Sony Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA Lens DxOMark Review: Excellent!
Ranking in joint 5th place for all lenses we’ve tested on the a7R II, and joint top place for 50mm primes (alongside the cheaper $949 Carl Zeiss Loxia FE 50mm f/2), the Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4 is one of the best-performing optics we’ve evaluated.
- Outstanding sharpness
- Excellent light transmission
- SSW autofocus motor
- Wide f/1.4 maximum aperture
- AF/MF switch and large manual focus ring
- Physical aperture ring with “de-click” option for video
- Heavy vignetting at f/1.4
- Big and heavy
Conclusion from DxOMark:
Adding a very fast f/1.4 maximum aperture option to the Sony/Zeiss 50mm lineup will be welcomed by Sony a7 shooters looking for a high-performance, general-use, low-light lens.
Costing $1498, it’s a pretty expensive option, and at 108mm in length and weighing 778g, it’s a fairly bulky bit of glass for use on the smaller Sony mirrorless cameras, too. If you’re after the best results from your a7 series hybrid at 50mm, however, the Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4 is outstanding, delivering some of the best low-light performance and sharpness possible in this category.
The large manual focus ring, MF/AF switch and physical aperture ring with ‘de-click’ option make it versatile for videographers, and for stills shooters its bright light transmission and SSW motor should facilitate excellent autofocus performance even in low light.
Photographers, specifically videographers, who can live with a one-stop slower maximum aperture and manual focus, can expect similar low-light performance and still excellent resolution from the cheaper $949 Carl Zeiss Loxia FE 50mm f/2 — a lens roughly half the weight and length as the Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4. For around a third of the cost of the Zeiss, the Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro also delivers very good results, with excellent sharpness in its available aperture range. But if it’s outstanding low-light performance, first-class sharpness at very wide apertures, and snappy autofocus that you desire in an FE-mount 50mm lens, the Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4 is unrivaled and an excellent choice for the discerning Sony a7 series owner.
You can read the full review at DxOMark.
Below are links to all current 50mm FE lenses: