Prim3 Time

Sony has launched 3 new prime lenses for the Alpha mount, two cheap primes and a premium optic.


From left to right: Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM, Sony 35mm F1.8 DT SAM, Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM.

The 35mm is what every APS-C shooter should have gotten – a normal prime with a bright aperture.

The 24mm is an architecture, indoor and street shooter’s dream.

And of course, the very tiny 85mm F2.8 SAM – it has an unsuspecting 55mm filter thread and is no bigger than your usual 50mm prime. It’s the perfect focal length for concerts especially paired to a Sony Alpha NEX-3 or NEX-5, when you can’t sneak telephoto lenses past guards!

Prices for the US have not been announced yet, though it is usually expected to match the European price dollar for dollar. Now the Zeiss 24mm F2.0 by this logic would be USD 1100, or RM3850 retail price, or around RM3500 street price. AMAZING if that does happen!

Wishful thinking here, but if the 85mm F2.8 was a refactored Minolta 135mm F2.8, one of the best Minolta deals with creamy glowy bokeh, that would be amazing!

The plus side of the 35mm F1.8 DT SAM is, is that it is F1.8 which is a good deal for the NEX and LA-EA1 adapter. However Bryan LYT complains that even in MF, the 50mm F1.8 DT SAM makes too much of a grinding noise to be usable in video. This might be a major downer for those of you wanting to use these lenses with video (however, they could have changed it a bit.)

So how do these new lenses fare against the competition? All three Sony primes beat their Canon and Nikon counterparts for weight, minimum focus distance and maximum magnification.

The 85mm F2.8 SAM is particularly notable here – no full-frame 85mm lens has ever focused this close before! It’s now a do-all lens, quite like the Zeiss 135mm F1.8 (which does an even better 1:4x maximum magnification.) And to think, the 35mm does even better, and the 24mm even more so!

In other news, Gary Fong, famous inventor of many different light modifiers, has a Sony Alpha 230! Yes you read that right.

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