Sony‘s got an impressive line of cameras, but they were always lacking a very popular lens that photographers love–especially when shooting on the street. A proper 35mm f/1.8 prime for their full frame camera systems. Well, that changes now because the company’s just announced the Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 prime.
Of course, Sony already has 35mm prime lenses on their roster, including the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA and the FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA, but none of those hit the sweet spot between performance and price the way a 35mm f/1.8 often does. And the peculiar part was that Sony already has an E 35mm f/1.8 for their APS-C cameras, so it was a little weird to not have the same setup for their full-frame systems as well.
With the new FE 35mm f/1.8, the company plugs that hole, and it looks like they did it pretty well. For starters, the new FE 35mm f/1.8 is lightest lens in its class, weighing just 280g. It’s also fairly tiny with a 65.6mm diameter and being just 73mm long. As far as glass is concerned, the lens is made up of 11 elements (including an aspherical element) plus a 9-bladed circular aperture.
The new 35mm also features a linear motor AF drive system that Sony claims will give you precise focus for both stills and movies. Minimum focusing distance is rated at 0.22m plus it has a maximum magnification of 0.24x. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature any optical SteadyShot (OSS), but if you’re using this primarily on their full-frame cameras, the in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) should help iron out the shakes.
This lens will be available in Malaysia from the end of August 2019, but there’s no mention of how much it will retail for just yet. In the US, according to PetaPixel, the lens retails for USD750 (~RM3,086) which means that it is cheaper than the 35mm f/1.4 and the 35mm f/2.8, but it’s quite a lot more expensive than some were expensive. Especially when you compare it to something like Canon’s new RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM for their EOS R mirrorless systems which is priced at USD499 (~RM2,053).
You can check out some of the sample shots Sony took with this lens here: