Sony just announced the 35mm F1.8. We will preorder it and review it as soon as possible. Here is what information we have found so far.
You will be able to pre-order it soonish at amazon.com | B&H Photo for $748 and support the blog (affiliate links). The price in Germany will be 699€ and it should be available from August.
|Close focusing distance
|Number of aperture blades
||11/9 – one aspherical element
Comes with AF/MF switch and configurable focus stop button.
Sony claims linear focus. Yay!
imaging-resource.com – 24 full resolution images mostly wide open
Sony.net – some are available in full resolution, heavily processed
Promo video with more bokeh samples
Out of focus highlights seem to be rendered with a smooth transition and some color fringing.
Cat’s eyes are about average.
The transition zone appears
The first samples don’t tell us much. In the not that demanding scenario bokeh looks smooth without the stronger bokeh fringing of the FE 2/28.
One still-frame of the video shows busier corners at longer distances and also some LoCA in the model’s hair but it is a more challenging scenario.
I see quite a lot of of axial CA in samples.
The off-center eye of the model shot at f/1.8 looks very sharp. There are no samples yet to judge sharpness of the corners.
Sony’s MTF diagram looks very promising as well. Sharper in the center than the 1.8/85 with little astigmatism one only a little stronger falloff in the corners and certainly sharper than the FE 2/28.
Samples show rather strong coma wide open.
From the spec sheet two aspects stand out to me: The weight and the magnification. At 280g the Sony is 90g lighter than the competing Nikon Z lens and 20g lighter than the Canon RF lens. it is less than half the weight of Sony’s own ZA 1.4/35. While it doesn’t reach the 1:2 magnification of the Canon RF 1.8/35 macro a magnification of 1:4 is very respectable for a 35mm prime.
The samples available so far don’t make me excited since there seems to be quite a bit of CA and bad coma correction as I would expect from a lens of this speed and weight but on the other hand it is very light, sharpness looks good and bokeh mostly fine.
I was a bit surprised by the price in the US, usually we have to pay quite a bit more in the EU but the difference is smaller this time. The prices seems to be a bit steep but if no further weaknesses become appear it could be justified since a 1.8/35 covers a wide range of applications.