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Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f1.4 ZA lens review: Razor-sharp German precision

By Paul Carroll - Monday May 11 2015

Lens Review
Introduction | Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f1.4 ZA Measurement: Top Sharpness and Transmission | Carl Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f1.4 ZA vs Sony FE 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 OSS vs Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS | Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f1.4 ZA Conclusion: Outstanding wide-angle for stills and video
Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f1.4 ZA lens review: Razor-sharp German precision

We continue our optical analysis of Sony’s latest FE-mount lenses, this time examining the performance of the $1598 Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA. A professional-grade “fast” aperture wide-angle prime, the new lens is specifically designed for use on Sony A7 hybrid cameras. Including three aspherical lens elements and Zeiss T* coatings for enhanced image quality, let's hope for great results as we run though our industry standard tests.

Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f1.4 ZA: “Stepless” aperture control for video

The Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f1.4 ZA (FE 35mm f1.4) isthefirst FE-mount lens to offer a maximum f1.4 aperture, making it a good option for low-light shooting. The aperture ring on the lens barrel has two settings: “with clicks” for still photographers or “smooth” for silent operation during video capture. The FE 35mm f1.4 also offers quiet autofocus performance, thanks to Sony’s DDSSM motor, but there’s no image stabilization available on this wide-angle prime.

The FE 35mm f1.4’s aperture blades are of the circular variety to create attractive background bokeh effects, and the lens offers a minimum 12-inch focusing distance for close-up photography. The lens itself is also dust- and moisture-resistant, but as the A7R body isn’t marketed as fully weather-resistant. it’d be wise to exercise some caution in wet or dusty environments. Although the FE 35mm f1.4 is optimized for use on Sony full-frame hybrids, it’s also compatible with such APS-C models as the A5000, where it offers an equivalent 52.5mm focal length.

Key Specifications & Features

  • Lens Mount: Sony FE (E-mount)
  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Max Aperture: f1.4
  • Filter Thread: 72mm
  • AF Motor: DDSSM
  • Image Stabilisation: No
  • Length: 112mm
  • Weight: 630g

Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f1.4 ZA Measurement: Top Sharpness and Transmission

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f1.4 ZA vs Sony FE 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 OSS vs Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS

Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f1.4 ZA Conclusion: Outstanding wide-angle for stills and video