Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* Review

May 12, 2015 | Mark Goldstein |


The Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* is a superb prime lens. You’d expect sharpness to be high across the frame from such a premium optic, and it doesn’t disappoint. Even with the A7S test camera shooting at high ISOs, detail is exceptionally sharp. Shooting at the maximum f/2 aperture does reveal a minor reduction in corner sharpness compared to the centre of frame, but this is resolved by f/2.8 though, and even at this aperture the lens is able to produce beautifully smooth bokeh.

The Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* is also a pleasure to use, thanks to its superb build quality and smooth focus and aperture rings. As this is a manual-focus only lens, you'd expect this aspect of the operation to be intuitive, and so it proved. Together with the A7S' excellent Peaking feature, the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* delivered a very high percentage of keepers. The 30cm minimum focussing distance also makes the lens versatile enough to shoot fairly close subjects.

There are only really two drawbacks to the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T*. One is fairly minor, though quite annoying - with both focusing and aperture rings incorporated, there's very little of the lens body that doesn't rotate, making it more difficult than it should be to mount/unmount the lens without changing a setting or adjusting the lens hood. And of course, there's the price - €1149 / $1299 / £979 makes the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* almost as expensive as the new Sony Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA, which boasts a faster aperture, auto-focus and similarly outstanding image quality.

The Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* is much smaller and lighter than Sony's 35mm behemoth, though, so if you can learn to love the manual-focus only nature of the lens (and we did, hook, line and sinker), the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon T* is another superb choice for full-frame E-Mount Sony owners that’s capable of truly stunning results.

4.5 stars

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