Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM assessment
Final yr was an amazing one for house owners of full-frame Sony Alpha cameras, due to the discharge of some critically spectacular lenses that lastly stuffed some gaps within the firm’s FE lens line-up. The most recent addition is the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM, a brand new premium possibility that may sit above the Sony Distagon T FE 35mm f/1.4.
The 35mm focal size is a traditional one which sits between wide-angle 28mm and the usual 50mm, and is used for a wide range of photographic genres. The mixture of the focal size and the quick f/1.4 most aperture means the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM shall be of significant curiosity to portrait, avenue, marriage ceremony, panorama and astro photographers. However how does it carry out?
The 35mm f/1.4 definitely isn’t an affordable lens, however let’s not overlook that it is a G Grasp creation that is geared toward skilled photographers and videographers.
To enchantment to each of those shooters, the lens encompasses a guide aperture ring that may be set to stepped for photographers with third cease increments, or stepless for videographers, in addition to an ‘A’ setting, in order that aperture might be managed from the digicam as a substitute.
The guide focus ring is clean with a snug quantity of resistance, with an inside focusing mechanism so the lens stays mounted. Plus, the entrance ingredient doesn’t rotate, which is right when utilizing filters on the 67mm filter thread.
As a G Grasp lens, the 35mm f/1.4 is dust- and weather-resistant, with seals on all buttons and rings, so photographers might be assured when utilizing the lens in inclement climate. The development is a combination of steel and plastic, as is the norm for a lot of lenses, however this doesn’t detract from the premium appear and feel you’d anticipate from a G Grasp lens.
The FE 35mm f/1.4 GM feels snug within the hand and the scale and weight balances completely with Sony A7 and A9 collection digicam our bodies, due to a weight of 524g and dimensions of 96x76mm. That is each smaller and lighter than the Distagon T FE 35mm f/1.4, which weighs 630g and measures 112×78.5mm.
Additional bolstering its premium credentials, the 35mm f/1.4 employs two XD linear motors for quick and quiet AF, which is extremely quick and near-silent – the lens definitely performs nicely on this space.
When it comes to the lens building, two of the weather are XA (excessive aspherical) ones which can be mentioned to assist obtain edge-to-edge sharpness, whereas one other is an ED (extra-low dispersion) ingredient which is used to suppress chromatic aberration and purple fringing.
Different lens options embrace a Nano AR Coating II to reduce inside reflections and to assist cease ghosting and flare when taking pictures in the direction of gentle sources, whereas a fluorine coating on the entrance ingredient helps stop fingerprints, mud, water and oil.
Whereas the latter is at all times a welcome function, it’s at all times preferable to maintain all contaminants away from a lens entrance ingredient, and the included lens hood is one methodology of doing so, in addition to for serving to to cease stray gentle from getting into the lens.
Whereas a lens like this wouldn’t historically be used for close-up images, it does provides a minimal focus distance of 27cm with a most magnification of 0.23x or 0.26x when focusing manually.
A function that actually stands out is the 11-blade round aperture, which is 2 blades greater than most different lenses. This ensures stunning round bokeh when taking pictures on the most f/1.4 aperture.
The options are undoubtedly spectacular, and every part you’d anticipate from a Sony G Grasp Prime, however with any lens it’s the picture high quality alongside dealing with that shall be of most curiosity to photographers.
Prime lenses, regardless of severe advances in zoom lens picture high quality, stay superior when it comes to picture high quality and their mounted focal size means it’s attainable to include bigger most apertures – and that is the place they excel.
The Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM definitely follows this format and at f/1.4 the centre of the body definitely is sharp, though the outer space of the body is barely blurred which in step with quick prime lenses.
Vignetting can be seen, and each this and the sting sharpness start to noticeably enhance at f/4. The candy spot, or sharpest level of the lens, is f/8, and sharpness begins to cut back once more at f/11 and extra so at f/16 as diffraction kicks in.
That’s definitely to not say that f/11 and f/16 are unusable – they’re completely sharp sufficient however merely aren’t the sharpest factors of the lens. A curious situation of the lens is that vignetting is strongest at f/1.4, which reduces to the least quantity at f/4 and f/5.6, however begins to extend once more barely from f/8 and past.
This isn’t problematic and might be simply eliminated throughout processing, nevertheless it’s not one thing you typically see. When it comes to chromatic aberration and fringing, nevertheless, the lens reveals neither drawback, even in excessive distinction areas similar to timber in opposition to the sky, which is spectacular.
General, the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM is an extremely versatile lens that might arguably be used for extra photographic genres than some other focal size.
Picture high quality is superb, however isn’t good; the lens is sharp within the heart of the body at f/1.4, nevertheless it’s not till f/4 the place edges grow to be noticeably sharper. General sharpness peaks on the candy spot of the lens at f/8.
From f/11, diffraction kicks in, however the picture stays extremely sharp regardless of not being the sharpest the lens is able to. The vignetting subject can be curious, however definitely not a dealbreaker.
There’s no denying that the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 is one other glorious skilled providing from Sony that may enchantment to a variety of photographers and can rapidly transfer to the highest of the buying record of many. At this value, it is prohibitively costly for many photographers. However this tag is according to different Sony GM lenses, so it comes as no shock and the value will undoubtedly come down just a little over time.
Ought to I purchase the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM?
Purchase it if…
You shoot environmental portraits
For environmental portrait, marriage ceremony and avenue photographers taking pictures with A7 and A9 collection cameras, the mixture of the 35mm focal size and f/1.4 aperture is extraordinarily enticing.
You shoot astro
The Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 is a superb lens for astrophotography, but when it is too extensive the 35mm f/1.4 GM supplies just a little extra attain in addition to elevated gentle gathering capabilities.
You’re a videographer
Videographers use a combination of primes and zooms with a desire for primes, and the stepless aperture and clean focus ring of the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM are aimed particularly at taking pictures video.
Do not buy it if…
You’re on a funds
All GM lenses are costly as a result of their premium construct, options and picture high quality, however when you have a restricted funds think about the Sony FE 35mm f/1.8, which is lower than half the value.
You predominantly shoot landscapes
For panorama photographers in search of a quick prime lens, the Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 provides a way more versatile focal size, to not point out a smaller and lighter construct than the 35mm f/1.4 GM.
You generally use different focal lengths
If you happen to use a spread of focal lengths in a single shoot, the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM or Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM could also be extra handy choices, albeit not at quick at f/2.8.