Sony Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f2.8 ZA lens review: Model behavior

By Kevin Carter - Monday February 03 2014

Lens Review
Introduction | Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 ZA mounted on Sony A7R: Well above average performance | Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 ZA mounted on Sony A7R versus competition | Conclusion
Sony Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f2.8 ZA lens review: Model behavior

The Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f2.8 is a compact moderate wide-angle lens designed for the full-frame mirrorless Sony Alpha A7 and A7R. But with only a moderate-speed f2.8 maximum aperture and an $800 price tag, optical performance has to be first rate. Read on to find out if that’s the case.

The Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f2.8 ZA is the smallest of five new full-frame E-mount lenses to accompany Sony’s full-frame mirrorless 36-Mpix Alpha 7R and 24-Mpix Alpha 7 cameras. With an $800 price tag it’s a premium model consisting of a high-grade optical construction with 3 of the 7 elements (arranged in 5 groups) being double sided aspheres – that’s a total of 6 aspherical surfaces.

As well a rounded 7 diaphragm with 7 blades it features internal focusing (with no extending or rotating barrels) and has a minimum focusing distance of 1.15 ft. (0.35m) Like others in the range there are no distance markings (or depth of field scale) on the barrel, but it has a metal outer shell complete with dust and moisture resistant sealing. Best of all perhaps it weighs just 4.23 oz (120g) and measures a miniscule 1.44 “ (36.5mm) front-to-back, and comes bundled with a rather neat lens hood (but a case is extra).

Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 ZA mounted on Sony A7R: Well above average performance

Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 ZA mounted on Sony A7R versus competition

Conclusion