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

reviewer#45779 date: Oct-21-2021
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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:Minolta 40 F1.7
Konica AR 40 F1.8
Sony FE 40 F2.5 G
Canon EF 40 F2.8 STM
Pentax-M 40 F2.8
Pentax-DA 40 F2.8 XS
Pentax-FA 43 F1.8 Limited
Rokinon 45 F1.8 FE
Tamron SP 45 F1.8 USD (VC & non VC)
Minolta MD 45 F2
Sigma 45 F2.8 DG DN C
Rokinon 50 F1.2
Rokinon AF 50 F1.4 FE
Yongnuo 50 F1.4
Zeiss C/Y 50 F1.4 Planar
Canon EF 50 F1.4 USM
Sigma 50 F1.4 EX DG HSM
Minolta MD 50 F1.4 & AF & Sony (D)
Meike 50 F1.7
Minolta MD 50 F1.7 & AF & RS
Sony FE 50 F1.8
Canon EF 50 F1.8 STM
Fotasy 50 F1.8
Konica AR 50 F1.8
Vivitar 50 F1.8
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Sony E 50 F1.8 OSS
Minolta MD 50 F2
Neewer/Meike/Vivitar 50 F2
Konica AR 52 F1.8
Minolta MC 55 F1.7
Sony FE 55 F1.8 Sonnar
Minolta SR 55 F2
Lensbaby 56 F1.6
Konica AR 57 F1.4
Minolta MC 58 F1.4
price paid:950 USD (used, set)
positive:Supports 10 FPS on LA-EA adapters
Lens Compensation
"Dust and moisture resistant"
Slow, fragile AF
72 mm filter threads
comment:Purchased with a SAL35F14G in a bundle deal from a Dyxum/Fred Miranda user who had recently upgraded to the native FE versions. Both lenses had alignment issues, so were returned to the seller for a refund.

This was the last new Sony A-mount lens released. It is one of only 8 full-frame A-mount lenses that supports better tracking performance of the A77 and newer SLTs and supports 10 FPS AF-C in bursts on recent full-frame E-mount bodies when adapted with the LA-EA3 and 5. "Made in Japan"

This is one of the better aligned Sony ZA lens I've tried so far, though not better than the $79 Yongnuo 50mm F1.4. There is not much optically between this lens and the Yongnuo and Rokinon. All three are much sharper than typical old Planars. Like the older 24mm F2 SSM there are some mid-field issues.

The second generation SSM works alight on the LA-EA5. The native Rokinon has to do a contrast-detect hunt, but seems just as zippy otherwise. It does focus much better than the adapted Sigma HSM and Yongnuo.

Overall a nice normal prime. A significant upgrade from the little, old Minolta or the Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM and at least competitive with newer budget alternatives.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 31
  • sharpness: 4.94
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.94
  • distortion: 4.77
  • flare control: 4.87
  • overall: 4.90 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania