Review Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

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Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO. increase


  1. In short
  2. History
  3. Main Specifications
  4. Assembly
  5. Focusing
  6. Image quality
  7. Sample Photos
  8. My personal experience with the lens
  9. Lens prices
  10. All Sony E APS-C cameras
  11. All Sony E APS-C Lenses
  12. Alternatives
  13. Results
  14. User Comments
  15. Add your review or question on the lens

In this review, I will abbreviate the Sony E 3.5 / 30 MACRO (SEL30M35) lens as Sony 30 / 3.5.

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

In short

Sony 30 / 3.5 - a fix for mirrorless cropped cameras with a Sony E mount, the main application is macro photography. One of a kind - no other original macro lens designed for use with Sony cameras for E mount and APS-C sensor. It has a high-quality assembly and fast focusing.

In the center of the frame, Sony 30 / 3.5 is already optically good at F / 3.5, but when focusing towards infinity, the corners and edges of the frame have a significant subsidence in resolution.

A 30mm focal length for a macro lens is rare, this focal length gives a moderately wide angle of view on cameras with an APS-C sensor. Typically, macro lenses have focal lengths greater than 50mm. As a result, Sony 30 / 3.5 can be used as an everyday fix for a large number of photo tasks that are not related to macro photography.

Sony 30 / 3.5 was produced only in a silver version of the case. It has a low price and is easy to find in the secondary market.

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO


Sony 30/3.5 was introduced 8 June 2011 year.

This is one of the first lenses for the Sony E mount. To be precise, the Sony 30 / 3.5 is the fourth lens for the Sony E mount. Let me remind you that the very first lenses were Sony E 18-200 / 3.5-6.3 OSS, Sony E 18-55 / 3.5-5.6 OSS и Sony E 16 / 2.8introduced at the same time, at the inception of the Sony E/Sony NEX system.

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Main technical characteristics of Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO (SEL30M35):

Review Instance Name On body 'E 3.5/30 Sony E-mount 9.5cm/3.18in(1:1) Ø49'

On the identification plate 'SEL30M35 Made in CHINA'

Basic properties
  • E (E-mount) - Lens designed for Sony E-mount APS-C sensorless mirrorless cameras
  • MACRO - Possibility of macro photography with 1: 1 magnification
  • SEL - Sony lens for mirrorless cameras with 'E' mount. This lens has a short name-identifier 'Sony SEL30M35'
  • Internal Linear Motor - internal focus motor
  • DMF (DDirectly Mannual Focus) - direct manual focus
  • Internal focus
  • Electronic focus ring
  • Aspherical elements in the optical circuit
  • Low dispersion elements in the optical circuit
  • Included hood
Front Filter Diameter 49 mm, plastic thread for filters
Focal length 30 mm, EGF for Sony cameras with APS-C sensor is 45 mm
Zoom ratio 1 x
Designed by for Sony NEX / Sony Alpha ILCE digital mirrorless cameras
Number of aperture blades 7 rounded petals
  • bayonet mount mark (white dot)
  • hood attachment mark (red dot)
Diaphragm F / 3.5 to F / 22
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 0.095 meters (9.5 cm), the maximum magnification ratio is 1:1
The weight 138 grams, only the lens itself (measured)
Optical design 7 elements in 6 groups.

The scheme includes 1 low dispersion element and 3 aspherical elements

Optical design Sony E 3.5 / 30 MACRO

Lens hood Bayonet, plastic, supplied, marked Sony ALC-SH113
Manufacturer country Made In CHINA (made in China)
Period Since 8 June 2011 years
Price The real cost of this lens can be seen, for example, here.

Aperture F / 3.5 is about 2/3 stops smaller than F / 2.8 for faster solutions. As a result, the Sony 30/3.5 is the darkest autofocus macro lens for Sony E-mount cameras. But it is worth noting that for the 'serious' macro hobby, F / 3.5 is not a problem at all. Usually macro photography is done at very close apertures, and f / 3.5 is more important when using the lens for everyday shooting. In addition, F / 3.5 is used by some other similar lenses, for example, Canon Lens EF-M 28mm 1:3.5 Macro IS STM.

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO


Sony 30 / 3.5, like lenses Sony 18-200 / 3.5-6.3 OSS и Sony 16 / 2.8, available only in silver body color. All four first lenses for Sony E / NEX were originally produced exclusively in a silver body color, only later the model Sony E 18-55 / 3.5-5.6 OSS got black color.

Sony 30/3.5 is made in China. The lens is pleasant and reliable to the touch.

Sony 30 / 3.5 uses a metal mount. The focus ring is quite wide, not rubberized, metal, pleasant to use.

There is a bayonet mount mark and a mark on the case for quick installation of the hood. The lens uses a plastic hood, which is fixed in special grooves located near the front lens of the lens.

Interesting: lens hood has a 'cinema' rectangular hole, allowing better work in back and side light. On the bayonet side, there is a similar rectangular hood to prevent flare.

The front filter diameter is only 49 mm, a lot of other Sony E mount lenses have a similar filter diameter, for example Sony 16 / 2.8 or Sony 55-210 / 4.5-6.3 OSSthat facilitates and unifies the use of the system.

The diaphragm consists of 7 rounded petals that form a hole in the shape of a regular heptagon.

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO


Sony 30/3.5 uses a built-in focus motor.

Auto focus speed high. Focusing speed will vary slightly depending on the camera used. For example, on camera Sony a3500The one I tested this lens on uses auto contrast focus, which is sometimes slower than the hybrid focus methods of later generations of the Sony Alpha. Auto focus is very quiet.

While working with cameras Sony a3500 и Sony NEX-6 focus accuracy was at a high level. With good lighting, there are practically no problems with accuracy, tenacity, and refocusing.

Sony 30/3.5 uses electronic focus ring. Focus ring not rubberized, wide, in manual focus mode rotates approximately full turn. When extreme positions are reached, the ring does not abut, but continues to rotate. Manual focus is enough conveniently. The focus ring rotates very easily (with one finger). I did not observe delays when changing the direction of rotation. The electronic focus ring is more responsive to its speed of rotation than to a specific angle of rotation, which sometimes creates a tactile inconvenience.

Electronic focus ring makes function easy DMF (DDirectly Mannual Focus) - permanent manual focus control.

During focusing, the front lens remains stationary, as the lens uses internal focus. Thus, you can easily use any filters, for example, polarizing or gradient.

The minimum focusing distance is only 9.5 centimeters, while you can get a maximum magnification for macro photography 1:1. The working distance is about 2.5 centimeter (distance from the subject to the lens). Unfortunately, such a short working distance interferes with comfortable shooting - you can easily get a shadow on the subject from the lens itself.

Other focusing features:

  • The lens does not have a depth of field scale, focusing distance, and tags for working in the infrared spectrum.
  • Focus shift (shift-focus) was not noticed during operation and testing. At the same time, due to the features of the Sony mirrorless cameras, this ailment with these cameras is not terrible at all.
  • The focusing speed depends heavily on the illumination, the selected focusing mode in the camera menu, and the focusing logic of each individual camera.
  • During manual focusing, the focus distance bar appears on the display of some cameras.
  • The Sony 30/3.5 has very little 'Focus Breathing' (viewing angle changes while focusing). During focusing on the MDF, the angle decreases slightly. Such a small effect for a macro lens is rare.

Image quality

The Sony 30/3.5 was introduced in 2011 when the camera with the highest pixel density was Sony NEX-5N (16 MP CMOS). But the lens is designed to easily digest both 24 and 32 MP APS-C sensors. Overall, the Sony 30/3.5 is not bad, although there are some serious problems.


  • high sharpness in the center of the frame is already at f / 3.5
  • very high resolution in the center of the frame at F / 5.6-F / 11
  • strong / very strong drop in resolution at the corners of the image, it is most observed when working with long focusing distances


  • there is a small barrel distortion
  • the nature of distortion is unified, easily corrected in the editor


  • noticeable vignetting only at f / 3.5 and while focusing on infinity
  • vignetting almost disappears at values ​​after f / 5.6
  • vignetting is easily fixable in the editor


  • there is a fairly large number of chromatic aberrations
  • the strongest chromatic aberration visible at the edges and corners of the image
  • Sony's native EDIT 1.4 utility very well removes chromatic aberration from the original RAW files automatically ('Lens Correction' -> 'Chromatic Aberration Correction' function)


  • lens well tolerates side and back lightbut still in difficult conditions you can get tangible artifacts
  • aperture blades form a regular heptagon at almost any covered aperture value (example)
  • on closed diaphragms you can get a pronounced effect of a 14-ray star (see examples of photos, this effect is shown there)
  • concentric onion circles clearly appear on the blur disks, the reason is the use of aspherical elements in the optical design

Under Sony 30 / 3.5 there is a profile in most popular RAW converters, for example, ACR and Lightroom.

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sample Photos

Sample photos on Sony NEX-6 (16MP Sony Exmor APS-C HD CMOS sensor), specially for this review, prepared Natalia (Instagram)... All photos are JPEG from the camera.

The original photos in RAW '.ARW' format can be viewed and/or download from this link (15 photos). JPEG '.JPG' original photos can be view and / or download from this link (30 photos).

My experience

Sony 30 / 3.5 is a well-balanced solution for amateur photographers. The low price allows you to touch the world of macro photography.

The optical performance of the lens is not the best, and the Sony 30 / 3.5 optical design is quite primitive (albeit with a lot of special optical elements), but in general it is a good lens.

Sony 30 / 3.5 'ideologically' in many ways similar to its silver brother Sony 16 / 2.8

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO and PERGEAR 35mm 1: 1.6 HD.MC


The real cost of this lens can be seen, for example, here.

All Sony E-mount cameras with APS-C sensor

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO and PERGEAR 35mm 1: 1.6 HD.MC

All Sony E lenses for APS-C

Fix Lenses:

  1. Sony 11 mm f / 1.8 [2022, black, AliExpress price]
  2. Sony 15 mm f / 1.4 G [2022, black, AliExpress price]
  3. Sony 16 mm f / 2.8 [2010, silver, AliExpress price]
  4. Sony 20 mm f / 2.8 [2013, silver, AliExpress price]
  5. Sony 24 mm f / 1.8 ZEISS ZA [2011, black]
  6. Sony 30 mm f / 3.5 MACRO [2011, silver, AliExpress price]
  7. Sony 35 mm f / 1.8 U.S.S [2012, black, AliExpress price]
  8. Sony 50 mm f / 1.8 U.S.S [2011, black/silver, AliExpress price]

Zoom Lenses:

  1. Sony 10-18 mm f / 4 U.S.S [2012, black, AliExpress price]
  2. Sony 10-20 mm f / 4 G PZ [2022, black, AliExpress price]
  3. Sony 16-50 mm f / 3.5-5.6 PZ U.S.S [2012, black/silver, AliExpress price]
  4. Sony 16-55 mm f / 2.8 G [2019, black, AliExpress price]
  5. Sony 16-70 mm f / 4 U.S.S ZEISS ZA [2013, black, AliExpress price]
  6. Sony 18-50 mm f / 4-5.6 [2014, black]
  7. Sony 18-55 mm f / 3.5-5.6 U.S.S [2010, black/silver]
  8. Sony 18-105 mm f / 4 G PZ U.S.S [2013, black, AliExpress price]
  9. Sony 18-110 mm f / 4 G PZ U.S.S [2016, black]
  10. Sony 18-135 mm f / 3.5-5.6 U.S.S [2018, black, AliExpress price]
  11. Sony 18-200 mm f / 3.5-6.3 U.S.S [2010, silver, AliExpress price]
  12. Sony 18-200 mm f / 3.5-6.3 U.S.S LE [2012, black, AliExpress price]
  13. Sony 18-200 mm f / 3.5-6.3 PZ U.S.S [2012, black]
  14. Sony 55-210 mm f / 4.5-6.3 U.S.S [2011, black/silver, AliExpress price]
  15. Sony 70-350 mm f/4.5–6.3 G U.S.S [2019, black, AliExpress price]

Third-party autofocus lenses for Sony E APS-C:

Many interesting manual solutions are provided by Chinese manufacturers and brands. 7Artisans, TTartisan, Meike, Neewer, PerGear, Kamlan, Brightin star, Mitakon Zhongyi, Venus laowaFujian, ARTRALABAstrHori other. Autofocus Speed ​​Boosters are also interesting Viltrox Canon EF -> Sony E 0.71X и Metabones Canon EF -> Sony E 0.71X... List of full-frame cameras and lenses Sony FE (Full Frame E) here

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO and PERGEAR 35mm 1: 1.6 HD.MC


Below shown list of all Sony E-mount autofocus lenses that have macro capability:

  1. Zeiss Touit 50 / 2.8 Makro planar (Sony E APS-C)
  2. Sony 30 / 3.5 Macro (Sony E APS-C)
  3. Sony 50 / 2.8 Macro (Sony E Full Frame)
  4. Sony 90 / 2.8 Macro G OSS  (Sony E Full Frame)
  5. Tamron 20 / 2.8 Di III OSD M1: 2 [Model F050] (Sony E Full Frame)
  6. Tamron 24 / 2.8 Di III OSD M1: 2 [Model F051] (Sony E Full Frame)
  7. Tamron 35 / 2.8 Di III OSD M1: 2 [Model F053] (Sony E Full Frame)
  8. Sigma 70 / 2.8 Macro DG A (Sony E Full Frame)
  9. Sigma 105 / 2.8 Macro DG DN A (Sony E Full Frame)
  10. Tokina Firin 100/2.8 Macro (Sony E Full Frame)

Below is a list of some manual focus-only Sony E-mount lenses that have macro capability:

  1. 7Artisans 60 / 2.8 Macro (Sony E APS-C)
  2. 7Artisans 60/2.8 Macro II (Sony E APS-C)
  3. TTArtisan 40/2.8 Macro (Sony E APS-C)
  4. PERGEAR 60/2.8 Macro 2x (Sony E APS-C)
  5. Meike 85/2.8 Macro (Sony E Full Frame)
  6. Laowa 60/2.8 2X Ultra Macro (Sony E Full Frame)
  7. Laowa 65/2.8 CA-Dreamer Macro 2X (Sony E Full Frame)
  8. Laowa 15/4 Wide Macro (Sony E Full Frame)
  9. Laowa 24/14 2X Macro Probe (Sony E Full Frame)
  10. Laowa 25/2.8 Ultra Macro 2.5-5.0X (Sony E Full Frame)
  11. Laowa 85/5.6 Mini FF II Macro 2:1 (Sony E Full Frame)
  12. Laowa 100/2.8 CA-Dreamer Macro 2X (Sony E Full Frame)
  13. Mitakon 85mm F / 2.8 1-5X SUPER MACRO (Sony E Full Frame)
Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO

Sony E 3.5/30 MACRO and PERGEAR 35mm 1: 1.6 HD.MC


Sony 30 / 3.5 - a good fix with the ability to macro. The low price makes the Sony 30/3.5 an interesting find for amateur photographers.

10 main advantages:

  1. low cost
  2. light weight, compact enough dimensions, hood included
  3. high-quality assembly, the outer part of the body is metal (including the focus ring)
  4. focus type internal
  5. focusing is very quiet and fast
  6. convenient electronic focus ring
  7. aspherical and low dispersion elements in the optical scheme
  8. high resolution in the center of the frame already at full aperture
  9. weak Focus Breathing effect
  10. 1:1 macro photography capability

10 main disadvantages:

  1. there is no built-in image stabilizer (for example, there is Sony 35 / 1.8 OSS)
  2. there is no focus mode switch (for example, Sony 16-55 / 2.8)
  3. only 7 aperture blades (for example, Sony 16-55 / 2.8 9 petals are used)
  4. aperture F / 3.5 (for example, Tamron 60 / 2 Macro for SLR cameras APS-C sensor 3 times lighter)
  5. no useful tags
  6. there is no all-weather protection (there is not even a bayonet seal)
  7. short working distance to the subject (about 2.5 cm at 1:1 scale)
  8. the lens is available only in a silver body version, the focus ring is easily scratched
  9. strong subsidence of sharpness in the far corners of the image
  10. tangible chromatic aberration

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Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment:



Comments: 17, on the topic: Review of Sony E 3.5 / 30 MACRO

  • Natalia

    Good easy-to-shoot makrik. I liked that in addition to performing the main function, you can shoot gorgeous landscapes with it. Apparently I'm used to macro manuals and I was surprised by such a simple fact)

  • Cd ripper

    But is it true that 10 thousand hryvnias for such a dark crop glass is “cheap”?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Here you need to consider:
      1. In the west, it costs less than $300. 10.000 UAH is about 350 dollars. For an autofocus macro with 1: 1, this is an absolutely adequate and even low cost.
      2. for the Sony E system, it's really cheap, because it's quite an expensive system
      3. the same dark Canon 28 / 3.5 Macro is more expensive, but it is almost impossible to buy it in a used condition, and Sony 30 / 3.5 is a lot on sale in the secondary market, it is easily searched for $ 200 and this is a very 'delicious price'
      4. there are simply no cheaper autofocus macro cameras for Sony E. Here in my review I have a list of all possible ones, only Tamrons + are about this cost, but they also have only 1: 2 macro.

      • Victor

        As far as I understand, for its intended use, a 30mm FR looks, so to speak, not enough?
        And if you compare its $ 200 with the same $ 200 non-autofocus (but this is not the main thing for macro, right?) pergear 60 / 2.8 2: 1, which one should be preferred?

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Purely for macro, I would really prefer something longer, any 60 / 2.8 will be more interesting. The main problem with the Sony 30 / 3.5 as a macro lens is the short working distance. 2.5 cm to the front lens is just awful, you catch everything with a hood.

          • Anon Legion


  • Eugene o

    To be honest, I did not understand this lens at all. Since I am the owner of a Sigma 50mm f / 2.8 EX DG macro, which gives similar focal lengths and is just as disappointing, I have only one assumption: its task is to lie in a wedding photographer’s bag so that they get it purely for shooting rings. For a full-fledged macro, it does not roll, like a fifty dollars is weak.

    By the way, the photographer who took the test shots seems to have seen her somewhere, right? :)

    • Oleg

      Shtatnik and makrik in one person

      • Eugene o

        Once again, I have a Sigma 50mm in full frame, which also has a larger hole for a stop with a tail. He does not roll like a staffer from the word at all. And here 3.5 on a crop, consider 4.5 equivalent on a full frame, also with weak angles at infinity. So-so staffer ...

        • Victor

          Under-staff (equivalent to f / 5.3) and under-makrik in one bottle. Both ours and yours. On Avito it can be found from 10k ru, this, nmv, is quite an adequate price for it, but not more expensive. But this is if you definitely need to shoot something close to macro.
          Otherwise, it’s better to take something from sigma to your taste - 19 or 30mm.

        • Joe

          Yes, keep in mind, what does your full frame and your sigma have to do with the Sony non-full frame lens under discussion? If you don’t understand why you need a particular lens, then you probably don’t need it, and that’s okay, don’t worry.

  • Eugen

    The article has a discrepancy - in one place it says “Made In CHINA”, in another - “Sony 30 / 3.5 is made in Japan”. Fairly the first.

    • Arkady Shapoval


  • Igor

    Strange price. Nikon 40 mm 2.8 is full for 4 thousand hryvnias. Well, plus or minus a couple of hundred. Is this one better?

    • Oleg

      Only this is Nikon, and this is Sony. Nikon mirror under which you also need an adapter with a loss of funds and compactness, and this is a native bzk. Price? If you like sleepyheads, love and pay money. 30mm can be used as a staffer, 40mm is narrow for a crop, in essence it is a replacement for a whale with the ability to shoot macro 1: 1

      • Igor

        Oleg, I always considered some 17-50 with f2.8 as a replacement for the whale, but not a fix at all. And a second-hand entry-level macro lens is what it is, regardless of the brand. What does it have to do with Sony with its working range of options, the sea, which cannot be said about the mirror Nikon.

        • Oleg

          So consider that you want someone to zoom, someone to fix. In the range of 18-55 I chose a pancake 24 / 2.8. By 17-50 / 2.8 indifferent

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