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Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review
  
 
snapsy
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


People thought the 55 was overpriced when it first came out, based on the prevailing IQ of other ~50mm designs that were available at the time. Once images starting coming in though it immediately became clear that the 55 was well priced. Time will tell if the same holds true for the ZA.


Aug 02, 2016 at 10:46 PM
freaklikeme
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Great stuff, Fred. Thanks for doing this. I'm looking forward to the landscape tests now.

Lenses with high resolution and great correction for aberrations, in my experience, don't have good bokeh. Mid-range teles aren't as bad because they force some distance between you and the subject, but wider lenses force you to work around things like distracting backgrounds if you're going to use them for portraiture.



Aug 02, 2016 at 10:59 PM
ecarlino
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Back when i shot the Batis 85 vs the 85 GM head to head, a lot (but probably not a majority) of people favored the "look" of the Batis. But now those same comments "for" the Batis 85 are being used "against" the Zony 50. I'm not sure if there's a general bias to smaller / cheaper, all else being equal.

At 85mm, i wanted the backgrounds to just melt away gracefully the way that the 85GM does.

However, at 50 or 55, I like the idea of laser sharp AND contrasty and even a bit of structure in the OOF areas.

In both my and Fred's backgrounds thus far, it's as busy as can be - but I look forward to seeing some shots where the background is a building or something non-living and i think i'll like having some detail for more environmental portraits, etc.

Thus far, i do like that there's nearly zero purple fringing and zero onions rings - and, I like the clarity i'm seeing (resolution and contrast) throughout the frame.



Aug 02, 2016 at 11:04 PM
GMPhotography
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


I'm in this camp as well. I got the GM 85 for melt away backgrounds. I did like the backgrounds I shot the other day. I thought they looked good

ecarlino wrote:
Back when i shot the Batis 85 vs the 85 GM head to head, a lot of people favored the "look" of the Batis. But now those same comments "for" the Batis 85 are being used "against" the Zony 50. I'm not sure if there's a general bias to smaller / cheaper, all else being equal.

At 85mm, i wanted the backgrounds to just melt away gracefully the way that the 85GM does.

However, at 50 or 55, I like the idea of laser sharp AND contrasty and even a bit of structure in the OOF areas.

In both my and Fred's backgrounds
...Show more



Aug 02, 2016 at 11:09 PM
ecarlino
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


GMPhotography wrote:
I'm in this camp as well. I got the GM 85 for melt away backgrounds. I did like the backgrounds I shot the other day. I thought they looked good


totally agree, b/c when you were in NYC - there may have been a person or couple walking around that was central to your frame, but in those scenes, it's great to be able to make out where they are but have the background not entirely in focus to provide some separation


Edited on Aug 02, 2016 at 11:24 PM · View previous versions



Aug 02, 2016 at 11:14 PM
DavidBM
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Interesting! I can see the new 50 being something a lot of people would love.

This is just a comment about the supposed 'sterility' of the 55. I've never really understood it. One hypothesis, that is likely partly right, is that it comes from the (easily fixed in post) slightly lower global contrast.

But another is the bokeh. Aside from the tendency to onion rings in specular highlights, it's got about the creamiest bokeh of any lens I've used at or near it's fl (I sold my Mistaken 50 0.95 when I realised that the 55 was creamier and almost the same separation even at f1.8, along with it's many other advantages (sharpness, size, weight, AF, less LoCa - but not perfect obviously - etc)

I wonder if some people find that a bit flat, and *prefer* some structure in their bookeh? I know some people find the bookeh of the 135 stf lens a bit flat and too perfectly gaussian. And strangely, with no apodization filter, that's what the 55 reminds me of a little.




Aug 02, 2016 at 11:14 PM
Schlotkins
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Thanks for all of this Fred. I'll either stick with my 55 1.8 I have or even just a zoom at 2.8 at 50/55mm. Like others, I use a fast 85mm for when I want to really cream away the background. The 50mm 1.4 is certainly an amazingly sharp lens for those that need the speed.

Chris



Aug 02, 2016 at 11:27 PM
zhangyue
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Fast glass have smoother bokeh at one or more stop down is not a news. I see that all the time with 50cron, 50lux R e55, ZF35f1.4, and even 80lux. Just saying.

55 Sony is a great lens. 50ZA is also a great one, we don't see lens this sharp at f1.4 often.



Aug 02, 2016 at 11:47 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Here are some test charts at close distance. (best of 3, live view at 12.5x mag.)
Default sharpening in Lightroom.

The 55/1.8 and 50/1.4 are comparable wide open.

The 55/1.8 @f/2.2 and 50/1.4 @1.7 are very comparable but the 50/1.4 @1.7 is visibly better vs 50/1.8 wide open.






Both lenses wide-open (center)







55/1.8 @f/2.2 and 50/1.4 @1.7







55/1.8 @f/1,8 and 50/1.4 @1.7




Aug 02, 2016 at 11:50 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Here is the Loxia 50/2 vs FE 50/1.4 (both at f/2)







Aug 02, 2016 at 11:53 PM
 

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Fred Miranda
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Just for kicks, here is the 85GM at f/1.4 vs f/1.7. (Noticeable difference but f/1.4 is already very good)







Aug 02, 2016 at 11:55 PM
GMPhotography
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Wow the 50 is so well corrected over the other two


Aug 03, 2016 at 12:22 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


I am not surprised about the bokeh. The bokeh pattern with this FE 50 f/1.4 reminds me a lot of the Minolta Rokkor 58 f/1.2. That lens too has much nicer bokeh stopped down a little than wide open. This FE 50 f/1.4 will be great for low light shooting, but the smart photographer like Guy will shoot it at f/1.8 or f/2 with even moderate light and it will be very sharp and the bokeh will be much better. This is a lens for when you want extreme sharpness at wide apertures and good aberration control. It should be great for a lot of types of shooting, but for portraits I think the 85 GM will be much better. So, I definitely see a place for this lens, but for portraits I expect their will eventually be a 50 GM that will be the bees knees and have bokeh that even puts the FE 55 f/1.8 to shame.


Aug 03, 2016 at 12:23 AM
DavidBM
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Here are some test charts at close distance. (best of 3, live view at 12.5x mag.)
Default sharpening in Lightroom.

The 55/1.8 and 50/1.4 are comparable wide open.

The 55/1.8 @f/2.2 and 50/1.4 @1.7 are very comparable but the 50/1.4 @1.7 is visibly better vs 50/1.8 wide open.



Hum. At close distance it looks like the 55 jas a greater than 10% magnification difference....



Aug 03, 2016 at 12:23 AM
GMPhotography
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


The 55/1.8 and 50/1.4 are comparable wide open.

When's the last time we saw a 1.4 lens comparable to a 1.8 . Not often if never


The 55/1.8 @f/2.2 and 50/1.4 @1.7 are very comparable but the 50/1.4 @1.7 is visibly better vs 50/1.8 wide open.

This is very much a 50mm advantage. I mean your first saying 55 stopped down to 2.2 to equal 1.7 on the 50, that's pretty big. Than your second comment is basically saying at effectively at 1.7 it's better than the 1.8 by a visible amount. That's pretty damn good.


Put in another light the 50 at 1.7 is just amazing. I'm curious when the GM 85 matches it at 1.7. I'm thinking maybe F2/2.2. Even the GM gets really good at 1.7 and 1.8 but it does not have the 1.4 contrast and punch like this 50 wide open.

The reality is most folks this won't matter but to us picky ones it does. I say for most users stick with the 55 unless your a lens whore like me. Lol

It is fun to analyze this stuff though. I made my choice, now I just need a Sherpa . Lol

Edited on Aug 03, 2016 at 12:42 AM · View previous versions



Aug 03, 2016 at 12:25 AM
GMPhotography
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Well said Steve this is the laser lens if you need it. I'm looking at it as a less priced Otus 50 with AF. Forget the money difference but AF with this kind of quality is pretty darn good.

Steve Spencer wrote:
I am not surprised about the bokeh. The bokeh pattern with this FE 50 f/1.4 reminds me a lot of the Minolta Rokkor 58 f/1.2. That lens too has much nicer bokeh stopped down a little than wide open. This FE 50 f/1.4 will be great for low light shooting, but the smart photographer like Guy will shoot it at f/1.8 or f/2 with even moderate light and it will be very sharp and the bokeh will be much better. This is a lens for when you want extreme sharpness at wide apertures and good aberration control. It should
...Show more



Aug 03, 2016 at 12:33 AM
GMPhotography
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


BTW great work Fred and thanks for posting this, it's confirming what I thought. I'll run tests when I get home and if you don't mind, I'll post to this thread.


Aug 03, 2016 at 12:43 AM
rji2goleez
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


I'm not sure there's enough of a difference to go for the new 50/1.4. I also like the fact that the bokeh on the 55/1.8 is smoother wide open. I'll wait to see what other observations come from this comparison but to this point, it shows the 55/1.8 to be a really good performer comparatively. I'll be interested to see what happens at MFD and then stopped down performance.


Aug 03, 2016 at 12:50 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


Keep in mind that I have zero bias one way or the other. I'm just reporting what I see and posting some samples so hopefully everyone can see it as well. I'm no "artisan" and for the record, I have no contract or agreement with any camera company.

Guy,
I agree with you. There are not many super sharp f/1.4 lenses out there aside from the Otus 55/1.4.
The 50/1.4 also has higher contrast at all apertures when compared to the 55/1.8.

To be honest, this comparison is not apple to apples. If you need f/1.4, game over.

I just started this thread to share my own findings and hopefully this will help other photographers make better decisions.



Aug 03, 2016 at 12:52 AM
snapsy
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Sony Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA Rolling Review


GMPhotography wrote:
The 55/1.8 and 50/1.4 are comparable wide open.

When's the last time we saw a 1.4 lens comparable to a 1.8 . Not often if never


The Sigma ART 50mm is sharper @ f/1.4 than most 50mm lenses @ f/1.8. Unfortunately it suffers from some unpleasant bokeh also, particularly at mid-to-far distances.



Aug 03, 2016 at 12:57 AM
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