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Keywords: Sony Wide Prime A-Mount 35mm G Tested


Registered: August 2010
Posts: 12
Sony 35mm f/1.4 G SAL-35F14G review by edwardkaraa
Review Date: 2/5/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,700.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Center and corner sharpness, bokeh, 3D, color, size.
Cons: Price, resolution dip in zone B, above average corner CA.

This lens is much better that what the MTF make you believe. It has obviously not been designed for macro work, so results up close are not very sharp, though quite artistic. At infinity, it is very sharp across the frame by f/5.6 and is very suitable for landscapes. There is a dip in resolution in the mid frame, probably due to field curvature, but it is barely visible at small apertures. At portrait distances, it has a soft contrast rendition with deep saturated colors and a lot of 3D. Very nice lens altogether.
David Hwang

Registered: August 2010
Posts: 1
Sony 35mm f/1.4 G SAL-35F14G review by David Hwang
Review Date: 8/25/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: 35mm with f1.4 aperture, build quaility
Cons: contrast

I used to use Canon EOS 5D. I really loved 24-105L, which I think is a great lens except for its distortion characteristics.

But when using prime lenses, 5D was really stressful because the focus was so inconsistent under fluorescent light. So I sold it out, and I'm using a900 now and satisfied.

Anyway, I really like using 35mm prime on FF,
but Sony/Minolta lens line-up is not best for that.
Discontinued Minolta 35mm f2 is too expensive,
making Sony 35 f1.4 G look comparatively cheaper.
(I'm talking about used-market price level.)
If there was cheaper Sony 35mm f2, I would have bought it.That was the reason why I bought Sony 35mm f1.4G. There was no alternative as the review says.

-Ah, I have to say this. In Korea, the used-market price of Sony DSLRs and lenses dramatically drops when you sell it after buying new one while those of Canon retain very high level of used-market price.

I was really hesitating before buying it, because all
the reviews that I checked (Photozone, Lenstip, SLRgear and other reviews)
say the same thing. "We don't recommend it."

But I ventured to buy it, and I'm very satisfied, fortunately.

Those reviews are talking about poor sharpness of this lens, but upon using it, I feel that the sharpness itself is not that bad, the contrast is low though.
It's sharp enough for most applications.

Build quality is good, even after considering its price tag.

Focus is fast enough, but you need watch out its extreamly shallow DoF.

Sony 35mm f1.4 G is very recommendable for those who wants a good 35mm prime.

One other thing.
I totally agree to what Jerome, a previous reviewer,
said. "this lens only make sense on a full frame camera."

For APS-C users, I think sigma 30mm f1.4 is a better choice in terms of its focal lenth and its price.
And you all might know that Sony will release a 35mm f1.8 DT lens soon.

Since there are only two 35mm f1.4 lens with AF,
(Canon L & Sony G)
I think it's inevitable to compare these lenses.

I've seen a review in a Japanese magazine saying that Minolta 35mm 1.4 G(Sony just redesigned it)
outperforms the Canon 35mm f1.4 L when tested on film. On digital SLR, however, Canon L is an obvious winner as many reviews show.

But it is very interesting to note that Sony(or Minolta) 35mm f1.4 G on Sony DSLR is the only way to use that much fast and wide prime with an anti-handshake method.

Registered: July 2010
Posts: 1
Sony 35mm f/1.4 G SAL-35F14G review by jerome
Review Date: 7/26/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,100.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: nice bokeh, no coma
Cons: chromatic aberrations, resolution is lower in mid-field than in the corners

Seeing the SLRGear test of this lens, I had to post a review of my own.

First things first: this lens only make sense on a full frame camera. If you have an APS-C camera, get something else.

This is a lens for which an optical test will not tell the whole story. I certainly agree with the test from SLRGear, but one has to put the tests into perspective.

There aren't that many f/1.4 35mm lenses on the market. There is one from Canon (quite good), there is one from Nikon (old, plagued with coma as it is a spherical design and manual focus only) and there is one from Leica (excellent, at a price).

When this lens was designed, the other 35mm f/1.4 were all spherical designs, meaning they suffered from coma (which looks horrible in night photography, the reason this lens was built for). This lens improved considerably on that, while retaining the "look" produced by spherical aberrations: relatively low contrast full open, but with a good level of detail.

This is a lens with character. The optical defects, while real, actually improve the look of the pictures in actual use. The low contrast (spherical aberrations) give a "glow" effect for night pictures and mask small skin blemishes. The bokeh and the transition from sharp ot unsharp are very nice.

Personally, this is one of my best lenses BECAUSE of its optical imperfections. The only real annoyance is color fringing, but one can correct that in post.

Edit: to understand better how this lens works full open, download the VFA target samples. You will notice that the resolution is actually excellent (you can count very tiny lines in the targets, especially in the extreme corners), it is the contrast which is lacking. This is the effect of uncorrected spherical aberration ("veiling"). In night pictures (what you bought a f/1.4 lens for), this is actually often a plus because the contrast of the scene is often too high anyway and because it makes highlights "glow". In any case it responds very well to sharpening in post, because the fine details are still there. One should also keep in mind that in real f/1.4 use, the subject is not flat and the depth of field is tiny: bokeh is more important than pure sharpness for an f/1.4 lens.

Stopped down a bit, contrast improves markedly.

Interestingly, the VFA target shows that the resolution is lower in mid-field than in the corners, but the 3-D curves published by SLRgear or the MTF from Sony do not. The reason, again, is the low contrast of the lens and the way the curves are computed. A good example that MTF curves do not tell the full story about a lens...

Registered: July 2007
Posts: 36
Sony 35mm f/1.4 G SAL-35F14G review by touristguy87
Review Date: 7/21/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: can't really ask for more from a $300 prime
Cons: not nearly flat-sharp at wide-open

This is a decent lens, mostly plastic yet decently-made.
Not great, not bad.

I got one for $300 from a mall store that didn't know what to do with it. Returned it a few days later. It wasn't sharp enough and fast enough to be worth the trouble. Yes you can generate bokeh with it but not much of a 3D effect if any.


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