Richard Sibley tries out Sony’s fastest FE lens for the Alpha 7-series full-frame compact system cameras

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Sony Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 ZA

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Sony Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 ZA review

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£1,450.00

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Sony Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 ZA review

Over a year and a half since the original Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA lens was released alongside Sony’s Alpha 7 cameras, another 35mm focal-length lens has arrived for the Sony FE system. The new Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA has a larger maximum aperture, enabling faster shutter speeds and lower sensitivity settings in low light, as well as a shallower depth of field. However, the new lens is significantly larger than the f/2.8 version, so just how well does it pair with the relatively small full-frame Sony Alpha 7 cameras?

Features

Sony Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA controls

The aperture ring operates in 1/3 stop increments, with an A position allowing control from the camera

There are a couple of notable features on what is otherwise a fairly straightforward lens. The main one is that the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 lens features a manual aperture ring on the lens barrel, which is a first for the Sony FE mount. This allows all the apertures between f/1.4 and f/16 to be selected in 0.3EV intervals. There is also an Automatic (A) setting that switches aperture control back to the camera body.

Of course, the clicking aperture ring doesn’t lend itself to video, where a videographer may wish to change the depth of field during recording. To combat this, Sony has introduced a switch that turns the click on or off. Although this is another first for the Sony FE mount, it is something we have previously seen in the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 bridge camera.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Build and handling
  3. 3. Image quality
  4. 4. Test results: MTF (Sharpness)
  5. 5. Test results: Distortion and vignetting
  6. 6. Conclusion
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