Lens review

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM

13 January 2021
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between basic parameters of the Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM and other mirrorless 1.4/35 lenses. It's clear at once that the tested lens is optically the most complex in this group and it features the highest number of aperture blades. Mind you, it is not the biggest and the heaviest here - the Zeiss remains unbeatable in this area. Another asset of the Sony is the shortest minimum focusing distance.

In the photo below the Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM is positioned between the Sony FE 35 mm f/1.8 and the Sigma A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM, designed for reflex cameras.

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount surrounding a black frame made of plastic with embedded contacts. A rear element is 33 mm in diameter but it might appear smaller as it is limited by the size of the 32×24mm frame. It is situated right under the frame and is positioned very shallow in the mount.

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Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a black ring made of plastics which diameter increases as you move further from the mount. On that ring you can find a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, the mount type (E-mount), the symbol of the lens, its serial number, and its place of production, Thailand in this case.

Then you see an aperture ring as wide as 19 mm and covered by ribs and moving every 1/3 EV step. It performs properly well and its working mode can be click-stopped every 1/3 EV or clickless, certainly a piece of good news for amateurs of shooting video movies.

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM - Build quality

The next immobile ring features a silver inscription 'FE 1.4/35 GM'. On its right side you see the Sony logo and a CLICK ON/OFF toggle that allows you to control the aperture ring. On the left side there is a red G series mark, an aperture lock button and a focusing mechanism mode switch AF/MF.

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM - Build quality

Then you find a manual focusing ring, as wide as 24 mm, covered by rubber ribs that feel nice to the touch. The ring is a focus-by-wire construction and its focus throw amounts to about 120-150 degrees, depending on how fast you turn it.

Behind the ring you also find an immobile part of the barrel made of metal with a red mark for proper alignment of the hood and a hood mount.

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM - Build quality

The front element, 43 mm in diameter, doesn't move and is slightly convex. It is surrounded by a part of the barrel with different inscriptions, stating the name of the lens, its minimum focusing distance; then you see a non-rotating filter thread, 67 mm in diameter.

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 14 elements put in 10 groups. 1 element is made of low dispersion ED glass and 2 elements are aspherical (XA). Inside you can also find a round aperture with as many as 11 diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/16 at the maximum.

Buyers get in the box with the lens: both caps, a hood and a very solid and stylish hard case.

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM - Build quality