Sony Zeiss FE 35mm f/2.8 – Lens Review

The Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens is Sony’s least talked about lens but one of the most controversial lenses the system has, in my opinion.

This review is incomplete.

Sony Zeiss FE 35mm f/2.8 – Lens Review Size

When mirrorless cameras were first released, people touted their size and portability. As time passed, and with each heavy G master lens, came about ten critics to say “where’s the size advantage?” The Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens has unfortunately been forgotten, and no one really knows why.  With this mounted on the camera, you now have a full-frame, lightweight, high image quality setup you can take anywhere. It doesn’t matter how many heavy G Master lenses get created, the fact is, you don’t have to miss a full-frame photograph at a family event or at an evening meal in your local restaurant. In my opinion, the Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens is a game changer and it is not something you can necessarily feel through reading thousands of views.

If you’re used to using a DSLR, you’ll feel it in the moment you ask yourself “should I take my camera with me?”, the answer with that 5d Mk 4 would have probably been a “no”, but with a Sony a7rIII/Sony a7rIII or a Sony a9, the answer will most definitely be “yes”.

Image quality

I think flowers are a good item to show for a review; luckily for me, this isn’t a review of my photography, it’s a review of the image quality. This is a completely unedited raw photograph exported in lightroom. The pink colours, all shades, show really well. The colour science people criticise with Sony cameras is every bit as good as with my Canon camera, in my opinion (colours aren’t subjective, but I’m too lazy to get a spectrometer and prove my point objectively). The greens look very natural, etc.

The photographs above were edited, but I wouldn’t call this a “sterile” lens. It’s a very welcoming addition to my setup.

Conclusion

It’s incredibly small as lenses go, and it doesn’t have an awful lot of glass in it, combine that with its Zeiss T* coatings, and you’ve got a recipe for great colours and contrast. The 35mm focal length is what most people might consider to be the most versatile focal length there is–excluding zooms. The fact it’s a very, very small lens completely changes the mirrorless dynamic. It’s got good contrast, good colours, good background blu, good sharpness and good handling. The downside is it’s quite expensive.

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