How is the 35mm F1.4 GM so good?

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panther fan Contributing Member • Posts: 578
How is the 35mm F1.4 GM so good?

I think we don't need to talk about the fact that lenses have developed at a rapid pace over the last 20 years. Computer-generated designs, new flexibility allowed by the short flange distance, and new glass molding options have made pretty much every new lens great. But even with that in mind how did Sony achieve such results? I mean 35mm is a focal length every manufacturer has tried and some have given very special attention to it. Sigma and Tamron are famously battling it out over 35mm

Just recently Sony released their F1.8 and Sigma answered with an F1.2 and F2 with amazing optics. Nikon got a new 35mm F1.8 and Tamron started a new lineup with a 35mm F1.4.

But the new Sony smokes all of them. Luckily lenstip has tested this and most other 35mm lenses:

-The Sony F1.4 GM is sharper at F1.4 than the Sony F1.8 is at F2

-It is sharper at F1.4 than the Sigma 35mm F2 is at F2

-It is sharper than the legendary Sigma 35mm F1.2 at every aperture

-It is sharper at F1.4 than the Nikon F1.8 at F1.8

And all that without the usual trickery

-It has less vignetting at F1.4 than either the Sony or Sigma 35mm F1.8/F2 wide open

-It has less vignetting at F1.4 than the Sigma stopped down (meaning it is actually brighter than the F1.2 in the corners in every scenario)

What jump in technology allowed them to pull this off? All manufacturers have computer design and short flange distance. Sigma is no longer the underdog, they make a ton of premium lenses both for their own brand and other brands. Why is there no marketing around some new lens technology?

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