Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 Announced, Ships Early Next Month

Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 Announced, Ships Early Next Month

Today, Sony has added the much-anticipated FE 35mm f/1.8 to their collection of mid-priced prime lenses.

The FE 35mm f/1.8 draws many comparisons to Sony’s FE 85mm f/1.8 in terms of size, build quality, performance, and price range. The new 35mm measures in at 2.87 inches (73 millimeters) long, 2.58 inches (65.6 millimeters) in diameter, and weighs 9.87 ounces (280 grams). This is lighter than both the Nikon Z and Canon RF version (although Canon’s features image stabilization) and shorter than the pricier Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8. The Sony 35mm f/1.8 uses an aluminum based exterior with plastic parts and features a dust and moisture resistance design. The side of the lens has a focus hold button and AF/MF switch, and the front filter threads are 55mm.

Inside, the FE 35mm f/1.8 uses 11 elements in 9 groups including 1 aspherical element. Like the FE 85mm f/1.8, there are 9 aperture blades. The internal focusing mechanism “effectively minimizes” focus breathing to keep the angle of view consistent when changing focus. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 0.72 feet (0.22 meters) which creates a maximum magnification of 0.24x. 

Below are some sample images I took with the new FE 35mm f/1.8 lens over the weekend. I’ll have more images and thoughts in a future first impressions review, however I can summarize a couple things here. First, the autofocusing keeps pace with Eye AF and Animal Eye AF with no issues I’ve seen. The out of focus blur quality look really nice in my opinion, and a shallow depth of field paired with a wide-angle view can create some interesting looking work. There is some chromatic aberration that can crop up at f/1.8, but it is not out of hand like I’ve seen with the $248 FE 50mm f/1.8 and manageable with software to cleanly remove it. Overall, I’ve been impressed with the first couple days of using it and will have more to report soon.


Full Crop f/1.8 CA

Full Crop f/2.8 CA

Vignetting at f/1.8 (left) and f/8 (right)

The Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 lens is priced at $748 and will start shipping to customers in the beginning of August 2019.

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16 Comments

Robert K Baggs's picture

Beautiful shots and looks to be a superb lens. I'd like to have seen a lower price for f/1.8 given you can get the Sigma Art f/1.4 for about the same, but the results look great.

michaeljin's picture

I'm guessing different target audience seeing as how they're emphasizing the weight (or lack thereof). It does seem odd, however, that it's so close in price to the 35mm f/2.8, which I would argue is going to be the better lens for street or travel shooting where stuff like size and weight probably matter most.

Andy Day's picture

Agreed - wanted something a bit cheaper. I thought Sony was positioning itself as the best choice for fullframe MILC entry level prime shooters but apparently not.

Samyang really must be kicking themselves.

Alec Kinnear's picture

Steep pricing for what looks like a very ordinary lens. I'm not a fan of the 85mm f1.8 either. The ZA 35mm f2.8 is absolutely fantastic though. Tiny, sharp, gorgeous colours. Has some of the magic of a Summicron 50mm f2.

So the 50mm version is $248, the 85mm version is $598 (big price jump, but whatev since it's a longer lens), but now the 35mm is $748? I think they may be getting up into a pricier territory with what is basically a budget lens. If I can get the Sigma Art for the same price, that means your lens is priced too high.

michaeljin's picture

Sigma ART comes with the trade-off that it's freaking gigantic and heavy. Different strokes for different folks. This is still cheaper than Nikon's 35mm f/1.8.

Alec Kinnear's picture

Sony's 50mm f1.8 is an absolute dog, slow to focus, lots of vignetting, unappealing images. The 85mm f1.8 faster to focus, looks nice on the camera, is very accurate but somehow too clinical at least for portrait. The Nikon 35mm f1.8 can be found for less (both F and Z mount). Canon's EF 35mm f2 IS is a great lens with beautiful colours, fast focus and image stabilisation.

If Sony had it a year ago I would've stayed with them, look like another optically superb and yet small/light lens.

Brian Knight's picture

Last year I would have considered this lens. Now I have the 24 GM witch is close enough for me. I really hope they come out with a 50 in the same price/performance category. The Sigma is too big, and the Zeiss is too expensive.

Bill Williams's picture

The 55 zeiss is decent value and size.

That brick wall look strangely wavy at the top. But maybe it's that way in real life? The other photos look very good.

Ryan Mense's picture

I noticed that too. I’ll keep testing it.

This is the missing link in Sony's lineup. For me, a small and fast 35mm lens is imperative for any system. The 2.8 is too slow, and the 1.4 is gigantic. This 1.8 porridge is just right.

Agreed! This is the golden middle. Very sweet.

Koketso Resane's picture

Nice, but Sigma says "hi"

Got one today! :-)
First, I was not sure to buy it or not, since it's no GM or G or Zeiss Lens, but there are not many alternatives out there. So, I give it a try...

I'm really astonished about this Lens!

It's really really sharp, already at 1.8.
I compared it (just some quick shots out of my hand) to my Zeiss 55 1.8, and honestly there is no difference at all. If I check only the 100% crops, I could not say what is from the 35 and what is from the 55.

Bokeh is also very nice for me, for a 1.8 Lens.

There are some CA's in extreme lightning situations (only), but when I open the files in Capture One most of them are already not visible anymore. If there is some purple fringing, it can be removed easily.

I did not expect this, and I'm really impressed.