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User Report: Sony FE 28mm on the a7S

Last week FedEx delivered a box on loan from Sony containing a couple of much anticipated new FE primes – the Zeiss FE 35mm f/1.4 Distagon and the FE 28mm f2. Yes, the FE 35mm Distagon is as good as reported elsewhere, a near perfect balance of center resolution and bokeh, but what about the little FE 28/2?

Infiniti Showcar Run - Austin, TX

I’m a big fan of the 28mm fov and have owned a few highly regarded lenses (C/Y Zeiss 28/2.8, Zeiss 28/2.8 G, M-Rokkor 28/2.8 & Minolta AF 28/2) and film compacts (Minolta TC-1, Ricoh GR1), so there was a personal expectation for Sony to deliver a modern equivalent of the Minolta AF 28/2.

 
After a few days shooting and editing, some things are clear: this little guy is shockingly sharp, renders out of focus transitions smoothly and transmits color with pop. With a price tag under $450, compact size and quick AF, there is little fault to find with. You will notice some minor distortion that should easily be handled by a PS or LR profile, but other than that…no complaints.
 
Early web samples had some forum “experts” calling the bokeh nervous, but my results indicate a good amount of “cream” especially in the foreground. A 28mm is never going to draw the bokeh of a portrait lens but what this lens does produce is attractive to my taste. Samples here are from RAW and processed in LR – most are shot wide open. Stoping down quickly improves the corners but even at f/2 the subject sharpness is just amazing.

With this kind of price/performance level, I hope users reward the FE 28mm with big sales and Sony takes note of the demand for compact, high quality f/2 lenses at reasonable price points. Up to now, I’ve held onto my Minolta AF 28/2, waiting to see if this new FE 28/2 could replace it – I think it is time to let it go…


Gallery: click images to view detail

3 Comments

  1. Really really great pictures, coming from the motorcycle event post in SteveHuff . Great feel to the pictures, quality, everything! Love the editing as well. Are you using VSCO? thanks!

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    1. Thanks! Glad you like them. Yes, I use VSCO as my base for color edits.

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. Love your choice of tone! Which preset is this?

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