The Sony 35 mm F1.4 G is a lens from the Sony G-series with “professional” lenses. The lens design is derived from the contents of Minolta. The unique feature of this lens is the high light intensity. With it, you can work longer without flash or realize a minimal depth of field. But that high brightness is associated with a high price tag. For whom is this lens worth its high price?
This Sony 35 mm lens can be used both on a camera with full-frame sensor and a camera with an APS-C sensor. In this test, the Sony 35 mm is tested on a camera with an APS-C sensor. We therefore do not test the real performances in the corners and the edges of this lens. The APS-C sensor only uses the image in the center of the lens.
Some optical properties of a lens, such as vignetting and chromatic aberration, score lower on a camera with a full-frame sensor than on a camera with an APS-C sensor. This test thus gives a rosier picture on those points than a test of this lens on a camera with a full-frame sensor would give.
Construction and autofocus
The construction is extremely solid; the Sony 35 mm 1.4 has a metal body. You also recognize the age of the lens by the screen with distance indication: you come across those distance indication scales less and less on modern lenses nowadays.
The autofocus is reasonably fast and quiet, but not silent.
Especially at full aperture, you can encounter vignetting in the corners using the Sony 35 mm 1.4 in practice, as you can see in the image on the right. That is actually a bit disappointing, because the Sony 35 mm 1.4 is tested on a camera with an APS-C sensor, which in addition is set to automatic correction of vignetting (see below). From aperture 2.8, the vignetting of the Sony 35 mm 1.4 is negligibly small, according to the Imatest measurements.
The pincushion distortion remains within reasonable bounds. But given the high price of the lens and the fact that the test camera (Sony A77) was set to correction of distortion, you would expect a better performance.
An important reason to perhaps choose this lens is that the depth of field can be limited due to the high brightness, which can provide a beautiful background blur (bokeh). The bokeh of the Sony 35 mm is pretty circular. Yet the background is not always pretty quiet. The Sony 35 mm also shows color bokeh: a form of chromatic aberration that often occurs in lenses with an intensity of 2.0 or less.
The Sony 35 mm shows very little problems with flare. Ghosting is not encountered by us. Even if a bright light source shines directly into the lens, the flare is minimal as you see in the image cropping on the right. A very good performance.
From aperture 2, the resolution in the center of a jpg file is high (2000 LW/PH) to further increase to very high (2500 LW/PH) from aperture 4. But the resolution in the center at aperture 1.4 is disappointing.
Up to aperture 2.8, the corners remain significantly behind on the center in terms of resolution. From aperture 4, the difference in resolution is much less visible in practice, but the Imatest measurements show that even then the corners still remain behind in resolution.
The Sony A77 test camera was set to automatic correction of chromatic aberration, but that is hard to notice in this test of the Sony 35 mm 1.4. The chromatic aberration of JPG and RAW files are the same.
The measured chromatic aberration of the Sony 35 mm 1.4 is in an area where you may encounter slightly visible chromatic aberration in practice. Chromatic aberration can be recovered with software.
Conclusion Sony 35 mm F1.4 G
- Solid construction
- High Intensity
- From 2.0 high resolution in the center, from 4.0 very high resolution
- High price
- low resolution at 1.4
- resolution in the corners remain behind on the center
- sensitive to chromatic aberration
The Sony 35 mm 1.4 is a solidly built lens with a great intensity. The resolution of this lens, tested on a camera with APS-C sensor, is the highest above aperture 4. At full aperture, the resolution in the center is low. The resolution in the corners remains behind on the resolution in the center in all cases. The other optical properties too (distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting) are not bad, but less than you would expect because of the high price. Possibly, the Sony 35 mm 1.8 is a more attractive alternative in terms of price/quality ratio.Test Sony 35 mm F1.4 G (APS-C)