Sony has released three prime lenses for its Alpha SLR system. First up is the eagerly-awaited Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM, which we saw in prototype form at PMA. Designed as a fast wideangle for full frame, it also offers a classic 35mm-equivalent field of view on APS-C. Second we have the DT 35mm F1.8 SAM, a fast normal lens for APS-C. Finally this is joined in Sony's newly-christened 'Easy Choice' range of inexpensive primes by the 85mm F2.8 SAM, a compact 'portrait' telephoto that works on both APS-C and full frame cameras. All of these lenses can also be used on the NEX mirrorless cameras via the LA-EA1 adapter, although in manual focus mode only. The 24mm and 85mm lenses will start shipping from late September at retail prices of €1,250 and €250 respectively, followed by the 35mm which will be available from mid-October at a retail price of €200. With regards to the US price and availability of the three lenses, the company says, “Announcement for US market is not being made at this time, but will be made closer to the products’ market introduction.”

Recent Videos

Jump to:

Press Release:

Sony expands A-Mount lens line-up for Alpha DSLR cameras with three new lenses

Sony is expanding its already strong line-up of over 30 A-mount lenses with new models that will appeal to seasoned photographers and those new to DSLR cameras alike

  • The Distagon T* 24mm F2 ZA SSM (SAL24F20Z) features the acclaimed Carl Zeiss Distagon design and rounds out the existing Planar (SAL85F14Z) and Sonnar (SAL135F18Z) models also developed in conjunction with Carl Zeiss. It is intended to appeal to experienced photographers looking for a large-aperture wide-angle lens of real distinction.
  • The DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18) adds the important 35mm focal length to the ‘Easy Choice’ series. ‘Easy Choice’ is intended to provide great value, compact and lightweight lenses that are attractive to entry-level and advanced photographers alike. Each lens in the series is selected for a specific purpose, for example portraiture or macro.
  • The 85mm F2.8 SAM (SAL85F28) is another ‘Easy Choice’ lens, this time offering the 85mm focal length considered the standard for portraiture because of the natural perspective it provides. True to type it is extremely compact and light, weighing just 175g.

The Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM (SAL24F20Z)
The Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM (SAL24F20Z) functions as a wide-angle 24mm lens on full-frame cameras with 35mm sensors, or as a 36mm equivalent lens ideal for general use on cameras with APS-C sensors. Jointly developed with Carl Zeiss, it features the highly-regarded Carl Zeiss Distagon retro-focus lens configuration designed for wide-angle lenses.

This lens is distinguished by its fast response focus and extremely quiet, very smooth operation thanks to its built-in SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor).

It offers a wide and therefore highly versatile focal range from 0.19m to infinity, and features a nine-blade circular aperture that along with the large F2 maximum aperture contributes to smooth, natural bokeh effects.

In keeping with traditional Carl Zeiss design, the all-metal lens barrel has been finished to a very high standard resulting in a visibly high-quality appearance.

The DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18)
Part of the ‘Easy Choice’ series, offering photographers at all levels great value, compact and lightweight lenses, the DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18) weighs just 170g. It can be added to a lens kit system and carried without noticeably increasing the weight of the bag.

With an approximately 50mm (35mm equivalent) focal length on an APS-C sensor, this lens is ideal for snapshots and portraits under a wide range of shooting conditions. The high-speed F1.8 maximum aperture is particularly advantageous for hand held shooting in low light.

At just 0.23 metres, the DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18) has the shortest minimum focus in its class, making it an excellent choice for dramatic close-ups too. Whatever the shot, the internal Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) drives the focussing group directly and ensures responsive and fluid autofocus operation.

The 85mm F2.8 SAM (SAL85F28)
This is the first full-frame lens in the ‘Easy Choice’ range, so its launch represents an important development of the line-up as a whole. The 85mm focal length is a standard for portraiture because of the natural perspective that it provides. On an APS-C sensor camera the 85mm F2.8 SAM (SAL85F28) functions as a 127.5mm (35mm equivalent) telephoto lens – and features a Sonnar-type optical design that is considered ideal for mid-range telephoto lenses.

The lens is sharp center to corner, and features smooth defocusing thanks to its large F2.8 maximum aperture and circular aperture design. At 0.6 metres, the minimum focusing distance is the shortest in its class, and SAM motor technology ensures smooth autofocus operation.

The quality optical and mechanical features of the lens mean it is suitable for serious photography and should more than satisfy intermediate to advanced users.

Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon 24mm F2, DT 35mm F1.8 SAM and 85mm F2.8 SAM specifications

Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM
DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18)
85mm F2.8 SAM
Street price • TBC (US)
• £1100 (UK)
• € 1250 (EU)
• TBC (US)
• £ 175 (UK)
• € 200 (EU)
• TBC (US)
• £ 220 (UK)
• € 250 (EU)
Focal length 24mm 35mm 85mm
Maximum aperture F2 F1.8 F2.8
Lens Construction • 9 elements/7 groups
• 2 ED glass elements
• 2 aspherical glass elements
• 6 elements/5 groups • 5 elements/4 groups
Minimum focus 0.19m 0.23m 0.6m
Maximum magnification 0.29x 0.25x 0.2x
AF motor type Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM)
Filter thread 72mm 55mm 55mm
Supplied accessories • Hood
• Case
• Front & Rear caps
• Hood
• Front & Rear caps
• Hood
• Front & Rear caps
Weight 555g 170g 175g
78mm diameter x 76mm length
70mm diameter x 52mm length
70mm diameter x 52mm length

Additional images

Distagon T* 24mm F2 SSM (SAL24F20Z)
DT 35mm F1.8 SAM (SAL35F18)
85mm F2.8 SAM (SAL85F28)