Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM Review

January 13, 2021 | Mark Goldstein |

Conclusion

It's fair to say that the Sony Alpha camera system doesn't lack 35mm prime lenses. There's the very similar Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA, the smaller and lighter FE 35mm F1.8, and the tiny Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA pancake, not to mention a multitude of third-party options from the likes of Sigma, Tamron and Samyang, perhaps most notably the Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art.

So the Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM really has to excel to stand out from the crowd and justify its £1500 / €1700 / $1400 price-tag, and thankfully it does just that in almost every regard, from build quality to feature-set, from image-quality to handling.

In short, if you don't already have a 35mm prime lens in your camera bag, then this one should be at the top of your shopping list.

This relatively lightweight yet well-built optic delivers excellent sharpness in the centre of the frame almost throughout its aperture range, even performing well wide-open at f/1.4, although you'll need to stop down a little more to get similar quality at the edges of the frame.

Despite the wide-angle 35mm focal length, the 11-bladed aperture, f/1.4 maximum aperture and 27cm minimum focusing distance combine to produce some lovely bokeh effects.

The Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens does suffer from some pincushion distortion and vignetting when shooting in the RAW format, although the camera body automatically corrects this for JPEG files.

This lens features fast, near-silent, reliable auto-focusing on the A7 III camera that we tested it with, with the Click switch for the aperture ring making it well-suited to both stills and movies.

It offers a very high level of build quality, plus it's usefully dust and moisture resistant too.

If you really love the 35mm focal length and you somehow still haven't got a 35mm prime in your collection, then we'd heartily recommend the Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM as the best all-round 35mm lens for Sony Alpha camera owners.

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4