for premier low-light shooting and background blurring effects. The recently-announced Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss aims to fix that, and we've gone hands-on with our full SLRgear treatment.

While the Sony 35mm 1.4 Zeiss provides a full two stops of additional light gathering capabilities, it also gains a significant amount of weight and build compared to the pocketable portability of the f/2.8 version. By the numbers, the new 35mm lens weighs about 630g (about 1.4lbs.) and is about 4.5in. x 3.13in. in size. Like Sony's previous FE-mount Zeiss-branded lenses, the build quality, nonetheless, for the new 35mm 1.4 lens is excellent -- sleek, modern, all-black, all-metal construction with smooth, electronic focus ring and de-clickable manual aperture ring. Sony also says the lens is dust- and moisture-resistant.

We've already posted a slew of selection of real-world gallery shots, and now the lab testing is complete. So what are the results? Image quality is very good, though wide-open on a full-frame camera displays some softness. Other quality, like CA and distortion, are also very well controlled, and uncorrected vignetting is not bad. For all the results and details, though, head over to SLRgear to read our full Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss review, complete with our in-depth report, final conclusion as well as our full range of test results and sample images.

The Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss is currently available for pre-order with an MSRP of around $1,600, and includes a petal-shaped lens hood and pouch. Check out Amazon, Adorama or B&H for more info on purchasing. Buying this lens, or any other item, at one of these trusted affiliates helps support this site and keeps the reviews coming!

In the meantime, check out some sample photos shot by our own Dave Pardue with the Sony A7 II. You can view more sample photos, plus download the full-resolution files, over at the Sony A7 II Gallery Page -- just look for images with filenames beginning with "YE-35MM".

A7 II + 35mm: f/1.6, 1/1250s, ISO 100
A7 II + 35mm: f/1.6, 1/8000s, ISO 100
A7 II + 35mm: f/2.0, 1/1250s, ISO 2000