Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA (Sony SEL35F28Z) - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)

Sample Images & Verdict

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Make SONY
Model ILCE-7R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2500s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-7R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/11.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-7R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/11.0
Exposure 1/1250s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-7R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/11.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-7R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/11.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-7R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure 1/250s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-7R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure 1/200s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-7R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2000s
Make SONY
Model ILCE-7R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2500s

Verdict

The Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA is undoubtedly a very good performer but it's not flawless. The image center is certainly of stunning quality but the borders and more so the corners can't quite follow. Very sharp images across the image field are still possible at medium apertures. Distortions are generally not an issue. There is a certain degree of light falloff but while this may be visible at times it is not dramatic either ... when choosing the lossy auto-correction option. The uncorrected vignetting is significantly higher. The quality of the bokeh is generally very good except for the rendition of out-of-focus highlights. Bokeh fringing can be an issue in critical scenes, especially for close focus.

On the mechanical side there isn't really anything to complain about thanks to a tightly assembled metal construction with weather sealing. We also like the really cool, compact lens hood. The AF has the potential to be fast but it is held back by the rather slowish Sony A7R. Manual focusing is very precise and smooth - something that you may not associate with a focus-by-wire system.

Thus the Zeiss lens is, of course, an interesting option. However, the pricing seems to be a bit over the top. Time will tell whether Sony has at least invested some of the associated revenues into better quality control - this wasn't really their strength in the past in our book ... to say it politely.

Optical Quality:
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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