Lens Review: Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA

Sony a7R with Sonnar T FE 35mm F2.8 ZA

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA ($598 from B&H Photo | Amazon | Adorama) offers superb optical performance along with compact size that makes it an ideal choice for street photography. Because of its F2.8 aperture, this lens doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but it produces really lovely images thanks to Zeiss glass. Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA was the main lens I used when testing a pre-release Sony a7R camera in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Sony a7r camera with zeiss fe 35 za lens street photography haiti
Sony a7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA • 1/320 • F5.6 • ISO 200

Sony a7r camera with zeiss fe 35 za lens street photography haitiSony a7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA • 1/640 • F5.6 • ISO 200

Sony a7r camera with zeiss fe 35 za lens street photography haiti
Sony a7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA • 1/1250 • F5.6 • ISO 200

Sony a7r camera with zeiss fe 35 za lens street photography haiti
Sony a7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA • 1/640 • F6.3 • ISO 200

Sony a7r camera with zeiss fe 35 za lens street photography haiti
Sony a7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA • 1/800 • F8.0 • ISO 200

Sony a7r camera with zeiss fe 35 za lens street photography haiti
Sony a7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA • 1/1000 • F8.0 • ISO 200

Sony a7r camera with zeiss fe 35 za lens street photography haiti
Sony a7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA • 1/640 • F6.3 • ISO 200

Sony a7r camera with zeiss fe 35 za lens street photography haiti
Sony a7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA • 1/500 • F6.3 • ISO 200

Sony a7r camera with zeiss fe 35 za lens street photography haiti
Sony a7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA • 1/320 • F8.0 • ISO 200

Sony a7r camera with zeiss fe 35 za lens street photography haiti
Sony a7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA • 1/640 • F5.6 • ISO 200

Sony a7r camera with zeiss fe 35 za lens street photography haiti
Sony a7R + FE 35mm F2.8 ZA • 1/320 • F5.6 • ISO 200

SIZE:

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA measures a compact 2.42 x 1.44″ / 61.47 x 36.58 mm (diameter x length) making it the smallest Sony FE lens.

WEIGHT:

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA tips the scales at just 4.23 oz / 120 g making it the lightest Sony FE lens.

FILTER SIZE:

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA has a 49mm front filter thread. The hood also accepts 40.5mm filters.

PHYSICAL DESIGN

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA includes a dedicated cap-style lens hood that is extremely compact and prevents flare. It has a smooth lens barrel that does not include focus hold button, AF/M Focus switch or aperture ring.

OPTICAL DESIGN:

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA lens optical construction

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA has 7 Elements in 5 Groups including three double-sided aspherical elements designed to reduce astigmatism, field curvature, coma, and other monochromatic aberrations.

LENS CHARTS

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA MTF lens chart

WEATHER SEALING:

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA is dust- and moisture-sealed for working in inclement weather.

IMAGE STABILIZATION:

There is no optical stabilization on this lens. Many Sony camera bodies have built-in sensor-shift stabilization.

AUTO FOCUS:

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA features linear autofocus motor and internal focus design provide quick and precise autofocus performance and enables accurate and silent focusing while recording videos

APERTURE:

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA has 9 rounded aperture blades for smooth, rounded bokeh

FORMAT:

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA covers Fullframe FX and smaller.

PRICE:

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA has a street price of $598 USD

IN THE BOX:

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA comes with front & rear lens caps and compact lens hood. Don’t be fooled by its F2.8 aperture, this lens is really lovely glass!

LENS COMPARISONS:


Sony FE 35mm F2.8 ZA -VS- Sony FE 35mm F1.8

Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA vs Sony FE 35mm F1.8

Sony FE 35mm F1.8 ($748) is a stop and a third faster, but Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA ($598) has 3D image quality that sets Zeiss glass apart. Second, if you’re looking for a premium quality pancake lens, the ZA his half the length & weight of it F1.8 G brother. I highly recommend both lenses depending upon your needs.

Lens Sony FE 35mm F2.8 ZA Sony FE 35mm F1.8
Focal Length 35mm 35mm
Maximum Aperture f/2.8 f/1.8
Minimum Aperture f/22 f/22
Lens Mount Sony E Sony E
Format Compatibility Full-Frame Full-Frame
Angle of View 62° 63°
Minimum Focus Distance 13.78″ / 35 cm 8.7″ / 22.1 cm
Maximum Magnification 0.12x 0.24x
Optical Design 7 Elements in 5 Groups 11 Elements in 9 Groups
Diaphragm Blades 7, Rounded/td> 9, Rounded
Aperture Ring No No
Focus Type Linear Motor Linear Motor
Image Stabilization No No
Filter Size 49mm (Front) / 40.5mm 55 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L) 2.42 x 1.44″ / 61.5 x 36.6mm 2.58 x 2.87″ / 65.6 x 73 mm
Weight 4.23 oz / 120 g 9.9 oz / 281 gg
Price (USD) $598 $748


Sony FE 35mm F2.8 ZA -VS- Samyang AF 35mm F2.8 FE

Sony FE 35mm F2.8 ZA vs Samyang AF 35mm F2.8 FE lens comparison

The budget-priced Samyang AF 35mm F2.8 FE ($399) offers a similar form factor at a cheaper price than Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA ($598). So is the Samyang lens a cheaper clone? Well not exactly…

While the two lenses appear to look nearly identical with very similar specs, the Sony FE 35mm F2.8 ZA offers superior optical quality and look thanks to Zeiss glass and is quieter with faster and more precise AF than the Samyang or the rebadged Rokinon AF 35mm f/2.8 FE. Yet if you’re looking for a sub-$400 option – Samyang/Rokinon offers great value.

Lens Sony FE 35mm F2.8 ZA Samyang AF 35mm F2.8 FE
Focal Length 35mm 35mm
Maximum Aperture f/2.8 f/2.8
Minimum Aperture f/22 f/22
Lens Mount Sony E Sony E
Format Compatibility Full-Frame Full-Frame
Angle of View 62° 63°
Minimum Focus Distance 13.78″ / 35 cm 13.8″ / 35 cm
Maximum Magnification 0.12x 0.12x
Optical Design 7 Elements in 5 Groups 7 Elements in 6 Groups
Diaphragm Blades 7, Rounded/td> 7
Aperture Ring No No
Focus Type Linear Motor Linear Motor
Image Stabilization No No
Filter Size 49mm (Front) / 40.5mm 49mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L) 2.42 x 1.44″ / 61.5 x 36.6mm 2.43 x 1.3″ / 61.8 x 33mm
Weight 4.23 oz / 120 g 3.02 oz / 85.6 g
Price (USD) $598 $399

IN CONCLUSION

Superb optical performance along with compact size makes FE 35mm F2.8 ZA an ideal choice for street photography.

• Based on the Zeiss Sonnar optical concept, this lens uses a design with seven elements in five groups.
• Wide-angle prime designed for street photography, environmental portraits and general shooting.
• Zeiss T* anti-reflective coatings have been applied to each lens surface to help minimize reflections.
• Three double-sided aspherical elements reduce astigmatism, field curvature, coma and aberrations.
• A linear autofocus motor and internal focus design provide quick, precise and silent autofocus.
• Dust- and moisture-sealed design permits working in inclement conditions.
• Rounded seven-blade diaphragm contributes to a pleasing bokeh.
• Lens includes a dedicated cap-style lens hood that is extremely compact and prevents flare.

Order Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA from B&H Photo | Amazon | Adorama

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