Long-Term Review of the Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 Lens

After all the rumors and much anticipation, Sony finally released their full-frame FE 35mm f/1.8 lens in the middle of 2019. I’ve had the lens since day one, and today I’m sharing my long-term review.

For six months I’ve been reaching for this lens to photograph landscapes, nature, animals, and portraits, as well as shoot my YouTube videos. It’s been with me on a number of travels, sometimes as my sole lens companion thanks to the small size and low weight. In the video above, I share my thoughts on the FE 35mm f/1.8 from a long-term ownership perspective. That includes the lens' durability, its lasting utility, and my overall impressions and what I think about it when I go to grab it.

The Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 is priced at $748, which is hundreds more than its closest lineup relative, the FE 85mm f/1.8. Compared as a 35mm f/1.8 across brands, it also stands out as being on the pricier side. From my use, it’s hard to feel cheated about the price, however. The lens seems to handle whatever I throw at it and I continue to use it heavily for both stills and video.

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9 Comments

M R's picture

I have a mess of lenses, and I’m trying to condense/simplify. I’m debating if I should get the sigma 1.4 set for the speed or the Sony 1.8 for the size. Both are great lenses. grr!

Eric Salas's picture

Get the sigma. Mine rarely comes off my A7Riii. It’s the only lens I brought with me to the Middle East.

Jason Malwitz's picture

I recommend the sigma 1.2 over the others hands down. Best 35 ever I think.

Jacques Cornell's picture

If size & weight don't matter.

Jason Malwitz's picture

It doesn’t to me for sure!

Jacques Cornell's picture

Very pleased with my 35/1.8 for low-light no-flash event work. Can shoot up to ISO 25,600 and don't need anything brighter. Not a shallow-DoF fanatic. Can still highlight a single speaker on a panel discussion. This lens is nicely sharp wide open, and it sharpens up even more at f2.0.

I downsized to mirrorless years ago in search of a kit I could carry with me on long journeys & hikes and still use for my corporate event work. To this end, I've assembled the following lens lineup to use with my three Sony a7(x) bodies: Samyang 18/2.8, Zeiss 25/2, Sony 35/1.8 & 85/1.8, and a 24-105/4. Edge-to-edge sharpness was a key factor in my selections. Keeping various Panasonics for casual/ultralight use, too.

Markus Hameister's picture

I Love my Sony 35 1.8! It's at 1.8 already very sharp on my 7R IV, and AF (incl. Eye-AF) is very fast and works great. Can have some purple fringing some in special light conditions at open aperture, but this can be fixed in post easily, if it's not fixed automatically by the lens profile in Capture One. In my eyes it's a fantastic lens, can compare it to the 55 1.8 Zeiss.

Waste Time's picture

I am sure the next video from him is how good the new Sigma 35mm 1.8 is without telling you how painful the loss of resale value he suffered.

Jacques Cornell's picture

You buy lenses for the purpose of reselling them?