QC control on new units of 35/1.4

Started Jan 7, 2017 | Questions
Praks2412
Praks2412 Regular Member • Posts: 455
QC control on new units of 35/1.4

The 35/1.4 used to have really extreme sample variations a lot of issues like an unusually large number of decentered lenses. How are the newer units?

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Scrollop Contributing Member • Posts: 707
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4
1

The lens was released a few years ago. I tried 4 lenses (three new and one second hand) a couple of months ago and they were all soft on the right side. The lens is made in Thailand or somewhre (not Japan). I don't think Sony is going to improve QC.

What were you hoping to hear from such a question, though?

At most, 10 people might respond stating that they recently bought the lens (in the last few months). That's not going to give you a true indication of sample variance. Lensrentals did a sample variance MTF for a few lenses including that one, though that must have been over a year ago.

I'd also be interested to see if more are of better QC. On the other hand, It's not as the sharp as the Sigma and Canon. A lot of people will say it's "sharp enough" which is fine, and if you're mainly using it for portraits (and don't mind mainly shooting them in the centre of the frame if you have a wonky lens) then fine, as the rendering of the lens is quite special. That's enough for many.

Others will say, they paid $1500 for a lens that is difficult to find not-decentred and is less sharp than the sigma, almost half it's price. As it's not as sharp, you might be less inclined to use it in other situations.

This is interesting:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/sony/fe-35mm-f1.4-za-zeiss-distagon-t-sel35f14z/blur/sony-a7r/

At f5.6 it's pretty damn sharp across the frame, except they found that at f5.6 sharpness is still uneven. Less likey to use as a landscape lens?

Wait for an FE sigma 35mm 1.4, or Batis 35mm f2?

EDIT:

Oops: The link above is for hte lens on a nex7 (why that camera, who knows).

Here it is on the a7r, and it's less sharp, and still uneven:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/sony/fe-35mm-f1.4-za-zeiss-distagon-t-sel35f14z/blur/sony-nex-7/

Here's the sigma and canon:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/sigma/35mm-f1.4-dg-hsm-a/blur/canon-7d/

http://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/canon/ef-35mm-f1.4l-ii-usm/blur/results:-full-frame/

Of course, they're all tested on different cameras (and the sony not even on the a7r2, though perhaps the a7r is a better camera to use to compare the others to) so we can't compare them without issues.

The canon lens looks pretty bloody amazing.

Not sure you'll receive satisfactory replies to answer your question, but good luck!

woodyggg Contributing Member • Posts: 895
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4
1

mine was a bit soft on the right side (not horribly bad but decided to return it), but VERY sharp otherwise. after reading the reviews versus the canon and sigma I decided to give it a shot... and will try another one. if it's sharp on the right side - well, will have to see - not really wanting to go sigma or canon but may have to more seriously consider one of those.

I used it at a friends Christmas party... it was the first time shooting with it.

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MrT-Man Senior Member • Posts: 1,486
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

Praks2412 wrote:

The 35/1.4 used to have really extreme sample variations a lot of issues like an unusually large number of decentered lenses. How are the newer units?

I suspect that the issue is inherent to the lens design, and that we probably won't see better QC unless they were to redesign the lens.

The only consolation is that the problem with most of them (according to LensRentals) isn't decentering, per se, but a tilt in the field of focus. The former affects center sharpness, the latter doesn't. So consequently the center sharpness is likely to be fine on most copies.

I've got one with a soft right side, and it's nonetheless proven to be a phenomenal lens for environmental portraits (I use a Loxia 35 for landscapes). Ultimately, I'm happy to have it in my kit, though it does annoy me to know that I have a suboptimal lens.

Note that the QC on the Sigma 35/1.4 is apparently just as bad. But it's obviously a cheaper lens.

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CosmoM3 Forum Member • Posts: 75
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

My first copy was soft on the right side of the center (vertically) and never really sharpened up after stepping it down.

My second copy was also soft on the same right side of the center (vertically) but nowhere near as bad as my first copy.

I've decided to keep this one since you're very unlikely to get a perfect copy. The fast aperture, rendering, bokeh, and sharpness overall is good enough for me.

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Praks2412
OP Praks2412 Regular Member • Posts: 455
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

This lens looks like a stunner in the shots I have seen. I tried a friend's copy and I personally am ok with the size and weight.

My concern is that I will only have a crop sensor (A6300) when i'll go to buy the lens in some 2-3 weeks. It will be impossible to assess the sides in a crop sensor.

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Praks2412
OP Praks2412 Regular Member • Posts: 455
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

woodyggg wrote:

mine was a bit soft on the right side (not horribly bad but decided to return it), but VERY sharp otherwise. after reading the reviews versus the canon and sigma I decided to give it a shot... and will try another one. if it's sharp on the right side - well, will have to see - not really wanting to go sigma or canon but may have to more seriously consider one of those.

I used it at a friends Christmas party... it was the first time shooting with it.

Are these OOC jpegs? *_*

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woodyggg Contributing Member • Posts: 895
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

no... processed raw files

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Jay A Senior Member • Posts: 2,128
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

I tried 2 about a year ago. Neither were sharp on the right side. I recently gave another a try and this one is perfect. Both sides slightly lose a bit of sharpness compared to the center, but I see no difference between the 2 sides.

woodyggg Contributing Member • Posts: 895
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

Jay A wrote:

I tried 2 about a year ago. Neither were sharp on the right side. I recently gave another a try and this one is perfect. Both sides slightly lose a bit of sharpness compared to the center, but I see no difference between the 2 sides.

? so both sides are bad and that's okay versus one side being bad??

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Jay A Senior Member • Posts: 2,128
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

woodyggg wrote:

Jay A wrote:

I tried 2 about a year ago. Neither were sharp on the right side. I recently gave another a try and this one is perfect. Both sides slightly lose a bit of sharpness compared to the center, but I see no difference between the 2 sides.

? so both sides are bad and that's okay versus one side being bad??

What I said was "both sides slightly lose a bit of sharpness compared to the center..." They are not "bad" at all. I have seen very few lenses ever that have been perfectly sharp across the entire frame.

The sides are nowhere near as bad as the one side that I saw in the 2 other samples that I had. This one look pretty darn good to be honest.

MrT-Man Senior Member • Posts: 1,486
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

Be careful though -- I had a copy of the 35/1.4 that had even sides, but the center sharpness was poor. That was especially frustrating, because I'd initially thought I'd hit the jackpot, until the weak center became apparent. Make sure to test all aspects of your lens.

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Praks2412
OP Praks2412 Regular Member • Posts: 455
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

The connundrum is how to test the lens in store when i'll have only a crop sensor camera on me

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MrT-Man Senior Member • Posts: 1,486
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

Praks2412 wrote:

The connundrum is how to test the lens in store when i'll have only a crop sensor camera on me

It's impossible to fully test it in the store. If you don't have the ability to exchange or return the lens after testing at home, then I wouldn't recommend you buy one.

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Praks2412
OP Praks2412 Regular Member • Posts: 455
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

MrT-Man wrote:

Praks2412 wrote:

The connundrum is how to test the lens in store when i'll have only a crop sensor camera on me

It's impossible to fully test it in the store. If you don't have the ability to exchange or return the lens after testing at home, then I wouldn't recommend you buy one.

Yes they do have a very good return policy. It's still more convenient to semi-test the lens in store and have a pretty good idea about it, but like I said even at home, it'll be impossible to fully test the lens with a crop body.

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Lord Lucan Regular Member • Posts: 397
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

There are lots of negative opinoins about this lens. My point is this lens is one of the most popular lens in siny line up.

Mike99999 Regular Member • Posts: 460
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4
1

Praks2412 wrote:

The 35/1.4 used to have really extreme sample variations a lot of issues like an unusually large number of decentered lenses. How are the newer units?

I don't know what to tell you about the sample variation, my first copy came sharp and I never looked back.

I would like to point out, however, two potential issues that are not being addressed:

  • The 35/1.4 does not have a helicoid focus mechanism, but rather a magnetical mechanism where the floating element is placed on a rail. This is why the lens focuses so fast and so silently. I could image this mechanism is prone to variations in the field of focus. This has little impact on real-world images but could be detrimental to testing on flat surfaces. The field of focus could potentially be skewed by external magnetic forces or by a skewed location of the focus elements on the focus rail.
  • Many A7/A7R/A7S have a bent mount due to lens adapters and stress to the mount. Especially the original A7 and A7R have a very weak mount, nicknamed the wobble mount. This could render these units ineffective for testing.
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Praks2412
OP Praks2412 Regular Member • Posts: 455
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

Mike99999 wrote:

Praks2412 wrote:

The 35/1.4 used to have really extreme sample variations a lot of issues like an unusually large number of decentered lenses. How are the newer units?

I don't know what to tell you about the sample variation, my first copy came sharp and I never looked back.

I would like to point out, however, two potential issues that are not being addressed:

  • The 35/1.4 does not have a helicoid focus mechanism, but rather a magnetical mechanism where the floating element is placed on a rail. This is why the lens focuses so fast and so silently. I could image this mechanism is prone to variations in the field of focus. This has little impact on real-world images but could be detrimental to testing on flat surfaces. The field of focus could potentially be skewed by external magnetic forces or by a skewed location of the focus elements on the focus rail.
  • Many A7/A7R/A7S have a bent mount due to lens adapters and stress to the mount. Especially the original A7 and A7R have a very weak mount, nicknamed the wobble mount. This could render these units ineffective for testing.

Your post has suddenly inspired me confidence in shelling the money for this lens!

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CosmoM3 Forum Member • Posts: 75
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

Praks2412 wrote:

Mike99999 wrote:

Praks2412 wrote:

The 35/1.4 used to have really extreme sample variations a lot of issues like an unusually large number of decentered lenses. How are the newer units?

I don't know what to tell you about the sample variation, my first copy came sharp and I never looked back.

I would like to point out, however, two potential issues that are not being addressed:

  • The 35/1.4 does not have a helicoid focus mechanism, but rather a magnetical mechanism where the floating element is placed on a rail. This is why the lens focuses so fast and so silently. I could image this mechanism is prone to variations in the field of focus. This has little impact on real-world images but could be detrimental to testing on flat surfaces. The field of focus could potentially be skewed by external magnetic forces or by a skewed location of the focus elements on the focus rail.
  • Many A7/A7R/A7S have a bent mount due to lens adapters and stress to the mount. Especially the original A7 and A7R have a very weak mount, nicknamed the wobble mount. This could render these units ineffective for testing.

Your post has suddenly inspired me confidence in shelling the money for this lens!

It's worth it like the FE 55 1.8

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dennismullen
dennismullen Veteran Member • Posts: 9,019
Re: QC control on new units of 35/1.4

I'm happy with mine!

Cheers,

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You can see larger versions of my pictures at www.dennismullen.com.

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