The Sony Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f1.Four ZA is a wide-angle prime lens for Sony’s mirrorless cameras. Introduced in March 2015, it’s the second 35mm lens from Sony designed for its full-frame mirrorless cameras, following the unique Sonnar T* FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA which helped launch the system.

The FE 35mm f1.Four ZA is a considerably completely different lens to the unique FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA: most clearly it’s two stops brighter, permitting you to realize shallower depth-of-field results or shoot in decrease gentle whereas sustaining quick shutters or low ISOs, nevertheless it’s additionally significantly bigger, heavier and costlier which makes it better-suited to the bigger Alpha our bodies.

To learn the way the Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA performs I examined it towards the Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA on the 42MP A7R II physique and likewise in contrast it to the Sigma 40mm f1.Four Artwork and Sigma 35mm f1.Four Artwork. So when you’re searching for a gentle wide-angle prime on your Sony mirrorless digicam, you’ve come to the precise place!




Info from the catalog

As normal I’ll take a look on the technical information of the Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA first. I’ve rated the options with a [+] (or [++]), when it’s higher than common and even cutting-edge, a [0] if it’s commonplace or simply common, and [-] if there’s an obstacle. For comparability I exploit the Sigma 40mm f1.Four Artwork (“Sigma Artwork” for brief) and the Sony 35mm f2.Eight ZA.

Measurement (diameter x size): At 79 x 112mm (3.1 x 4.4in.) plus 37mm for the lens hood (98mm diameter) the Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA is sort of lengthy. However the Sigma Artwork is even bigger at 88 x 157mm (3.5 x 6.2in.). Including 50mm (2.0in.) for the lens hood brings the full size of the Sigma Artwork to a whopping 21cm (8.2in.) displaying its heritage as a DSLR design. The Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA is the smallest different on this comparability at 61mm diameter and solely 48mm size together with lens hood. [0]

Weight: 630g (22 oz.) plus 30g  lens hood. The Sigma Artwork is way heavier at round 1270g (45 oz.)  plus 61g for the lens hood. The smallest lens on this comparability, the Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA, can be the lightest at 132g incl. lens hood. [+]

Optics: The Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA has 12 components in Eight teams  (together with three aspherical components). The Sigma Artwork has 16 components in 12 teams, and the Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA 7 components in 5 teams. [+]



Closest focus distance is 0.29m (0.95ft.) in guide focus leading to a magnification of 1:5.3. Working distance is 16cm (6.3in.) when the lens hood is eliminated. A magnification of 1:10 is achieved at 0.46m distance. The Sigma Artwork reaches the same magnification of 1:5.6 whereas the Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA solely achieves 1:7.5. [0]

Filter-thread: 72mm. The Sigma Artwork wants costlier 82mm filters. The Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA has a filter thread of 49mm on the lens or 40.5mm on the much less hood. [+]

Picture stabilization: No optical stabilization of the lens. The Sony A7 Mark II our bodies onwards present built-in sensor-shift stabilization. Similar with the opposite lenses on this comparability. [0]

Auto focus: Constructed-in AF drive. Guide-focus override is by merely turning the main target ring. The main target ring has a non-linear gearing that permits for exact guide focus however makes clean focus pulling for videographers nearly unattainable. Each Sony ZA lenses haven’t any distance or dof markings. Concentrate on the Sigma Artwork works otherwise because it has a direct linear mechanical coupling between the main target ring and the main target motion. It additionally presents the space and dof markings that usually include lenses designed for DSLRs. [+]

Covers full body/FX or smaller. Similar with the competitors. [+]

Value: The lens presently sells for 1500 EUR (incl. 19% VAT) / 1500 USD whereas the Sigma Artwork is 1200 EUR / 1400 USD and the Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight is the most cost effective at  700 EUR / 750 USD. [0]

The Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA comes with a pouch and the lens hood is included and is reversible for transport. The Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA comes with out pouch. The Sigma Artwork comes geared up with a pleasant padded pouch plus strap and a lens hood that’s included and reversible for transport plus has a locking mechanism to stop it from unintentionally falling off. [0]

Aperture ring: the Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA presents an aperture ring with 1/Three cease clicks which could be turned off for steady, clean, and noise-free operation. The Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA and the Sigma Artwork don’t provide an aperture ring. [+]

Sealing: Each Sony ZA lenses have particular weather-sealing all through the development  however lack a rubber sealing on the lens-mount that the Sigma Artwork presents. [+]

The rating of 0[-]/5[0]/7[+] exhibits that the options of the Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA are moderately nicely balanced: It’s a bit lengthy for a 35mm prime lens and it’s the most costly on this comparability nevertheless it presents a f1.Four focal ratio, its weight is OK, and it solely wants 72mm filters. Plus it presents the distinctive function of a de-clickable aperture ring.


4 wide-angle prime lenses


Above from left to proper: Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA, Zeiss Batis 40mm f2.0, Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA, Sigma 40mm f1.Four Artwork



If you need a 35mm E-mount lens with an f1.Four focal ratio and autofocus there are solely two alternate options:

  • Samyang/Rokinon/Walimex has the AF 35mm f1.Four FE from 2017 that’s solely out there for Sony E-Mount (550 EUR / 530 USD).
  • Sigma presents the 35mm f1.Four Artwork for 750 EUR / 900 USD. It’s an optical design from 2012 for DSLRs which can be out there in E-mount since 2018. See my Sigma 35mm f1.Four Artwork assessment the place it got here Extremely Advisable when examined on a 36MP Nikon D800. At 755g the lens is just not a lot heavier and at 77 x 120mm solely slightly longer than the Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA.

Different alternate options embrace lenses with completely different focal lengths or focal ratios like the next pair:

  • Sigma has their 40mm f1.Four Artwork now additionally out there for E-mount for 1200 EUR / 1400 USD. The lens is large and heavy however optically glorious. See my Sigma 40mm f1.Four Artwork assessment the place it earned a Extremely Advisable.
  • From Sony there’s the diminutive 35mm f2.Eight ZA (700 EUR / 750 USD). Examine again quickly for my in-depth Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA assessment.


When you’re uncertain of how massive the variations between 35mm, 40mm focal size are, right here is the angle of view that the Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA covers on a full-frame physique in comparison with the Sigma 40mm f1.Four Artwork:


Above: Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA (left), Sigma 40mm f1.Four Artwork (proper)

Evaluate this to a 28mm and a 50mm lens:


Above: Zeiss Otus 28mm f1.Four left, Nikon Z 50mm f1.8S (proper)



Focus accuracy and repeatability is essential to persistently produce sharp pictures particularly with massive aperture lenses. Repeatability (the accuracy of deal with the identical topic after repeated focus-acquisition) of this lens is superb (measured 98.3% in Reikan FoCal) with no outliers over a sequence of 40 pictures. And there’s no focus variation whether or not the lens focuses from a more in-depth distance or from infinity.

The lens focuses in round 0.5 sec on a Sony A7R II from infinity to 0.46m (1:10 magnification), which is quick. The Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA lens is equally quick whereas the Sigma Artwork takes longer to focus at 0.7 sec (on a Nikon Z7 with FTZ adapter). The main target ring is 37mm extensive. It strikes very easily and might simply be operated with one finger. The Sony FE 35mm f2.Eight ZA additionally presents very clean focus by wire operation. Solely the Sigma Artwork has a a lot stiffer mechanical coupling between the main target ring and the main target motion.

AF-operation of each Sony ZA lenses is inaudible from the skin or when you document video with the built-in microphone. Solely the Sigma Artwork produces an audible focus noise. As you pull focus, you’ll discover some focus respiratory: the picture of the Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA turns into 6% extra magnified when I adjusted the main target from infinity to 0.46m. This may very well be distracting when capturing movies however is par for the course: the opposite lenses on this comparability all enhance their magnification between 5% and seven%.


Subsequent take a look at my high quality outcomes!

Examine costs on the Sony FE 35mm f1.Four ZA at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, or Wex. Alternatively get your self a duplicate of my In Digicam e book or deal with me to a espresso! Thanks!

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