Sony/Zeiss FE 35mm 1.4 thoughts

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of jhemp_00 jhemp_00 1 year, 5 months ago.

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  • #1239
    Profile photo of jhemp_00
    jhemp_00
    Participant

    I wanted to give some of my thoughts on this lens so interested buyers can be more informed. I think the quality control on this lens is lacking, I’m on my second copy, the first copy was very soft at F1.4 and never really sharpened up stopping down. So don’t be afraid to send it back if it’s not sharp at 1.4. My second copy is razor sharp starting right at 1.4!!! I’m really blown away by this. The lens becomes sharp edge to edge by f2.8 but NEVER reaches the same level of sharpness as the Sony/Zeiss 35mm f2.8. I’m also dealing with some auto focus issues and I haven’t figured out if it’s the lens or my A7RII? The lens focuses fine on my A7II at all apertures, but on my A7RII it front focuses by several feet at all apertures past F2.0. WTF? All other lenses I own focus just fine on this camera. I dunno?

    If I was looking for an all around 35mm lens this would not be it, I would go for the Sony/Zeiss 35 f2.8 or the Loxia 35mm. The Sony /Zeiss 35 2.8 is sharper at every aperture from edge to edge and it’s also smaller and feels better on the camera. But if I wanted a great 35mm lens for environmental/street portraiture and I liked the wide open look then I would get the Sony/Zeiss 35mm f1.4 and never stop down past F2.0. It is really amazing at 1.4 and I’m keeping it.

    #1322
    Profile photo of torralba
    torralba
    Keymaster

    Sorry to hear about your struggles with what is arguably one of the best 35’s ever made. I had a copy which worked magic for me but I never really pushed it to it’s limit testing all types of shooting conditions. I have read of the quality issues regarding this lens and am really surprised it has not been addressed or confirmed by Sony that they cannot get consistent builds out of the lens. I am now shooting with the 35 Loxia but will eventually try the 1.4 again since the bokeh and rendering is hard to beat.

    #1326
    Profile photo of jhemp_00
    jhemp_00
    Participant

    I’m super curious about the 35 Loxia, I would buy it today if the RX1RII wasn’t coming out.

    #1344
    Profile photo of torralba
    torralba
    Keymaster

    I hear you on the RX1RII. But if you have the A7, you can save some money by just getting a Loxia. Heck, I would even let you borrow my Loxia for a week if you want :)

    #1348
    Profile photo of jhemp_00
    jhemp_00
    Participant

    Thanks for the offer! I have been shooting with the 35 1.4 all day and I love it at 1.4! Very special! This lens will be perfect for some projects I’m working on in the next few years. I will never shoot this lens stopped down past f2 because it just isn’t that great stopped down. I’m also seeing wavy field curvature that is really frustrating. Example: I did lots of shots today of building facades and facades of old houses and I set the focus on the front door and shot at 5.6 or f8. When the image is reviewed on screen at 100% you’ll see that the door is in perfect focus but a few feet to the left of the door you’ll see things get a little soft(it would be noticeable in a 20in print) but then pop back into focus a few feet over again. I saw this behavior over and over again. Theoretically since all of these things are in the same focus plane and I’m adequately stopped down it should all be in excellent focus across the front of the building. Things are sharp at center, edges, and corners but there is this mid zone area that is soft. I had the Sony/zeiss 24mm f2.0 that exhibited this behavior.
    Anyways, I’ll stop my bitching about this lens and use it for it’s intended purpose and love the results!

    #1351
    Profile photo of torralba
    torralba
    Keymaster

    Hey, just out of curiosity, how does it compare with the 16-35 you have which I think is amazing!

    #1354
    Profile photo of jhemp_00
    jhemp_00
    Participant

    I love that lens! Mine is great from 24mm to 35mm. Wider than 24 and the edges and corners get soft but not horribly. I also love the sun stars you can get with this lens. I know some of this is opposite what other people say, most comment how the lens is weaker the closer you get to 35mm. All this said, two weeks ago I was exploring up a canyon after some rains and a slipped and fell with this lens and it smacked the ground and scratched the front element!! Thank god I bought the three year protection plan. I had a new one in three days. I have not closely evaluated the new copy yet and I’m nervous to because my old one was excellent.
    J

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