Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 Lens
Two lenses; HUGE Difference
Having had the SAL50F14 since the beginning, it to me was firmly seated in my general photography lens kit. I must confess that I am enamored of every Zeiss lens I have, and was looking forward to the release of the SAL50F14Z since it was first announced. With its arrival, I put it to work at once, and am pleased to say it is all I've come to expect and more. Yes, it is more weight than the non-Zeiss lens, but it is easily forgotten when shooting. The focus seems faster with less hunting with busy compositions. The true value comes to you when the images are presented for critical editing. Transitions between similar tones is sharp yet still pleasing, and relatively large prints display a sort of 'you are there' quality. And playing with the depth of field is quite rewarding as well. Not much more to say than a line I've used in other reviews: "You are getting what you've paid for."
October 2, 2013
Sony/Zeiss have really stepped up the quality with the new 50. I also own the 85 and the 135, plus the 24-70, and this lens is just in a different league altogether. I preordered the lens on faith, and it certainly delivered by revealing just how much detail can be squeezed from the sensor on my a99. In fact, the lens appears to be a perfect match. Don't get me wrong, the other Zeiss lenses are wonderful, and the 85 is probably my favorite focal length, but the 50 brings a new level of sharpness, contrast and character above and beyond what we've ever seen before in the alpha mount.
Sure, it doesn't come with a case, like the other Zeiss lenses do, and the lens hood may be a tad on the flimsy side, but the build quality overall is excellent. I was dripping sweat onto it, and bushwhacking through the trees in the Amazon and Andes and it came out unscathed.
If you're looking for the ultimate in image quality from your alpha mount, this is the lens to get, with quality to spare for the next several generations of sensors coming down the line.
August 22, 2013
Highest quality lens I have ever owned!
Read all the reviews but in the end the Sony charts said it all. This lens is very well built, fast, high contrast (even at 1.4) and extremely sharp. You would have to enlarge your pics beyond 20x30 to even start finding weaknesses. One review stated you would only use 1.4 in must to low light situations, wrong. Depth of field only problem wide open and still I have already shot some of my most favorite pics on this lens at 1.4. I spend most of the time in the F2-3.2 area. Bokeh very smooth. F4 and up this lens gets insanely sharp. I know most are not 100% onboard with price; at least I didn't drop $11,000 on the newest Leica 50. Just saying this lens delivers on price/performance. I do not work in the photography field, just someone who likes good equipment. I had one printed on metallic paper - off the chart sharp 16x20. The A99 and Zeiss lens out performs my medium format from the late 80's.
August 21, 2013
You buy this lens because you want quality and it delivers. Sharpness is incredible. Solid build with a focus hold button on the lens make it a worthwhile investment.
August 21, 2013