Wow! Just got this lens today. Wow!. What a lens. Fantastic bokeh, incredible pop, gorgeous isolation, everything. I couldn't resist taking a walk after dinner down along Clement Street and shooting here and there, street objects, windows of closed stores, whatever. Everything handheld, mostly f/1.4, only ambient light. Processed all in Lightroom 5.x but did not work on the RAW files as there is no lens profile yet so I slightly tweaked (upped exposure a bit and pushed shadow - that's all) the JPG's. Not perfect but you get the idea. BTW: I think Lightroom has an update that might incorporate a profile for this lens. I downloaded an update but have not yet installed it.
ADDED NOTE: I don't know why the blog said I posted that at 4:15am - it was 2:15am. Anyway, those shots were not meant to be artistic but only to show the greatness of the lens. Other than the handful I shot at the park on the way home from picking up the lens they were all shot at night. And because I knew I'd be working with the JPG's I set DRO slightly higher.. I used the new A7II with the on-sensor stabilization (as this is not a stabilized lens). Later today I'll take the A7r out for a spin with it on a tripod.
This lens feels great. I was very concerned that it would be humogous and overpowering on the camera but it does not. It much heavier than the existing 35mm F2.8 Sonnar T* FE ZA or the 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T* FE ZA but it is definitely not too heavy. It is very easy to hold, well balanced, extremely smooth in operation, and has a wonderful aperture ring that works like a charm. The focus ring works beautifully. it is smooth and buttery and precise if one is shooting manual focus or if you are using hybrid focus (DMF). IMHO focus speed is very satisfactory - not blazing fast but appropriate for the type of shooting you would do with this lens. The lens hood is a tulip shape and has a beautiful finish on the outside edge that makes holding the hood very easy and almost pleasurable. They put a lot of thought into this lens design and it really shows. This lens with an high quality protection filter and tax (California) will remove close to $2000 from your account but it is well worth every penny.
I also promised the folks over at Samy's Camera in San Francisco (The BEST camera store in San Francisco - I buy all my gear there) I would do an A-B test with this new lens vs. the very nice Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA (one of my favorites and a GREAT walk-around lens).
To see the images please go to my Flickr site at https://www.flickr.com/photos/walnut186/sets/72157651843475621/.. FYI: my favorite of them all is the BW firebox.
You can see the A-B test of the Zeiss 35/2.8 vs. the 35/1.4 here.