Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4 Planar vs. Zeiss FE 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar Comparisons

Sony continues to crank out new lenses, and the release this summer of the new Zeiss branded FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA Planar T* came as a bit of a shock, considering there is already a Zeiss branded normal prime that is widely considered to be one of the best autofocus normal lenses ever made, but Sony and Zeiss think they’ve made the ultimate normal prime with this new lens.  The existing FE 55mm f/1.8 is a lens I’ve owned for a while now, and it has never let me down.  But can this new 50mm best its slower (but more compact) brother? Let’s find out.

Zeiss FE 55mm f/1.8 vs. Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4

Zeiss FE 55mm f/1.8 vs. Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4

The Lenses

The two lenses share the same Zeiss badge, and have a similar focal length, but physically they are two very different beasts.  While both lenses feature a very robust all metal construction, the 55mm f/1.8 is a compact lens with a slim barrel and light weight.  The 50mm f/1.4, on the other hand, is a beast of a lens: it’s longer, fatter and nearly three times heavier, and gains the aperture ring also present on the FE 35mm f/1.4 and the 85mm GM.

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