Lens review

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM

13 January 2021
Maciej Lata³³o

4. Image resolution

The resolution test (resolution meaning the MTF50 function values) of the Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM was based on RAW files from 42.4 Mpix sensor of the Sony A7R II or the Sony A7R III camera. In the case of this kind of detector the decency level we set about 39-41 lpmm and the best fixed focal lenses have been able to exceed 70 lpmm. So far, two Voigtlander lenses have fared the best: the Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro (78.5 lpmm) and the Nokton 50 mm f/1.2 (78.6 lpmm). The Sigma A 105 mm f/2.8 DG DN Macro (80.4 lpmm) is very close behind them.

Let's see how the Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM compares – its results in the frame centre and on edges of the APS-C and full frame are presented below.

Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM - Image resolution

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One glance is enough to say the introductory paragraph of this chapter is going to be changed very soon. The performance in the frame centre should be called simply brilliant – you get results close to the new resolution record, set by the Sigma 2.8/105 Macro. Already at the maximum relative aperture the MTFs are simply sensational, exceeding 66 lpmm. Let's remind here the fact that the Sonnar 2.8/35 couldn't reach such a level even on stopping down! When you stop down the Sony 1.4/35 incredible things happen. Already by f/2.8 the lens is breaking record values, set by the Voigtlanders, by reaching 78.9 lpmm. That result is even improved by f/4.0 where the lens is able to reach 79.7 ±1.1 lpmm – so, within the margin of error, the same level as the latest resolution record of the Sigma.

The performance on the edge of the APS-C sensor should be described only in superlatives as well. Already at the maximum relative aperture you get good results reaching 49 lpmm and on stopping down the resolution increases to even 70 lpmm. It's a level some prime lenses, tested by us, have had problems to reach even in the frame centre.

We have also no reservations concerning the very demanding edge of full frame. By f/1.4 we got a result of 43.6 lpmm so safely above the decency level. On stopping down the aperture the MTFs improved relatively quickly – the lens was able to reach its wide maximum in an aperture range from f/2.8 to f/5.6 where it got to a very good level of about 58 lpmm.

To sum up we don't hesitate to write that, when it comes to resolution, the Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM fares sensationally well, without even one weak point. A round of applause!

At the end of this chapter, traditionally, we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart saved in JPEG format alongside RAW files which we used for the analysis above.

A7R II, JPEG, 35 mm, f/1.4
Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM - Image resolution
A7R II, JPEG, 35 mm, f/4.0
Sony FE 35 mm f/1.4 GM - Image resolution