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https://alphauniverseglobal.media.zestyio.com/Alpha-Universe-Chad-Wadsworth-3518-web-08798.be110857376e1c1dc5afaa178864837f.jpg

Chad Wadsworth On The Sony 35mm f/1.8: "...the lens we have been waiting for."

Photo by Chad Wadsworth. Sony α9. Sony 35mm f/1.8.

In a recent blog post, Sony Artisan Chad Wadsworth reviews the Sony 35mm f/1.8 lens after using it in a variety of real-world shooting situations. He shares his thoughts on the lens, why he likes it, and compares it to the performance of another lens you can find on a Sony camera – along with proof sample photos to back up his comparison.

“Focus is very, very quick, quiet and accurate. This is the type of compact prime that I signed up for when the concept of mirrorless was introduced.” – Chad Wadsworth on the 35mm f/1.8

“One of the things that attracts me to a fast 35mm is the dual personality it presents. I love doing street scenes and portraits at opposite ends of the aperture scale to create completely different looks. This is a lens that can produce both an evocative shallow focus portrait or a deep focus image with an incredible amount of detail.”

Photo by Chad Wadsworth. Sony α9. Sony 35mm f/1.8. "The α9 perfectly tracked this woman’s eyes as she walked towards me – I was also walking"

“Physically, the lens is well constructed in the same design language as the FE 85mm f/1.8, including a customizable function button on the barrel. Size and weight are nearly identical to the FE 55mm f/1.8. Focus is very, very quick, quiet and accurate. This is the type of compact prime that I signed up for when the concept of mirrorless was introduced.”

Photo by Chad Wadsworth. Sony α9. Sony 35mm f/1.8.

As Wadsworth used the 35mm f/1.8, he couldn’t help but draw similarities between it and another lens. He had an “unexpected revelation” that the 35mm f/1.8 was designed to match the performance of the Zeiss Sonnar 35mm f/2.8 lens found on the Sony RX1R. He notes how the out of focus transition was nearly identical in comparison shots.

Photo by Chad Wadsworth. Sony α9. Sony 35mm f/1.8.

Photo by Chad Wadsworth. Sony RX1R.

“Another area where the two lenses share DNA is sharpness. Both are biting sharp wide open but stop down to f/5.6 for crystalline perfection to the edges. I can still remember the first landscape I took with the RX1 and how it blew me away – that same feeling is there with the new lens.”

After getting comments that he was wrong to draw parallels between the two, he provides an update to show further proof of their matched performance.

“Some people have commented on another forum that the FE is not nearly as good as the RX1’s Sonnar. One person even stated that the Sonnar has some magical micro contrast not present in the FE lens. The more I shoot both side-by-side, the more I confidently can say that this is not true. The two lenses are simply well matched in performance and draw a very similar image. To stir the pot some more, I’m going to post some real world comparison pics below with no indication of which lens took them – see for yourself.”

Photo by Chad Wadsworth.

Photo by Chad Wadsworth.

See the full review and more sample images here.

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