Sony Carl Zeiss FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Sonnar T* E-mount lens review by Metasynthese

reviewer#11591 date: Jan-7-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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:Summicron-M 50/2
Zeiss ZM Planar 50/2
Zeiss ZM C-Sonnar 50/1.5
Canon EF 50/1.8 II
Contax G 45/2
Voigtländer Nokton 50/1.1
Many many more...
price paid:799€
positive:-Fully usable wide open
-Extreme resolution, even wide open from extremly sharp
-Compared to other fast 50mm lenses low vignetting
-Zero visible distortion when shooting JPEG
-Very good bokeh
-3D Pop
-Low weight
-Extreme contast
-Very fast and virtually noiseless AF (only aperture makes sounds)
-Optically nearly as good as much more expensive Zeiss Otus or Apo-Summicron-M 50/2
-Good resistance to flare
-Damn it's simpy awesome :)
negative:-A little distortion in RAW files
-Slight vignetting wide open on FF
-Bokeh (see comment)
-Size (especially with hood) could be smaller
-Front element is quite unprotected
comment:The best ~50mm I've ever had (and I had really many!).
A word about the bokeh:
The bokeh is not perfectly smooth wide open, it reminds a bit of older Sonnars like the 50/1.5 (aswell as Jupiter-3), but like the older Sonnars it get's smoother stopped down. Even if it's not perfect, on potrait distance the bokeh is usually very pleasent for my taste wide open; it adds a little character.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 27
  • sharpness: 4.91
  • color: 4.96
  • build: 4.78
  • distortion: 4.93
  • flare control: 4.85
  • overall: 4.89 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania