How good is the E35F18-OSS ? Simple test

Started Jan 2, 2013 | Discussions
blue_skies
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How good is the E35F18-OSS ? Simple test
Jan 2, 2013

Had a chance to take the E35F18 OSS out for some comparison shots against the non-OSS DT35mm f1.8 SAM lens as well as the Zeiss ZM 35mm f2.8 MF RF lens.

I also included a few shots with the Sigma 30mm, the E25F18 and E50F18-OSS, but this was not my focus, all on the Nex-6.

To simplify my tests, I left the lenses mounted on each camera: E35 on Nex-6, DT35 on Nex-7 and ZM 35 on Nex-5N

The results are posted in these three catalogs:

First part of samples

2nd part of samples

summary shots here

Location:



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blue_skies
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Re: Daytime
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

E35F18



DT35

ZM35

Other scene:

E35F18

DT35

ZM35

More daytime here:

Gallery link

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blue_skies
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Re: Nighttime
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

See the galleries for comparison shots:

Link to Gallery

few examples here:

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blue_skies
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Re: Flare
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

E35

DT35 on Nex-7. Sadly, a mere accidental touch of the EV button pushed exposure and caused highlight blow-outs. An under-exposure would have prevented this.

ZM35 with filter in pace - the reflection is from the filter glass, it would not be there otherwise.

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blue_skies
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Re: My observations
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

The E35 is very, very good.

I did not upload all images - just not sufficient storage space for this here, just a small sample.

1) IQ

  • If I have to rate it by IQ, I would rate the ZM35 first, the E35 second and the DT35 third.
  • Mind you - the DT35 has gotten raving reviews in the past.

2) OSS

  • To my surprise, the OSS matters more than I had expected. You can get more clear shots - even the S95 produced some respectable images under low light.
  • If you check some of the posted images closely, you can see camera shake on both the DT and the ZM lenses

3) Camera body

  • I am sure that this will come up, but I find that the Nex-6, the Nex-7 downsampled and the Nex-5N produce very similar images. Therefore, I ran the test I had it set up, to reduce the number of lensswaps.

3) Focusing

  • Obviously, MF focusing wins every time on a still subject, as you clearly define the focus point. I found that the CDAF picked better focus points than the PDAF - on the subjects that I chose. It could have been the other way around, but that is what I noticed.

4) Size

  • The E35F18 is fairly small and compact. The ZM35 is similar in length, is heavier, but thinner overall. The DT + EA2 adapter is the largest setup.

5) Alternatives

  • Not part of the majority of shots, but I was impressed with the results of the Sigma 30, the E24Zeiss,   the E50F1.8, all expected, but also the E1650PZ. 

6) Overall

  • The E35 is very, very good. 
  • The lens has very high IQ.
  • The lens handles OSS well - the camera programming soso.
  • Focusing is CDAF, but is highly accurate.
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blue_skies
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Re: Some other comments
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

In terms of recommend high-35mm-IQ, I would recommend the E35F18-OSS as your first choice.

  • The second choice, imo, would be the Sigma 30mm. But the lack of OSS and the 1-stop loss do hamper your nighttime availability. But otherwise, this lens is very sharp as well.
  • I still find that the ZM35 produces higher IQ - but we are pixel peeping and there are many other issues - MF (a plus in such tests) and OSS (a negative here) come into play.
  • The DT35mm has set a high standard, the E35 does beat it.

I did not really tests against the Sigma 30, E24Z, E50 and E1650PZ, but I did make some conclusions on a few shots.

  • The E24Z easily outclasses the E35, but the FOV is different, and so is the lack of OSS.
  • The E50 is not as sharp as the E35, but this is based on very few shots, and I would not make this conclusive. Just that I found more sharpness in the E35 details than in the E50. It may have been a matter of focus point, or could be DOF related.
  • Lastly, the E1650PZ produces much better images - at lowlight and daylight - than I had expected!
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blue_skies
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Re: Nighttime
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

E1650PZ-OSS 'kit' lens (did not have the 1855 with me)

Sigma 30mm

E24 Zeiss

E35mm OSS

DT35mm (no OSS)

ZM35 (no OSS) - but highest IQ, imo


Just for fun: Canon S95 (small sensor, with OSS) result

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mkandil
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Re: How good is the E35F18-OSS ? Simple test
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

thank you,the best SEL35 IQ and OSS lens test.

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Kiichiro
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Re: How good is the E35F18-OSS ? Simple test
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

Thank you! I was thinking about getting the LA-EA2 with the DT35 but now I'll just get the E35oss.  I get them at the same price but with the adapter I will have more options I the future on cheaper lens like the DT50.

From your review the E35OSS looks better and seems like the OSS helped. I will be buying one today based on your review.

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richard NO
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Re: How good is the E35F18-OSS ? Simple test
In reply to Kiichiro, Jan 2, 2013

Thank you! This made my choice easy.... order placed for this lens..

I was wondering what brand that camera bag was? i looks perfect for nex

cheers!

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StinkyPitGuy
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Re: How good is the E35F18-OSS ? Simple test
In reply to richard NO, Jan 2, 2013

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your comparison.  This was really helpful for me as I have been researching to find my first prime to buy.  I'll pick up the E35 based on your input.

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Annex
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Re: Nighttime
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

blue-skies, thankyou for taking the time to run these tests. Many of us have been wondering about exactly this type of question. Great to see some proper testing done.

Its certainly great news to see the 35 1.8 is living up to the expectations we all had. Now lets hope that price comes down a bit!

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blue_skies
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Re: How good is the E35F18-OSS ? Simple test
In reply to richard NO, Jan 2, 2013

richard NO wrote:

Thank you! This made my choice easy.... order placed for this lens..

I was wondering what brand that camera bag was? i looks perfect for nex

cheers!

That is the LowePro Pro Runner 200.

It is a nice bag, but I mostly take the smaller LowePro Photo Traveler 150 for the Nex.

Or a minimum size bag - just a Nex + two lenses.





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richard NO
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Re: How good is the E35F18-OSS ? Simple test
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

Thank you, i must look into this, i need a smaller bag for my nex gear

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blue_skies
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Re: How good is the E35F18-OSS ? Simple test
In reply to richard NO, Jan 2, 2013

richard NO wrote:

Thank you, i must look into this, i need a smaller bag for my nex gear

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Photography for me is not about recreating what i saw through
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I like the Sony LCSEMF bag for small carry. It holds the Nex camera + lens, one extra lens (two if small lenses), and the flash or battery charges (your choice). Spare batteries, cleaning pouch and remote fit in rear-side pocket.

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Re: thanks for a very helpful comparison
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

Thanks for posting such a considered and helpful bit of research - posts like these really make this forum!

much appreciated!

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losangeles
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What to look for?
In reply to weavster, Jan 2, 2013

Thanks to the OP for doing the comparison!

Sorry if this is ignorant but can people tell me what I should look for in these pictures to evaluate the lenses' qualities?

Corner sharpness? Colors? I can't judge form the images.

Again, not meaning to offend anybody but I can't see it from the versions of the images accessible through this thread.

Thanks for your help.

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Kalabalik
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Re: How good is the E35F18-OSS ? Simple test
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 2, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

richard NO wrote:

Thank you, i must look into this, i need a smaller bag for my nex gear

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Photography for me is not about recreating what i saw through
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I like the Sony LCSEMF bag for small carry. It holds the Nex camera + lens, one extra lens (two if small lenses), and the flash or battery charges (your choice). Spare batteries, cleaning pouch and remote fit in rear-side pocket.

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Henry

What bag would you recommend for carrying only the NEX-5N with attached 35F1.8?

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blue_skies
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Re: What to look for?
In reply to losangeles, Jan 3, 2013

losangeles wrote:

Thanks to the OP for doing the comparison!

Sorry if this is ignorant but can people tell me what I should look for in these pictures to evaluate the lenses' qualities?

Corner sharpness? Colors? I can't judge form the images.

Again, not meaning to offend anybody but I can't see it from the versions of the images accessible through this thread.

Thanks for your help.

I didn't bother to create comparison views.

The uploaded JPGs are all 16Mp in size, the total uploaded space is about 400MB in data in two libraries - on my PC I have about triple that amount in pictures.

Best is to view an image in your browser at 100% by clicking on Original and Open in new Tab or Window. Go first into the library for this.

When you do this on two images, you can compare them at 100% view on a side by side basis in your browser. (Make sure that your browser does not re-scale, it would 'destroy the evidence').

This is where you can see the rendering details, sharpness, contrast, and so on. It also lets you verify focus point and DOF issues at the pixel level. Typically, you'd compare center detail and edge detail between the two pics.

Remember that these lenses are fairly close, with high IQ for each. So you will not see the major detail differences that you would expect in a high and low IQ lens.

The daylight pictures posted are stopped down. I have a few more wide-open (1/4000s sec limit) that are perhaps more telling, as problems are more visible wide open. The low light pictures posted should have sufficient details to find differences.

Also - this is not scientific. I use the camera handheld, trying to frame a similar image, and let the multi-focus AF do its work, rather than using MF, except for the MF lens.

Of course, wide open, focus point related DOF effects can lead to false conclusions.

If I have time, I'll add a compare shot to highlight some of the differences that I noticed.

Corner sharpness is not a problem for these lenses, except for the ZM35 on the Nex-7. I tried to match exposure and color in post, to make the images more comparable. You'll see the ZM35 being slightly different colored, as the lens using different coating which shows up in rendering and metering. This can be eliminated in RAW, but gets tricky in JPG AWB setting. I left it as is.

But you can flip this the other way around: the ZM35, by reputation, is one of the sharpest lenses on the Nex-5N. If the E35 and DT35 can match that, it is as good as it gets. They do under stopped down daylight conditions. Under low light, the OSS, or lack thereof, plays a role. The shots posted don't necessarily highlight edge softening under lowlight, I have some other shots that I can post, but remember that focus point is a bigger factor in such comparisons as the DOF can get narrow.

From usage, I have a 'feel' about the ZM35 and the DT35. It is fairly easy to place the E35 in between these two lenses based on a first week of tinkering with it. The E35 allows OSS to stop down where a DT35 would use a larger aperture. This means more DOF for the E35, (or faster shutter), leading to more sharpness. This is quickly noticed.

To see the sharpness differences between the E35, ZM35, Sigma30, DT35 and a few more that I have (Contax, Nokton, OM) a more boring 'chart' test is perhaps more interesting. E.g. the Sigma maintains a very high sharpness across the frame, with good contrast, but never gets the resolution that e.g. the E50 has.

I simply use the ZM35 as a benchmark reference - I know that it is supersharp.

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losangeles
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Re: What to look for?
In reply to blue_skies, Jan 3, 2013

Thanks for this very helpful clarification!

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