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Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review
  
 
AGeoJO
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


As far as the bokeh at wide open concerned, I prefer the "mini" Otus aka the f/1.8 lens . I could have sworn it would be the other way around. It is weird though the bokeh becomes smoother as you stop down the aperture of the f/1.4 lens a bit. Who knows why!


Aug 02, 2016 at 09:11 PM
GMPhotography
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


I'll join this thread with my tests later this week when I get home. But my theory is this the 85 is the creamy soft ice cream lens with nice lower contrast and bokeh for more people type shots . The 50mm 1.4 is my laser with decent bokeh but that's not primary but being a laser wide open is. I have zero interest in the 55mm but others do. The Loxia 50 is a great lens but I'm pretty sure it's redundant now


Aug 02, 2016 at 09:12 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Same scene rendered at f/2 for all lenses:

(55/1.8 top, 50/1.4 middle and Loxia 50/2 bottom)







Aug 02, 2016 at 09:14 PM
snapsy
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Thanks for the awesome comparison shots Fred. The 55 punches way above its weight and size.


Aug 02, 2016 at 09:21 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Check out this scene where the background is very busy and close to the focused area.
As we've seen with longer distance backgrounds, the 55/1.8 seems much smoother even at f/1.8 vs f/1.4. I'm surprised by this.

update: turning EFCS 'off' gives smoother results at f/1.4 and high shutter speeds. - Link












Aug 02, 2016 at 09:21 PM
Holger
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Petzval style!


Aug 02, 2016 at 09:25 PM
trogdon
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


The smooth bokeh of the 55mm was the selling point for me. I had previously been using the Canon FL 55mm f1.2 which is an incredibly sharp lens, but the bokeh just plain sucks. Never been a fan with how 50's render bokeh, but the Sonnar is so smooth it renders a much different look


Aug 02, 2016 at 09:25 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


And again, the new 50/1.4 ZA at f/1.7 out of focus rendition is somewhat smoother (less bubbly) when compared to wide open (f/1.4). That happens for close, mid or far away backgrounds. I'm also surprised by this.

update: turning EFCS 'off' gives smoother results at f/1.4 and high shutter speeds. - Link








Aug 02, 2016 at 09:26 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Some preliminary conclusions from this high contrast lighting test:

1) Both wide-open, the 55/1.8 out-of-focus rendition is smoother even when compared to the 50/1.4 ZA when the background is close to the subject. Whenever the background is further away, the advantage goes to the faster lens.
2) The 50/1.4's OOF rendition at f/1.7 is less harsh when compared to wide open.
Update: The 50/1.4's OOF rendition at f/1.7 is less harsh when compared to wide open. This is only the case with shutter speeds faster than 1/1000s and EFCS set to "On".
3) The 50/1.4 is much better corrected for CA and LoCA. Actually amazing performance. The 55/1.8 and Loxia 50/2 are pretty similar when it comes to LoCA control.
4) The 50/1.4 ZA and FE 50/1.8 ZA are very comparable wide-open in terms of sharpness but the 50/1.4 has higher micro-contrast. (Loxia comes in second)
5) The 50/1.4 at f/1.7 is noticeably sharper than at f/1.4. I'd say it's the sweet spot for smooth bokeh rendering and sharpness. f/5.6 is the sweet spot for sharpness across the field at infinity. (I will post crops later)



Aug 02, 2016 at 09:34 PM
MrTMan
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Thanks for all the pics and analysis, Fred.

I'd really love to see some comparison crops of in-focus areas, to get a better idea of relative contrast (now that you've established the differences in bokeh).

It's clear that the 1.4 has more contrast, the question is whether it's worth the penalty in terms of size, weight and bokeh.



Aug 02, 2016 at 09:42 PM
 

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Fred Miranda
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


MrTMan wrote:
Thanks for all the pics and analysis, Fred.

I'd really love to see some comparison crops of in-focus areas, to get a better idea of relative contrast (now that you've established the differences in bokeh).

It's clear that the 1.4 has more contrast, the question is whether it's worth the penalty in terms of size, weight and bokeh.


I will test for this. So far, I wanted to find out the difference in rendering styles.

Even from these tests, it's obvious to me that the 50/1.4's images have a lot of bite and presence. The Loxia comes in second and the 55/1.8 in third. Contrast plays a big role here and small tweaks in Lightroom brings the images closer together.

BTW: There is no post-processing done to any of these samples. They are RAW files straight out of the camera.



Aug 02, 2016 at 09:48 PM
akclimber
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Another "Thank you!" for these tests, Fred. I was set to jump on the 50 but I already have the 55, which I love, so in light of your comparison, I think I'll stick with the 55 for the time being.


Aug 02, 2016 at 09:52 PM
aeonsim
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Maybe focus differences but it seems from the images above that the 50mm at F1.4 is slightly sharper than the 55mm at F1.8 and by the looks of it noticeably sharper when at F1.7 compared to the 55mm at F1.8.

Considering the 55mm was already rather sharp wide open that's impressive...



Aug 02, 2016 at 09:56 PM
virtualrain
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Same scene rendered at f/2 for all lenses:

(55/1.8 top, 50/1.4 middle and Loxia 50/2 bottom)


---------------------------------------------

Fred Miranda wrote:
Some preliminary conclusions from this high contrast test:

1) The 55/1.8 out of focus rendition is smoother even when compared to the 50/1.4 wide-open. (surprise #1)
2) The 50/1.4's OOF rendition at f/1.7 is less harsh when compared to wide open. (surprise #2)
3) The 50/1.4 is much better corrected for CA and LoCA. Actually amazing performance. The 55/1.8 and Loxia 50/2 are pretty similar when it comes to LoCA control.
4) The 50/1.4 has higher contrast wide-open. Loxia 50/2 comes in second and 55/1.8 in third. Note: The 55/1.8 contrast is actually similar to what I see with the 85GM wide open
...Show more

Thanks for your tests so far.

I agree with all o your conclusions except perhaps #4. What image set are you looking at?

For the lenses at f/2 (a few posts up) showing the cedar shrub and playground, the most contrasty to least seems to be the Loxia, the FE 55, and the 50 f/1.4 last.

ps. The bokeh of the new lens wide-open at 100% looks down right nasty in some shots.



Aug 02, 2016 at 09:57 PM
virtualrain
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
And again, the new 50/1.4 ZA at f/1.7 out of focus rendition is somewhat smoother (less bubbly) when compared to wide open (f/1.4). That happens for close, mid or far away backgrounds. I'm also surprised by this.


Never mind... mis understood what I was looking at.


Edited on Aug 02, 2016 at 10:04 PM · View previous versions



Aug 02, 2016 at 10:03 PM
charles.K
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Thank you very much Fred for these tests!

It is very counter intuitive with the FE 50 @ f/1.4. The FE 55 is looking very good... again. I will be keeping my 50L for awhile longer... I think



Aug 02, 2016 at 10:04 PM
Alexluu627
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


The 55mm f1.8 is sure making the new 50mm f1.4 look over priced and to big for what it should be.


Aug 02, 2016 at 10:15 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


aeonsim wrote:
Maybe focus differences but it seems from the images above that the 50mm at F1.4 is slightly sharper than the 55mm at F1.8 and by the looks of it noticeably sharper when at F1.7 compared to the 55mm at F1.8.

Considering the 55mm was already rather sharp wide open that's impressive...


Both wide-open, in terms of resolution at close distances, I would say new 50/1.4 is comparable to the 55/1.8.
However, the 50/1.4 at f/1.7 is noticeably sharper than the 55/1.8 wide open.
The 55/1.8 at f/2.2 makes them similar again.
I shot some test charts at about 3 meters distance and this is what I see.



Aug 02, 2016 at 10:27 PM
GMPhotography
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Pretty interesting. The bokeh looks better at 1.7 which is strange. I do like the sharpness and contrast a lot. I like manual focus on the 50 far better than the 55mm. I actually always thought the Loxia 50 just has a nice look to it. I will say this diffrent foliage has diffrent effects on bokeh. In my neck of the woods it's horrific with really thin leaves and cactus like are the worst. I'm back to I want one laser type Lens this looks like it to me.

Fred Miranda wrote:
Both wide-open, in terms of resolution at close distances, I would say new 50/1.4 is comparable to the 55/1.8.
However, the 50/1.4 at f/1.7 is noticeably sharper than the 55/1.8 wide open.
If you However, the 55/1.8 stopped down to f/2.2 makes them similar again.
I shot some test charts at about 3 meters distance and this is what I see.



Aug 02, 2016 at 10:38 PM
GMPhotography
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


I'm not thinking that at all. People think the 55 is over priced. But I don't want to go here with price, for me it's really not the primary decision for others it is. I shoot images not compare prices with clients.

Alexluu627 wrote:
The 55mm f1.8 is sure making the new 50mm f1.4 look over priced and to big for what it should be.




Aug 02, 2016 at 10:41 PM
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