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Sony DT 35mm f/1.8 SAM (Minolta a-mount) Lens Review

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Digging a little deeper into A-Mount. This lens is one made by Sony after the acquisition of Konica Minoltas camera branch.


I wanted this so that I had something “normal” in between the 20mm and the 50mm. This will give me a field of view closer to 50, which I really like.


All images were processed from RAW in Lightroom Classic and Topaz Sharpen AI.







This is about the size you’d think it should be for a SLR/DSLR sized 35mm. It seems to be right around the same size as a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G or a 50mm f/1.8G lens.


The body is plastic, but feels solid plastic, but no where near as robust and tank like as the metal Minolta 20mm f/2.8 or 50mm f/1.7. The mount is plastic as well, but given the original price point of this lens, you can tell where the cost savings were to be had. There is a distance scale on the focus ring, which is just smooth plastic. On the left side of the lens is an AF/MF switch. Used on the KM7D, flipping this switch alone is enough to put the camera into manual focus mode.


The lens is big enough to give a good amount of space for the left hand to cradle and support it and the camera.




Weather Sealed

My guess is not, but you never can tell how some of these legacy lenses were built. In my short time with this lens it has been out in temps ranging from 40F down to 26F with no issues. Light rain…no problems. A dunk or downpour…probably would not risk it.




Image Quality

So here is what most want to know. Yes, this is a sharp lens. Is it the sharpest? Probably not – but it is more than usable wide open.


It provides for good contrast and neutral colors.


Compared against, say a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G, it may come up a little short in sharpness – but really only if we are pixel peeping here. In practical use, I doubt you’d notice much if any difference between the 2.


I did not find myself wanting for more from this lens. It provided the image quality I was wanting in the 35mm focal length and the 50mm field of view gap between the Minolta 20mm and 50mm primes.


Check out the images in this post to see what this lens is capable of producing.








Focus is competent on this lens. Fast and confident when using the middle AF point.




OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)


This lens has no VR built into it. The a-mount cameras have an ani-shake (AS) system that handles this.






Bottom Line


What more is there to say other than that this is a quality, legacy film/early digital standard fast prime lens. It focus’ fast and is reasonably sharp wide open. If you have a camera that can focus it using the screw drive or an adapter that includes the screw drive -you have a winner here.


Some post processing differences are necessary to get the best out of the sharpness, but that can be said for just about every lens.


I do wish it was a bit better built – but if you want that it is best to look at a more up market prime or a fast f/2.8 zoom that covers this focal length. All in all, though – this lens will fit the bill for what is needed if you crave an a-mount 35mm prime.


Bottom Line = Highly Recommend!











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I shoot Nikon, Olympus, and Fujifilm

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