Sony Carl Zeiss 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM Planar T* A-mount lens review by Malina DZ

reviewer#11495 date: Nov-23-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:SAL-50F14
price paid:Rented
positive:50/1.4 ZA looks well built, just like 85/1.4 ZA.
It renders OOF areas smoothly, with no pronounced highlight outlining like Sony 50/1.4 does, and no coma in the corners @ F1.4-2. 9 aperture blades, when closed down to f/4, still retain a perfect round iris shape. It shows an improved sharpness at f/1.4 across the image frame. Excellent sharpness at infinity at any aperture.
negative:Amount of LoCA it produces is on par or slightly more than Sony version even stopped down.
Distortion, flare control hasn't improved from Sony previous generation of 50/1.4.
comment:It's an overall improvement over Minolta designed 50/1.4 in terms of color, bokeh, sharpness, contrast, vignetting, build. AF speed is on par with Sony 50/1.4, but accuracy was lower with my 50ZA sample. It tended to back focus occasionally in dim light or back lit shots (a850 center AF point).
You can find comparison images between Sony & Zeiss 50/1.4 here:

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 30
  • sharpness: 4.97
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.97
  • distortion: 4.80
  • flare control: 4.90
  • overall: 4.93 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania