The NEW Sony 35 f/1.8 FE Lens IN HAND! Very 1st Look!

The NEW Sony 35 f/1.8 FE Lens IN HAND! Very 1st Look!

NOTE: At the time of this writing (Monday July 8th) I have had this lens with an A7III in hand for only 2 hours. So not nearly enough time to give you my full thoughts on it but I can tell you what I know and share a few quick and silly shots taken with this lens during the last hour or so. Enjoy. 

The new 35 1.8 FE (full frame) from Sony comes in at $749. YOU CAN PRE ORDER IT HERE AT B&H PHOTO!

Another new Sony Lens and it actually fills a gap that many did not even realize was present! Well, not really a “gap” as we do have other 35mm lenses to pick from in the Sony FE lineup. The OG 35 2.8 Zeiss/Sony lens which is tiny, and under $800 and the just under $1600 35 1.4. The f/2.8 is a slower aperture lens and what we gain from this is size. It’s the smallest of the Sony FE 35mm lenses but it is a fine lens. Just do not expect any shallow depth of field effects in your photos. If it is Bokeh you want, and a sharp yet gorgeous rendering the Sony/Zeiss 35 1.4 Distagon is gorgeous. Be warned though, it’s $1598 and large for a prime lens. I did review it HERE. 

The new 35 f1.8 comes in at $749.99 and offers an f/1.8 aperture and is very similar in rendering to the 85 1.8 though of course wider angle. If you own or have tried the fantastic 85 1.8 (my review here) then this 35 would be right up your alley. It’s faster than the f/2.8 Zeiss and while larger not by so much. The f/1.8 is still small and light. Price wise I was surprised to see it come in for less than the Zeiss f2.8. The Zeiss may be a tad sharper and render color slightly different.

The gap this lens is filling for Sony shooters is to have a faster aperture 35mm lens that doesn’t break the bank. The new 35 f/1.8 comes in at less than half the cost of the 35 f1.4 and it’s $50 less than the f/2.8 yet it delivers a much faster f/1.8 aperture.

To me, this 35 seems like the sweet spot all the way around, and I suspect Sony will sell a ton of them.

Now remember, I have had this lens and A7III in hand for only TWO hours as I write this so this is NOT a review, just some thoughts and a few images using the lens (quick snaps for now). Review soon, and a VIDEO today! So check back later for that! Thank you!

Specs of the lens below..after the photos. 

All with the 35 1.8…click ’em for larger

MSRP: $749.99 USD
• weight is 280g, length 73mm, diameter 65.6mm
• internal focusing mechanism effectively minimizes focus breathing
• Lens construction: 9 groups, 11 elements, including one aspherical lens to suppress aberration and handle higher resolution
• Minimum focus distance: 0.22m
• 0.24x magnification for good close up photography, though not macro
• Linear response MF to provide high responsiveness and accuracy in manual focus
• dust and moisture resistant
• aluminum based exterior with some plastic parts mean high durability without weight penalty

100% CROP BELOW wide open at f/1.8, click on it to see it…

You can order the Sony 35 1.8 FE lens at B&H Photo HERE.

Official Press Release below…

Sony Electronics Boosts Full-frame Lens Line-up with 

Introduction of FE 35mm F1.8 Lightweight Prime

SAN DIEGO —July 9, 2019 —Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the latest addition to its E-mount full-frame lens line-up with the introduction of the FE 35mm F1.8 wide-angle prime lens, model SEL35F18F.

The compact dimensions and lightweight of this full-frame, large-aperture lens provide mobility and convenience for shooting a wide range of subjects, such as everyday snapshots, food photography, landscapes, night scenes and more. The new lens provides outstanding corner-to-corner image quality, while its quiet autofocus and tenacious tracking performance make it a great choice for both stills and movie shooting. Additionally, its compact form makes it an appealing choice for both APS-C body users, offering a 52.5mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras.

“Our E-mount lens lineup now includes 34 full-frame models and 52 lenses in total,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “The new 35mm prime combines outstanding corner-to-corner sharpness with a compact design, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of shooters. Sony will continue to develop and expand its imaging lineup, giving creators more options than ever before to realize their vision.”

 Product Highlights

High-resolution and large-aperture, full-frame performance in compact and lightweight lens

  • Large F1.8 maximum aperture, weighing in at just 280 grams and measuring 65.6 mm (diameter) by 73.0mm (length); this new lens sets a new standard for portability
  • Advanced optical construction, including an aspherical element to suppress aberration and deliver high resolution throughout the entire image frame; 9-blade circular aperture enhances beautiful bokeh
  • Minimum focus distance of 0.22m and maximum magnification of 0.24x offer easy access to the world of close-up photography

Versatile control and handling for a wide range of imaging needs

  • Conveniently placed, customizable focus hold button and a focus mode switch for instantaneous switching between auto and manual focus
  •  Linear Response Manual Focus for fine, responsive manual focus control
  • Dust- and moisture-resistant design add to the versatility and reliability of this new lens and invoke a feeling of confidence in the user

Quiet AF with excellent tracking for movies as well as stills

  • Fast, precise and quiet linear-motor AF drive system for both stills and continuous focus control

Pricing and Availability

The FE 35mm F1.8 will ship in August 2019 for approximately $750 US and $800 CA and will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.


  1. I have the Voigt 40 1.2. I like it, but it is a serious pain to use for family events and when things are moving. How does the Sony 35 1.8 compare other than the Voit is only MF? Is it worth trading in the Voit for the Sony? Do they actually serve different purposes?

  2. I must confess, I miss the obligatory shot of Debbie. I hope I’m not treading toes….
    Thanks for the first look. I hope you’ll deliver some more.

  3. Hi Steve, thanks for the review.
    How is IQ comparing to Zeiss 35 f2.8? I don’t care about bokeh, I’m wondering how is image quality overal as they are about the same price.

  4. thx Steve, looking forward for the review 🙂
    How would you compare it to the 35/2 sonar on rx1r2?

    • The 35 1.4 Sony Zeiss is a better lens but also larger, more expensive and f/1.4. This lens is fantastic for the cost but it’s not the 35 1.4.

  5. I’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time and can imagine this lens becoming my main walk-around lens. The linear focusing is a huge feature. I find the 35mm 2.8 a convenient size but I’ve had problems with huge field curvature with my copy (often one side or the other will be out of focus at infinity). The 35mm 1.4 is way too big for my uses. My go-to lens has been the FE 28mm f2, despite having the 25 Batis, because I find the 28mm more practical (my A7r ii fits into my compact bag with it). This lens looks only slightly larger and is a natural focal length for me.

    Any thoughts on how the image quality compares to the 28mm? It should be much better, considering that it’s almost twice the price. (I find pictures with the 28mm f2 to be tack sharp, not necessarily “interesting” in rendering though.)

  6. This lens will fill a gap for wedding photographers. AF is a must with so much happening at a fast pace. The Sony Zeiss 35mm 2.8 does a great job but for low light photography a faster lens is needed. Just sad that it’s not a Zeiss! I hope one day the Sony Zeiss 55mm 1.8 will get a big brother (85) and a little sister (35).

  7. Over the last couple of years, I’ve found that my “downtown daily” combo of a trusty and still very nice original Sony A7 cum manual lenses can’t be light and compact enough. It took me way too long to realize that the old Olympus OM 24mm 2.8 was a great addition to the very nicely rendering and easy to use 85mm, with occasionally something thrown in the mix like the “Rembrandt” Nikkor-O.C 35mm, Voigtlander 35mm 1.7, Konica M-Hexanon 50mm, or Olympus OM 50mm f/2 Macro or classic 1.4.

    If Sony could add a compact GM line of lenses akin to Leica’s modern Summarits… something like 24 / 40 / 85mm would be enticing. Coupled with an updated but not inflated true A7 successor. Smartphones aren’t standing still.

  8. The hood makes it look longer than it really is. Nice lens. Sony will be selling more A bodies than ever with lens like this.

  9. Finally! It was bizarre to me that Sony didn’t have a small and fast 35mm lens. The 2.8’s are too slow and the 1.4’s are too large (and expensive). If this lens had been around a few months ago I would not have sold my A7ii.

  10. Great, we need smaller, affordable and still good quality lenses for the A7 series. Steve, you wouldn’t have loxia 35 or batis 40 to compare. Would you? Of course, both of them are much expensive and there are differences such as manual focus or slightly narrower angle.

    • Loxia is nice, reviewed it a few years ago. Manual focus only. The Batis is also nice…but more expensive. The Sony is $750 and can deliver beautiful IQ while remaining light and offering fast AF. I feel the Batis 40 will give you the Zeiss color and pop but at $500 more than the Sony. So all depends on the budget.

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