Sony 35mm f/1.4 G ( SAL-35F14G ) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha/NEX (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published August 2008


The Sony 35mm f/1.4G is one of those lenses that survived from the old Minolta era. The original design dates back to 1987 - the early days of the Minolta AF SLR system. The current incarnation is basically identical to the Minolta AF 35mm f/1.4G RS except for ADI support and cosmetic changes to match the current Sony Alpha look. The lens is a member of the professional-grade Sony G ("Gold") lens lineup with a correspondingly high price tag around 1300US$/€. The primary feature of the lens is, obviously, the ultra-large max. aperture (f/1.4) which provides a very shallow depth-of-field (in close- to mid-focus scenarios).
Regarding its history it is obviously a full-format wide-angle lens but it is naturally compatible to the current gang of Sony APS-C DSLRs. Within this scope the field-of-view is equivalent to about 53mm in classic terms so it behaves like standard lens rather than a moderate wide-angle lens.

The build quality of the lens is excellent thanks to a metal body and very tight tolerances. Compared to e.g. the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM L it is a quite small lens. The all-rubber focus ring located at the very front of the lens operates very smooth. The focus ring is decoupled from the AF system so it does not rotate during AF operations - same goes for the filter mount. The physical size of the lens remains constant regardless of the focus distances.

Typical for legacy Sony lenses the 35mm f/1.4 does still rely on the classic focusing system driven by the camera (via a slotted drive screw). Consequently the AF produces a moderate degree of noise during operations but thanks to the rear-focus system the AF is pretty fast. The lens features a floating system for improved close-focus performance.

Equiv. focal length52.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/2.1 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction10 elements in 8 groups inc. 1x glass-molded aspherical element, floating system
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.3 m (max. magnification ratio 1:5)
Dimensions69 x 76 mm
Weight510 g
Filter size55 mm(non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped, snap-on, supplied
Other featuresfocus-hold button

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