Sony has just announced the latest addition to its G Master full-frame lens lineup, the FE 35mm F1.4 GM. The lens is aimed at photographers shooting all sorts of subjects, but especially those who require superb image quality and need to work at very wide apertures.
Now, if a 35mm focal length doesn’t exactly set your pulse racing, that’s no surprise. But they’re incredibly useful and effective. Not too long and not too wide, 35mm is a general purpose view that’s at home shooting almost anything from landscapes and nature to portraits and architecture. And being as close to a ‘standard view’ as you generally get on a full frame format camera, it also gives a very undistorted and natural perspective, making it ideal for reportage, street and documentary projects. All these factors also make it a common option for video.
As one of Sony’s G Master range, the new FE 35mm F1.4 GM promises first-class image quality and beautiful bokeh. This, it’s claimed to achieve via two XA (extreme aspherical) elements designed to maintain resolution across the whole image area. On top of that, an ED glass element and other optical refinements are included to suppress chromatic aberration and purple fringing.
For portraits or street subjects you want a lens to have responsive autofocus, and to aid that, the 35mm F1.4 GM uses two XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors for speedier subject acquisition and precise tracking, even at fast frame rates. All this is claimed to be done while minimising vibration and noise, making it ideal for full-time AF in video. A Linear Response MF design lets users shift focus smoothly with a touch of the lens’s focus ring, and as the ring’s input translates directly to a corresponding change in focus, control should feel immediate and precise.
As a multipurpose lens, it can also focus closely, locking on at a minimum distance of only 27cm, where you should be able to achieve a very shallow depth-of-field via the maximum f/1.4 aperture. Sony is also making bold claims about the quality of the lens’s bokeh, with the FE 35mm F1.4 GM’s almost circular aperture coming via an 11-blade iris and delivering smooth background blur when required.
The lens is also built for professional handling and reliability, with a customisable focus hold button, AF/MF mode switch, and a traditional ring for changing aperture if required. The latter can be declicked for when shooting movies, letting filmmakers control light and depth-of-field with smooth precision.
Finally, while fast lenses can tend to be large and heavy, the FE 35mm F1.4 GM bucks the trend. Weighing in at only 524g and measuring just 76x96mm, it’s surprisingly small and light, but still packs in a dust and moisture-resistant design. Using a fluorine-coated front element to repel water, oil, and other contaminants, making cleaning easier, it’ll take 67mm filters.
The FE 35mm F1.4 GM will be available from the end of January with an RRP or £1500. Below are some more example shots taken with it.