The Sony FE 35mm f1.Four G Grasp is a high-end wide-angle prime lens for Sony’s e-mount mirrorless system and one which’s corrected for full-frame our bodies. Introduced in January 2021, it prices round $1400.
The 35mm 1.Four GM really turns into Sony’s fourth 35 within the native e-mount, however the first to affix the flagship G-Grasp sequence. Sony’s first FE 35 was the FE 35mm 2.Eight ZA, a collaboration with Zeiss to supply a compact, virtually pancake prime to launch the A7 sequence again in 2013. This was adopted by one other Zeiss collaboration in 2015, the FE 35mm f1.Four ZA, which till now was Sony’s finest 35. Then in 2019 got here the FE 35mm f1.8, a extra inexpensive choice however with glorious outcomes and I’ve linked right here to our full evaluations of every lens.
Now the most recent FE 35 1.Four GM exploits Sony’s most up-to-date lens applied sciences to take the efficiency even increased, particularly when in comparison with the 5 yr previous Zeiss mannequin. Certainly whereas the 35 GM launches on the identical value because the previous Zeiss model, count on the older lens to fall in value now there’s a brand new sheriff on the town. In truth whereas there’s a wealth of different 35s within the e-mount, for me the most important rival to Sony’s 35 GM at this value level turns into the Sigma 35mm f1.2 DG DN, costing roughly the identical however boasting a brighter f1.2 aperture, albeit from a significantly heftier barrel. I’ll instantly examine their high quality and options all through my video assessment under, however as all the time in the event you desire to learn a written model, preserve scrolling for the highlights!
Above: Let’s take a look at them side-by-side for starters, with the Sony 35 GM within the center, joined by the Sigma 35 1.2 on the left. The distinction is dramatic: the Sigma is a relative large, measuring 88x136mm versus 76x96mm for the Sony and is double the load at 1090g in comparison with 524g. The filter thread can also be unsurprisingly wider on the Sigma at 82mm in comparison with 67mm on the Sony. For good measure, I’ve additionally included Sigma’s newest 35mm f2 DG DN on the correct which at 70x65mm and 325g is a smaller, lighter and extra inexpensive choice that goes up in opposition to Sony’s personal 35 1.8, however let’s consider the 2 premium fashions for this assessment.
Above: Mounted on an A7 physique you possibly can actually admire the compact dimension of the 35 GM – it’s similar to the sooner 24 1.Four GM, one among my favorite lenses, and each exploit Sony’s newest optical applied sciences to realize glorious outcomes from surprisingly compact designs.
Above: The 35 GM has a customisable management button and an aperture ring working from f1.Four to f16, switchable between third-stop clicked intervals or clean de-clicked operation that’s helpful for video shooters. There’s a properly damped and really clean guide focusing ring with linear response. Sigma’s 35 1.2 additionally has a de-clickable aperture ring however barely stiffer guide focusing.
Above: Sony provides the 35 1.Four GM with a cylindrical lens hood that twists on and can be reversed over the barrel for transportation; notice the thoughtful rubberised edge on the finish which lets you extra securely place the lens the other way up on a flat floor. In distinction, Sigma’s 35 1.2 has a petal hood that enormously will increase its dimension and isn’t appropriate for standing up. In truth the Sony fitted with its hood remains to be smaller than the Sigma with out its hood. And as you’d count on for his or her value, each the Sony 35 1.Four GM and Sigma 35 1.2 are weather-sealed designs.
Above: The Sony 35 1.Four GM employs 14 components in ten teams, together with one extra-low dispersion ingredient to cut back chromatic aberrations – or colored fringing – and two excessive aspherical – or XA – components to minimise coma, subject curvature, and the onion-ring impact in bokeh blobs. In the meantime Nano AR II coatings cut back inner reflections. XA components and Nano AR II coatings didn’t exist when Sony and Zeiss designed the earlier 35 1.4, so each are key enhancements that enable the brand new lens to outperform the older mannequin. In the meantime there’s 11 aperture blades and a closest focusing distance of 27cm in AF or 25 when manually focusing.
Above: The 35 1.Four GM employs a pair of XD linear motors for focusing which additionally didn’t exist again in 2015, and in my video assessment on the high of the web page you possibly can clearly see how the focusing is nearly prompt and feels very assured with little to no hesitation or searching. Evaluate it to the Sigma 35 1.2, once more wide-open, and also you’ll discover the Sigma is visibly slightly slower, whereas additionally hesitating every so often when pushed by this physique. Don’t get me incorrect, the Sigma’s AF efficiency remains to be very usable and would fulfill me in day-to-day use, however the brand new Sony is unquestionably faster. Video specializing in the Sony lens is a bit more leisurely, however no much less assured, and the Sony lens is basically silent in operation. In the meantime the Sigma 35 1.2 was visibly much less assured throughout film AF in my assessments. It’s as if the Sigma wasn’t exploiting the phase-detect AF of the A7r IV for video and as an alternative reverting to a contrast-based system. This can be a firmware concern, however value noting for video shooters. In the meantime the focusing motors are simply audible, however hardly obtrusive. That stated, for quietness, accuracy and consistency, it’s a win for the Sony when it comes to focusing.
Above: my subsequent take a look at is for rendering and bokeh blobs. I examined each lenses on an A7r IV and photographed this decoration from the identical distance and at every of their apertures.Right here’s the Sony 35 1.Four GM at f1.4.
Above: And now right here’s the Sigma 35 1.2 at f1.2 for comparability, and the very first thing chances are you’ll discover is a distinction in geometry with the Sigma trying rather less corrected with better barrel distortion. That is utilizing the default settings of the A7r IV which doesn’t apply correction to geometry on in-camera JPEGs until you allow the characteristic. Now let’s put them side-by-side.
Above: With the Sony on the left at f1.Four and the Sigma on the correct at f1.2, you’ll discover the blobs are slightly bigger on the Sigma when shot from the identical distance. Each lenses are rendering nice-looking bokeh blobs at their most apertures and whereas their edges are crisp, there’s no harsh outlining. Look carefully and you’ll discover very faint textures throughout the blobs, however nothing that might be described as distracting. Do you might have a choice but?
Above: Closing the Sigma on the correct to f1.Four to match the aperture of the Sony, and also you’ll discover the impression of its aperture blades, unceremoniously slicing the pointed ends from a few of the oval blobs nearest the perimeters.
Above: With each lenses closed to f2, you’ll see their aperture blade methods are behaving nicely and rendering largely rounded blobs which once more look fairly comparable in type and artefacts.
Above: Closed one cease additional to f2.8, i’d say the aperture blade system of the Sigma on the correct is now changing into extra obvious, with a extra apparent geometric form to the blobs, in comparison with the Sony on the left which remains to be rendering largely round shapes.
Above: Only one final bokeh blob comparability, this time at f4, which continues the story at earlier apertures: so whereas each lenses are rendering blobs as eleven-sided geometric shapes, the Sigma on the correct is extra apparent on this regard, whereas the Sony on the left stays extra round. Technically this makes the Sony better-behaved, however chances are you’ll desire the form of the Sigma blobs and to be truthful, each lenses are trying good on this take a look at. I feel the important thing take-home right here although is the distinction between the Sigma at f1.2 and the Sony at f1.Four is fairly refined.
Above: Subsequent for portraits, once more with each lenses capturing from the identical distance, beginning with the Sony 35 1.Four GM at f1.4…
Above: …and now for the Sigma 35 1.2 at f1.2, and once more as famous earlier chances are you’ll discover extra proof of barrel distortion from the Sigma within the roof and guttering sloping within the higher proper nook. Once more this was utilizing the default settings of the A7r IV which doesn’t apply geometric correction on in-camera JPEGs until you allow it. I discovered enabling Distortion within the Lens Compensation menu can successfully straighten-up the Sigma – and naturally you too can apply profiles after the occasion when processing RAW recordsdata – however when it comes to pure optics, the Sony is better-corrected for geometry out of the gate.
Above: Place the 2 portraits facet by facet at their most apertures and once more there’s not a lot to decide on between them. Each are capturing very sharp particulars on my face and whereas the Sony on the left is arguably a fraction crisper when pixel-peeping, there’s barely something in it. When it comes to rendering although, I’d say the fall-off seems to be a fraction softer on the Sigma on the correct, however once more not sufficient to decide over.
Above: Subsequent right here’s the Sigma on the correct closed to f1.Four to match the utmost aperture of the Sony on the left. This brings the photographs even nearer, though pixel-peepers could really feel the Sony is fractionally extra contrasty whereas the Sigma nonetheless has a barely softer roll-off. Actually not a lot between them although.
Above: And for many who desire a broader depth-of-field, right here they each are closed to f2.8, the place the Sony on the left is once more arguably slightly crisper on the best particulars, however once more each are very succesful lenses for this sort of factor.
Above: Wanting on the particulars and the rendering, do you might have a choice between them?
Above: For my third picture high quality comparability I photographed a distant topic with each lenses from the identical place throughout their aperture ranges, specializing in the very centre of the composition with the A7r IV.
Above: So let’s begin with the Sony 35 1.Four GM at f1.Four which, upon shut inspection, reveals very fantastic particulars within the center with its aperture wide-open – closing the aperture doesn’t make a major distinction right here.
Above: Transferring out to the acute corners reveals a really minor discount in sharpness and slightly darkening as a result of vignetting, but it surely nonetheless seems to be fairly good to me. Closing the aperture to f2 lifts the nook darkness and sharpens the small print slightly and there’s an extra enchancment at f2.8, however I’d say at this level the lens is already performing near or at its finest. Be aware the ornamental LED lighting on the pier might be seen on some pictures however not on others as a result of its frequency, so attempt to ignore it.
Above: Now for a side-by-side at their most apertures, with the Sony on the left and the Sigma on its proper, beginning with the center. Upon shut inspection the Sony on the left at f1.Four is clearly sharper than the Sigma on the correct at f1.2, and I confirmed this by repeating the take a look at a number of occasions.
Above: If I preserve the Sony at f1.Four on the left and step by step shut the aperture on the Sigma on the correct, you’ll see the Sigma steadily enhance, coming shut at f2 and basically matching the Sony by f2.Eight to f4.
Above: Now let’s examine the corners, once more beginning with each lenses at their most apertures. Whereas each are dimmer within the corners as a result of some vignetting, there’s little question the Sony on the left is sharper and better-corrected than the Sigma with much less coma on the lights too. Closing the Sigma to f1.Four to match the utmost aperture of the Sony doesn’t make any distinction right here.
Above: To see the Sigma at its finest within the corners, you’ll want to shut it to f4, and I’ve accomplished that for each lenses right here for a direct comparability. I’d say the Sony nonetheless has an edge right here, however once more was noticeably higher than the Sigma at bigger apertures.
Above: Simply earlier than persevering with, I wished to briefly illustrate the geometric distortion I used to be mentioning earlier, so right here’s a fast photograph of a tile with the Sony 35 1.Four GM…
Above: …and now with the Sigma 35 1.2 the place the barrel distortion is kind of apparent. These had been taken with the A7r IV’s default settings for JPEGs with Shading and CA compensation at Auto and Distortion set to OFF.
Above: However now right here’s the Sigma 35 1.2 with Distortion compensation enabled within the menus the place it corrects a lot of the barrelling impact. So optically the Sony displays a lot decrease geometric distortion, however the Sigma can straighten-up properly with digital compensation.