Best Sony Travel Lens: Sony FE 35mm 1.4

People often ask me what I take with me into the field, or on trips. Often times I don’t have room or want to pack the extra weight of multiple lenses, So I’m left with a single option, one body and one lens. If I had one choice for a lens that never left a body, it would be the Sony FE 35mm 1.4. You can read about my single body choice on my blog post, Sony A7III vs A7RIII

Sony FE 35mm 1.4

Sony FE 35mm 1.4

Pros

Compact and Lightweight

The 35mm 1.4 weighs only 22 ounces and is quite small for a 1.4 prime lens. (4.5” X 3”) I was surprised at how compact it was when I first bought it. It’s small enough that I never question whether or not I should take it with me and light enough that I’m not sacrificing my back when I’m hauling it around a city all day. This lens and my Sony A7III pack nicely into any bag, so I don’t feel like an obnoxious photo-tourist walking around with a huge photo bag all day.

Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakesh, Morocco

Wide Angle, but limited distortion

Most of my “landscape” shots include a person interacting with the background. In order to do this I typically need to shoot wide in order to incorporate the backdrop that I want. The problem with most wide angle lenses is that they distort lines and make objects far away look small (like mountains). I want BIG mountains, not small ones!

This is where the 35mm saves the day. It’s wide enough to capture everything I want, but zoomed in enough that objects and lines are not distorted. For me, it’s the perfect landscape lens.

Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming

Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming

Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming

Sharp

I almost always shoot wide open with this lens. Even at 1.4, it’s incredibly sharp. Additionally, the smooth focus-fall-off really makes what’s in focus pop, which helps guide the viewer to what you want them looking at.

Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming

Exceptional in low light

This should be obvious, but if you shoot in scenarios with limited light, it’s a life-saver.

desk.jpg

Cons

Aperture range is slightly limited

The aperture range is slightly limited, from 1.4 - F16. However, this is a physical problem with most 1.4 prime lenses. It’s simply a physics issue. I like to shoot sunstars around F20, but It produces decent sunstars due to its 9 blade aperture at F16, so it’s not too limiting in that respect.

Morocco

Morocco