I now own two Loxia lenses — the 50mm and 35mm. The reason to shoot with them is that they are compact, render very nice images, give you more artistic control and creativity over your images, are sharp, and allow you to experience a Leica type experience for a fraction of the cost. Leica? Yes, go Google other reviews, you’ll see quite a few comparisons of the Loxia lenses to Leica lenses. Heck, they even share three letters!
I purchased the 35mm used off of Craigslist for $825. The seller had it on Craigslist for weeks and no one else was really biting, so he came down quite a bit. At that price, it was a good deal.
Most reviews say these manual focus lenses are good for video, landscapes, interiors, or stationary objects, but that’s not really what I shoot. I like to shoot family outings and whatever strikes my fancy.
The thing I really like about the Loxia lenses is that when you start to turn the manual focus, the Sony A7R II automatically zooms in for you. The way I use the lens is to just focus with the center and then recompose.
Regarding the build and feel of the lens, I like it, but it is a tiny lens. If you have large hands, I could see it being annoying.
One thing that I noticed about my lens, is the rubber gasket at the lens mount seems to bend awkwardly when inserted on the A7R II. The rubber seemed to fold and bend on the mount — not a solid ring around seal. It doesn’t matter and works just fine, but I wouldn’t consider this a weather sealed gasket or lens.
Now, let’s look at the images. All of the images at the right were edited using Capture One Pro 9 and finished with Athentech’s Perfectly Clear. These were shot at the Puyallup (aka Washington State) Fair last weekend. Most of these were shot wide open (or darn near). As you can see, it works quite well for family outings and action!
Bottom line, I like the lens and recommend it, but I would go for a used. I don’t think it’s worth the full premium they are charging, but it is a good lens. Even though I like the lens just fine, it will not be replacing my RX1R II. The Loxia has a more organic feel to the images, but it’s definitely more work to use.