Sony 35mm 1.8 E-Mount Lens – Hand On Impressions

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The Phoblographer got their hands on a Sony 35mm f1.8 E-Mount Lens (for NEX Cameras) and took it out to put it through it’s paces on the front of an NEX 5R.

Highlights of Their First Impressions…


The Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS is not a Zeiss branded lens, but it ought to be–at least in terms of looks. A slippery smooth black exterior covers this lens with very little to it at all. Most of the lens’s small body is dominated by a large manual focus ring.

Like Sony’s other NEX primes, it is very simplistic.

Build QualitySony35mm1.8

The 35mm f1.8 OSS is quite solidly built.

For most people looking for a 50mm field of view, you’ll appreciate this lens’s feel in your hands.

AutoFocus Performance

In bright light (outdoors) we found the autofocus to be just as speedy as any other NEX lens (which is still not as instantaneous as Olympus.) As soon as I headed indoors, though, I experienced mixed results.

Ease of Use

As with all NEX lenses, there is very little for the user to fuss about and the design was made very straightforward. Point, shoot, and look at your images in awe–that’s the NEX philosophy.

[For those who enjoy manual focus, Sony’s focus peaking system] makes manually focusing positively wonderful and photography becomes fun again with modern technology.

First Impressions – Conclusion

So far, I believe that this lens is quite good, but I believe that its best potential might be realized on a higher end NEX camera. The images it renders are very sharp with smooth bokeh. The lens is also very comfortable in my hands though I still personally yearn for the 24mm f1.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar lens again.  (Read full article on thePhoblographer – Although I couldn’t find a lens review video per se, the video above from studioviper shows a comparison between the Sony 35mm 1.8, the SLR Magic 35mm f1.7 and the new SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 Cinelens)

Look for a full review coming soon.

Tech Specs

Specs pulled from the Adorama listing.

Lens Mount Type Sony E-mount
Aperture (Max.) f/1.8
Aperture (Min.) f/22
Focal Length (35mm equivalent) 52.5 mm
Filter Diameter 49mm
Lens Construction 6 Groups / 8 Elements
Minimum Focus Distance 11.88″ (0.3 m)
Angle of View 44° (APS-C)
Aperture Blade 7 blades (Circular aperture)
Image Stabilization Optical SteadyShot
Diameter x Length 2.4 x 1.8″ (62.2 x 45mm)
Weight 5.5 oz (155g)

My 2 Cents

One of the biggest knocks against the Sony NEX camera lineup, which are otherwise excellent cameras in just about every aspect, has been the relative lack of high quality native lenses.  Of late however, Sony have been making a concerted effort to remedy that issue, and the 35mm 1.8 lens now joins a small but growing family of higher quality NEX lenses, including the 24mm f1.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar, 50mm f1.8, 30mm f3.5 Macro. The 35mm 1.8 is Sony’s first prime lens to feature their optical stabilization system (OSS).  Sony have also pledged to introduce at least 5 E-Mount lenses per year starting in 2013 – great news for fans of the NEX lineup.

Buy the Sony 35mm f1.8 Lens on Amazon Here


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