Sony users have been asking for something to fill the gap between the premium Zeiss Distagon FE 35mm F1.4 ZA and the venerable Zeiss 35mm F2.8 for a long time, and the wait is finally over. Sony has just released the FE 35mm F1.8: a fast medium wide-angle lens for its full-frame a7 and a9 cameras, which fills a hitherto gaping hole in the company's full-frame lens lineup.

The metal and plastic-bodied FE 35mm F1.8 bears a close family resemblance to the older FE 28mm F2 and 85mm F1.8, but costs substantially more than both, with an MSRP of $750/£630/€700. It lacks the 'G' or 'GM' designations of other FE lenses, which denotes its positioning as an accessible, relatively inexpensive option for enthusiasts rather than professionals. Construction is rated as 'dust and moisture resistant', but we would not expect this lens to offer the same durability as one of Sony's premium G Master-series optics.

Optical construction is relatively straightforward, comprising 11 elements in nine groups, with one aspherical element.

At 280g (~10 oz) this is the lightest lens of its kind, and offers fast autofocusing thanks to a linear focus motor, and a close focus distance of just 22cm (~9 inches). Linear focus response in MF mode will be welcomed by video shooters. In our initial testing, the FE 35mm F1.8 has shown itself to be a sharp, versatile lens which is capable of rendering very pleasant background blur.

Take a look at our initial samples from the Sony FE 35mm F1.8

Press Release

Sony Electronics Boosts Full-frame Lens Line-up with Introduction of FE 35mm F1.8 Lightweight Prime

SAN DIEGO — July 9, 2019 — Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the latest addition to its E-mount full-frame lens line-up with the introduction of the FE 35mm F1.8 wide-angle prime lens, model SEL35F18F.

The compact dimensions and lightweight of this full-frame, large-aperture lens provide mobility and convenience for shooting a wide range of subjects, such as everyday snapshots, food photography, landscapes, night scenes and more. The new lens provides outstanding corner-to-corner image quality, while its quiet autofocus and tenacious tracking performance make it a great choice for both stills and movie shooting. Additionally, its compact form makes it an appealing choice for both APS-C body users, offering a 52.5mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras.

“Our E-mount lens lineup now includes 34 full-frame models and 52 lenses in total,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “The new 35mm prime combines outstanding corner-to-corner sharpness with a compact design, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of shooters. Sony will continue to develop and expand its imaging lineup, giving creators more options than ever before to realize their vision.”

Product Highlights:

High-resolution and large-aperture, full-frame performance in compact and lightweight lens

  • Large F1.8 maximum aperture, weighing in at just 280 grams and measuring 65.6 mm (diameter) by 73.0mm (length); this new lens sets a new standard for portability
  • Advanced optical construction, including an aspherical element to suppress aberration and deliver high resolution throughout the entire image frame; 9-blade circular aperture enhances beautiful bokeh
  • Minimum focus distance of 0.22m and maximum magnification of 0.24x offer easy access to the world of close-up photography

Versatile control and handling for a wide range of imaging needs

  • Conveniently placed, customizable focus hold button and a focus mode switch for instantaneous switching between auto and manual focus
  • Linear Response Manual Focus for fine, responsive manual focus control
  • Dust- and moisture-resistant design add to the versatility and reliability of this new lens and invoke a feeling of confidence in the user

Quiet AF with excellent tracking for movies as well as stills

  • Fast, precise and quiet linear-motor AF drive system for both stills and continuous focus control

Pricing and Availability

The FE 35mm F1.8 will ship in August 2019 for approximately $750 US and $800 CA and will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.

Sony FE 35mm F1.8 specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length35 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountSony FE
Aperture
Maximum apertureF1.8
Minimum apertureF22
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Optics
Elements11
Groups9
Special elements / coatings1 aspherical element
Focus
Minimum focus0.22 m (8.66)
Maximum magnification0.24×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeLinear Motor
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight280 g (0.62 lb)
Diameter66 mm (2.6)
Length73 mm (2.87)
MaterialsAluminum, composite
SealingYes
ColourBlack
Filter thread55 mm
Hood suppliedYes