Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Summer Savings Up to 25% Off Cloud Drive Photos Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Learn more Shop now Learn more

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars13
4.4 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 28 February 2015
This is a fantastic lens for A7 owners but it's also a great lens for A6000 owners who will eventually move up to a full frame Sony. While it's not the sharpest lens (I'd give that to the incredible 55mm f1.8) it's not far away at all.

It's biggest plus points for me are it's size and weight. It makes an incredible street photography lens on the A7 or A6000 thanks to it's size in particular. You get that fantastic Zeiss glass and fantastic build quality despite it's weight.

All A7 users are aware of the limited range of lenses but this is one of the first 2 lenses you should buy for me. This and the 55m f1.8 are superb lenses that cover most usage. I've now bought all the lenses in the current range (as Feb 2015) and this is still my favourite due to it's ability to just leave it on the camera for almost any kind of image.

I took it on holiday recently and it made my A7 M2 still seem like a carry around. Rather than describe what you can get out of this lens I've attached some example shots here and bear in mind that I'd had the camera less than a week when I took these and I'm nothing more than an enthusiast. No Photoshop has been involved here and they are JPEGs at 50% straight out of the camera. I don't know if Amazon reduce them further too.
review image review image review image review image
22 comments|13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 March 2015
Decisions, decisions... There are now THREE different, fully compatible 35mm FE lenses to choose from: the Sony/Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZA Distagon, the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f2 Biogon, and the Sony/Zeiss 35mm f2.8 ZA Sonnar. After much deliberation, I finally decided to choose the latter; and the following is a summary of what the experience to date has shown me to be its good and bad points:

PROS
+ Weighing only 120g, and measuring only 61.5mm (diameter) by 36.5mm (height), this is an unbelievably light and compact lens for the specification - making it the ideal default prime lens for everyday use

+ Build quality is good: the outer lens barrel is constructed from aluminium (the supplied lens hood is part metal, part plastic), with the pairing attractively finished in a satiny black paint

+ I like the lens's slightly cold/neutral colour rendition.

+ The lens is sealed against the intrusion of dust and moisture, but oddly - there's no seal at the mounting point (such as you will find on the Zeiss Loxia 35mm lens)

+ Its closely-spaced arrangement of tiny elements probably makes this one of the most responsive auto-focusing lenses currently available in the FE mount

+ The grooved focusing ring is a reasonable width, given the overall size of the lens, and rotates smoothly enough. It's just a pity it doesn't feel as though it's actually connected to anything...

+ If you want to use filters, you unusually have two distinct options to choose from: the unconventional lens hood is threaded to accept 40.5mm filters, whilst 49mm filters can be attached directly to the lens. Different filters can therefore be used separately or in combination

CONS
- It's reasonably sharp; but in my experience, it's not quite sharp enough for use on an A7R. It's certainly not as tack sharp or as consistent as its big brother,anyway - the superb Sony SEL55F18Z E-mount Carl Zeiss Full Frame Prime Lens. Centre sharpness is fine (even wide open), perhaps reaching its highest value as early as f4; but edges and corners lag noticeably behind, only really getting on terms from f5.6 - with the best uniform sharpness arriving around f8 (although by this stage, it's as much about centre sharpness declining as anything else)

- That Carl Zeiss name commands lots of kudos, I know; but whichever way you look at it, this is a rather too expensive medium wide-angle f2.8 lens for a Sony camera! (Why, for example, does it cost so much more than Sony's own FE 28mm f2?) The price doesn't become any easier to swallow when you discover that the lens is being made in Japan (by Sony) - NOT in Germany (by Zeiss)

- Lateral Chromatic Aberration is not too much of a concern here (there is some slightly more problematic Longitudinal CA, however), and lens Distortion is also adequately controlled, Vignetting, however, tends towards the severe and never entirely departs - even with the lens stopped right down! That said - RAW files are easily fixed in Globell B.V. DxO Optics Pro 10 Elite, which is my primary editor of choice

- The aperture mechanism incorporates only seven blades: the bokeh is OK, but it's not as smooth as you would expect the latest nine or ten-bladed systems to deliver. (The lens's limited f2.8 maximum aperture doesn't help matters, either.) 'Sun stars' can also be disappointingly fuzzy

- As with many modern digital lenses, it characteristically produces a detailed but slightly 'flat' two-dimensional image rendering. I find that I'm routinely increasing Microcontrast (sometimes referred to as 'Structure') somewhere between 10 points and 40 points, when working with RAW files, just to restore a sense of three-dimensional depth!

- The 'inverted' lens hood may be a novel design...but I'm not a fan. Apart from being a dust trap (unless, that is, you choose to permanently plug it with a filter!), I suspect it may actually be worsening this lens's tendency to vignette at wider apertures. So - are there any other options...? It may not be common knowledge, but the Sony LHP-1 lens hood (intended for the RX1/RX1R/RX1R-II cameras) will also fit this f2.8 Zeiss Sonnar lens, securely attaching to the bayonet mount provided. More affordable alternatives are made by various third party companies, and I would suggest you take a look at the Mcoplus - LH-LHP1 Professional Lens Hood for Sony DSC-RX1 Digital Camera Replaces Sony LHP-1 and the Fotodiox Pro Hood (New Design) for the Sony Cyber-Shot RX1 and RX1R, Specially Redesigned Dedicated Metal Bayonet Lens Hood for the Sony DSC-RX1 and DSC-RX1R Digital Cameras; Professional and Stylish, Leica Inspired Design, Hood Minimizes Glare (replace.... However, they're certainly not cheap, per se - and it does mean making even more of an outlay to get a decent hood...

- To focus manually, the lens makes use of a 'focus-by-wire' adjustment system; but twisting the focusing ring produces such an inconsistent response - devoid of any tactile feedback - that you're sometimes left wondering whether you're really making much progress!

- I had just about got used to the disappearance of an aperture ring and depth-of-field markings from my lenses; but for an old stager like me, losing the distance scale as well is still quite a shock to the system! (Yes - I do know that my A7R can visually display a distance scale, when focusing manually)

- Further to the previous point, no printed depth-of-field tables are provided with this lens. Instead, you have to rely on 'focus peaking' - a system that isn't always totally accurate or reliable on the A7 series cameras

- You only get one year's standard warranty cover (provided by Sony), whereas genuine Zeiss lenses receive (from Zeiss) a standard two-year warranty

- You aren't provided with any kind of a lens case or pouch (very mean of you, Sony, at this price!)

In summary:

As soon as I unpacked it from its box, I honestly couldn't believe my eyes: this seems impossibly tiny for a rectilinear full-frame lens! If you didn't know any better, you could easily mistake this is for an APS-C/cropped-format lens... I couldn't say if this dinky little lens started out that way, of course, but it would certainly go some way towards explaining the rather severe vignetting and comparative softness at the edges and corners of the frame!

Be that as it may, this lens still manages to turn in an acceptable performance in the majority of cases. But perhaps this f2.8 Sonnar's principal virtue is that - in terms of its proportions, at least - it makes a near perfect companion for any A7 series camera: it's so small and light that - in conjunction with my own A7R, for example - the combined weight of less than 600g is something I can easily carry around with me, all day long, without suffering any ill effects! It's demonstrably not as sharp or pure a lens as the 55mm f1.8 Zeiss FE, but it's a good enough carry-all when stopped down to median apertures - and that's sufficient to earn it my recommendation.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 January 2015
I was pleasantly surprised by this lens quality.
I was waiting for delivery the Zeiss Loxia but Zeiss wont ship small quantities to dealers, even a Sony dealerships at that! My rant over. Basically I got fed up of waiting and thought I would buy this the SEL35F28z instead and I'm now actually very pleased I did.

Its also makes the A7/A7R very light and portable. Dam good and sharp to and actually performs much better than expected considering some of the not so good reviews in the press when fitted to an A7R. I personally think its brilliant.
The manual focus is precise and smooth. In auto focus mode and has incredibly fast auto focus.

The 35mm is a pretty compact lens (it's 37mm / 1.5" long, and weighs just 120g / 4.2 oz) which makes for a very portable combination when used with the A7 or A7R.
I found Sharpness to be excellent. The 35mm is extremely sharp in the center of the frame wide open at F2.8, and while it's not quite so good towards the edges "this is really nit piking" , it's still pretty impressive and I'm very pleased with the results. The best results overall across the frame come from F5.6-F11, much as you would expect on full frame. At F5.6 the central sharpness is literally off the charts.

Oh not many people have spotted this! Filter size's "no it's not a misprint sizes" A 49mm fits directly on the lens under the hood. "49mm B+W UV on mine", But hears the biggie; the hood can also take a 40.5mm filter.
I've fitted a slim 40.5mm circular polarizing filter.

Was asked if its OK on an NEX7.
Yes this is a full frame lens and it dose also fit nicely to the NEX, A6000 etc range "giving an effective focal length of 52.5mm". Its perfectly fine if not brilliant on an NEX7. Whats even better about this is that on the NEX7 its censer is looking through the center of the glass lens witch is always the best portion of any lens. Whats moor the photos with it are just stunning. If you don't own the Sony SEL35f18 already, buy this the SEL35F28z. Oh this lens is much lighter and faster focusing than the bright SEL35f18 "this is an APS-C format".
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 May 2014
Small, expensive, detailed, impressive. You can see an example shot here: 500px.com/photo/69700203
Clarity for portraits is impressive - works well for closer candid shots of kids etc.
Excellent sharpness for all purposes.
For walking and photographing I will carry just this lens, the Sony A7 and my Tokina 17mm manual focus FD mount. With a tripod, a very tidy compact package.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 May 2014
This small, lightweight prime is an ideal general lens for the new Sony A7/R, offering the classic 35mm focal length. The laws of physics apply though - keeping it small and light means it only opens up to f/2.8, and it vignets like a good 'un (although you can set the cameras to correct this automatically). Doesn't bother me - I add vignetting far more often than I remove it, but if you don't like it, be warned. And correcting it can lead to visibly increased noise around the edges of the frame, especially if you're shooting wide open in low light. Other than that though, it's a gem. It's incredibly sharp even at its maximum aperture, chromatic aberrations are minimal, colour rendition is great, and the bokeh looks lovely. Add to that first class build quality, weather sealing, and a smart hood/lens cap design, and you've got a winner. Yes it'd be nice if it went a bit brighter, and it's a bit dear, but still one hell of a lens.
0Comment|8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 February 2016
This is a razor sharp lens but the vignetting is way too bad. I'm not a fussy customer and have never returned any photo gear in my life but this is simply not good enough for a £500 lens. It's only a 35mm f2.8 prime so I wouldn't expect that kind of problem in this price range. It's on my Sony A7R and I tried f8 with the lens hood off and shading compensation on but the fall-off is still really bad. It doesn't seem to improve much when you stop down. Also, it is not just the corners but the whole side. I don't understand why the camera didn't compensate? To make things worse it is slightly off-set so it is worse on the right side than the left. Perhaps it is faulty, I don't know, but I sent it back. It's a shame because it is excellent in every other sense and is the sharpest lens I have ever briefly owned.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 February 2014
Superb quality on my A7R pin sharp at full aperture only the slightest softening in corners which are also pin sharp stopped down to F4. Expensive but a first class lens.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 January 2014
This lens is good, very lightweight. It would have been a 5-star if it was F2 or cheaper.
Clever lenshood that allows you to mount a filter under the hood.
33 comments|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 June 2014
I use this on a Sony A7R and the two make fantastic pair. The lens is very compact and the image quality is awesome. Actually much better than my Canon 5D3. Love the lens.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 July 2014
There is no doubt that this is an excellent lens for Sony FE mount. It focusses well and is very sharp. However, I also have a Canon 40mm pancake lens which is about one quarter the price but is also sharp and f/2.8, so this item is not good value. Carl Zeiss think they can sell their name for twice the price of other brands. When Sigma and Tamron get into this market, they may need to think again.
11 comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.
See all 9 answered questions


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.