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

reviewer#11696 date: Feb-16-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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 own this lens
compared to:Nothing- it outclasses them all
price paid:1300
positive:Stupid sharp
comment:Yeah, I own it. It's special alright- but maybe not 1500.00 dollars special. Nah, who am I kidding- it's that special. I own the 135mm 1.8 as well. This one has all of the same characteristics that make Zeiss what it is. Great color rendition, extremely sharp and smooth diffraction focus. what I like about Zeiss is you don't need much if any post processing. The sharpness is already where you'd want it and the colors rarely even need minor adjustments. Shot, capture and print.

Ok, the hood is an absolute insult. The focus hold button on the side is plastic as well. But, the rest makes up for it. SSM, SOLID barrel build and that oh so sweet glass. You may not need 1.4, but it's nice to know you have it. I use it quite a bit but outside of wide open I tend to shot at 5.6. That's were this lens DESTROYS...I mean DECIMATES other 50's. It's medium format quality stopped down. So about that 1500 dollar question again. Yeah, it's worth it and if you get it used for around 1300 then it's a steal.

Update 11/12

Still have it folks. I've used it the past two years for wedding photography and no regrets. It is soft though at 1.4 till around F2 but no big deal. There is CA wide open for sure but I'll trade that off for the excellent bokeh it produces. I shot it side by side with the 55mm 1.8 FE and nothing to write home about in terms of differences.

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