Sony 35mm f/1.4 GM Versus Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM: Which Is the Best for You?

Sony's latest lens has made a splash in the industry, with initial reviews being very favorable indeed. Now there's a decision to be made if you're looking for a wide prime lens.

The Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM was announced this week and is expected to ship around the middle of February. Reviews have been coming thick and fast and the lens appears to be a hit, reaching the markers anyone would ask of a G Master lens. Having first-hand experience both owning and using Sony primes for full frame mirrorless bodies, I can comfortably recommend them in both image and build quality. While a touch expensive (albeit not terrible by any means), they certainly deliver. However, when it came to wider-angle G Master lenses — particularly quick ones — there wasn't a 35mm, which is one of the most popular focal lengths.

So, many photographers opted for either zoom lenses, or the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM, which also received glowing reviews and is known as one of Sony's best lenses. With the introduction of the 35mm — and still at f/1.4 — photographers looking for a wider prime now have a decision to make. 

The 35mm has a 1cm further minimum focusing distance, and one more lens element (14 in 10 groups instead of 13 in 10 groups like the 24mm), but other than that, they are almost identical. From price to filter size, the 35mm and the 24mm are neck and neck; so, which is the best lens for you? For me, I'd be taking the 35mm as I believe that focal length is more versatile, but landscape photographers, for instance, may not see the same versatility.

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Trey Mortensen's picture

I bought the 24mm last year, and although it's a great lens technically, I always struggled with properly composing it. I always seemed to find myself wanting it to be a little tighter or a little wider. This year, I ended up getting the 20mm 1.8 and 35 1.8 and they fit my eye SO MUCH BETTER. The 35 is the main driver unless I want more environment or want to exaggerate the scene and the 20 does a better job at that. I know some people absolutely love 24mm, but I'm not one of those. I'll probably end up selling my 24mm (and maybe trade my 35 1.8 for the 1.4 eventually), but I'm glad for the struggle. I think the struggle made me a better photographer.

Luke Adams's picture

35mm is my favourite focal length (along with 85mm), but for the last year or so, I’ve been shooting weddings with the 24mm and the 85mm. The reason why is I think the 24mm is more versatile than a 35mm when you factor in “crop mode” on the Sony A7R3 (even better on the 4). With a quick press of a button, I can switch back and forth between 24mm and 36mm equivalent FOV. While I often use the 36mm cropped mode, there are just a lot of instances throughout the day where you’re shooting in tight spaces indoors, or you can pull off some really epic looking wide angle shots by pulling back to 24mm. So again, even though I prefer the 35mm FOV, actually shooting with one doesn’t leave me with as much options. 35mm in crop mode is something like 52mm which isn’t near as versatile as 24mm/36mm. Anyway, that’s what works for my specific situation.