Lens review

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.8

2 November 2020
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison of basic parameters of the Sony FE 35 mm f/1.8 and other mirrorless 35 mm lenses with a similar aperture fastness. As you see, the Sony, along with the Nikkor and the Canon, is optically the most complex instrument; still, it also remains noticeably lighter and smaller than the Nikkor. The Sony with the Canon also stick out with their maximum focusing distance which is shorter than that of their direct rivals.

In the photo below the Sony FE 35 mm f/1.8 is positioned between the Sigma A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM and the Voigtalnder Apo-Lanthar Macro 2/65.

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount surrounding a contact plate and a 6×20 mm frame with slightly rounded corners. Dimensions of this frame are, frankly speaking, suspiciously small for a full frame lens – we are afraid that feature might have a negative impact on vignetting. Inside that frame you find a rear element which doesn't move.

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Sony FE 35 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

The proper body of the Sony FE 1.8/35 is made of metal painted black and it starts with an immobile, smooth ring. On the ring you see a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, the logotype of the producer and the mount type along with the serial number of the instrument and information that the lens was produced in China.

Further on, there is an inscription 'FE 1.8/35'; on its right you see the logo of the producer and on the left a function button and an AF/MF switch which controls the focusing mechanism mode.

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

A manual focus ring, 28 mm wide, is the next part. It is a focus-by-wire construction devoid of any distance or depth-of-field scale. The ring moves smoothly and is properly damped; in order to cover the whole distance scale you need to turn it through an angle of about 130 degrees. In our opinion it ensures a very comfortable performance.

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

Further on, you find a narrow, metal ring which passes into a hood mount. The front element doesn't move, is flat and 41 mm in diameter. It is surrounded by an inscription with the name and parameters of the lens, along with a non-rotating filter thread, 55 mm in diameter.

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.8 - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction, you deal here with 11 elements positioned in 9 groups, one of them aspherical in shape. Inside you can also find a round aperture with nine blades which can be closed down to a value of f/22 at the maximum.

Buyers get both caps and a petal-type hood in the box with the lens. Unfortunately you don't get any case or pouch and I admit it is a bit strange - after all you deal here with a lens with a price tag of almost $700.

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.8 - Build quality