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Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens

by Sony
4.5 out of 5 stars 183 customer reviews
| 100 answered questions

List Price: $449.99
Price: $398.00 Free Shipping for Prime Members | Fast, FREE Shipping with Amazon Prime
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In stock on January 27, 2017.
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  • Compact, lightweight fixed F1.8 lens
  • Minimum Focus Distance : 0.99 ft (0.3 m), Maximum Magnification ratio : 0.15x, Focal-Length : 1.38 in
  • New optical design for excellent peripheral sharpness and contrast, Built-in image stabilization
  • Silent and smooth high-speed focusing ideal for shooting movies
  • Superb focusing operation
  • Lens not zoomable
4 new from $398.00 7 used from $359.99 1 refurbished from $445.95
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  • Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens
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Total price: $972.99
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This item Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens
Customer Rating 4 out of 5 stars (183) 4 out of 5 stars (183) 4 out of 5 stars (68) 4 out of 5 stars (366)
Price $398.00 $169.00 $323.00 $248.00
Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By Amazon.com Amazon.com Amazon.com Amazon.com
Color Black Black Black Silver
Compatible Camera Mount Sony E (NEX) Sony E (NEX) Sony E (NEX) Sony E (NEX)
Focus Type Stepper motor Micromotor Stepper motor Stepper motor
Item Dimensions 2.48 x 1.77 x 2.48 in 60.6 x 2.4 x 1.4 in 2.48 x 0.79 x 2.48 in 2.44 x 2.44 x 2.44 in
Item Weight 5.47 ounces 4.94 ounces 2.43 ounces 7.13 ounces
Lens Type Prime lens Prime lens Prime lens Prime lens
Maximum Aperture 1.8 f/2.8 f/2.8 f/1.8
Maximum Focal Length 35 millimeters 30 millimeters 20 millimeters 50 millimeters
Minimum Aperture 22 22 22 22
Minimum Focal Length 35 millimeters 30 millimeters 20 millimeters 50 millimeters
Photo Filter Thread Size 49 millimeters 46 millimeters 49 millimeters 49 millimeters
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Product Description

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Product Description

High performance and a compact design make the SEL-35F18 an ideal “second lens” that is easy to carry around when capturing the action. It’s ideal for a wide variety of photos, including snapshots while strolling, night shots (thanks to the bright maximum aperture) and portraits with superb background/foreground blur.

From the Manufacturer

Sony make . believe

E 35mm F1.8 OSS Prime Lens

High performance and a compact design make the SEL-35F18 an ideal “second lens” that is easy to carry around when capturing the action. It’s ideal for a wide variety of photos, including snapshots while strolling, night shots (thanks to the bright maximum aperture) and portraits with superb background/foreground blur.

E 35mm F1.8 OSS Prime Lens

Technology

Circular Aperture
ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass
Aspherical lens elements

Circular Aperture

When changing your aperture to defocus the background, the light sources appear blurred. This ‘bokeh’ effect of the blurred background can be enhanced with circular aperture blades used in this lens. Conventional aperture blades have flat sides creating unappealing polygonal shaped defocussed points of light. α lenses overcome this problem through a unique design that keeps the aperture almost perfectly circular from its wide-open setting to when it is closed by 2 stops. Smoother, more natural defocusing can be obtained as a result.

ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass

As focal lengths get longer, lenses built with conventional optical glass have difficulties with chromatic aberration, and as a result images suffer from lower contrast, lower color quality, and lower resolution. ED glass dramatically reduces chromatic aberration at telephoto ranges, and provides superior contrast across the entire image, even at large aperture settings. Super ED glass provides enhanced compensation for chromatic aberration.

Aspherical lens elements

Aspherical lens design dramatically reduces spherical aberration while also reducing lens size and weight. Spherical aberration is a slight misalignment of the light rays projected on the image plane. This is caused by differences in refraction at different points on conventional spherical lenses which degrade image quality in large-aperture lenses. Specially shaped “aspherical” elements near the diaphragm restore alignment of light rays at the image plane, maintaining high sharpness and contrast even at maximum aperture and can also be used at other points in the optical path to reduce distortion. Well-designed aspherical elements can reduce the total number of elements required in the lens, thus reducing overall size and weight. Advanced Aspherical (AA) elements are an evolved variant, featuring an extremely high thickness ratio between the center and periphery. AA elements are exceedingly difficult to produce, relying on the most advanced molding technology to consistently and precisely achieve the required shape and surface accuracy, resulting in significantly improved image accuracy and quality.

Lens-based optical image stabilization

Lens-based optical image stabilization

Gyro sensors built into the lens detect even the slightest movement, and the stabilization lens is precisely shifted to counteract any image blur that might occur. The use of precision, quiet linear motors and technology inherited from high-end Sony professional camcorders results in exceptionally quiet, effective image stabilization that contributes to high-quality movies as well as stills.

Additional Features

Internal focusing

Only the middle groups of the optical system move to achieve focus, so the overall length of the lens does not change. Other important benefits include fast autofocusing and a short minimum focusing distance. Also, the filter thread at the front of the lens does not rotate, which is convenient if you’re using a polarizing filter.

Sony make . believe

2012 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sony is not responsible for typographical and photographic errors. Features and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Sony, BIONZ, BRAVIA, Exmor, InfoLITHIUM, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, PlayMemories Home, Smile Shutter, Stamina, Theatre Sync, Sweep Panorama, and the Sony make.believe logo are trademarks of Sony. AVCHD is a trademark of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation. Microsoft, Windows, and Windows Vista are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Mac OS and iMovie are trademarks of Apple Computers, Inc. HDMI is a trademark of HDMI Licensing LLC. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.


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Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Durr on January 21, 2013
Package Type: Frustration-Free Packaging Verified Purchase
EDIT #2: I have gotten ahold of and thoroughly tested the new Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8, with a review both here on Amazon and my website. Though the below review still stands, the Zeiss is overall an optically better lens. For handheld low-light and video applications, the Sony inches ahead.

EDIT: As of February 4th, Sony has officially announced the release of a firmware update to the NEX-5r/6 to allow this lens (and many others) to function with the on-sensor PDAF. There is now even less to complain about on this lens' performance. END EDIT

Original Review:

I've already written a rather extensive review of this fine lens on my website (look up Matthew Durr Photography if you want to read more detailed information), but let me distill down the lens' major high points and bottom low points:

The Good:
-Even on the NEX-7, the 35mm f/1.8 provides good to great sharpness at most apertures
-The OSS gives about 3-4 stops of shutter speed advantage, depending on how steady your hands are
-Out-of-focus areas are generally pleasing for a lens of this type, save for some busyness with complex backgrounds (tree branches, for example)
-Extremely compact, focuses quick, and is a good value for the money

The Bad:
-Even being a good value (the OSS is accounting for a majority of the lens' cost), $450 for a 52.5mm f/2.8 equivalent Field-of-View lens (on a full-frame 35mm sensor) is pretty high
-Longitudinal chromatic aberrations at the wider apertures, mainly in the backgrounds, can be distracting (but can mostly be edited out)

Okay, so why did I give it five stars with the above listed cons? It's simple. In nearly every shooting situation that calls for the 50mm field-of-view, this 35mm f/1.8 delivers. Low-light? OSS.
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Best lens for the NEX cameras. I keep it on most of the time on my NEX-6, and rarely switch to the pancake kit that it came with. In fact, the pancake zoom has failed to work recently, after only about 4 months, whereas this is still going strong. No zoom that needs to be extended on power-on, so you can take turn your camera on and start taking shots very quickly. DOF is great, and I love the 50mm equivalent that this provides. I used to have a Fuji X100 but didn't really like the wider 35mm standard, wanted something more equivalent to 50mm, so I sold it and go this combo. I do wish the lens was flatter though. It's somewhere between the pancake zoom and a standard NEX kit in size. Focus ring is smooth. Construction is solid metal. Comes with a lens hood. Only complaint is focusing is kind of hard if the lens hood is stowed inwards, so often times I just leave it off. Having the lens hood on adds bulk anyway, and I bought the NEX series to reduce bulk.

If you want to see my photos I've taken with this lens, you can check them out here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/willtung/tags/35mm
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MAKE SURE you update your lens' firmware (and camera firmware) to get the most from this lens.

I have this, and the 50mm prime from Sony and I love both of them. I'm not an expert but I can tell you practically what these lenses are good for:

- the 35mm is better for making sure you get SHOTS IN FOCUS (much more forgiving depth of field), it's better for video (because you don't want to use autofocus for video), and it gives you a wider field of view of course. It is similar to a 50mm on a 35mm.

- the 50mm has more "reach" (zoomed in more if you like) and a smaller field of view. However, you get a MUCH shallower depth of field which makes getting beautiful bokeh very easy. That said, it can also make it a royal pain to get things in focus because especially at close range, the depth of field is super shallow. Still good for video, when you can't be right up in the action, but less useful than the 35mm. The 50mm is also going to show more hand movement (even with OSS) than the 35mm though OSS is EXCELLENT on both.

The 1.8 aperture is good for indoors and low light situations, again, with the depth of field issue in mind for the 50mm. In confined spaces the 35mm would be better for both field of view and depth of field reasons ESPECIALLY in low light. I can generally shoot video at 1/50th at ISO 100 or 200 with some help from some small portable LED lights with no issues whatsoever. If you have any of the NEX cameras, then you probably know that you need to stay below ISO 400-800 for video unless you're a fan of noise. While it's fine up to ISO 1600, you really get a much nicer quality video in the lower ISO numbers. Past ISO 1600 you might as well be using a cheap camcorder.

The 1.
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Bought this lens with the Sony A6000 and instantly fell in love shooting with a prime. It's always been said that you unlock a camera's potential with the glass you attach to it, and this lens further drives that point home.

I'm not a pixel peeper, so I can't comment on the nitty gritty of the lens. But I can tell the difference between kit lenses and this, hands down. The f/1.8 makes bokeh incredibly smooth and gives you much more latitude than a kit lens would to get creative with your aperture.

To me, learning to shoot with a prime should be at the top of the list if you're looking to improve your photography. This lens is a great place to do so.

For the hobbyist/ametuer, there's little reason to blow nearly twice the money for the ziess prime. Look no further than the SEL35F18 if you're looking to take your photography to the next level.

Between my A6000 and this lens, the weak point in the setup isn't the equipment, it's me. Plenty of room to grow into my kit, but also not intimidating, which is equally important.
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