If there's one issue with the Sony Nex-7 (actually there's more than one issue, but that's another post) it's the lack of good lenses. Hopefully that is changing but there are some unique lenses for the system. One of these is the very inexpensive 35mm f/1.7 from SLR magic. Now, this is not a good lens, but it's not supposed to be. It has very soft edges, and creates that holga or lens baby like effect. It's only around €150 give or take depending on where you get it. I got mine from e-bay direct from slr magic.
You wouldn't use this as anything other than a special effect lens. It does give an interesting look, that's for sure, but I'm not sure it's something you would use too often. Interestingly enough, the centre is very sharp, which is surprising for this type of lens. The edges have that milk bottle like look. When combined with some heavy photoshop type treatment or something like my film candy presets (shameless plug!) it can create a convincing old analogue camera effect. If you're expecting a cheap 35mm alternative I'm afraid this isn't it, but if you're looking for something for special effects it does the job pretty well.
The lens itself is an odd-looking thing. The body is smaller than a traditional lens so the mount itself is bigger than the actual body. So it looks kind of like a big top hat. The lens itself is an all metal construction and it's quite heavy and surprisingly sturdy. The aperture ring is stopless so there's no way to tell exactly what aperture you're at. It;s not a big deal though as this isn't the lens you would use for precision.
Image quality is best judged by looking at the images. To be honest, it's not bad for what it is. So, in other words, it's pretty bad, but as I said earlier, that's what you're looking for in a lens like this. I am really surprised at how sharp the centre is though. It's a manual focus lens, so in use it's a bit tricky at first because although the focus ring is smooth it's quite heavy and takes a bit of getting used to. Also the plane of focus is quite narrow and this isn't always picked up by the focus peaking on the nex-7 so you will often have to use the zoom option which can be a little fiddly.
At the end of the day, I'm not sure how practical a lens this is. Sure it's nice for special effects, but how often are you going to use that effect? I guess it depends on your type of photography. Anyway, here's some images taken with this lens on a Nex-7 so you can make your own mind up.