Hands on with the Sony FE 35mm F1.8 prime lens, plus sample images

We spent a few days shooting with this new fast prime before it launched.

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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.

girl with pink hair and hotdog
This lightweight, moisture resistant lens is a good fit for shooting any summer adventure. Jeanette D. Moses

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.

orange tabby cat licking nose
The Sony FE 35mm F1.8 prime lens paired with the a7III’s animal eye tracking AF function. Jeanette D. Moses
man in front of aqua building
Even when wide open at 1.8 the lens stays quite sharp in the center of the frame. Jeanette D. Moses
trash cans
The lens does a nice job handling contrast in a scene. Jeanette D. Moses
live music
This fast 35mm lens is a great option for shooting live music. Jeanette D. Moses
women singing on stage
The large aperture lens makes it so you can keep your shutter speed relatively fast, even when lighting conditions aren’t ideal. Jeanette D. Moses
orange cat on wooden floor
We love the way this lens handles focus falloff. Jeanette D. Moses
purple flowers
Although it is not a macro lens by any means, the close focusing distance capabilities of the lens makes it a nice option for photographing flowers as well. Jeanette D. Moses
white flowers
Even at 2.8 the bokeh that the lens produces is quite lovely. Jeanette D. Moses
man with blue typewriter
A 35mm prime is a great option for shooting environmental portraits. Jeanette D. Moses
portrait of man
Outdoor portrait shot with the FE 35mm F1.8 prime lens and Sony’s eye tracking AF feature. Jeanette D. Moses
alley and garage doors
The low profile lens is comfortable for a full day of street shooting. Jeanette D. Moses
bright green apples
The lens also does a nice job handling bright colors. Jeanette D. Moses
night town lights
A fast lens like this one is great for shooting in low light situations like this outdoor scene. Jeanette D. Moses
colorful bodega
A colorful bodega on a hot summer day in Ridgewood, Queens. Jeanette D. Moses
Religious figures outside of an apartment building
Religious figures outside of an apartment building in Ridgewood, Queens. Jeanette D. Moses
roadside shops in town
The lightweight lens has a low profile making it a good option for a variety of photography styles. Jeanette D. Moses
moped outside drive thru
The new FE 35mm F1.8 prime lens is a fixed-focal length lens that will be an asset to almost any Sony shooter. Jeanette D. Moses