Hands On: Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens

We spent some quality time with the newest 35mm full frame lens for the Sony A7

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 200, 1/160 sec, f/8 Photo: Philip Ryan

Any good camera system needs a robust lens lineup and one of the most important lenses in any system is a 35mm f/1.4. With a focal length that is wide enough to give a more expansive feel than a 50mm while tight enough to lend a sense of specificity sometimes lacking in wider angles of view, for some shooters a 35mm is the most comfortable view of the world.

In the days leading up to the announcement, Sony let us use a sample of the new Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA. We shot with it mounted on an A7R body. All of the images that you can download in the accompanying slideshow are untouched JPEGs straight from the camera shot in the Standard Creative Style mode, with Dynamic Range Optimization turned off and in Auto White Balance.

The lens itself is on the large side for such a small camera body, but it only produces a minor forward pull on the body. When held with two hands and supported under the generously deep focusing ring with your left hand, the rig feels very nicely balanced. The lens’s large elements slow autofocus a tiny bit. It remains a fast focusing camera, but the body can focus faster with some of the other FE lenses. The electronically-controlled manual focus is very responsive—so much so that it feels akin to using a traditional helical-controlled manual focus mechanism. We hope you enjoy the images in our sample gallery as much as we enjoyed making them.

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 200, 1/60 sec, f/1.4 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 200, 1/60 sec, f/1.4 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 400, 1/1600 sec, f/1.4 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 400, 1/100 sec, f/4 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 200, 1/160 sec, f/8 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 100, 1/400 sec, f/1.4 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 100, 1/1000 sec, f/1.4, Exposure Compensation +1 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 100, 1/100 sec, f/4, Exposure Compensation +1 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 200, 1/50 sec, f/8, Exposure Compensation +1 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 50, 1/2500 sec, f/1.4 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 50, 1/80 sec, f/8 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 500, 1/50 sec, f/8, Exposure Compensation -0.3 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 400, 1/80 sec, f/5.6, Exposure Compensation +0.3 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan
Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Tech Specs: ISO 16000, 1/50 sec, f/1.4 Click for Full Res Photo: Philip Ryan