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https://alphauniverseglobal.media.zestyio.com/Alpha-Universe-First-Shots-35GM-Caroline-Jensen-4.r1zIZdoEJ_.be110857376e1c1dc5afaa178864837f.jpg
Photo By Caroline Jensen. Sony α7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/400-sec., f/2, ISO 2500

"The Quintessential Storytelling Lens"

The 35mm usually finds a way into a photographer’s bag. Whether they shoot landscape and astro or portraits and weddings, it’s a popular choice because of its versatility and what some call a perfect view – not too wide and not too long. It’s been the go-to for most of Sony Artisan Caroline Jensen’s career, and the tech in Sony’s new 35mm f/1.4 G Master has rekindled her love for the focal length. She tested the lens in advance of its launch, and we connected with her to hear her thoughts on this new addition to the Sony G Master lineup.

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Photo By Caroline Jensen. Sony α7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/640-sec., f/2.8, ISO 320

See why Sony’s new 35mm f/1.4 G Master has rekindled Caroline Jensen’s love for the popular focal length.

“I would say for the bulk of my career, the 35mm has been my go-to number one focal length on both full-frame and crop, because it's a focal length that is the most versatile.” explains Jensen. “It's wide enough that you can get most things that you need, but also closed-in enough that you can do decent portraits with it. It's that nice sweet spot. I definitely prefer it over straight-up 50. I've always preferred the 35mm focal length over 50mm, because it just gives you a little bit more versatility when you're out and about walking.”

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Photo By Caroline Jensen. Sony α7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/640-sec., f/2, ISO 200

When it comes to versatility in photography, a zoom lens might come to mind over a prime, but not to Jensen. She calls the new 35mm f/1.4 G Master the “quintessential storytelling lens” because it doesn’t impede your storytelling like a zoom lens might. 

“The 35mm f/1.4 G Master has a nice, close focus distance. You can walk into a scene and capture the close details, then pull back and get the story that’s happening from multiple angles. It’s very versatile when it comes to storytelling from near, mid, pulled back, very pulled back, the whole thing. I want to tell the whole story of an experience versus just part of it, and with a 35mm I don't feel like I'm missing anything. When you use a zoom, it does put a barrier in the way of individual storytelling because each focal length has a different character to the image. It becomes more about zooming than it does about working with what you've got in front of you,” says Jensen.

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Photo By Caroline Jensen. Sony α7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/200-sec., f/1.4, ISO 1250

“With a prime you can really get into the idiosyncrasies of a lens, like how it handles bokeh, so you're able to better visualize the scene. With a 35mm I could probably go in and visualize 35 shots with that one lens, whereas, doing the same with a zoom, it's going to be a little bit more difficult because you have varying amounts of compression. It's less consistent to me as far as storytelling goes, because those characteristics change as you rack in and out of the different focal lengths that are available to you.”

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Photo By Caroline Jensen. Sony α7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/400-sec., f/2.0, ISO 2500

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Photo By Caroline Jensen. Sony α7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/1.4, ISO 250

Throughout Jensen’s career she has used a variety of different 35mm lenses, and there’s plenty about the 35mm f/1.4 G Master that she says stands out above the rest. 

“The one big thing that stands out is that it was just razor sharp which was awesome. That's always the number one thing for me, because I just need to know that that factor is there. Number two was the size. It was not as big as some of the 35s I've used in the past, which is a huge bonus. In fact, I often would sacrifice the wide aperture that I love and use the 2.8 version that Sony has, just to maintain the size and keep it smaller for my kit. This is perfect because it's not huge and it's also not heavy. It's well into the category of a first-pick lens for travel, or anything where weight is an issue.”

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Photo By Caroline Jensen. Sony α7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/8000-sec., f/1.4, ISO 125

“In classic G Master form, the bokeh also did not disappoint at all which is great, because, to be honest, a lot of times I'm underwhelmed by 35mm bokeh. This was creamy with a nice soft gradation on the edges of the bokeh balls. I shot into LED lighting to see how it was. It was just really pretty and soft. And that is very important to me because that's what I love. I also loved the lack of chromatic aberration. I really put it through its paces and shot in really bright, backlit situations. That is a huge factor in what I do, and to not have to go through each and every image to fix chromatic aberration is awesome since I shoot into the sun a lot.”

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Photo By Caroline Jensen. Sony α7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/640-sec., f/1.4, ISO 400

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Photo By Caroline Jensen. Sony α7R IV. Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/200-sec., f/1.4, ISO 1250

When asked if she plans to use the lens moving forward, Jensen provided a completely conclusive response: “Absolutely.”

“As a person who shoots a variety of things and many subjects, it's one of those have-to-have type lenses. 35mm was my primary focal length for a really long time and I would never be without one. Having one that's at the G-Master level is that much more incredible, because it's so creamy and dreamy and sharp.”

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