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Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA vs the Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS

Weight: 10.6oz & 7.8oz
$1,000 & $300
Filter Sizes: 49mm

This is by no means an exhaustive fest, but I'm sure some other NEX and A6000 are curious what an extra $700 gets you. At the moment I happen to have both lenses in my possession and figured a quick test was in order. Both lenses make quite nice portrait lenses on aps-c with the Sony Zeiss 55mm being a touch longer and more ideal in the ~90mm equivalent range. In fact they are the only two true auto focusing portrait lenses for E mount cameras. I leave out the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 because of the slow aperture.

These images were shot back to back on a tripod with remote release and fast enough shutter to stop slight motion (1/320). White balance was set to cloudy because it was cloudy. Shot on a Sony A6000. Mouse over to compare images.

Here is a nice busy background, great to see if a dedicated portrait lens justifies owning it.

No budget for a model? How about a scowling author? Both lenses do well for such a busy background. I moved back one step to help subject size stay the same for the slightly longer 55mm.

At 100% the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS really looks quite good. Note some purple fringing in the hair. What does $700 more get us? Damn near perfection on a demanding sensor.

Is the Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 worth 333% more than the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS? That's really up to the user and their budget. It's certainly a better lens, yet diminishing returns for the investment. That's the nature high end of photography. 


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