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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
SonySonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens
 
4.9

(based on 180 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (160)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (19)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Nice bokeh (103)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (94)
  • Strong construction (89)
  • Consistent output (82)
  • Lightweight (80)

Cons

  • Heavy (5)
  • Pricey / poor value (5)

Best Uses

  • Low light (94)
  • Landscape/scenery (62)
  • Night photography (61)
  • Weddings (61)
  • Video (18)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (51), Semi-pro photographer (44), Pro photographer (27), Casual photographer (7)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (125)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Sharp, Fast and BIG and EXPENSIVE Lens

Of all the lenses I have looked at for my Sony A7 so far, the Sony 55mm and 35mm prime lenses have provided the sharpest images. Despite what you might read about the overall...Read complete review

Of all the lenses I have looked at for my Sony A7 so far, the Sony 55mm and 35mm prime lenses have provided the sharpest images. Despite what you might read about the overall quality of these lenses, make no doubt about it, coupled with the auto focus on the Sony A7 cameras, these lenses make extremely sharp images with nice contrast and acceptably attractive bokeh.When Sony introduced the A7 and A7r I knew I had to have one. But which one and, what lenses? With only three OEM lenses available at launch, my need for a longer lens led me into a search of all options. I've tested a lot of lenses.The first lens I bought for the camera was the Sony 35mm prime. I returned it and bought some Voigtlander M lenses and an M adapter, which I love on the Sony, but I couldn't help but notice that the detail in the images produced with the Sony 35mm lens were incredibly sharp. I had made a hand held shot of my dog and individual hairs were readily visible and sharp.I bought the Metabones adapter and tried my Canon lenses, but the focus was slow and the form vs. function factor on those HUGE lenses didn't work for me. The Canon lenses are BIG and the Sony A7 is small. I felt like I was lugging around an elephant in my Ferrari. So I returned the adapter, an easy process thanks to B&H return policy.Now I have my Voitlander lenses and manual focus. They produce very fine images, but I was missing the totally automatic side of this fine camera, so I bought the 55mm Sony lens and have found it to be very sharp and a joy to use when I want fully automated shooting.The Sony 55mm is very fast and SHARP with nice bokeh and I give it HIGH MARKS for that. When coupled with the high ISO capability of the A7 it does very well in available light situations even after the sun has gone down.Manual focus of the lens is very nice with the image magnification of the EVF. It is acceptably fast for the street and landscape work that I do.What I don't like about the lens is the lack of separate aperture control ring. It is a very sleek lens and makes use of control dials on the camera body to set aperture and shutter speed. It is a little different paradigm, not bad, but different than the Voitlander primes, which I love to use.This is a fairly large lens, especially compared to the 35mm prime that Sony offers. It doesn't overpower the camera in terms of form like my Canon lenses did, but compared to the diminutive 35mm and my Voitlander lenses, it is on the large side.One other nice thing about this lens is that coupled with the Sony A7, you have a setup that will stand up to the elements. I haven't poured water on mine yet to test, but I've seen it done on videos on YouTube. That's some nice comfort when you have to brave the elements to get the shot you want.The only down side is the cost of the lens. IT IS EXPENSIVE. Lets face it, for a standard focal length lens with not so much glass, $[$] is a lot to fork over. It makes me wonder if I will be willing to fork over what Sony might want for future lenses for this camera.Overall this is a very nice lens, but I can only give it 4 stars because it is BIG and EXPENSIVE.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Excellent optically, but mechanically flawed

I have been using this lens for over 2 years and it has been my favorite and best,'go to'mirrorless lens on FF (Sony A7R and A7R-II)and APS-C (A6000). With the...Read complete review

I have been using this lens for over 2 years and it has been my favorite and best,'go to'mirrorless lens on FF (Sony A7R and A7R-II)and APS-C (A6000). With the latter, it's a very good ~85mm equivalent tele. Very sharp at all apertures with just some vignetting wide-open.

So why only 2 stars and me about to sell it? While its optically excellent, it is mechanically flawed. A well-known photo equipment rental company has had to repair many of these lenses due to a STUPID engineering design. A crucial part of the focusing motor, used for both AF and manual focusing, is only secured by a glob of glue!! When this coil releases from the glue, the lens cannot focus. From online discussions, it seems that Sony out-sourced repair centers will deem this defect 'unrepairable' (the rental company disassembles their lenses and reapply another glob of glue). The result for the rest of us is a very expensive paperweight. I am selling mine before it breaks and buying the cheaper (1/4 X) Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 lens usng an older DC motor.

Reviewed by 180 customers

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5.0

Everything they say it is

By STEVEN

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

I shoot a Sony A6500 coming from a Sony A6300. I've owned many lenses in the past and this Sony 55 1.8 is by far the best of the best.
I also have the Sigma 18-35 which is an awesome lens along with the Sony 18-105.  I've owned the Sigma 19, 30 and 60 Art lenses and they are great lenses but do not compare with this lens as far as sharpness and color goes. The Sigma's are excellent but the Sony / Zeiss 55 1.8 beats them all. The photos off this lens seem to have a 3d effect as the photos are just so much sharper...which I did not think was possible especially with the Sigma Art lenses.

Believe the reviews this lens gets. It is a great lens although it is a pricey lens. You will not regret buying this lens. Just do it.

 
5.0

Great Little Lens

By Judith

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

Fast, sharp, clear across the board. Light and easy to carry.

 
5.0

The best reasonably sized normal lens ever?

By Mark

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

Of the nearly 20 normal lenses from many makers I've owned, I have to say this is the best all rounder, ever. Great at all apertures, accurate autofocus, small and light. Faster 50s may suck in more light but unless you really want that nostalgic glow, smeared corners and heavy vignette, none can touch this lens wide open. I am astonished.

 
5.0

I recommend this product

By Cory

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

Great product

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

great lens

By yipeng_liu

from Undisclosed

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

Great lens. Just stupidly fast and Sharp. Kinda took the fun away.

 
5.0

Couldn't be happier

By Johnny

from Undisclosed

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

I was deciding between this and the 50mm 1.4. After looking at both, I decided to go with the slightly cheaper option. I'm thrilled with the choice. I'm sure the the 1.4 would be great on occasion but for 400 less and a significant size reduction this is a crisp, lightweight prime. Excellent.

 
5.0

Love it! Super sharp!

By Andrey

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

At first it seems like the price is a bit too high for 55mm 1.8 but this lens is amazing and worth it. Well built, super sharp, best lens I've owned so far. Have been getting amazing results with this lens. Love it.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The best in its class for the A7R II

By John

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

If you are an art photographer and looking for the fineness quality, this is the lens to build your set of lens around. Quality is great, AF is excellent, balance on the A 7R II is great. It just feels right.
Add the Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm F/1.4 Za Lens, the 85mm, 25mm, 18mm Batis lenses from Zeiss and you'll be one happy camper!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Lens for Sony a7sii

By Eric Gibson

from Jupiter, FL

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

I'm using this as my primary lens for my sony a7sii that I use with my Ronin-M.

 
5.0

I would buy it in a heart beat.

By Michael from Santa Monica

from Santa Monica

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

I bought this lens to fill in my primes for landscape and I very happy with it. It is small, light weight and sharp as a tack.

 
5.0

Got this as an open box and it works perfectly.

By JBosch

from Denver, Colorado

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

I did a lot of research on this lens and my experience with it since purchasing it has matched all the great reviews it has. I also bought this as an open box, which worried me but it was in perfect working order. I've very happy with my purchase.

 
5.0

Awesome

By Elaine

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

Works perfectly with the Sony a6300 :) love it

(12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fantastically sharp! Amazing lens!

By Ninose11

from Boston, MA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

Can't say great enough things about this Sony Zeiss lens. Just to add to the other reviews here. It's a tack sharp lens. Amazing in low light. Prior to purchasing this lens from B&H, I rented it along with the Sony 50mm f/1.4 because I wasn't sure which one would suite my needs better. I ended up buying the 55mm because I found it to be (1) just as sharp (2) much cheaper (under $1K), and (3) much lighter to use! Using it with a Sony A7sii, the 55mm f/1.8 stop gives me all the brightness I need in low light.

 
5.0

Extremely Sharp!!

By Ejay

from Staten Island, New York

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

Great sharp lens for my A7r2 and even my a6300.. Would definitely purchase again!

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Sharpest lens, super fast, and a joy to shoot with

By Rodrigo

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

I recently switched over to a Sony A7ii with the desire to have a smaller camera that I could take with me everywhere and pair it with a nifty fifty.  I tried this lens out along with the Zeiss Loxia 50mm Planar.  Both of them are knife sharp and produce gorgeous images, but considering that they're the same size and this one has a couple more elements plus an amazingly fast AF, the Sony Sonnar just pulled ahead.  It produces STUNNING images, it's built like a tank, and feels amazing.  I can't say how much I love this lens.  I only wish they made a wide-angle version of this (21-25mm) for tight space situations or landscape photos.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Truly sharp!!!

By GardiG

from PR

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

All I can say is that this lens is very,very, sharp. True Zeiss colors and lens size is adequate for a7 series FF cameras. Bokeh is very good and subject will pop. Autofocus is fast and I am really happy with this lens.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A must have great lens

By Franciscco

from Albuquerque New Mexico

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

This is the lens I take with me at all times, I have even dropped in water and it still worked, ( Not suggested). It is very sharp and controls flares well. The size is not as small as I would like but its not a big lens. So it travels well.

 
5.0

Very Pleased

By Colin

from Castle Rock, CO

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

I've been using this lens now for about 2 weeks. It's a stellar performer. Great sharpness and rendering. Would Buy Again.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Lens!

By David Stills

from New York, NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

Great lens! Sharp at low F stops fast focusing.

(17 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent purchase

By Kevin

from California

Verified Buyer

Comments about Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens:

I was waiting to write this review until I had a chance to put the lens through proper due diligence. I have almost 30 years as a professional fashion and advertising photographer. I have used just about every line of gear, so I am able to justly rate this lens. It is simply fantastic. I am using it on A7MR2 bodies and it is ridiculously sharp. Fast and accurate autofocus. I just finished another fashion campaign and because of the locations, we had to completely shoot gorilla style. I used the continuous auto focus with many different focusing patterns and even with heavy backlighting 99% of the shots were in focus. The models were running toward and away from the camera and it performed flawlessly. Like everyone, I read the reviews but I was looking at a handful of options. This lens is a great value. Many people have said that the price could be cheaper but I think it's priced appropriately considering I own many lenses that cost far beyond this price point.

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