Some time ago, we already compared a large selection of more or less adorable 50mm lenses on an APS-C crop camera (NEX-7) here. Now it's time for a sequel where we squeeze out the currently most adored 50s attaching them to the 36 MP full frame Sony A7R.
The candidates this time were (from left to right, the Leica M bodies this time only acted as lens cap ;-)):
- Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH
- Zeiss FE Sonnar T* 55mm f/1.8
- Zeiss Otus Apo Distagon T* 55mm f/1.4
- SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95
- Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 ASPH
As far as I can remember, 50mm lenses always were a compromise and optimized for a certain purpose. So you had to decide between large aperture (typically f/1.4) portrait lenses designed for available light and optimized to isolate a subject in a range of 1 to 3 m from its environment with a smooth background blur or for a landscape lens that is perfectly sharp all over the frame at f/5.6 - f/8 on large distances. But 2013 Zeiss stepped in with a "no compromises" lens demonstrating that it is possible to build a lens covering all purposes with maximum image quality, the "Otus 1.4/55".
Only the Zeiss FE Sonnar T* 1.8/55 is a native lens that was launched by Sony together with their new series of full frame cameras, the A7 and A7R. All other lenses had to be adapted using a Leica M to E-mount adapter or (in case of the Otus in ZF.2 mount version) a F-mount to E-mount adapter. I do not want to bother you with too many details about these lenses. Some of them were already covered in other articles here and on other web sites and I am sure, you will be able to find out all technical data you need - otherwise feel free to contact me by E-mail.
In the first part of this comparison review we will use the lenses in real world situations where they are best suited for:
The following series was taken at a subject distance of about 1.2m (approx. 4 ft.). All images are