I see what you mean, but sometimes people are just looking for a new lens without having a specific focal length in mind. And the FOV difference between a 35mm lens and a 55mm lens is not night and day like it is between e.g. a 14mm lens and a 300mm lens. For those kind of people optical performance could be important, just as price. The price difference between both lenses is just too big.
Maybe not night not night and day for a lot of applications, but for environmental portraits, there is a pretty dramatic difference between 50mm and 35mm. If you are trying to tell a story with the relationship of the subject and background elements, the wide FOV of the 35mm FOV is more impactful, as it will exaggerate the background, and pull more background elements into the frame.
Admittedly a specialized need, and the cost probably doesn’t make sense for most. But I have a particular love for the 35mm focal length (50mm is comparatively boring to me), and provided it delivers optically, I can see the Sony 35 1.4 being my primary lens.
Quick FOV comparison I did a while back.
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