Is Sony Finally About to Release a 35mm f/1.8 Lens?

Is Sony Finally About to Release a 35mm f/1.8 Lens?

One lens has been weirdly missing from Sony’s full-frame line-up and it seems that the Japanese manufacturer is about to fill that gap. From recently registered model numbers it appears that Sony is a few months from finally announcing the FE 35mm f/1.8.

A few months ago I reflected on why this lens didn’t exist for Sony, something that felt bizarre given that the 35mm f/1.8 was among the first lenses announced by both Canon and Nikon for their new lines of mirrorless cameras. This seemed like a strange omission.

Rumors have long been circulating that Sony’s 35mm f/1.8 was not far off and we might now be a step closer, with some expecting the announcement to arrive before the end of August. One site suggests that it will be a similar price to the Sony’s FE 50mm f/1.8 lens which comes in at a very reasonable $248.

If true, the pricing of the various 35mm f/1.8 lenses across the big three manufacturers would make Sony the leader by some considerable distance, a pattern reflected in the nifty fifties. Nikon, who seemed to be focusing on more affordable prosumer glass in contrast to Canon’s premium pro glass, has the most expensive nifty at just under $600. This isn’t a comment on the quality — the Nikon has 11 elements in 9 groups compared to the Sony’s 6 elements in 5 — but more an interest in the different lens strategies across the different manufacturers. The 35mm seems to be following a similar pattern, with Sony apparently going for an immensely affordable option compared to Nikon ($847) and Canon ($449).

The release will no doubt put some pressure on the Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE, a tiny, affordable lens that went some way to filling the gaping void in Sony’s lens line-up. With the Sony version potentially coming in $150 cheaper, the Samyang may feel like a big premium for a slower, third-party lens, however tiny it is.

If you have any thoughts on the potential price or quality of Sony's alleged lens, be sure to leave a comment below.

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7 Comments

Jerome Brill's picture

Sony can release as many lenses as they want but if they can't produce enough for people to buy then it doesn't matter. The 24mm 1.4 GM is still on backorder. Anyone still waiting to pick this lens up? There are only 92 reviews between Adorama, B&H and Amazon since last Oct. I just preordered it recently but didn't earlier because I thought after the year I'd just being able to pick one up. I was wrong. I wonder if this will happen to this lens if it's as competitive in price as they suspect.

Brian Knight's picture

I agree. I had to wait almost 2 months after I ordered the 24 1.4 from B&H. However, I also wanted a 135. Didn't wait around until the GM would be available, so I bought the Sigma Art.
I would hope this 35 would be like the 85 1.8, an affordable beast.

Jonathan Brady's picture

I'd prefer a GM quality 35/1.8, myself.
It's going to be interesting to see how Sony positions this lens given they have the Zeiss-branded 35/2.8 priced at $800. I would assume that a 35/1.8 that's less than $800 would immediately destroy the market for the 2.8 (which I imagine isn't overly large anyway).

Andy Day's picture

It's a good point but consider the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 and how that sits with Sony's 50mm.

Jonathan Brady's picture

Also a good point, but the 55 is a great lens whereas the 35/2.8 is only noteworthy due to its size.

Jerome Brill's picture

According to DXO the 35/2.8 sits between the 24-70gm and 16-35gm for sharpness.It's a decent lens. If this 35 is the same or better it will be a really good deal. Surprisingly Sony's own 85/1.8 is one of the sharpest lens you can get for e mount. Some even think It edges out their GM. I'm personally waiting for the 24/1.4 right now but I'd still pick up this lens if it's sharp enough.

Jonathan Brady's picture

A prime only being as good as a zoom is an insult to the prime, right? Again, the only thing noteworthy about the 35/2.8 is the size.
Full disclosure: I own the 35/2.8. I picked it up after the Batis 40 debacle and I'm just biding my time until the 35-40 market fleshed out a little. I want a small to medium-sized f/1.8 or 2 which balances well on FF bodies and that is wonderfully sharp and renders gorgeously. I'll pay handsomely for it. I'd be fine if Sony introduced a new lens line above the GM series and this was the first lens.