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Cameras

Sony brings an FE 35mm f1.8 into the fold

To date, you've only been able to get a pricey Zeiss or Sigma as your staple 35mm for full-frame Sony cameras, though Sony's isn't terribly cheap either.

The FE 35mm f1.8.

Sony

Sony's finally delivering a fast 35mm lens unto the full-frame faithful. It's a compact, midpriced f1.8 option optimized for both still and video shooting and designed to be a high-end choice for APS-C cameras as well as full-frame models. To date, Sony's only in-house fast 35mm lenses have been for APS-C cameras. 

The $750 lens enters preorders today and is expected to ship by the end of August. We don't know price or availability for other regions, but that directly converts to £600 or AU$1,075.

That's not inexpensive -- it costs about the same as Zeiss' 35mm f2.8 or Sigma's 35mm f1.4, now that the price of the latter has dropped. But it does have metal construction, is dust-and-moisture resistant and focuses internally. The latter helps minimize noise and slight framing shifts when it focuses (focus breathing), key when shooting video. Physical controls include a reprogrammable focus-hold button and AF/MF switch.

Its manual focus uses Linear Response MF, which feels much better and is more precise than the focus-by-wire found in many lower-end Sony lenses. Plus, it's less than 3 inches long (73mm) and weighs just under 10 ounces (280 grams).

It lacks image stabilization, which is really only a drawback on the oldest A7 models (or A6400 APS-C cameras and below), since the rest have sensor-shift stabilization.