Hands On with Zeiss 35mm Distagon on Sony a7r at Photo Plus
Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon on the a7r
Here is the newest Zeiss lens for the Leica M system. It is a Distagon 1.4/35mm ZM lens - Carl Zeiss' fastest lens for rangefinder cameras. We stopped by the Zeiss booth at Photo Plus and tried it out on the Sony a7r with a close-focus adapter. Voigtlander makes a better version of the adapter but this one works for us.
The 35mm Distagon ZM feels like a fine piece of machinery. The aperture from f/1.4 to f/18 have soft click stops. The focus ring is smooth, well damped, and pleasing to use - we prefer it to the Otus' ring. The lens is dense and heavy for such a small size thanks to the all metal construction. The 35mm Distagon ZM is deceptively heavy as the 85mm Otus ZE is deceptively light.
a7r with Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon
The Zeiss 35mm Distagon with Leica M to E adapter is around a half-inch longer than the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 FE. The weight is close to the Zeiss 24-70mm FE Zoom lens. The weight is noticeable on the lightweight Sony a7r but it does not throw off the balance due to the compact size.
The quick samples below are from the a7r and the Zeiss 35mm Distagon at f/1.4 and f/4.0. The camera was set to Auto-ISO and shutter priority at 1/100s. The full scene shots are resized to 1280 pixels wide. The full crop shows the ISO - the lower the ISO equals f/1.4. The images are straight out of the camera jpegs.
Read more about the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Distagon from our previous post.