Sony shooters have another wide-angle option — without the Zeiss price. On Monday, the South Korea-based Samyang Optics announced the AF 35mm f/2.8 FE, a full frame Sony E-mount prime.
The lens is the third from the company to include autofocus, joining a 14mm and 50mm. Samyang calls the latest addition a “tiny but mighty” lens, weighing in at about three ounces (85g) without the hood. The prime lens is just 1.3 inches (3.3 cm) long. Despite the smaller size, the lens is constructed from seven elements in six groups, including two aspherical lenses and a refractive lens to fight chromatic aberration and lens flares. The lens can focus from about a foot from the front of the lens, or 0.3 meters.
The lens is designed for full-frame Sony cameras, but will also work with APS-C cameras as a 52mm focal length prime lens.
“Portability with mighty performance and a 35mm focal length makes this lens the best choice for daily photographers who want to capture every memory as a high-quality image,” the company wrote in a press release. “The autofocus is fast and accurate and is ideal for the capture of outdoor events such as hiking, sports events, and landscape photography.”
The new pancake lens is expected to list for about $299, with global availability slated for July. That puts the lens as a budget alternative to the Zeiss 35mm f2.8, a Sony E-mount lens that lists for $789. Early users and the MFT lens test charts suggest the lens has comparable quality, with some loss of sharpness at the corners but better performance toward the middle of the image compared to the Zeiss lens.
The 35mm joins Samyang’s AF 14mm f/2.8 FE, launched last fall and AF 50mm f/1.4 FE lenses, along with a number of manual focus lenses and cinema glass.
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