From the believe-it-only-when-you-see-it world of Sony comes another sign that the wide-ranging former world-bestriding giant really realizes it needs to get serious about lens lines (comma, yay). Four beautiful new full-frame lenses for full-frame Sony E-mount are available for pre-order and thus are, to all appearances, um, real.
The four are the Sony Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm ƒ/1.4 ZA ($1,598); the Sony FE 90mm ƒ/2.8 Macro G OSS ($1,098); the Sony FE 24–240mm ƒ/3.5–6.3 OSS, ($998); and the Sony FE 28mm ƒ/2 ($448), for which eventually there will be two matching wide-angle converters, one for 21mm-e and one a fisheye.
A curious side-note about the 35mm ƒ/1.4 (pictured) is that there seems to be almost a genetic link to an ancient Zeiss C/Y strategy. In 1972 when Zeiss entered into a cooperative agreement to make lenses for Yashica-built, Porsche-Design-designed cameras branded with the old Zeiss model name Contax, its strategy was to mimic Nikon's practice of making a more premium line of faster lenses (then preferred mainly by pros and well-heeled amateurs), and a slow, more compact, more affordable version in the same focal length for those who needed those properties. In the new fast 35mm and the existing ƒ/2.8 35mm lens, that old strategy has been duplicated duplicated.
About the new fast 35mm, let's take a look at a short comparison:
Weight: 601 g (21.2 oz.)
Length: 8.94 cm (3.52")
Filter size*: 67mm
Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG HSM (DSLR)
Weight: 665 g (23.46 oz.)
Length: 9.4 cm (3.7")
Filter size: 67mm
Fujifilm XF 23mm ƒ/1.4 R (mirrorless)
Weight: 301 g (10.6 oz.)
Length: 63mm (2.48")
Filter size: 62mm
New Sony Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm ƒ/1.4 ZA (mirrorless)
Weight: 630 g (22.2 oz.)
Length: 112mm (4.1")
Filter size: 72mm
There are lots of reasons to buy a lens, and there are other parameters to look at (close-focusing distance, system considerations, weatherproofing, IS). But doesn't this kinda look like you're sacrificing TTL viewing and still having to buy a lens that's as big, as heavy, and as costly as the biggest, heaviest, and costliest DSLR lenses?
I guess everybody knows my current choice (Fuji), but I hafta say that APS-C and Micro 4/3 mirrorless certainly rationalize well as great compromises of competing factors**. Could be that's just me being a typical gearhead and self-approving my own choices post hoc; can't deny the possibility.
*Indicates approximate size of objective (outermost element)
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