The Sony Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA is a standard prime lens for Sony’s mirrorless cameras, and corrected for use on full-frame bodies. Announced alongside the original A7 bodies in October 2013, it delivers close to standard 50mm coverage for a normal perspective, and a bright f1.8 focal ratio for isolating the subject against a blurred background.
The FE 55mm f1.8 ZA may have been one of the first lenses for Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras, and has since been joined by several alternative 50mm options, but it remains a popular premium choice. The Zeiss optical design employs seven elements in five groups with the company’s T* coatings. There’s nine aperture blades and a closest focusing distance of 0.5m for a maximum magnification of 0.14x. The lens itself is fairly compact with a 49mm filter thread, and a barrel measuring 64mm in diameter, 71mm in length and weighing 281g.
As noted earlier, the FE 55mm f1.8 ZA has since been joined by a selection of 50mm primes from Sony: the Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm f1.4 ZA represents a higher-end choice with a price around 50% more, while the FE 50mm f1.8 is a budget option around a third of the price; there’s also an FE 50mm f2.8 Macro option. If you prefer manual focus lenses, there’s the Samyang 50mm f1.4 at around half the price, or the Zeiss Loxia 50mm f2 for around the same price. Scroll-down for a selection of sample images taken with the FE 55mm f1.8 ZA.