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Summary

Highly Recommended awardSony's FE 55mm f1.8 ZA is a prime lens for Alpha mirrorless cameras that delivers close to standard coverage on full-frame bodies. It was one of the first lenses available for the FE mount, and has since been joined by a selection of alternative 50mm primes, but it remains a popular premium option. The Zeiss optics deliver decent quality and the barrel is fairly light and compact, making it an ideal match for the small Alpha bodies. If you want a shallower depth-of-field, there's two 50mm f1.4 options, a more expensive Sony Zeiss model with autofocus, or a more affordable manual focus model from Samyang; manual focus enthusiasts will also enjoy using the Zeiss Loxia 50mm f2. If you're looking for something cheaper than any of these, consider Sony's budget FE 50mm f1.8 - it may lack the sophistication of the others, but hits a tempting price point.

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Sony FE 55mm f1.8 ZA review-so-far

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.

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Sony FE 55mm f1.8 ZA sample images

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:1/60, Aperture:5.6, ISO Sensitivity:400, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:1/80, Aperture:1.8, ISO Sensitivity:1600, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:1/500, Aperture:8.0, ISO Sensitivity:400, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:1/400, Aperture:11.0, ISO Sensitivity:400, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:2.5, Aperture:2.8, ISO Sensitivity:25600, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:3.2, Aperture:2.0, ISO Sensitivity:6400, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:1/200, Aperture:8.0, ISO Sensitivity:400, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:1/40, Aperture:2.8, ISO Sensitivity:400, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:1/40, Aperture:2.8, ISO Sensitivity:800, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:1/1250, Aperture:5.6, ISO Sensitivity:100, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:1.3, Aperture:8.0, ISO Sensitivity:100, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

Above: Model:ILCE-7RM2, Model:ILCE-7RM2, Shutter speed:1/60, Aperture:8.0, ISO Sensitivity:100, Focal length:55.0 mm

 

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