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Keywords: Sony Mid Prime FE-Mount 35mm ZA Tested

Prime Minister

Registered: May 2011
Posts: 39
Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* SEL55F18Z review by Prime Minister
Review Date: 8/12/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact, lightweight, silent, fast, sharpness, contrast, bokeh

I like the Zeiss 35mm f/2.8, but I absolutely love this Zeiss 55mm f/1.8. The build quality is good. The lens is lightweight, compact and it feels sturdy. I like the understated clean minimalistic design. Personally, I have no need for bells and whistles like an aperture ring, a lot of rubber and fancy coloured decoration rings.

The included plastic lens hood is relatively large and it shields the front element of the lens from stray light perfectly. Autofocus is fast, silent and accurate. Of course autofocus performance also depends on which camera you use.

There is some CA and vignetting at large apertures. Most of this can be corrected in post processing. I think the bokeh of this lens looks very good, especially for a relatively short 55mm f/1.8.

Sharpness is excellent, even wide open at f/1.8 photos are totally usable. Sharpness and contrast get better as you stop down. At f/2.8 the image looks terrific. Sharp from edge to edge and with good contrast. There's practically no distortion, perfect. This is one of the best lenses I ever used.

The price of this lens is relatively high, but you get what you pay for. This Zeiss defeats most of the other fast standard lenses from Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Pentax and Sony. It's a good match for the Sony 36 megapixel sensor (without AA filter) and it wouldn't surprise me if this lens also shines on an even higher resolution sensor. Seems like a good investment. Excellent lens.

Registered: April 2006
Posts: 6
Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* SEL55F18Z review by louisjaffe
Review Date: 7/31/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $999.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Optically excellent
Cons: Not the best focuser on Sony a6000

This is a superb lens optically. I compared it with the Sony (non Zeiss) E-mount 50mm f1.8 OSS on a Sony Alpha a6000 in various shooting situations. The Sony lens is 1/3 the price of the Zeiss, or less.

Surprisingly the Sony (with rev 02 firmware) focused quicker in low light than the Zeiss, and could lock focus in some situations where the Zeiss only hunted. The updated firmware for the Sony lens takes advantage of fast hybrid autofocus on the a6000 (NEX-7 doesn't have this feature). The Sony 50mm also grabbed more frames that were sharp at low shutter speeds, thanks to optical image stabilization.

The Zeiss lens is superior in contrast, color rendition, sharpness, and flare resistance. It makes some of the prettiest color you'll ever see. Yet the difference from the Sony lens isn't what the 3x price difference led me to expect-- on the a6000 anyway.

Admittedly, I had to try three samples of the Sony lens to find one that didn't have sharpness issues away from the center of the frame. That probably wouldn't happen with Zeiss. Too, comparing these lenses is apples-and-oranges, because the Zeiss 55mm covers full frame, the Sony 50 mm only APS-C.

You could say I took the Zeiss slumming by comparing it to a much cheaper Sony lens on a camera it's not optimized for. Still, I was surprised by how well my cherry-picked sample of the Sony 55mm f1.8 OSS performed.

Registered: April 2012
Posts: 4
Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* SEL55F18Z review by rponiarski
Review Date: 1/18/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,098.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Awesome photos, fast autofocus, built to last
Cons: pricey

Had to have the A7 and wanted a fast prime to go along with my kit zoom. It was either the 35mm f2.8 or this one, and I liked the extra speed. It is exceedingly well built, with fast autofocus and the photos it takes are amazing. Sharp, contrasty and some of the best I have ever taken. Great street lens, as well as useful indoors. Now I understand why these Sony Zeiss lenses are so prized. Have to see what the 24-70mm zoom looks like, as that may be the perfect walk about lens for me...


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