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Sony FE 35mm F/1.8 SEL35F18F Full-frame Standard Prime Lens Review

The Sony SEL35F18F is a versatile and compact full-frame standard prime lens designed for both APS-C and full-frame E-mount cameras. With its fast F1.8 aperture, this lens is suitable for a wide range of photography genres, including snapshots, portraits, and low-light scenes. In this comprehensive review, we'll delve into the lens' features, build quality, image quality, and usability.

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Key Specifications

  • Focal Length: 35mm (52.5mm equivalent on APS-C bodies)
  • Angle of View (35mm): 63�
  • Angle of View (APS-C): 44�
  • Aperture Blades: 9
  • Circular Aperture: Yes
  • Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 2�5/8 x 2�7/8 in (65.6 x 73 mm)
  • Filter Diameter: 55mm
  • Format: 35mm full frame
  • Hood Type: Petal shape, bayonet type
  • Lens Groups / Elements: 9-11
  • Maximum Aperture: F1.8
  • Maximum Magnification Ratio: 0.24x
  • Minimum Aperture: F22
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.73 ft (0.22m)
  • Teleconverter compatibility (x1.4): Incompatible
  • Teleconverter compatibility (x2.0): Incompatible
  • Weight: 9.9 oz (280 g)

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Package and Content

The Sony package for this FE 35mm F/1.8 lens comes with the following accessories and documents:

  • Lens hood (ALC-SH159)
  • Lens front cap (ALC-F55S)
  • Lens rear cap (ALC-R1EM)
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

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Build and Design

The Sony FE 35mm F/1.8 is lightweight, weighing in at just 9.9 ounces (280g). The lens' lightweight build ensures comfortable handling during extended shooting sessions. Its compact dimensions (2.6 x 2.9 inches or 65.6 x 73mm) make it a perfect companion for both APS-C and full-frame Sony mirrorless cameras.

The lens barrel is constructed from high-quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity. It can withstand the rigors of everyday use and occasional bumps. The smooth matte finish feels pleasant to the touch and provides a secure grip, even in challenging shooting conditions.

This lens is equally at home on the Sony A7 III, A7R III, and A7R IV. Its versatility makes it an excellent choice for everyday photography, whether you're capturing street scenes, landscapes, or candid moments.

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Image Quality

The lens delivers outstanding corner-to-corner image quality, even wide open at F1.8. It produces sharp, detailed images with minimal distortion. The bokeh is beautifully rendered, making it ideal for portraits and creative shots. The aspherical element in the lens design helps reduce focus breathing, ensuring consistent performance across different shooting scenarios.

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Focus System

The Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 lens has a AF/MF switch on the left side, slightly toward the bottom. Switching it requires some force, so you can accidentally bump it. It lets you swiftly switch between autofocus and manual focus modes.

The lens features a smooth and quiet autofocus system, making it suitable for both stills photography and cinematography. There is a focus hold button, above the switch. Press it to lock focus at a specific distance, useful for recomposing shots without losing your focus point.

The manual focusing ring, in front of the switch and the button, provides precise manual control, allowing photographers to fine-tune focus when needed. The manual focus ring is well-damped and responsive, making it a joy for manual focus enthusiasts.

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Lens Hood (ALC-SH159)

The ALC-SH159 petal-shaped lens hood is included. Its primary purpose is to block stray light from entering the lens, which helps reduce lens flare and maintain image contrast. The hood also provides physical protection for the front element, safeguarding it against accidental bumps or scratches. The bayonet mount design ensures easy attachment and removal. Simply align the hood's grooves with the lens' corresponding notches and twist it into place.

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Lens Caps

The lens package includes both a front and a rear lens cap. These caps are essential for protecting the lens when not in use. The front lens cap covers the front element, preventing dust, fingerprints, and scratches. It's a standard pinch-type cap that securely fits over the lens. The rear lens cap covers the lens mount, keeping it clean and free from debris. It ensures that no dust or moisture enters the lens body when the camera is detached. Always use these caps when storing the lens or transporting it in your camera bag.

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The Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 lens has a retail price of $749.99 (see Sony's product page in "Related Links" section below). As of this writing, Sony has a $100 off sale, bringing the price down the $649.99. You can also get it from Amazon for $1.99 less at $648.

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The Sony SEL35F18F is a well-rounded lens that balances image quality, portability, and affordability. Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional photographer, this lens delivers exceptional results. Its wide aperture, quiet autofocus, and compact design make it a must-have addition to your camera bag. The SEL35F18F is a reliable workhorse that excels in various shooting conditions. If you're looking for a versatile prime lens, this one won't disappoint.

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