First Impressions-Sony 35mm f/1.8

 

White-Rose f/1.8
White-Rose f/1.8

The Sony 35mm 1.8 lens for my A6000 came yesterday and I wanted to experiment. Since its snowing, sleeting and raining today I decided to shoot indoors. To conduct a proper test I put some large white roses on a shaky table, set up two daylight balanced full spectrum bulbs with reflectors, forgot to turn off the lamp with the regular bulb and drank four cups of iced coffee. But I did use a tripod and an iShoot L bracket, shot in manual and used the self timer.

My first impression with this lens is that the closest I can get is about a foot away, so filling the frame without cropping will take some thought. It seems that focusing wide open this close is tough but easier at f/4 and above with enough light. The lens goes from f/1.8 to f/22 although the sharpest aperture is probably about f/8, which I will obsessively determine on the next sunny day above 30 degrees.

The main reason to use a fixed focal length prime lens is that it encourages you to focus on composition. If you need to zoom you move closer, which is easy unless you’re on the bank of a lake or river, in which case you simply buy a boat. Prime lenses are also compact, allegedly sharper and sometimes inexpensive although not this one. The Sony 50mm f/1.8 is about $200 dollars cheaper but it’s also bigger and depending on what you photograph possibly not the perfect all around lens.

I plan to shoot wide open or a stop down with flowers so I really wanted to see what the rose looked like at f/1.8. The flower is past its prime and so am I and this photo is far from perfect. But as cinematographer Conrad Hall said: “There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.” I think I like Marilyn Monroe’s quote better: “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

Absolutely.

5 thoughts on “First Impressions-Sony 35mm f/1.8

  1. Very nice shot indeed and you did well indoors. I borrowed this lens for my Sony a6000 and loved it and now have it on my wish list, but the photography budget is zilch so living on a pension means needing to sell a Canon DSLR lens to afford it.

    The new(er) 70-300mm is also on the wish list, but at $1434 that’s another story for the wish list too (and probably fantasy).

    Unfortunately, I am a perfectionist and constantly struggle with the imperfections in photography, let alone life in general.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People talk a lot about how its not the camera but the kit lens was really very limiting. I saved for months and finally bought the 35. I do miss getting really close but its a trade off and I have my RX100 for that. I shoot mostly at f/4 and can keep the ISO low although I don’t have to. The sharpest is probably f/8 but I rarely use that. The 50mm is much less expensive but may not be practical for everything. A big lens can be a big pain to carry and you’ll probably be using a tripod. As for being a perfectionist I’m in the same club and spent much time in smokey meetings discussing it while drinking bad coffee.

      “Nothing we see or hear is perfect. But right there in the imperfection is perfect reality.” Shunryu Suzuki, Not Always So

      Liked by 1 person

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