Richard Sibley tries out Sony’s fastest FE lens for the Alpha 7-series full-frame compact system cameras

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Sony Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 ZA

Product:

Sony Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 ZA review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,450.00

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Test results: Distortion and vignetting

Distortion

Distortion is very low indeed; our tests show a little barrel-type in the images, but you’ll be hard pushed to spot it in real-world use.

Sony Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 distortion

Distortion is well-controlled, with just the merest hint of barrel-type visible (TV SMIA = -0.4%)

Vignetting

As is typical of a fast prime for full-frame cameras, vignetting is rather pronounced, reaching a maximum of almost two stops wide open. The falloff profile is also somewhat abrupt into the corners of the frame, making it very visible in real-world shots.  Stopping down to f/2.8 reduces the effect significantly.

Shading at f/1.4

Vignetting is very pronounced at f/1.4

Shading f/2

Vignetting is reduced at f/2. but still very abrupt in the corners

Shading f/2.8

Stopping down to f/2.8 removes most of the vignetting

Shading at f/4

At f/4 vignetting has mostly gone; stopping down further has little extra effect

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Build and handling
  3. 3. Image quality
  4. 4. Test results: MTF (Sharpness)
  5. 5. Test results: Distortion and vignetting
  6. 6. Conclusion
Page 5 of 6 - Show Full List
  • Chris Birchenhall

    The key word in Richard review is “character”. While I have not used this lens everything in the review suggests it a typical Zeiss design. It is typical for Zeiss lenses to vignette and concentrate on central sharpness. I think too much is made of sharpness but too little on overall character. I have long favoured Zeiss glass way back from the days I used a Hasselblad and a Rolleiflex for weddings. I can note the new Nikon 58mm has loads of character too.

  • Oleg Hutsalenko

    Taste is a bigger problem then MTF or Fstop =)

  • ZorakZoran01

    I never saw it in any shot except one, online, of a startrail pushed by 4 ev. And you need to look at 100% to see it. Over the hundredth of thousands pictures taken with the system since it’s out. So…

  • Nigrath

    Does the focus ring have a fixed beginnning and end point or is it continuous? Fixed is essential for remote focus pulling and a deal breaker for me.

  • moxford

    If you push/pull it in post the artifacts get nasty real quick. And seeing it in 10% of my shots is unacceptable. My personal opinion.

  • bakanecko

    why people always complaining the lossy-raw compression, in 90% of shooting style you can’t distinguish it, except if you have very special eye or have very extreme/odd shooting style.

  • moxford

    With excellent Sigma 35mm Art being about half the cost, it seems odd to offer this particular lens, with this optical quality, at this price-point, right now. I’d think they’d hold off until they could at least match the Sigma and shoot closer to the Zeiss Otus for quality. Can’t wait for the head-to-head reports but this release feels almost … premature. Curious. Sony continues to baffle me with what and how they’re tackling this whole MLC thing. While killer sensors are their ace in the hole, lack of a solid, cohesive and well thought out strategy may be a Sony killer. Even as much as I’m rooting for the due to the sensors, the body offerings, lenses and roadmaps just seem … scattered. I was –><– close to jumping systems when I found out about the lossy-RAW compression. I mean, really? What, they didn't think anyone would find out? That's like Nvidia thinking that no one would discover the issues with their 970 cards.