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How many copies did you go through?
It's beyond my price range so I never considered it
I purchased one copy and was very happy
I purchased one copy, returned it, and never tried again
It took 2 copies for me to get one I was happy with
I tried 2 copies and was not happy with either
It took 3 copies for me to get one I was happy with
I tried 3 copies and was not happy with any of them
It took 4 (or more) copies for me to get one I was happy with
I tried 4 (or more) copies and was not happy with any of them
I've avoided this lens due to the well-described issues with it but I'd buy one if the first copy could be reasonably guaranteed to perform as it should

Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA
  
 
Jonathan Brady
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


This is a pretty self-explanatory poll. The issues with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA are well known at this point with many people reporting issues while many others are quite happy. It's a lens I could see myself buying, immediately, if I felt confident knowing I'd get a copy that was great out of the box. But I just don't feel that way. It's possible that the echo chamber of the internet has me more concerned than I should be so I thought I'd start a poll to see what the members of this forum have experienced.

To limit the choices, please pick the option that most closely represents your experience and then if necessary, post a reply explaining any additional details. For instance, if you've tried 3 copies and returned them all, but plan to keep searching then pick: "I tried 3 copies and was not happy with any of them". Or if you're simply not interested in this lens but want to vote, choose the first option (because if it were $.01, you'd buy one just to have it).

Also, if you have a testing procedure that you've found works well, please share it. Thanks!!!

Edited on Sep 03, 2017 at 01:36 PM · View previous versions



Sep 03, 2017 at 01:31 PM
Mystik
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


Unlisted option: I bought this lens twice and was happy with both copies on the first try.


Sep 03, 2017 at 01:35 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


I'm on my 5th copy and now happy


Sep 03, 2017 at 01:46 PM
chiron
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


I would buy this lens to try it if it weren't so big. 35mm is a length I like very much, and I would like a fast AF 35mm. But I am put off by the size of this lens.

Two of the things I shoot with a 35 are people and travel. And the humongous size of the lens is ill-suited for either application. The Loxia 35mm is my preferred 35 at this point. I haven't warmed up to the Sony 35 2.8. I liked the Canon 35mm f/2. I sold mine, but I sometimes think about getting another one, though with the adapter and shade, it is not small either. But it is light. I just bought a Zony 24mm f1.8 to use as a 35mm fov on my a6500. That is a lovely lens on a conveniently sized camera, but of course one loses the FF.

What I really want is for Zeiss to introduce a Batis 35mm f/2. That I would quickly buy.



Sep 03, 2017 at 01:52 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


I think many owners of the 35 1.4 and 2.8 would agree here. Smaller over the 1.4 and can easily be happy with a little bigger than the 2.8 if you can get a F2 that's is really good. I love the 35 1.4 but it's the same size as my Batis 135 and that you expect to be big. My problem is I can't turn the 35 on its side and stack a lens on top in my PhotoCross 10 bag. So it makes the 1.4 hard for travel and hiking

chiron wrote:
I would buy this lens to try it if it weren't so big. 35mm is a length I like very much, and I would like a fast AF 35mm. But I am put off by the size of this lens.

Two of the things I shoot with a 35 are people and travel. And the humongous size of the lens is ill-suited for either application. The Loxia 35mm is my preferred 35 at this point. I haven't warmed up to the Sony 35 2.8. I liked the Canon 35mm f/2. I sold mine, but I sometimes think about getting another
...Show more



Sep 03, 2017 at 02:09 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


I didn't vote because it was never a lens that I really considered, but it wasn't about price or variability between copies of the lens. It was more about size and features given other excellent options.


Sep 03, 2017 at 02:12 PM
3catsinky
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


I traded for mine, and it is perfect. now I kinda want to trade it for a 24-70.


Sep 03, 2017 at 02:15 PM
frezeiss
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


My favorite 35 mm lens compared to Nikon afs 35, zf 35 distagon and zm 35 biogon. There weaknesses such as PF etc. Im using it on the a7 mk1 so focus speed is an issue also


Sep 03, 2017 at 02:16 PM
MrTMan
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


Based on my own experience with this lens, I'm shocked that the #1 answer is "I purchased one copy and was very happy". Don't know if some people were extraordinarily lucky, or are just less picky about what they deem to be acceptable.


Sep 03, 2017 at 02:51 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


I got my copy used here at the buy and sell and it's perfect. I was surprised based on the variation reports.


Sep 03, 2017 at 03:09 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 

        


Jonathan Brady
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


Fred, was your copy advertised as being a good copy? I ask because I rarely see that mentioned and you'd figure that, given the reputation of this lens, that a seller would mention if a copy was great in order to sell faster or even at a higher price.


Sep 03, 2017 at 03:32 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


MrTMan wrote:
Based on my own experience with this lens, I'm shocked that the #1 answer is "I purchased one copy and was very happy". Don't know if some people were extraordinarily lucky, or are just less picky about what they deem to be acceptable.



How about a little bit of unrealistic expectations? This is a fast, moderate wide angle lens and it is not designed to be sharp all the way to the corners at wide open aperture and you may also be dealing with field curvature. This lens is just peachy for environmental portraits that I am using it for. I am perfectly happy with my first and only copy. My typical working aperture range is between f/1.4 and f/2.8 and I care less about the performance of this lens all the way to the corners, let alone to the extreme corners, as long as it is centered.


Edited on Sep 03, 2017 at 03:47 PM · View previous versions



Sep 03, 2017 at 03:35 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


Jonathan Brady wrote:
Fred, was your copy advertised as being a good copy? I ask because I rarely see that mentioned and you'd figure that, given the reputation of this lens, that a seller would mention if a copy was great in order to sell faster or even at a higher price.


No, but I asked the seller to do a couple tests for me before I bought it.



Sep 03, 2017 at 03:46 PM
SoundHound
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


I am old fashioned and believe that an expensive lens should work properly-immediately. Otherwise you are on a deadline to test and reject. I have a lot of fine lenses p-way too many to test and retest.

Also a reason why I shy away from Sigmas. Rumors are that after a while their focus accuracy may shift. I do a lot of work with zooms. The Native Sony GMs are good quality. When you switch to a Prime you expect the very best results. So I buy lenses with good reputations to keep for decades.

I am happy with my legacy Canon EF 35mm F1.4 MK I, with Metabones V, on my A9.This (and many other) Canon lens(es) works well and is no larger, adapted, than the Sony F1.4. I am not sure how much better the EF 35mm F1.4 MKII would be adapted) on the A9.






Sep 03, 2017 at 03:47 PM
MrTMan
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


AGeoJO wrote:
How about a little bit of unrealistic expectations? This is a fast, moderate wide angle lens and it is not designed to be sharp all the way to the corners at wide open aperture and you may also be dealing with field curvature. This lens is just peachy for environmental portraits that I am using it for. I am perfectly happy with my first and only copy. My typical working aperture range is between f/1.4 and f/2.8 and I care less about the performance of this lens all the way to the corners, let alone to the extreme corners, as
...Show more

It's not a question of corner performance or field curvature. The most common problem that people complain about, and that I've encountered on a few of the copies I tried, is that the right side is substantially softer than the left side at larger apertures. We're not talking about a subtle difference that could be due to testing error, we're talking about something that's consistently and unambiguously noticeable in shot after shot.

I kept the best copy out of three or four I tried, but even then, peak sharpness on the right side can't match peak sharpness on the left side.(e.g. if I were to specifically focus on a subject on the right side, it's going to be softer than if I were to focus on a subject on the left side).

I've gotten great images from it, nonetheless, and I'd still rather have it in my kit than not have it in my kit. Although I generally try to keep my subject towards the center of the frame. Admittedly for an environmental portrait at f/1.4 with a subject that isn't towards the right edge, the issue isn't noticeable.



Sep 03, 2017 at 05:02 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


So far, the results of this poll are kind of surprising based on all the online chatter about this lens.


Sep 03, 2017 at 08:53 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


In every case of the 4 copies I had the the symmetry was bad on right side and not just wide open either even stopped down. ThT meNs in a group of 4 people that guy on the right was a soft wet noodle. Lol


Sep 03, 2017 at 09:04 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


Fred Miranda wrote:
I got my copy used here at the buy and sell and it's perfect. I was surprised based on the variation reports.


Right now, I don't find the numbers that surprising. 23 copies tested, 14 considered good. About 60% people are happy with but 40% they are not. I would expect most lenses to be better than than and if people are unhappy with a third or more of them then you can expect quite a bit of chatter. It is something to keep in mind. When there is a lot of chatter there is no reason to think most lenses are a copy that people wouldn't be happy with, but there is just a lot more chance that you would find one that you aren't happy with.



Sep 03, 2017 at 09:16 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


But if you get a good copy it's a amazing lens. So after 5 I'm happy. Yea I'm picky


Sep 03, 2017 at 09:44 PM
Jonathan Brady
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Your experience with the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA


The results so far are within the range I expected. I'm eager to see this poll grow for a more robust data set.
I'm intrigued by the lens, but I have no desire to have a permanent tilt lens



Sep 03, 2017 at 09:54 PM
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