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NEW Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA for Sony Mirrorless

Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 Planar T* ZA

See my Sony mirrorless wish list at B&H Photo.

The about $1499 Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA (SEL50F14Z) has promising optical design characteristics suggesting very high performance:

  • Zeiss design
  • 11-blade circular aperture for smooth bokeh
  • 9 elements in 10 groups, 2 aspherical, one ED element
  • De-Click Switch
  • SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) for fast, silent autofocus with AF/MF Switch
  • Minimum focus distance 1.48 ft (0.45 m)
  • Dust and moisture-resistant design
  • 72mm filters
  • 27.5 oz / 778g
  • Includes: Hood (ALC-SH143), front and rear lens caps, case

I’ll be testing the Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA just as soon as I can get my hands on it. I am hoping it avoids the sample quality problems of the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 Distagon.


Breathtaking resolution and contrast: A refined double-gauss design incorporating two aspherical elements, including one precision AA (advanced aspherical) element, works with an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass element to suppress field curvature and distortion while maintaining outstanding image-wide resolution and contrast from the widest aperture at any focusing distance.

11 blades for natural bokeh highlights: Although Sony’s circular aperture design usually employs up to 9 blades, this lens incorporates 11 blades that take bokeh quality to new levels of smooth beauty. Natural-looking highlights in the out-of-focus areas enhance overall atmosphere while providing a gentle sense of depth.

Autofocus that supports high resolution: Focus drive is handled by a ring drive SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) system that is capable of positioning the heavy focus group required by large aperture lenses with speed and precision. Fast, accurate focus is essential to bring out the full performance potential of high-resolution camera bodies, whether you’re shooting stills or movies.

Convenient fingertip control: A physical aperture ring allows intuitive aperture control. An aperture click switch makes it possible to enable or disable the aperture ring click stops as required. Moviemakers will want the clicks OFF, while photographers often prefer tactile click feedback. There’s also a focus mode switch for convenient manual/autofocus selection.

Excellent color and contrast: ZEISS lenses are renowned for their outstanding color reproduction and contrast. The ZEISS T* Coating is an important contributing factor, effectively suppressing spurious reflections that can degrade overall image quality. Flare and ghosting are reduced for enhanced color and contrast that give images a deep, three-dimensional feel.

Reliable in challenging conditions: A sealed dust and moisture-resistant design provides extra protection and ensures reliable operation in challenging environments. Shoot with confidence in light rain or windy conditions.* *Although the design is dust and moisture-resistant, absolute protection from dust and moisture is not guaranteed.

F1.4 for versatility and beautiful bokeh: The F1.4 maximum aperture can be used to create images with shallow depth of field and smooth, beautiful bokeh. A bright maximum aperture like this also makes it possible to shoot at high shutter speeds in low lighting. Of course the lens can be stopped down to create extended depth of field when required.

Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 Planar T* ZA optical design

Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA MTF

The MTF charts are computed fantasy MTF, which means that a real lens is not tested—a computer simulation is used to compute the MTF that would be expected from a lens built to perfection. Also, the f/8 graph does not take diffraction into account. The fantasy MTF looks promising at f/1.4 and claims to easily outperform a Leica Summilux 50/1.4.

MTF as shown for f/8 has characteristics that suggest lens behavior will need field evaluation. It is silly and clueless to show f/8 MTF for an f/1.4 lens too because apertures f/2 through f/5.6 are much more useful and important), but I just work here.

See also Sony Diffraction-Free Computed Fantasy MTF.

MTF for Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 Planar T* ZA


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