Darn it! I usually like to do the full review of a lens before I try any comparisons, but the Minolta 35mm F/2 is so good, I can’t hold back! This comparison is between the super expensive Sony 35mm F/1.4, and the medium priced Minolta AF 35mm F/2, which is getting awfully hard to find lately, now I know why! I’m assuming Sony is actually selling some copies of the 35mm F/1.4 at the price of $1370, so based on that, the selling price of an updated Minolta 35mm F/2 (carrying a Sony “G” or CZ label) would probably be around $800.
The Minolta AF 35mm F/2 is very sharp at F/2, with only a hint of veiling haze, and is noticeably cleaner and sharper than the Sony 35mm F/1.4, @F/2. On an APS-C camera it’s almost perfect. What’s really great is it’s about half the weight of the Sony model. If this lens received modern lens coatings and some coma reduction, (boat loads at F/2 on FF), it could easily carry a Carl Zeiss or “G” label.
The Sony 35mm F/1.4 has been updated with newer coatings, and is better at controlling ghosting. It’s also sharper in the extreme corners at wide apertures than the Minolta, but the Minolta is better in the mid-to-outer frame area, and by popular demand, I’ve added those crops to this comparison.