Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM Hands on and Comparisons The best fast 35mm lens for Sony E-mout cameras?

After lots of leaks, Sony introduced the new FE 35mm f/1.4 GM lens. This lens combines some of Sony’s best technologies and optical design with an exterior that resembles the existing 20 and 24mm lenses.

The recent announcement was done during the (the virtual) CES 2021 show and only days after Sony revealed that it is developing a new type of large photography drone that can carry a full-frame camera. This project called AIRPEAK was first revealed back in late 2020 but got the first full video from Sony showing the system this week.

Sony 35mm lenses on the market

Sony already has two other 35mm lenses in its line – the first is the older Sony-Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA that sells for $1600. The second is the much more recent Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 that we recently tested and compared to the new Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 (see our extensive test here).

There are other E-mount AF lenses around as well like the slower Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD and the large (semi-adapted) Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens.

On our own recent test, we have seen some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 compared to the Samyang. One thing that Sony clearly improved in the new GM version according to all the reviews that we have seen so far (see below) is the sharpness across the frame (the FE 35mm f/1.8 is soft in the corners).

The new Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM with its hood

Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM with hood

On the other hand, one of the big advantages of the FE 35mm f/1.8 is the zero breathing it has when focusing on the video, and apparently, Sony was not able to replicate this in the new FE 35mm f/1.4 GM which is a shame.

FE 35mm f/1.4 GM main specs

  • 35mm f/1.4 lens with FF coverage.
  • Optical structure with 14 elements in 10 groups including two XA aspherical elements and a single ED element.
  • Nano AR II and Fluorine coating.
  • 11 aperture blades.
  • 67mm filter thread.
  • 524g weight.
  • Price $1400 starting in late February early March 2021.

Should you buy/upgrade to the FE 35mm f/1.4 GM?

This is a hard question to answer given all the options that are in the market that we mentioned above. We would say this. If you already own the Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 and can live with the soft corners the new FE 35mm f/1.4 GM is not going to be a huge upgrade (it is a little faster and the build is just a little better but it hardly justifies the 2X price).

If you are looking for the best image quality at the 35mm focal length for Sony cameras and shoot mostly stills or don’t care about focus breathing in video (and you have the $1400) the FE 35mm f/1.4 GM is possibly the best lens that money can buy at the moment.

Worth the extra cost? Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM

Hands-on reviews and comparisons from across the web

Online there are already many reviews and comparisons of the new FE 35mm f/1.4 GM  to a number of other Sony E-mount 35mm lenses and we will bring you a few of those below.

Tony Northrop comparing the E 35mm f/1.4 GM to the two other Sony 35mm lenses

Photographer Manny Ortiz testing the new Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM lens

Gerald Undone  looks at the FE 35mm f/1.4 GM 

Our friends Jordan and Chris from DPR on the new Sony lens

If you don’t want to miss any new photography products be sure to check out our product photography section.

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