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Thread: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

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    Member ThomasZ's Avatar
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    Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    After reading some reviews I've bought the tiny 35mm together with my A7r. Most reviewers say something like "not as good as the 55mm, but a decent performer". Maybe I have a different opinion about the meaning of decent, but after using it for a while I've got a different conclusion about the lens. I see massive vignetting and not so sharp corners.

    For example, I compared it to the Nikkor 24-70 zoom lens. At the price of 790, it should be able to beat the zoom, shouldn't it? Look for yourself:



    Unfortunately, I have no other well-performing 35mm lens to compare. So I took a look at photozone.de. They tested the lens and it got 3.5 of 5 possible stars.
    I know it is problematic to compare MTF results across different camera systems, but I think it is safe to say that the same lens delivers higher numbers when mounted on a higher megapixel body. In reverse you can say that a different lens that produces the same numbers on a lower MP body is optically better. So lets take a look what the Sigma 35 1.4 delivers on a 24MP D3x, at F5.6:

    Center: 3899
    Border: 3625
    Corner: 3425

    The Sony FE 35 in comparison, at F5.6. On a camera body with 36MP:

    Center: 4454
    Border: 3552
    Corner: 3297

    Another lens, the Carl Zeiss Distagon 35mm F2.0, also on a 24MP Nikon D3x:

    Center: 3923
    Border: 3398
    Corner: 3417

    All numbers by photozone.de.

    I think it is safe to say that both lenses would massively outperform the FE35, when mounted on a 36MP body.

    The real problem of the lens is the price. For 790 (more than the Sigma!) I really expected a lot more. If Sony had priced it at 399 I wouldn't have written any negative word about it.


    On the other hand this is just pixel-peeping
    A recent snapshot with the FE35:

    http://500px.com/ThomasZ
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Its why I sold mine. The corners just did not perform well at all. There also maybe some sample variance with them , hard to say but I was not thrilled with it and its a shame since it is very small. They really should make a 35 F2 anyway. 2.8 is just too slow for a prime to be useful to me. I have the Sigma 35 1.4 big, heavy and bulky but its the best there is.

    A good option is a Zeiss 35mm F2 in either the Can/Nik mounts. Very good lens
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    I beg to differ. I have a FE35, and I have yet to miss a shot because of its "lack of performance". I love that lens' performance. Now, it is true that I don't shoot brick walls, so I can't comment on those aspects. But I do know that people who buy lenses "by the numbers" end up with Japanese lenses, because they have mastered that art to perfection. People who pay higher prices for Leica and Zeiss happen to think otherwise, meaning that such numbers don't tell the whole story, as far as they are concerned.
    Regarding your sandbox shot, I agree with you that it sucks. Either you missed focus or your lens is off. There were some reports of decentered lenses. Check if your left side is as bad. If not, you know the source of your frustration. If it is, like you, I'd do something about it. But mine doesn't do it, not even close.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by philber View Post
    Regarding your sandbox shot, I agree with you that it sucks. Either you missed focus or your lens is off. There were some reports of decentered lenses. Check if your left side is as bad. If not, you know the source of your frustration. If it is, like you, I'd do something about it. But mine doesn't do it, not even close.
    I focussed manually, with maximum magnification. So I don't think I've missed focus. But you are right, I have to repeat the test with the left side. Will do that tomorrow. Thanks for the hint.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    There have been many reports of decentering. My guess like mine this one also suffers from it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    The left side is a tiny bit better, but not as good as the Nikon. Maybe I have a bad copy.
    Time to say goodbye.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Yea i would return it. Sounds like decentering
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Thomas, sorry about your bad copy and hopefully the next one is to your liking.
    Very frustrating this and the main reason I decided to stay clear from FE-glass.

    Kind regards.
    Bart ...

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    I will not try another one. I have two classic manual lenses that work really well, the Nikkors 105/2.5 and 180/2.8. I have so much fun using them, I've just decided to go all manual with the A7r. I will sell the 24-70f4 and the 35/2.8.
    Now I am on the epic quest to find the best manual lenses for me. Seems to be a lot of fun
    http://500px.com/ThomasZ
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Mediocre is a bit harsh. 35mm is the focal length that must 'do it all', and makers struggle with the design trade-offs, even CZ and Leica. Going manual will pose some interesting challenges at this FL also. Maybe a CV would fit the bill?

    The FE35 is a marvellous pictorial lens for shooters who want super sharpness in the centre, and whose compositions don't require super corners in the focal plane. Even anti-Sony Photozone acknowledge its centre performance.

    Even so, the well-regarded Canon 35/2 IS has much worse corners at f2.8 than does the FE35, much worse CA and distortion also, vignetting a little better. And performance fall-off is gradual in the FE35. This lens, it must be remembered, is primarily a walk-around lens - even the Sony net page makes this clear. So it's a 120 gram answer to the MFT market...it has lovely colour and contrast..and is well-behaved in mid-field, unlike so many 35s.

    For strong centre/corners, super micro-contrast and fine bokeh, I looked high and low for a lightish 35mm before buying a 'backup' 24Mp camera with a revolutionary 35/2 carefully placed very close to the sensor - the RX1. That lens performance in an ILC would be a runaway success even at $1200. I am sure Zeiss will see an FE mount 35mm lens as a quite high priority when their manual FE lenses come on stream.
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by philip_pj View Post
    Mediocre is a bit harsh. 35mm is the focal length that must 'do it all', and makers struggle with the design trade-offs, even CZ and Leica. Going manual will pose some interesting challenges at this FL also. Maybe a CV would fit the bill?

    The FE35 is a marvellous pictorial lens for shooters who want super sharpness in the centre, and whose compositions don't require super corners in the focal plane. Even anti-Sony Photozone acknowledge its centre performance.

    Even so, the well-regarded Canon 35/2 IS has much worse corners at f2.8 than does the FE35, much worse CA and distortion also, vignetting a little better. And performance fall-off is gradual in the FE35. This lens, it must be remembered, is primarily a walk-around lens - even the Sony net page makes this clear. So it's a 120 gram answer to the MFT market...it has lovely colour and contrast..and is well-behaved in mid-field, unlike so many 35s.

    For strong centre/corners, super micro-contrast and fine bokeh, I looked high and low for a lightish 35mm before buying a 'backup' 24Mp camera with a revolutionary 35/2 carefully placed very close to the sensor - the RX1. That lens performance in an ILC would be a runaway success even at $1200. I am sure Zeiss will see an FE mount 35mm lens as a quite high priority when their manual FE lenses come on stream.
    +1.

    The only reason I added the FE35/2.8 lens was as a walk about while traveling, and for casual AF shooting with friends and family. It negates the need for a second "casual" camera with a smaller lens.

    I seemed to have lucked out and gotten one that is decent. It is hardly what I'd call "mediocre". Nice color rendering, sharp enough for most applications and small, making it super simple to grab and take with.

    - Marc
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    +1.

    The only reason I added the FE35/2.8 lens was as a walk about while traveling, and for casual AF shooting with friends and family. It negates the need for a second "casual" camera with a smaller lens.

    I seemed to have lucked out and gotten one that is decent. It is hardly what I'd call "mediocre". Nice color rendering, sharp enough for most applications and small, making it super simple to grab and take with.

    - Marc

    +1. IMHO it turns my A7R into an exceptional P&S camera. All good!
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Well guys it's maybe a great lens but when it's decentered it's a piece of crap. You have to look at it when you spend the money and it just does not perform. That's disheartening so we have to understand the Ops feeling in it as I have been there as well with it and just gave up on it. Of course if you get a good copy than obviously you feel good about. It's actually a nice lens but when's its bad it's bad.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Mine works good on my A7, I actually did a test with my Zeiss 35/2 ZF.2 lens which I had changed the mount using the Leitex A mount.
    Surprisingly the FE35 out performed my Zeiss 35/2

    It seems the biggest nagging issue with Sony these days is there poor quality control
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Hi Thomas,

    I am not sure whether this is a decentration or rather a design issue as your findings are consistent with Kurt's here:

    Sony Zeiss 35mm F/2.8 FE review

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Is an MTF number of 3297 at the far corner all that bad? Heck it's better than a whole bunch of lenses...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Apples to apples? The Sony lens is tiny and light and has (if you get a good copy) very good performance. The Nikon lens is indeed pretty damned good at 35mm but is also pretty shoddy at 24mm and is very very much larger and more expensive.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Apples to apples? The Sony lens is tiny and light and has (if you get a good copy) very good performance. The Nikon lens is indeed pretty damned good at 35mm but is also pretty shoddy at 24mm and is very very much larger and more expensive.
    Sorry, but I had the naive idea that a 800 prime lens should be able to beat a zoom. I did not want to upset someone.

    I've phoned a friend who has the same lens and he will borrow me his copy in a view days. I will repeat the test.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by Georg Baumann View Post
    Hi Thomas,

    I am not sure whether this is a decentration or rather a design issue as your findings are consistent with Kurt's here:

    Sony Zeiss 35mm F/2.8 FE review
    Hi Georg, looks indeed pretty much the same. Maybe he had also a decentered lens

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasZ View Post
    Sorry, but I had the naive idea that a 800€ prime lens should be able to beat a zoom. I did not want to upset someone.

    I've phoned a friend who has the same lens and he will borrow me his copy in a view days. I will repeat the test.
    Don't worry, I'm not upset: but these are both lenses I have reviewed in depth and I simply don't think it's a simple as zoom versus prime. Many, many people for example think that the Nikkor 14-24 is the best ultra wide there is for that mount, including primes. Back to Sony: the 35 f2.8 is smaller, lighter and more versatile and a good copy is not only 'good enough' but is often much much better than that. I prefer it, for example, to the Sigma 35mm ART lens because it has much more predictable shape of field of focus. The 24-70 is huge and heavy and more expensive and isn't as much of a zoom as you might expect because of its weakness at the wide end. Sure it's great at 35mm but then so is the Sony Zeiss 24-70 F4.

    Horses for courses but apples to apples....
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Don't worry, I'm not upset: but these are both lenses I have reviewed in depth and I simply don't think it's a simple as zoom versus prime. Many, many people for example think that the Nikkor 14-24 is the best ultra wide there is for that mount, including primes. Back to Sony: the 35 f2.8 is smaller, lighter and more versatile and a good copy is not only 'good enough' but is often much much better than that. I prefer it, for example, to the Sigma 35mm ART lens because it has much more predictable shape of field of focus. The 24-70 is huge and heavy and more expensive and isn't as much of a zoom as you might expect because of its weakness at the wide end. Sure it's great at 35mm but then so is the Sony Zeiss 24-70 F4.

    Horses for courses but apples to apples....
    Very nicely put and what I would have mostly expressed about this particular comparison. Putting aside size of the zoom for the moment, any given zoom is optimized for certain focal lengths in it's range, often at the expense of some others. This is especially true to mid range zooms. So often one finds a given focal length in a zoom that "betters" a single focal length lens but the zoom can be much worse at a different focal length in it's zoom range vs. another single focal length lens.

    Comparisons are not always easy to make. Even when comparing one single focal length lens vs. another, size and weight and design objectives come in to play which relate to ultimate performance. Just look at the Otus. Part of extracting great performance from it I suspect required the lens to be that large, so simply comparing it to other 50-55mm f1.4 lenses, does require other considerations.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Mine works good on my A7, I actually did a test with my Zeiss 35/2 ZF.2 lens which I had changed the mount using the Leitex A mount.
    Surprisingly the FE35 out performed my Zeiss 35/2

    It seems the biggest nagging issue with Sony these days is there poor quality control
    Steven, I suspect you're right about quality control. Sample variation seems high for the early lenses in the FE family. That may be why the rollout of the FE 70-200mm f/4 has been so slow - improvements in quality control.

    I've been lucky so far. Each of my Sony/Zeiss FE lenses (35mm, 55mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm) has performed very well right out of the box. Sharp with no decentering. On the a7R, my FE 35mm outperformed my Leica 35mm FLE and Zeiss 35mm. So I kept the FE 35mm and sold the others. I keep coming back to a photo I took in January 2014 as a [handheld] test shot of the FE 35mm I had just received. Minimal processing and sharp into the corners. Here's a link to a full-sized JPEG (75% quality, so please excuse any JPEG compression artifacts).

    BTW, the Sony a7R-FE 35mm combo was sharper than the Leica M240-Leica 35mm FLE combo in the corners. A surprise to me.

    YMMV,

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    You can put your left foot in, you can take your left foot out. You can put your left foot back in and shake it all about. But THIS...

    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasZ View Post
    I will not try another one. I have two classic manual lenses that work really well, the Nikkors 105/2.5 and 180/2.8. I have so much fun using them, I've just decided to go all manual with the A7r. I will sell the 24-70f4 and the 35/2.8.
    Now I am on the epic quest to find the best manual lenses for me. Seems to be a lot of fun
    ...is what its all about.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Colson View Post
    Here's a link to a full-sized JPEG (75% quality, so please excuse any JPEG compression artifacts).
    Thanks Joe. Yours is obviously sharper than mine. When did you buy it?

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasZ View Post
    Thanks Joe. Yours is obviously sharper than mine. When did you buy it?
    Thomas, I received it in late December 2013 from Amazon.com. My first test shots are stamped January 1, 2014. I was likely lucky to receive one of the early lenses without decentering.

    Here's a link to another full-sized JPEG (75% quality, so please excuse any JPEG artifacts) shot today with the same lens and processing and POV. Dramatically different foliage though.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joe Colson; 29th May 2014 at 13:55. Reason: Added image link
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    I have the Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art lens. Its a beauty but man its a beast too.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    I find its an excellent lens on an apsc camera. Its still not comparable to the FE55 on apsc. I'm a big fan of the FE35's OOF rendering and a 50mm equivalent is my favorite focal length so it is now my most used lens on my NEX 7.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    If I would say that I am extremely disappointed with performance of 35/2.8 copies I tried, and that my impression of Sony's quality control that resulted from that experience is extremely negative, so negative that I will think not twice, nor three times, but many times over before I buy another Sony lens, I would be making a huge understatement.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    One reason I have been buying the Sony A glass , fast and proven. No surprises. Seems the 55 and 70-200 at least are very good without ant issues or problems that a lot of us have come across. I really like Sony but I will never pull punches when it comes to quality. I'll switch on a dime if I even smell something better. I have zero loyalty to brand. I'm willing to stick it out but the 35 and 24-70 have soured things.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Honestly, this is the first forum I've read such negativity towards Sony lenses. Other than the 24-70 (the consensus is FAR from universal), the very worst I've heard about the FE35 is "good, maybe great, but not quite like the FE55". I rarely see the term "mediocre" applied to this lens. My own experiences are quite opposite from that.

    It's not legendary, not even close. But name another FL35 AF lens, ANY make, that has the same or better IQ with the same size.
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    It certainly is mediocre when you get a decentered lens. It sucks. How can one call it any better when you get a bad copy of it. I call it **** but if you get a good one than it's very good. The problem is this is not a couple but a general theme when it first hit the market. A lot of people complained about it. But let's be real here on size its a slow prime at 2.8. My Sony 20 2.8 is relatively small for a A lens. The speed is nothing special here . I have a 1.4 that's hot as hell at 1.4 by F2 its outstanding. Same price. Sure its big but what are we buying here IQ or size. If its size than great but there are many outstanding 35 lenses out there by Canon, Nikon, Zeiss and so on. Only thing that makes this lens good is its size but reality is its slow as hell for mid focal length. Now sure there are some good copies but this issue has been pretty wide spread. The 24-70 is unusable to a raw shooter that does not use Lightroom at 24mm. I'm not going to fix a 1k in images per job because the 24mm distorts like a banshee. That's unreasonable and these OEMs need to stop this crap with in camera software corrections as it does not apply to the raw shooter. That's called a cop out on lens design
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    Honestly, this is the first forum I've read such negativity towards Sony lenses. Other than the 24-70 (the consensus is FAR from universal), the very worst I've heard about the FE35 is "good, maybe great, but not quite like the FE55". I rarely see the term "mediocre" applied to this lens.
    I don't form my opinion on anything based on what I hear/see/read others say about it (especially not if they are absolute anonymous strangers to me), I always form it based on my personal hands on experience, and when my first experience is negative I try again with different copy, I don't rush to form my final opinion.

    P.S. I don't know which forums you are referring to but out of those that I visit GetDPI is not the only one on which I have seen people unhappy with their copies of 35/2.8. Also I find GetDPI having one of highest ratios of people that are straight shooters. Nobody here has an agenda behind "negativity", all are either strong hard working professionals or strong enthusiasts, and they have absolute no motive to misrepresent what they think of gear they used. They pay for it with their own money, there is no influence of advertisers, if they feel it's great they will praise it, if they feel it stinks they will call it it's right name, regardless of brand name or whose uncle Bob is.
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I really like Sony but I will never pull punches when it comes to quality. I'll switch on a dime if I even smell something better. I have zero loyalty to brand. I'm willing to stick it out but the 35 and 24-70 have soured things.
    Same here. I work hard for my money and I respect myself so I expect vendors that want my money to respect me. If somebody doesn't and fails to deliver their part of a deal I don't hesitate a second to vote with my feet and take my business to those that will. I don't care even a slightest about brands, all I care about is what I am getting for my money and how I am being treated. Years ago Ford showed to me they didn't seem to care about customers / my business by IMHO scr*wing me over on one issue which costed me a tons of money in the end. Prior to that I have given fair amount of business to Ford. Moment they did that I swore I will never again in my life buy Ford. Since then I have bought five Toyotas. If Toyota ever dares to behave like Ford toward me I won't even blink before they too lose me as a customer for life. Same goes for anything in my life, whether camera is Nikon, Canon, Sony, or whatever. If Kias / Hyundais / Samsungs of this world pick up balls others drop and run with them then so be it, survival of the fittest is the nature of the world and capitalism.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    I don't form my opinion on anything based on what I hear/see/read others say about it (especially not if they are absolute anonymous strangers to me), I always form it based on my personal hands on experience, and when my first experience is negative I try again with different copy, I don't rush to form my final opinion.
    dpreview, miranda, the sony user forums, etc. Plenty of folks that aren't happy with the lens, but the vast majority are quite pleased with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    P.S. I don't know which forums you are referring to but out of those that I visit GetDPI is not the only one on which I have seen people unhappy with their copies of 35/2.8. Also I find GetDPI having one of highest ratios of people that are straight shooters. Nobody here has an agenda behind "negativity", all are either strong hard working professionals or strong enthusiasts, and they have absolute no motive to misrepresent what they think of gear they used. They pay for it with their own money, there is no influence of advertisers, if they feel it's great they will praise it, if they feel it stinks they will call it it's right name, regardless of brand name or whose uncle Bob is.
    Nothing I have said runs counter to this. When it comes down to it, most posters do not have any sort of agenda other than what they have directly experienced. Those that do have an agenda are quickly and easily identified.

    I suspect dpreview is the largest general photographers forum. As a former Nikon owner, I frequented those forums often, along with Nikonians. FWIW, the level of angst Sony owners express with E mount lenses pales in comparison to Nikon owners.

    I guess it's like all things - if someone has an issue with a product, they are far more likely to make their feelings known. If they are happy, they are more likely to be silent.

    This in no way marginalizes those that have issues with the FE35. I have no doubt the problems are real and quantifiable.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    dpreview, miranda, the sony user forums, etc. Plenty of folks that aren't happy with the lens, but the vast majority are quite pleased with it.

    ...

    I suspect dpreview is the largest general photographers forum.
    I don't consider DPReview E-mount forum anywhere even remotely close to accurate reflection of technical reality based on posts I see there. I would be very interested to know how many of those that posted there about how happy they are with 35/2.8 actually know how to test lens for decentering etc and have actually subjected their lens to such test rigorously and methodically. I don't consider random snapshots of scene that is 95% out of focus downsized to Web forum dimensions, kind of you usually see posted on DPR as illustrations how "good" lens is, a proof of anything but poster not knowing what they are talking about.

    P.S. Considering you mentioned FredMiranda I will quote Roger Cicala's (of LensRentals fame, guy that knows a thing or two or three about lenses) post there, IIRC: "Sony is aware of the alleged issue and is looking into it". 'nuff said, as they say.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    I never said dpreview was anything close to an accurate representation of the professional photographer community. Only that it is quite popular. But I agree with your observation of the type of "reviews" that some users give.

    Lest we forget, for many... most even, pixel peeping just to spot potential decentering is totally unnecessary. In the real world, and for virtually every non-professional application, there is no need to concern oneself with marginally soft corners which will only be noticed at 100 percent magnification. "Just take the shot" has validity. However, that is not an excuse for lousy quality control.

    I am familiar with LensRental's comment. That was what, six months ago? If Sony was "looking into it", I haven't read any followup.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    I never said dpreview was anything close to an accurate representation of the professional photographer community. Only that it is quite popular.
    Yet you used DPR's "popularity" in attempt to add weight to assertion that criticism of 35/2.8 on GetDPI is exaggerated. IMHO discussions like these are not a popularity contest.

    One last observation on popularity contests: How many DPR E-mount forum 35/2.8 posters you can count that know their way around lens testing? And on GetDPI Sony forum? Which forum then is more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    In the real world, and for virtually every non-professional application, there is no need to concern oneself with marginally soft corners which will only be noticed at 100 percent magnification.
    I am sorry but I don't think you should make generalized statements like "marginally soft corners" without being there to see for yourself how "marginal" they were.

    And I am sorry again but I don't buy 36 MP camera to produce small prints. And when one prints big it is not good to assume that people will be looking at it from afar. It is common in people when they see big print to come up close and look at detail, it is natural curiosity. And if they are not happy with what they see up close they will walk away and you just lost whole point behind printing big, if you printed smaller you wouldn't have lost a sale. But staying downsized to hide flaws means you didn't need to buy that body and lens in first place so if Sony lens division has problem following pace of Sony sensor division then make that Sony's problem, not yours, and save yourself $3K or so that was spent unnecessarily without getting result from it.

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    I am familiar with LensRental's comment. That was what, six months ago?
    No, that was month ago.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    Yet you used DPR's "popularity" in attempt to add weight to assertion that criticism of 35/2.8 on GetDPI is exaggerated. IMHO discussions like these are not a popularity contest.
    No, I never intended to call any criticisms "exaggerated". That implies overstated or inherently embellished to the point of being false. I just pointed I've read more about his issue here than elsewhere. It may be due to a preponderance of professionals in this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    One last observation on popularity contests: How many DPR E-mount forum 35/2.8 posters you can count that know their way around lens testing? And on GetDPI Sony forum? Which forum then is more popular?
    Again I point out, in other forums they don't CARE about pixel peeping lens tests. That doesn't make them any less a photographer, but it also means they are not likely making a living off of photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    I am sorry but I don't think you should make generalized statements like "marginally soft corners" without being there to see for yourself how "marginal" they were.
    And you shouldn't make generalized assumptions about what I have and have not seen for myself. I've seen the tests and results, and I will stand by -my own- definition of "marginal". That's just me, and it is purely subjective. But I DO understand the need for pros to have tack sharpness, edge to edge, so even "marginal" is unacceptable.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    And I am sorry again but I don't buy 36 MP camera to produce small prints. And when one prints big it is not good to assume that people will be looking at it from afar. It is common in people when they see big print to come up close and look at detail, it is natural curiosity. And if they are not happy with what they see up close they will walk away and you just lost whole point behind printing big, if you printed smaller you wouldn't have lost a sale. But staying downsized to hide flaws means you didn't need to buy that body and lens in first place so if Sony lens division has problem following pace of Sony sensor division then make that Sony's problem, not yours, and save yourself $3K or so that was spent unnecessarily without getting result from it.
    Understood. Please understand I am not debating the severity, prevalence or importance of the decentering issue. It's acknowledged, and as I said before, even if the average A7/r buyer isn't pixel peeping, Sony needs to do a better job with QC.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    ANY lens will be mediocre with severe decentering, or any other design or manufacturing flaw.

    Sony has gone on record regarding wanting to capture the higher end photographer, but to do that they will need to step up their game at every level. Part of that is honest feed back with enough vigor in the collective voice that they hear us. Getting a well made lens should NOT be akin to winning the lottery.

    IMO, to accomplish that goal they also need to jettison their consumer category mind-set with video game interfaces and semi useless no-brainer settings in favor of understanding how more serious photographers work. Amazingly, they were moving in the right direction with the A900, then the video game faction at Sony took over.


    "Are we buying size or IQ? That is a good question Guy. To that I'd add price to the "tripod of buying". Evidence so far seems to support the design reality that you can pick two, but so far can't have all three. Both Leica and Zeiss have been quite clear that this is the case.

    Personally, I do not need ALL of my lenses to be super-duper IQ IF, as a result, the optic is bigger that the camera it mounts to and I sure the hell do NOT want to pay $4,000 for a walk about lens I have other ways of accomplishing eye watering IQ when I need it.

    My point is, that we need choices so we can fit our lens selections to level of need. To this end, Sony needs to slow down on the "Cavalcade of Cameras" and get the damned lenses out the door so we have those choices. The poor little FE35/2.8 is taking all the heat because there is no AF FE35/1.8 that delivers like the FE55/1.8 albeit most likely much larger and more expensive.


    Dear Sony:

    We need lenses that maximize what your sensor division is producing! We need them NOW, not a year to two years after the camera comes to market.

    Your's truly,

    Marc Williams
    Fotografz, LLC
    USA
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasZ View Post
    Hi Georg, looks indeed pretty much the same. Maybe he had also a decentered lens


    I intend to think that your 35 f/2.8 is a compromise in terms of IQ and compactness. Let's face it, this lens is really small and light, there has to be some compromise.

    If I look at the Sigma ART 35mm F/1.4, even there the corners are less sharp, and only from F4 to around F8 corners are getting better.

    I think, if your concern is due to print output, well, I can understand that. Otherwise I'd see it as a fine lightweight travel lens with limitations.
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    I just wanted to point out that I am not a pixel peeper for the sake of it. I print often in this size:



    This one is 180x120cm and at that size you clearly see any lens faults (and it has ones, it was shot with a D800 and the 17-35). Of course, people should watch such a big print from a distance, but in reality they come closer and closer. I really like it when they adore the sharpness.
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Georg I would not argue your point here. What one issue is most Lenses hit the corners starting about 2 stops maybe down from max. When you start at F2.8 than we are now talking 5.6 and F 8 to hit all the corners. Great if you can do that but here is a case as you said size is what they built. What we need is both types of glass. Hate to say it this way but it makes sense for clarification it's not considered a Professional lens but a Prosumer lens intended for that type of travel compact crowd. Not the guy shooting low light concert or stage work that needs speed. Here is where Sony in this line the FE line is putting most of the thrust is on the Prosumer lens market. There slow and small. That's okay but I have had to reach into the A line to get the speed for one and the quality. The 55 is the exception on IQ it's got it but it's also let's face it a slow normal lens when most are making 1.4 glass. Sony needs to produce both if they want to attract more of the Pro level type shooter.

    Now I hate those words Pro in this discussion but understand its just a word to describe higher expectations with regard to speed of glass higher IQ and not so much emphasize on size. We all know having speed and small size is next to impossible to produce at lower costs. But we need both types in the lineup
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasZ View Post
    I just wanted to point out that I am not a pixel peeper for the sake of it. I print often in this size:



    This one is 180x120cm and at that size you clearly see any lens faults (and it has ones, it was shot with a D800 and the 17-35). Of course, people should watch such a big print from a distance, but in reality they come closer and closer. I really like it when they adore the sharpness.
    IMO, that is a sickness that is infecting photography like a virulent, pandemic disease.

    We take beautiful, and inspiring images so people can check how sharp the fern leaf in the extreme corner is? Really? Not that it shouldn't be sharp, but is that the objective?

    What do you call a hundred landscape photographers at the bottom of the ocean?

    A good start.



    - William Wallowitz
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    "Are we buying size or IQ? That is a good question Guy. To that I'd add price to the "tripod of buying". Evidence so far seems to support the design reality that you can pick two, but so far can't have all three. Both Leica and Zeiss have been quite clear that this is the case.

    Personally, I do not need ALL of my lenses to be super-duper IQ … IF, as a result, the optic is bigger that the camera it mounts to … and I sure the hell do NOT want to pay $4,000 for a walk about lens … I have other ways of accomplishing eye watering IQ when I need it.

    My point is, that we need choices so we can fit our lens selections to level of need. To this end, Sony needs to slow down on the "Cavalcade of Cameras" and get the damned lenses out the door so we have those choices. The poor little FE35/2.8 is taking all the heat because there is no AF FE35/1.8 that delivers like the FE55/1.8 … albeit most likely much larger and more expensive.


    Dear Sony:

    We need lenses that maximize what your sensor division is producing! We need them NOW, not a year to two years after the camera comes to market.
    Not sure to which three you are thinking, for me there are four elements to consider :
    - weight and size,
    - max aperture, aka how fast the lens can be,
    - IQ, mainly sharpness and no coma, little flare and CA,
    - price.

    Given the diminutive size of the body, I'm expecting smaller lenses to fit with its philosophy, say the size of the film range finder lenses, not the Summilux, rather the Elmarit size or like the Zeiss Contax G lenses (they were very light). In exchange, I'm willing to give up fastest speed. For me, F2.8 is enough for longer and wider fixed lenses (and F4 for zooms). I love the 55mm F1.8 for its sharpness, but one fast normal lens to have for low light situation is enough. However, given the high performance of the sensor, the lenses have to offer top IQ. For performing lenses I'm ready to pay a little more than usual.

    What pushes people to ask more heavy and fast lenses right now has to do with the fact that apart of the Nikon D800s no other body is offering the same sensor performance and thus this attract new DSLRs customers who don't care for size to the A7. But IMO heavy fast lenses just don't really make sense on this body. DSLRs users bought the A7r first and foremost to get the sensor and thinking they would just adapt their actual lenses... Then they see the A7 series work better with native lenses and begun asking for the type of lenses they are accustomed to use, but that type of lenses just don't really make sense on this diminutive body.

    Let Sony keep the philosophy of the system and become the digital Leica Ms of our times (small and light but high IQ) . Don't ask for lenses that fit better on DSLRs. I understand that those not having a D800 are using the A7r as a digital back for the moment, but that should only be a transient state : until Canon catch up with its sensors and Sony add a 36mp DSLR..
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    ... higher expectations with regard to speed of glass higher IQ and not so much emphasize on size. We all know having speed and small size is next to impossible to produce at lower costs. But we need both types in the lineup
    Hi Guy,

    Agreed! Honestly, I am excited about and have a lot of hope for the curved sensor/lense that might see the light of the day earlier than one thinks.

    Meanwhile, there remains a gap of Pro Glass in the lineup.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    Let Sony keep the philosophy of the system and become the digital Leica Ms of our times (small and light but high IQ) . Don't ask for lenses that fit better on DSLRs.
    I can't agree more! The last thing I want to mount to my A7r is something like the 14-24 Nikkor.
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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    I assume the tripod Marc refers to is price/size/quality.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    No, I never intended to call any criticisms "exaggerated". That implies overstated or inherently embellished to the point of being false. I just pointed I've read more about his issue here than elsewhere.
    For some reason way you presented your observation was, obviously, easily interpreted as comment on people that posted in this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    Again I point out, in other forums they don't CARE about pixel peeping lens tests. That doesn't make them any less a photographer, but it also means they are not likely making a living off of photography.
    So why use reference to feelings of non-demanding average consumer owners to comment on feelings of demanding professionals / strong enthusiasts? It is easily interpreted as downplay of feelings of the later ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    And you shouldn't make generalized assumptions about what I have and have not seen for myself. I've seen the tests and results, and I will stand by -my own- definition of "marginal". That's just me, and it is purely subjective.
    Do you own 35/2.8? If yes have you tested it and how? How many copies you tested? What is your definition of "marginal" / "non-marginal"? Can you quantify it? Can you describe it in words that something can be wrapped around, like "At aperture X 15% of the frame toward lower right turns into mush even though subject distance is such that curvature of the field shouldn't cause it and all other corners are not that bad"?

    Even more importantly have you seen and tested copies me and other forum members had in our hands? I know you hadn't. So how then you can make generalized statements about "marginal" decentering of implied all copies, period?

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    Please understand I am not debating the severity, prevalence or importance of the decentering issue.
    For some reason your words were leaving me with different impression. In any case I think both sides have expressed their standpoint enough and we can leave it at that.

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    Re: Sony FE 35 F2.8 - mediocre?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ANY lens will be mediocre with severe decentering, or any other design or manufacturing flaw.
    ...
    Sony has gone on record regarding wanting to capture the higher end photographer, but to do that they will need to step up their game at every level. Part of that is honest feed back with enough vigor in the collective voice that they hear us. Getting a well made lens should NOT be akin to winning the lottery.
    ...
    IMO, to accomplish that goal they also need to jettison their consumer category mind-set with video game interfaces and semi useless no-brainer settings in favor of understanding how more serious photographers work.
    ...
    My point is, that we need choices so we can fit our lens selections to level of need. To this end, Sony needs to slow down on the "Cavalcade of Cameras" and get the damned lenses out the door so we have those choices.
    ...
    Dear Sony:

    We need lenses that maximize what your sensor division is producing! We need them NOW, not a year to two years after the camera comes to market.
    Amen, amen, amen, amen and amen! (Do I hear Amen?)

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The poor little FE35/2.8 is taking all the heat because there is no AF FE35/1.8 that delivers like the FE55/1.8
    That might be part of it but another part of it might be because there is a built-in expectation that when you pay decent amount of money for lens that performance will be in same ballpark. 35/2.8 is close in price to 55/1.8 and say Sigma 35/1.4. Is it's performance in same (close) ballpark as those two?

    I don't mind paying for quality, and I will not complain if I get Yugo performance when I paid Yugo price, but if I paid more I expect more and in the same performance ballpark as my money could have bought elsewhere.

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