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Archive 2016 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!

  
 
Holger
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p.17 #1 · p.17 #1 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


Fred Miranda wrote:
Note to myself: Never sell the 55/1.8 ZA. You went through many copies to find a perfect one. This lens is amazing for its size and it's a great match for the A7* series.


I like it, too, especially the extra 5mm. But for me, having the Sigma Art and 55/1.8, investing into the 70-200/2.8 GM makes more sense. The images I saw so far looked stellar, 11 aperture blades and 85cm MFD are the things I like.



Jul 30, 2016 at 12:59 PM
chrisgibbs
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p.17 #2 · p.17 #2 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


Fred Miranda wrote:
Note to myself: Never sell the 55/1.8 ZA. You went through many copies to find a perfect one. This lens is amazing for its size and it's a great match for the A7* series.


Plus the FE 1.8/55 Sonnar is a pretty good "size/weight/look" match to the RX1R's 35/2 (even down to the CA and edgy Bokeh). Not sure about the new FE 1.4/50, but wanting to be wowed. ~Chris




Jul 30, 2016 at 01:21 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.17 #3 · p.17 #3 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


chrisgibbs wrote:
Plus the FE 1.8/55 Sonnar is a pretty good "size/weight/look" match to the RX1R's 35/2 (even down to the CA and edgy Bokeh). Not sure about the new FE 1.4/50, but wanting to be wowed. ~Chris


The Loxia 50/2 has more contrast in comparison to the 55/1.8 and the new 50/1.4ZA seems to render like the Loxia, except for more blur. I think many people dislike the 55/1.8 rendering because of contrast which affects color as well.

I just took a couple shots comparing Loxia 50/2 vs 55/1.8 contrast and bokeh rendering. Both shot at f/2 focused at the exact same location. Look how the focus transition zone is more abrupt on the 55/1.8 but the Loxia 50/2 has more contrast and therefore the image has more 'punch' and deeper colors. I suspect the new 50/1.4 will render like the Loxia but with smoother bokeh. LoCA is also pretty high on the Loxia 50/2. (I will post some crops)









Jul 30, 2016 at 01:36 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.17 #4 · p.17 #4 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


Check out the LoCA performance for the two lenses:







Jul 30, 2016 at 01:42 PM
chrisgibbs
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p.17 #5 · p.17 #5 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


Thanks, that's a good comparison. I'm more inclined to prefer the FE 55 there though, not a fan of the contrasty OOF areas, those are the areas that give me pause on my B&W conversions. I have become accustomed to the look of the older (read: flatter) lens formulations.

Are you planning on looking at the new Nikkor 105/1.4, that one has me intrigued, not sure it'll even operate on anything other than a modern Nikon (I don't adapt glass [yet]..........).



Jul 30, 2016 at 01:48 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.17 #6 · p.17 #6 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


chrisgibbs wrote:
Thanks, that's a good comparison. I'm more inclined to prefer the FE 55 there though, not a fan of the contrasty OOF areas, those are the areas that give me pause on my B&W conversions. I have become accustomed to the look of the older (read: flatter) lens formulations though.

Are you planning on looking at the new Nikkor 105/1.4, that one has me intrigued, not sure it'll even operate on anything other than a modern Nikon (I don't adapt glass [yet]..........


Yes, I much prefer the 55/1.8 for these type of shots and that's why I only use the Loxia 50/2 for landscapes where the extra contrast, deeper colors and nicer sunstar rendering play in its favor.

The 55/1.8 only needs a small boost in contrast in post processing.

Look at the difference in bokeh blur between the 55/1.8 and L50/2 (same f/2 aperture focused at the exact same location). It's very dramatic and I wonder how the new 50/1.4ZA fairs here.

PS: Keep in mind we are comparing 50mm to 55mm which is not apples to apples.












Jul 30, 2016 at 01:54 PM
Holger
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p.17 #7 · p.17 #7 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


Fred Miranda wrote:
The Loxia 50/2 has more contrast in comparison to the 55/1.8 and the new 50/1.4ZA seems to render like the Loxia, except for more blur. I think many people dislike the 55/1.8 rendering because of contrast which affects color as well.

I just took a couple shots comparing Loxia 50/2 vs 55/1.8 contrast and bokeh rendering. Both shot at f/2 focused at the exact same location. Look how the focus transition zone is more abrupt on the 55/1.8 but the Loxia 50/2 has more contrast and therefore the image has more 'punch' and deeper colors. I suspect the new 50/1.4
...Show more

For me, the background of the 55 looks much nicer. The colors and contrast can be adjusted in post, too.



Jul 30, 2016 at 01:56 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.17 #8 · p.17 #8 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


Holger wrote:
For me, the background of the 55 looks much nicer. The colors and contrast can be adjusted in post, too.


+1

In Lightroom a global +10 contrast boost gets the 55/1.8 closer to the Loxia without affecting the out of focus zone noticeably.



Jul 30, 2016 at 01:58 PM
chrisgibbs
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p.17 #9 · p.17 #9 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


Back in the old analogue film days, shooting transparency, no question about it, I'd choose the Loxia. But, for me anyway, in the 21st century I feel the better lens formulation/direction is what Sony showed with their GM's, and for that matter what Zeiss achieve with their OTUS rendering.

Still scratching my head about Sony releasing this new Zeiss embodiment and not giving us a 50/1.4 GM though?



Jul 30, 2016 at 02:10 PM
chrisgibbs
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p.17 #10 · p.17 #10 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


Fred Miranda wrote:
+1

In Lightroom a global +10 contrast boost gets the 55/1.8 closer to the Loxia without affecting the out of focus zone noticeably.


Yes, and for my work, a local adjustment at that!



Jul 30, 2016 at 02:11 PM
AGeoJO
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p.17 #11 · p.17 #11 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


Granted, I didn't read all the posts here but are we seeing the trend of the new Zony 50mm f/1.4 from the best ever since sliced bread to possibly only a great but overpriced lens? On the other hand, the tried and proven Zony 55mm f/1.8 goes from not having "characters" to possibly giving the new 50mm a run for its money? Or am I off base here?


Jul 30, 2016 at 03:29 PM
virtualrain
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p.17 #12 · p.17 #12 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!



AGeoJO wrote:
Granted, I didn't read all the posts here but are we seeing the trend of the new Zony 50mm f/1.4 from the best ever since sliced bread to possibly only a great but overpriced lens? On the other hand, the tried and proven Zony 55mm f/1.8 goes from not having "characters" to possibly giving the new 50mm a run for its money? Or am I off base here?


More testing is required but this may end up being a fair assessment. However, there's no doubt the new lens will excel at f/1.4. It's a nice complement to the other f/1.4 primes for event shooters where money is not a consideration over speed and quality wide open. It's probably ideally suited for photographers like Guy. Not so much for travel photogs like me.



Jul 30, 2016 at 04:14 PM
GMPhotography
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p.17 #13 · p.17 #13 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


That will certainly be the case. We all have different needs. I could use a lens with two people in the shot and the 85 is just too long sometimes. I have a project that this will be good gor. I have this fast hole in my lineup where as I have a f2 RxRII and next fastest is the 85 so a fast 50 AF would be useful


Jul 30, 2016 at 04:24 PM
realVivek
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p.17 #14 · p.17 #14 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


AGeoJO wrote:
Granted, I didn't read all the posts here but are we seeing the trend of the new Zony 50mm f/1.4 from the best ever since sliced bread to possibly only a great but overpriced lens? On the other hand, the tried and proven Zony 55mm f/1.8 goes from not having "characters" to possibly giving the new 50mm a run for its money? Or am I off base here?




If sliced bread is the best thing ever, sure this one certainly is the next best thingy.



Jul 30, 2016 at 04:36 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.17 #15 · p.17 #15 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


I see it as a lens that may be a better choice for shooting events, people and even landscapes compared to having both 55/1.8 and Loxia 50/2 lenses. It looks to be a well-corrected lens with a nice rendering that excels in all areas except that it's almost 3 times heavier than the 55/1.8ZA. The faster aperture is obviously what sets it apart from the other native fifties. So, if you need f/1.4, the search is over.


Jul 30, 2016 at 04:42 PM
GMPhotography
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p.17 #16 · p.17 #16 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


Well said bud

Fred Miranda wrote:
I see it as a lens that may be a better choice for shooting events, people and even landscapes compared to having both 55/1.8 and Loxia 50/2 lenses. It looks to be a well-corrected lens with a nice rendering that excels in all areas except that it's almost 3 times heavier than the 55/1.8ZA. The faster aperture is obviously what sets it apart from the other native fifties. So, if you need f/1.4, the search is over.




Jul 30, 2016 at 05:05 PM
charles.K
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p.17 #17 · p.17 #17 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


I am still not too sure about this FE 50/1.4. It looks superb, but it seems very similar like where Leica lens designers were having conflicts. The modern look, Karbe in his 50 Lux was very sharp but the bokeh was stronger and less gentle that the pre Asph versions. In many ways I prefer the pre Asph look and background rolls and recedes gently.

I do think once we reduce the FL to 50mm and less, the compromise in lens design to having sharp image across the frame and still being able to achieve a gentle bokeh is not easy.

The FE 35/1.4 still achieves a wonderful bokeh and background fall off. The Leica 35 Lux FLE was not smooth in this respect.

The GM 85 is a superb lens and rendering is a great blend of sharpness and smooth bokeh. The size/weight of the GM 85 is not an issue as fast 85 to 105 lenses have never been small.

I am still surprised that a 50/1.4 is so large. This is a work horse of a lens so a lot more design effort should have been in keeping the size smaller and ergonomic. Even the ZA 50/1.4 is an ideal size even with the adapter.



Jul 30, 2016 at 07:37 PM
umsl12
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p.17 #18 · p.17 #18 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!



This 50mm 1.4 is so big (72mm filter thread), heavy (778g), and expensive relative to other Nikon/Canon 50mm 1.4s so I hope it's as good as Otus ;-), otherwise....



Jul 30, 2016 at 08:28 PM
GMPhotography
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p.17 #19 · p.17 #19 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


Done deal. Ordered online for pickup in morning. Hopefully I can get a few shots up tomorrow night.


Jul 30, 2016 at 09:23 PM
Greggf
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p.17 #20 · p.17 #20 · LensRentals: Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA is absolutely superb!


^^^^ looking forward to them Guy! Such anticipation, and now everyone seems to be bad mouthing the lens before any of us even has ours!! Looking forward to your experienced opinion, since the rest of us won't get ours til Tuesday!!
G



Jul 30, 2016 at 09:27 PM
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