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A good 35mm prime lens has a special place in my heart. It’s a versatile choice for a variety of shooters and sceneriors, gives you a slightly wider field of view than a nifty-fifty, and has been the focal length with which I’ve shot some of my favorite frames. This being said, I was pretty excited to get my hands on Sony’s new FE 35mm F1.8 prime lens a few days before the lens was officially announced. I used this new, fast prime with an a7RIII to shoot concerts, portraits, close up shots of blooming flowers, and even a bit of summer street photography. You can check out the specs on this lens in our announcement post. Read on to see sample images and see what my first impressions of this lens.
Although I only had a few days to shoot with the lens, the lens impressed me.
It’s incredibly light-weight compared the Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens and half the price, but still quite competent in terms of sharpness, speedy AF, and pleasing image bokeh. The lens only weighs 0.6 pounds, making it incredibly comfortable to carry in your hand or sling over your shoulder for a full day of shooting. This is the kind of prime lens that I’d have no problem permanently attaching to one of Sony’s E mount cameras. It’s short 2.8-inch length also makes it a good option for shooting in crowded spaces. The setup is very low profile.
Even when shooting wide open the lens was sharp, and we didn’t notice any ugly onion ring bokeh, which sometimes result from aspherical lens elements, during our time with the lens. The AF is fast enough to capture the action onstage in a dimly lit venue. The lens also is dust and moisture resistant—a feature that came in handy when shooting at a Fourth of July pool party.
Scroll down to see more sample images shot with the Sony FE 35mm F1.8.