- Compact and well constructed lens
- Fast, quiet and accurate autofocus
- Optical stabilizer is effective to approximately 3 stops
- Good sharpness wide open and excellent sharpness stopped down
- Generally pleasing bokeh
- Nice color and contrast
- Good control of lateral chromatic aberration
- Minimal distortion
- Somewhat expensive
- Longitudinal chromatic aberration can be visible in some situations
- Bright ghosting flare is easily induced
The Sony 35mm f/1.8 is a solid performing lens in a compact and well-built package. The lens maintains high image sharpness at any aperture while producing a pleasing overall rendering, though there’s nothing particularly special about how it draws either. The optical stabilizer allows for extra handholding in low light, and is a very convenient feature to have on a fast prime. While there are definitely some flaws, such as the potential for ghosting and some longitudinal CA, the overall optical quality of the lens is very good. The autofocus motor is quick and quiet, and the small profile makes it a lens you can toss on the camera and carry with ease.
The price of $449 (buy here at B&H) is a bit higher than a lot of other f/1.8 normal lenses, and it’s hard to say the addition of OSS is worth the entire price premium, but all things considered I don’t view the price as unreasonable. If you’re on a budget, the excellent Sigma 30mm f/2.8 is less than half the cost, but it’s also over a stop slower and lacks stabilization. For most E-mount shooters, the 35mm f/1.8 is going to be their best bet in the normal range. A very nice lens and one I’m happy I own.
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