Sony Unveils Affordable New FE 35mm f/1.8: The Lightest Lens in Its Class

Photography Gear

Sony has officially announced the much-anticipated and long-rumored FE 35mm f/1.8 lens for its full-frame mirrorless cameras. The lightweight new lens—which Sony claims “sets a new standard for portability”—will give Sony shooters an affordable, if slightly slower, alternative to the popular Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA.

Sony’s focus with this release seems to be weight and portability. At just 280g light and 77mm long, “the compact dimensions and light weight of this full-frame, large-aperture prime lens provide mobility and convenience for shooting a wide range of subjects,” reads the announcement.

But that doesn’t detract from its construction or its image quality, which Sony claims is top-notch all the way to the corners, even when shooting wide-open. Inside, the lens boasts 11 elements in 9 groups (including one aspherical element), a 9-bladed circular aperture, and a linear-drive AF motor that should translate into quick, accurate autofocus. The minimum focusing distance is just 0.22m (~ 0.79ft), giving you a maximum magnification ratio of 0.24x for a little bit of close-up photo potential.

The lens barrel features a focus mode switch and a focus hold button for a little bit of customizability, and Sony claims that this lens is dust and moisture resistant, with the caveat that it is “not guaranteed to be fully dust and moisture resistant.” Gotta love those press release footnotes.

Here’s a closer look at the lens:

Here are some official sample photos captured with the lens:

And a quick video intro courtesy of Sony:

The lens is scheduled to ship in August for $750 USD, making it less than half the price of the $1,600 Distagon FE 35mm f/1.4, and even $50 cheaper than the Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA lens.

To learn more or pre-order yours now, head over to Sony’s product page or check out the lens on Adorama.

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