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Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens

You Pay: $1,498.00
Product Highlights
  • Sony Alpha Mount for Full-Frame Sensors
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4-22
  • Carl Zeiss Optics and Planar Design
  • Two Glass-Molded Aspherical Elements
  • Super Sonic Wave Autofocus Motor
  • ED Glass and Carl Zeiss T* Lens Coating
  • Dust-Resistant Metal Lens Barrel
  • Rounded Nine-Blade Aperture

The Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens is a normal-length prime lens that is compatible with both full-frame and APS-C-sized image sensors. This lens' construction integrates two glass-molded aspherical elements within its design to provide high image quality while reducing distortions and aberrations. The Carl Zeiss optics work to produce a rich image quality, and its planar design helps to improve overall image sharpness due to its flat reproduction characteristics with minimal field curvature. Additionally, extra-low dispersion (ED) glass is used throughout to further minimize chromatic aberration and aid in producing even sharpness across the image plane. A Carl Zeiss T* coating is applied to lens elements, too, to help reduce lens flare and surface reflections on individual elements.

In regard to focusing and handling performance, this lens utilizes an SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) to produce quiet and smooth focusing that is ideal when working with video applications. A focus hold button and DMF (Direct Manual Focus) functions aid to this lens' manual focusing abilities, while the rear-focusing design and incorporation of a focus ring that does not rotate while in AF mode are specifically engineered for more efficient AF usage.

The optical design of the lens is housed within a metal lens barrel that offers both durability and rigidity while also providing drip- and dust-resistance for use in inclement conditions.

Carl Zeiss Optics and Design
The inclusion of Carl Zeiss optics contributes to producing richly detailed, high quality imagery with notable overall sharpness. The combination of the planar design, incorporation of aspherical elements, and rear-focusing system all contribute to even edge-to-edge illumination and contrast that can be seen even when working with the fast wide-open f/1.4 aperture. Additionally, two glass-molded aspheric elements and the incorporation of ED glass work to minimize distortions and aberrations while also benefitting image sharpness, contrast, and color fidelity. A Carl Zeiss T* lens coating is also applied to individual lens elements to help reduce lens flare and improve contrast and clarity.
Super Sonic Wave Motor
The SSM focus system provides quick, quiet focusing abilities that are well suited for both still photography and movie recording. The manual focus ring features a non-rotating design when working in autofocus modes, however when working in manual focus situations, DMF and a focus hold button are available to benefit critical focusing.
Lens Barrel Design
The lens features an aluminum alloy construction that provides increased durability and tactility for use. The metal body also contributes to the dust- and drip-resistant design, which is further enhanced with the inclusion of rubber seals to minimize the ability of dust and moisture to affect the performance of the lens.
Performance
Focal Length 50mm
Comparable APS-C Focal Length: 75 mm
Aperture Maximum: f/1.4
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Sony Alpha, Minolta AF
Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
APS-C
Angle of View 46.8°
Minimum Focus Distance 1.48' (45 cm)
Magnification 0.14x
Elements/Groups 8/5
Diaphragm Blades 9
Features
Autofocus Yes
Environmental
Physical
Filter Thread Front:72 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.19 x 2.81" (81 x 71.5 mm)
Weight 18.27 oz (518 g)
Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens
  • Front and Rear Lens Caps
  • ALC-SH126 Lens Hood
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Sony50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens
     
    4.9

    (based on 14 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (13)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Fast / accurate auto-focus (12)
    • Strong construction (12)
    • Nice bokeh (11)
    • Durable (10)
    • Consistent output (8)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Night photography (13)
      • Low light (12)
      • Weddings (9)
      • Landscape/scenery (7)
      • Sports/action (3)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Pro photographer (5), Photo enthusiast (4), Semi-pro photographer (4)
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (11)

      Reviewed by 14 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-14

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      I'm very happy with this Lens

      By brinsmead

      from Leopold, Australia

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Photography
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

        I have little to complain about with this Lens, it is very well built, delivers very sharp, contrasty, excellent color results.
        Expensive: yes.
        Only complaint is coupled with the LAEA4 on a Sony A7r,
        and it's a camera issue, that it hunts on auto focus in low light

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        A Sony Winner

        By Glenn

        from Aurora, IL

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Night Photography
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

          I purchased the Sony/Zeiss 50 mm f/1.4 lens a few weeks ago and have taken numerous pictures under a variety of lighting conditions. In short, this is an excellent lens (for [$] bucks, it better be). Images are very sharp with excellent resolution and color saturation. Focusing is by a Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) in the lens, which operates off the camera's battery via the electrical contacts between the lens and camera (unlike Minolta and some Sony lenses which use a mechanical linkage between the lenses and camera to mechanically focus the lenses with a rotating shaft). The result of this technology, as I discovered, is a lens that focuses very fast and is ultra quiet and smooth. There was no hunting, searching, or backtracking to obtain a focus lock on a subject. I have not used the lens in "Continuous auto focus" mode with the drive set to continuous shooting, so I can not comment on its performance when tracking and shooting continuous fast action shots.The lens is large and heavy compared to most other 50 mm prime lenses (1 lb 2 oz and a 72 mm filter diameter). It is smaller and lighter than my Minolta 28-135 mm zoom lens, so I have no problem using this as my "walking around" lens. The lens comes with a plastic lens hood which some have criticized as a "cheap" accessory for a [$] lens. The hood seems sturdy enough for my purposes, and I have no complaints regarding the hood being plastic rather than metal. Some other features about the lens that I like include: all metal lens barrel, and according to Sony, improved seals in the lens to keep out dust and moisture. The lens uses a rear focus action with no movement of the front lens element or rotation of the manual focus ring in auto focus mode. My only complaint with the lens I received is a slight rear focus at about a 3 ft distance. I set the micro adjust on my Alpha 850 to -7 and this corrected the problem. This was detected at f/1.4 and stopping down to f/2 or more also eliminated the focus issue. Unless I am focusing close up at f/1.4, I could probably turn the micro adjust off for all other shots.......The photos below were taken with an Alpha 850, full frame camera. Spot focusing was used with the top of the bishop the focus target.

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          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Exceptional Lens

          By caledesign

          from New York, NY

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Expensive

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Night Photography
          • Video
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

          Let me start by saying that this lens is amazing. It's become my standard lens that I keep on my full frame SONY a99. I have the 85MM f/1.4 Zeiss that I use for portraits and love using that so I wanted something I could use to replace my standard 24-70mm f/2.8 Zeiss. I've had the lens for several weeks and had several opportunities to use it. In DC to photograph the Cherry Blossoms, at the light House in Montauk Point on Long Island and for a few head shot portraits. It performed extremly well in all those conditions. Sharpness is great, color reproduction spot on and focus is fast and accurate. The one thing that stands out to me about this lens it how quiet it is compared to the 85mm this lens is silent. I would recommend this as a staple lens to anyone with a SONY system. Great performance, great build just a bit pricey but you get what you pay for!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Works for me!

          By Dan Ortego

          from Yuma, AZ

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Excellent build
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Flimsy Hood

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Night Photography

          Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

          I wasn't sure whether to retire my Alpha 900 and move on, or to add a second ZA to my system. I've been using the ZA 135/1,8 for 2-years now without ever removing it, so I have done just about everything one could do with that lens. Anyway, I decided to roll the dice when I ordered this lens and I have no regrets. This lens inspired me to stick with the Alpha mount and forgo the E-mount frenzy. In fact, this lens has resurrected my passion for the A900 so I'm not even considering the newer model for sometime to come.When the lens first arrived all I had was a B+W 72mm XS-Pro Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Nano Coating and frankly, the results were somewhat disappointing. Not that it's a bad filter, in fact it's a great filter but not for an initial lens evaluation. The Good: Once I installed the B+W 72mm XS-Pro Clear with Multi-Resistant Nano Coat (007M) that's when this lens started to shine! The colors and tones are phenomenal and the focusing is sharp and dead silent. As others have mentioned, there is a degree of CA with high-contrast zones so you simply have to use the lens accordingly.The Bad: As for the remarkably cheap flimsy lens hood I couldn't agree more, whereby Sony and Carl Zeiss have unwittingly embarrassed themselves. I hated this hood so bad that I special ordered the premium hood from the ZA 85mm and it's a match made in heaven! Of course you will pay through the nose for this hood although I feel it was money well spent.Cost vs. Value: I feel the retail price for this lens is on par with others ZA lenses of equal quality, with the exception of the cheep lens hood. Had they included the same hood as provisioned for the ZA 85mm I would have considered it a true bargain. No, it doesn't come with a lens pouch but I never use the stock pouches anyway so that didn't bother me.Summary: I would say that if you like the quality of the Carl Zeiss line of ZA lenses then you will likely enjoy this top-end lens.

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          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great improvement over Minolta/Sony

          By N.C.

          from San Jose, CA

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Photography

            Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

            On my A900, it performs very similarly to the ZA 85/1.4. Fully usable wide open with moderate amount of color fringing as the only weakness.
            Compared to Minolta/Sony 50/1.4, the newer lens is a better lens in everyway except cost and large size and heavy weight.
            Compared to Sigma 50/1.4, ZA 50/1.4 is a little bit sharper at 1.4, but the difference is very small. The major advantage for the ZA lens is that the AF accuracy won't change from distance subject to MFD. My Sigma 50/1.4 need a different of 10 in micro adjustment from far away subject to subject at MFD.

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            • No

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            (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Fantastic lens!

            By MT photography

            from San Antonio, TX

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Night Photography
              • Sports/Action
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

              Very sharp. Great colors/contrast. The only thing I would have done different to this lens is put the focus hold button on the other side of the lens like the 85mm Zeiss is. It makes it difficult to use the hold button on the side they put it on.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Nailed It

              By Light Chaser

              from Cedar City, Ut

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Photography
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

                I have been debating for a long time on which zeiss prime I should buy, I have a 50mm macro so I was a little skeptical buying the same focal length, but when this came out I thought twice. The fixed physical length and ssm motor, man this thing is so sweet, its not my first rodeo with zeiss glass and this one is no exception to there rule, super fast, quiet, tack sharp wall to wall, I just took some pictures of my son with one of our changing colored trees in the background shooting directly into the sun to get a sun star and ended up with no flare and beautiful buttery bokeh, that with the many other shoots I have done I absolutely love this lens. I still might end up with a 135mm one day if they build one like this.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                EXPENSIVE BUT SUPERB LENS..

                By RAMANA

                from HYDERABAD INDIA

                About Me Pro Photographer

                See all my reviews

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Easily Interchangeable
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Night Photography
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Video
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

                  The lens is well balanced on the a99.Wonderful bokeh it is razor sharp.The Zeiss optics are simply the best.Thanks to T*coating...

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                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Best 50mm Prime, bar none

                  By Frame Seeker

                  from Portland, OR

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Strong Construction
                  • TACK SHARP

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Night Photography

                    Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

                    I used this lens for night shots in the city with my A99. It is still fast in low light and I don't have to worry about camera shake. This is an outstanding lens. The autofocus is fast, the lens is tack sharp and the colour rendition exceptional. That is the 50mm prime lens everybody should have. You will not be dissapointed.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Excellent lens.

                    By Sam

                    from Chicago

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Pros

                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Photography

                      Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

                      For me the best lens at f4 that I have ever had.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great 50mm

                      By Hawaii-Geek

                      from Honolulu, Hawaii

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Lightweight
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Rugged
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Night Photography
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

                        This is a Great 50mm ! Fast AF on a99. Sharp wide open. and most of all Very usable f1.4. because of the Focus Peaking on the EVF (I use Low , and DMF). You know what is locked in the EVF "before" you shoot. and you see the DOF "as you shoot". I love peaking and DMF but with this lens I rarely have to tweak the Focus manually after the AF. By f2.8 it is pretty much sharp across the frame. and f4 as sharp as it gets. But honestly I have not shot this lens past f2.8. and have shot more f1.4 with this lens than I could the Nikon 24mm f1.4 and Nikon 35mm f1.4 (which on events was difficult to do). For me, this lens (with EVF Peaking) is the First f1.4 lens I could actually shoot f1.4 at Night Events ! Those that know, know that is a big deal (useable f1.4 more often) ... and is what you bought a more expensive f1.4 for ... you want to use it more often @ f1.4. This is it!Solid build, Weather Sealed and looks good, very good. I even like how the front lens is deep in the lens. (though the hood is a bit wimpy for the price. not like the 135mm f1.8 ZA)p.s. I did see a small bit of front focus using the edge PDAF AF points on the a99. but it is easy to SEE and quickly adjust with Peaking and DMF. And I think the New PDAF/CDAF "On" sensors in 2014 should make this a non-Issue.I have many 50mm f1.4 ZA SSM shots on Instagram: @ .

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (3 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Excellent lens

                        By W

                        from Sf

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Easily Interchangeable
                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Lightweight
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Rugged
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Night Photography
                          • Sports/Action
                          • Video
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

                          Perfect

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                          (3 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          as good as it get's

                          By tino

                          from zurich

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Pros

                          • Nice Bokeh
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                          • Heavy

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Photography
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

                          Fast autofocus, though I found out the center point giving most consistent results for autofocus, some of the right side focus point being oof most of the time.
                          Anyway I usually use manual focus and this is excellent with peaking.

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                          (17 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Excellent Lens

                          By Tront

                          from NY

                          Comments about Sony 50mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA Lens:

                          Amazingly sharp with open a distinctive racy color from Zeiss. Very fast auto-focus. СA are present, but much smaller. The lens met my expectations. Very happy with the purchase.

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