The Sony FE 35mm F/1.4 GM Hands-On Review

A near-flawless G Master lens, too good to take off.

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One of the most significant E-Mount Lenses to ship out of Sony’s laboratory, the FE 35mm F/1.4 GM offers flawless performance suitable for still & video creators of vast artistic styles and preferences. Pair this best-in-class G Master lens with a powerful full-frame mirrorless camera like the Alpha a7R IV to actualize even your most ambitious creative ideals.

 

To Know:

If you’re already familiar with Sony’s G Master concept, you’re aware of the hype (and price tag) surrounding the lenses branded with a single white G on a bright orange square.

For the uninitiated, here’s the lowdown: G Master series lenses are Sony's crème de la crème for their full-frame cameras. This lens, in particular, is built using the most advanced technology available to Sony & is capable of producing ridiculously incredible image quality.

The FE 35mm F/1.4 GM lens image quality is so good it can transport the viewer through the frame and into the scene itself with one glance.

What We Love:

A Prime 35mm Lens That Sets A New Standard

Widely considered a go-to lens thanks to its unique versatility, the 35mm focal length lets you capture a balance between subject matter and background elements from various angles that feel natural to the human eye. The same is true for this G Master 35mm -- shoot landscape, street, portraits, even vlog your next adventure — with a healthy boost in performance.

Astonishing Resolution And Clarity

The G Master features an intelligent design that capitalizes on its short flange focal depth + includes two Extreme Aspherical elements, delivering exceptionally stunning resolution, difficult to describe in words. Thankfully, the pictures here are worth thousands of ‘em.

An Extra-low Dispersion glass element reduces chromatic aberration to ensure image clarity.

Bokeh Like You Wouldn’t Believe

Of course, a defining characteristic of this G Master series lens is the gorgeous combination of said high resolution with the appealing aesthetic of ultra-rich bokeh. Those Extreme Aspherical elements actually help suppress onion ring bokeh, allowing its F/1.4 max aperture and 11-blade aperture mechanism to contribute to what Sony calls the most beautiful bokeh you’ve ever seen.

The Details:

Brand: Sony

Price: $1,398.00

Product Type: Mirrorless Camera Lens

Best For: Still and/or video creators who understand that versatility doesn’t equate to compromises -- you won’t need to make any with this lens. Whether you’re a landscape or street shooter, indoor or outdoor, day or night, you can find success with the Sony FE 35mm F/1.4 GM.

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Calling All Pros. Buy This Lens. It’s Amazing.

Maybe I’m melodramatic, but I believe that the Sony FE 35mm F/1.4 GM Lens performance quality alone allows creators to produce the kind of art that evokes strong emotion, impossible for audiences to ignore -- good storytelling aside. That's how much power a lens of this caliber potentially holds. Could even be something to keep in mind when it's time to hit Checkout...

The 35mm GM effortlessly and elegantly captures a kind of art that I'm not used to capturing, so when initially laying eyes on what this compact lens was truly capable of, I became an instant fan.

Sony implies that, to some extent, a sort of clairvoyance opened the way for them to redefine the lens as we know it and create the lineup of G Master Lenses. In any case, I'm stoked that they did because this lens is totally awesome.

This G Master has got so much going for it. It snaps breathtaking images not only because of those contributions from its two XA elements and ED glass element, but a Nano AR Coating II suppresses internal reflection, ghosting, and flare to help maintain that impressive image clarity as well. Colors are vibrant, textures are detailed and accentuated, and depth is immediately discernible. Yet, your images look natural and accurate.

The Sony FE 35mm F/1.4 GM’s metal aperture ring can be de-clicked so that you can ride it smoothly for maximum control. On the narrow end, it closes down to F/16, giving you extensive depth-of-field, perfect for capturing, let’s say, architecture in a big city. While its F/1.4 max aperture allows you to capture that sweet bokeh + delivers rockstar-level performance even in insanely lowlight conditions, such as during an astrophotography session in the mountains.

Flip a switch and toggle between the Linear Response MF feature, and the infinite turn ring for tactile manual focus control, and XD linear motors for fast, precise autofocus & tracking while cutting vibration and noise. The latter is proficient at capturing both human AND animal faces, in photos & videos, so it’s also a great lens to throw onto your favorite camera stabilizer and capture epic footage. Though, I should mention that focus breathing is a slight issue for this lens.

The G Master series lens features customizable controls that let photographers & filmmakers tailor their lens to their individual needs, giving them full command over their shoots. This customizability comes in handy, especially for creatives with a pretty defined art style (or those who would rather spend more time shooting and less time worrying about the technical).

But what sets the G Master apart is its relatively compact form factor and lightweight compared to its counterparts, even with all that going on under the hood. Nothing about the lens feels flimsy, it balances well, and it feels solid in the hands. The unique blend of power and portability arguably makes this lens even more appealing to creatives on the go.

Oh, and when you DO find yourself out and about, rest easy knowing that Sony didn’t take any shortcuts. The lens is dust & moisture resistant, and the front element is coated with fluorine to repel dust, fingerprints, oil, and other grime.

More Features:

  • Compatible with E-mount Full-frame or APS-C bodies.

  • Weather sealed.

  • Constructed from ultra-durable plastic, featuring a metal aperture ring, and rubberized manual focus ring.

  • Created with Sony’s “Road to Zero” environmental plan in mind.

  • Prime wide-angle lens.

Moment Sony FE 35mm 14 GM thumbnail

Sony

FE 35mm F1.4 GM Lens

The prime you'll never want to take off your Sony camera! The Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM Lens has superior 35mm optics, performance, in a compact lightweight design

Buy for $1,398.00

What We Rate

Weather

Leave it in the studio Chance of Rain You’re going to get wet Take it in a storm

Build Quality

Cheap What You’d Expect Solid Top of the Line

Image Quality

Is that even in focus? Passable Sharp Tack Sharp

Skill Level Required

Just getting started Upgrading from Kit Lens Shoots regularly Professional

Weight

Ultra Light Light Average Heavy

Size

Pancake Prime A Little Zoom Dad Lens

Aperture Range

Slow Decent Speed Fast Super Fast
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In Detail

Sony packed their most advanced technology into the FE 35mm F/1.4 G Master Lens, perfecting features we didn’t realize weren’t perfect.

Like what? Although Sony's lenses were already renowned for their autofocus capabilities, the GM’s linear AF system uses magnets that push the lens element back and forth directly, eliminating the traditional use of gears to do so. This move away from gears helps generate a faster and quieter response while in autofocus.

Refinements in Sony’s approach to the creation of this G Master have made it so that the lens can deliver a minimum focus distance of 27cm with a maximum magnification of 0.23, meaning close-up shots exhibit great detail.

The focus hold button can be assigned to other functions through your camera body’s menu.

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What It Has:

  • Sony FE 35mm F/1.4 GM Lens

  • Lens hood

  • Front lens cap

  • Rear lens cap

  • Soft case

What It Does:

  • Captures breathtaking professional photos and videos regardless of what the scene calls for, including low-light situations, close-up shots, landscape or architectural photography, vlogs, documentaries, and more!

Specs:

  • Focal Length: 35mm

  • Minimal Focus Distance: 0.89 ft (AF), 0.82 ft (MF) (0.27 m (AF), 0.25 m (MF))

  • Maximum Magnification Ratio (X): x 0.23 (AF) x 0.26 (MF)

  • Filter Diameter: 67mm

  • Weight: 18.5 oz (524 g)

  • Dimensions: 2.99” x 3.78“ (76 x 96 mm)

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