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Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA
  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


We've seen a lot of reviews and resolution target tests on these two lenses but how do they perform at infinity?
Luckily (I mean it), I finally have great copies of both lenses could fairly compare them side-by-side.

I've read they perform similarly but that's not what I'm seeing. The FE 35/2.8 ZA is an impressive lens at infinity distance. It has high resolution/contrast, minimum field curvature and good flare performance (also against I've read online). Even with the sun on the frame, it performs better than my ZM 35/1.4, RX1RII and 16-35/4 zoom at 35mm. The FE 28/2 performs better regarding flare resistance though, retaining great contrast against the light but it falls short in terms of resolution and contrast outside of the center area -- especially at wider apertures.

Let me start showing some crops at f/2.8 which is wide-open for the 35/2.8 and a step down for the 28/2.

Both did very well here but I'll give an edge to the 35/2.8 ZA even though it's wide-open..





Center area at f/2.8




Mar 25, 2017 at 02:19 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Next is the Mid-area and Extreme edges where you see a jump in resolution and contrast from the FE 35/2.8 ZA.

Still at f/2.8 (Mid-zone followed by Extreme edges)




Mid-zone at f/2.8






Extreme edge at f/2.8




Mar 25, 2017 at 02:22 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Let me just say that this is the best FE 28/2 copy I've seen. It's perfectly centered and the corners sharpen up quite nicely at f/8.
However, as I wrote, the 35/2.8 ZA is better optically, especially from f/2.8 until f/5.6. The FE 28/2 reminds me of an older vintage lens. Very sharp in the center with a big fall-off towards the corners...Once we get closer to f/8, the differences are smaller but still there. next I will post crops at f/5.6...



Mar 25, 2017 at 02:29 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Here they are at f/5.6...Center, Mid-zone and Extreme corners:




Center at f/5.6






Mid-zone at f/5.6






Extreme Edges at f/5.6




Mar 25, 2017 at 02:34 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


So, at f/5.6, the FE 28/2 has a 1-stop advantage but still can't quite catch up!

After this, the FE 35/2.8 does not improve much further since f/5.6 or f/6.3 is its optimal aperture.

Finally, next I will post f/8 crops for both lenses...



Mar 25, 2017 at 02:37 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Here are the f/8 crops.

The FE 28/2 catches up towards the corners but starts to diffract in the mid and center...




Center at f/8






Mid-zone at f/8






Extreme edges at f/8




Mar 25, 2017 at 02:43 AM
JDug
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Hey Fred, thank you for your work on this! It also seems the 35 has much better CA control?

A few of us were actually discussing the FE 28 earlier in the 50 1.4 thread that was recently posted. You would happen to have a Batis 25 that you could throw in the mix with these two do you?

Thanks again!



Mar 25, 2017 at 02:53 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


The Zeiss 28/2 ZF adapted to the E-mount is the best performer I've seen for the 28mm focal range along with the Leica 28/2.8 Elmarit-R II. They are actually quite similar in terms of resolution and contrast.
I've tried them all, including Pentax 28/2.8, Contax 28/2.8, Canon 28/2.8, ZM 28/2.8 + PCX and the list goes on and on...

For the price, I like the Sony 28/2 and it's quite impressive in the center area. However, good performance across the field is only achieved stopping way down in diffraction territory...It really depends on your needs.

If I had to decide between the FE 28/2 and FE 35/2.8 ZA lenses, I would take the latter in a heart beat.



Mar 25, 2017 at 02:54 AM
DavidBM
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Thanks, Fred!
This is exactly how my copies behaved prior to whatever threw my copy of the 35 out of whack.

I find the 28 a useful little lens - but it's definitely f8 or 9 for landscape, and other apertures for a central subject.

The only thing I noticed that was different was the flare performance of the 35; my copy displayed astonishingly little in the way of reflections, but definitely lost overall contrast more than the the 28, or especially the Loxia (which actually is more prone to a few small reflections - but I care more about overall contrast than a few reflections).

BUT -- I don't know if this was *after* it acquired a bit of tilt. I suppose its possible that when an element or group tilts, it could mess up the contrast in backlight...If that's the case, it makes me more tempted than ever to buy it back (it'd be the first thing I've sold and then bought back..I'd quite like to able to still say I've never done that




Mar 25, 2017 at 02:56 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


JDug wrote:
Hey Fred, thank you for your work on this! It also seems the 35 has much better CA control?

A few of us were actually discussing the FE 28 earlier in the 50 1.4 thread that was recently posted. You would happen to have a Batis 25 that you could throw in the mix with these two do you?

Thanks again!


Yes, the FE 28/2 has a lot of CA and we didn't even mention distortion.... Its performance is quite surprising giving it has 3 aspherical (including one advanced aspherical) and an ED element.
I've never tested the Batis 25mm.



Mar 25, 2017 at 03:37 AM
 

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Chris_88
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Thanks for those tests, Fred. I quite liked the flare performance of the 35 2.8 when I had that lens. The ZM's sunstars are just so much nicer.


Mar 25, 2017 at 03:45 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


DavidBM wrote:
Thanks, Fred!
This is exactly how my copies behaved prior to whatever threw my copy of the 35 out of whack.

I find the 28 a useful little lens - but it's definitely f8 or 9 for landscape, and other apertures for a central subject.

The only thing I noticed that was different was the flare performance of the 35; my copy displayed astonishingly little in the way of reflections, but definitely lost overall contrast more than the the 28, or especially the Loxia (which actually is more prone to a few small reflections - but I care more about overall contrast than
...Show more

The FE 28/2 has amazing flare performance. I would say that center resolution and flare performance are its main features. The 35/2.8 is not far behind regarding flare but it's not as good. Its sunstar is very nice around f/16. (Same for the FE 28/2)



Mar 25, 2017 at 03:57 AM
trogdon
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


The FE 35mm 2.8 is a fantastic lens. They go for a decent price these days (got mine for $450 from KEH in EX+ condition), and are fantastic starting from wide open. It may not be great for bokeh shots, but for landscape stuff it's quite impressive especially at larger apertures. At 2.8 it's really better than almost any other lens, sans vignetting. This with my a7r are my tag along combo in leiu of an RX1, it really is an absolutely fantastic package for the size and price


Mar 25, 2017 at 07:40 AM
Phillip Reeve
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Fred Miranda wrote:
It has high resolution/contrast and good flare performance (also against I've read online). Even with the sun on the frame, it performs way better than the ZM 35/1.4, RX1RII and 16-35/4 zoom at 35mm.


I had a few situations where I found the flare resistance not that hot because of significant veiling flare:















Mar 25, 2017 at 10:50 AM
Mirror
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Bought the lens back based on it's unbeatable size. Actually I sold it based on lacking Pop but at the end all other advantages overweigh.


Mar 25, 2017 at 10:56 AM
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Bespoked wrote:
I have had many copies of both these lenses and they've all been good, but my current two are stellar and this is what I was saying all along!

The 2/28 is amazing little lens with character wide open, I like the distortion, especially for people shots.
I almost never shoot wide open unless I have to, f2.8 is nicer

At f8-11, my 28 is good, as good as my 2.8/35 anywhere in the frame.

So the 2/28 is worthy of consideration by anyone looking for native wides with AF, just keep in mind each has its pros and cons, the 35 has ugly
...Show more

+1

It's like a much better version of the Fuji 18mm f/2 in this sense: A really strong documentary, photojournalistic lens, great for people, and travel.

I would also note that I like the distortion for shooting people. Perhaps counterintuitively, in the right parts of the frame, it can make faces look more normal than they would with a more rectilinearly corrected lens. It can also lend a sense of impact to the central region of the frame for a variety of shots.

Understand your gear-- and use it for its strengths.



Mar 25, 2017 at 01:25 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Yeah, this reinforces my feelings on the 35/2.8 Sony - more than acceptable performance even wide open. The only issue I have with it is sunstars/flare.
It's a fantastic 35mm travel lens for my A7RII.

A couple of times I forgot to change the aperture from f/2.8 for an infinity-ish shot and the image quality was still great (i.e., my wife didn't notice any difference, which is the minimal test).

Now if someone could just marry the best of both the Lox 35/2 and the Sony 35/2.8 it would be perfect.

Edited on Mar 25, 2017 at 03:20 PM · View previous versions



Mar 25, 2017 at 03:09 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Bespoked wrote:
At f8-11, my 28 is good, as good as my 2.8/35 anywhere in the frame.


Perhaps the 28/2 performs better a closer distance?

It's true that the FE 28/2 improves at mid and edges when stopping down to f/8 and f/11 but it never really reaches the level of the FE 35/2.8 due to astigmatism and at that point, the center shows signs of diffracting. I do think there is a lot of variability here as I've seen FE 35/2.8 copies that performed worse than my 16-35/4 @35mm.



Mar 25, 2017 at 03:09 PM
darbo
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


Thanks so much for the comparison Fred. Very interesting and helpful.

Was there a similar comparison posted between the 35mm 2.8 and Loxia 35mm? My sense is that the Loxia overall has amazing color rendition and contrast...and maybe even sharper at f/8 and above?



Mar 25, 2017 at 03:30 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Sony FE 28/2 vs FE 35/2.8 ZA


darbo wrote:
Thanks so much for the comparison Fred. Very interesting and helpful.

Was there a similar comparison posted between the 35mm 2.8 and Loxia 35mm? My sense is that the Loxia overall has amazing color rendition and contrast...and maybe even sharper at f/8 and above?


Similarly to the FE 28/2, the Loxia also needs f/8-11 for the corners but center peaks at f/4-5.6. So, you can't get high IQ throughout the frame without compromising either center or edges. It's a battle between astigmatism and diffraction.

If you really want a razor sharp 35mm throughout the entire frame at f/4-5.6, that's the ZM 35/1.4 + 5m PCX front lens.
As a native lens, the FE 35/2.8 is not too far behind.



Mar 25, 2017 at 03:47 PM
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