Am I crazy to consider selling the Zeiss 55?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by WestOkid, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    I am thinking of selling the FE 55z to help purchase the FE 1635z. My reasoning is that while the 55 is basically flawless, it is still just a fast 50. I also have the Canon FD 50 1.4. From what I read, at one time that was considered flawless. Well, my copy is still close to flawless all these years later. So would I really miss the 55? I don't think I would. However, I am really missing a UWA.
    So am I crazy?
     
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I've never owned the Canon FD 50 f/1.4. But from the images I've seen from it online, it doesn't suffer anything in comparison to the Sony 55. So as long as you can happily shoot without AF, I'd say swapping the 55 for the 16-35 is far from crazy. Having said that, I'd sell the Canon. But that's just my kind of craziness. :D
     
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  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Why don't you just put aside the FE 55mm and use the Canon 50mm for a while? You'll know soon enough what you're missing, if anything. FWIW, I'd want an FE 55mm for the times when autofocus would come in handy, otherwise I'm fine with the Minolta MC 50/1.4. Of course I cannot say if I'd miss the FE 55's image quality because I've never really used one.
     
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  4. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Thanks David. Nobody wants to be crazy:dash2:. I don't really care about AF much for what I use it for. As for selling the Canon; I'd get $75. I don't think I can rent a 1635 with that.

    Thanks Ad - I have been using the FD longer than the 55. I am fine with it. It's just that the 55 is sort of legendary for the platform, so it feels like blasphemy to get rid of it.

    The other thing I can do is sell the FE 28-70 and keep the 55. But then I wouldn't have a walk-around lens. Currently, the 28-70 accounts for 80% of my A7 shots. I am going to try an walk around with the 55 to see if that works.
     
  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    From what I've seen of your work, Gary, I bet the 16-35 and 55 would make a great walk-around combo for you,and would make the 28-70 fairly expendable. Go ahead! It's only money! :daz:
     
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  6. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Boy. You made me buy the A7, the 55 and now your making me buy the 1635. I hope you have a decent basement becuase I may need to pay you an extended visit.
     
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  7. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    We don't have basements out here on the left coast. But we have a great couch, and you're welcome any time! :drinks:
     
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  8. TedG954

    TedG954 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Nov 29, 2014
    South Florida and NE Ohio
    Ted Gersdorf
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  9. pbizarro

    pbizarro TalkEmount Veteran

    358
    Nov 24, 2014
    Portugal
    If you don't use a lens, sell it, someone else will find a good use for it.
     
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  10. tomO2013

    tomO2013 TalkEmount Veteran

    375
    Dec 11, 2014
    I'm the last one to be giving advice....
    I'd keep both nifty fifties and sell a kidney to get the other lens!!!
    The canon FD50 1.4 is gorgeous. Personally I prefer the FD55 1.2 Aspheric and FD50 1.2 aspheric .
    The Canon 50 1.4 will not correct as well as the more modern Canon EF 50 1.2L and definitely not as well as the Zeiss 55 1.8. It simply will not be as sharp or contrasty on a digital A7 body wide open (obviously being designed for film) as an excellent natively designed and optimised one will. http://3d-kraft.com/index.php?optio...ime-sonnar&catid=40:camerasandlenses&Itemid=2
    Stopped down to F2 the Canon 50 or 55 still cannot match the 55 Zeiss 1.8 wide open nevermind the 50 1.4. This does not mean that all 3 canon FD lenses will not and do not put out stellar IQ. They do. They just have a different vintage look to the more clinical rendering of the Zeiss because their imperfections add up to a lot of character rather than 'flaws' (in my book anyway). The 55 1.8 is as close as you can get to an auto-focussing Zeiss Otus in terms of optical perfection. You need to shoot this glass with the same clinical respect as you would the Otus as it has a very flat field curvature , massive central sharpness and lots of contrast giving a huge 'pop' to your image wide open that belies it's F1.8 aperture. To some the effect can look too much like the subject was painted onto a green screen. Used well though and it can be a beautiful creative device. It is also a true F1.8 in terms of both transmission and aperture value (something only a handful of lenses can claim). Canons modern EF 501.2L has a transmission value of 1.4. Nikkons 501.4G has a transmission value of 1.6. My point is that it is a great optic. If I was in your shoes however, the 55 1.8 would be the one that I keep. However, if you prefer the Canon (and you may well do ) then you should sell the Sony and keep the one that you prefer most. No amount of graphs or other peoples opinions can be as good as your own eyes :)
     
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  11. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Tom are you tom.ohle on Flickr?

    As for this thread. I want to thank everyone for their advice. You all convinced me to keep the Zeiss 55. After listening to you all, I realized, it just doesn't make sense to make a short term decision. I was only selling the Zeiss to expedite the acquisition of another lens not because I didn't like it. When I took a step back, I realized it was the one piece of gear I owned that was best in class. I should keep those things not sell them and dumb down.

    I sold a ton of other stuff instead. The Sony FE28-70, Canon 17-40L, Canon FD 24, and a Tiffen 72mm Variable ND. I actually didn't need to sell the FD 50, since I went used. I already miss the 28-70. I always laugh when people say zoom with your feet because it ain't the same or possible in so many cases, particularly on the wide end.

    Come tomorrow, I will be the proud owner of a "barely used" SEL1635Z I picked up from B&H. I inspected and tried it at the store, but had it delivered to my house to avoid the NYC taxes.

    Thanks again
     
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  12. tomO2013

    tomO2013 TalkEmount Veteran

    375
    Dec 11, 2014
    Yup - that's me. Nice to meet you. I had a look at your flickr. You have some absolutely beautiful images. :)

    Congratulations on your lens - it's a fantastic lens. I'm excited to see what you do with it.

    Personally I haven't gotten huge use from mine yet and the shots that I have taken are ...well... frankly crap!!! I'm rubbish at landscape and particularly wide angle.
    I'm still learning to go outside of my comfort zone and try wider than 28mm. Wide angle is probably the hardest for me to 'see' in and thrives or dies on its composition!



     
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  13. ggibson

    ggibson TalkEmount Regular

    154
    Sep 1, 2011
    Keeping the 55 makes sense to me too. Personally, I love a "normal" prime as a walk-around, casual lens. The 55 fits that bill well, and mostly replaces the 28-70 for me.

    The 16-35 is another beast entirely. It's also a great walk-around lens since it goes all the way to 35mm. But it also gives you the ability to shoot groups, interiors, landscapes and that sort of thing. The 16-35 is a great travel combo with the 55, IMO!
     
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  14. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    For what it's worth, I think you did the right thing, Gary. I can't wait to see what you do with that 16-35! :2thumbs:
     
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  15. TedG954

    TedG954 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Nov 29, 2014
    South Florida and NE Ohio
    Ted Gersdorf
    If I knew I was going to have an opportunity to photograph a once-in-a-lifetime shot........ I believe the 55/1.8 would be my choice. And that choice is over my Nikon 24/1.4 and every other Nikon lens I own. The 55/1.8 Zeiss is the reason I became interested in Sony. I was quite happy with my Nikon system. I actually bought the lens before the A7II on which it is mounted.

    The Zeiss 55/1.8 is perfection to me. To you, the feelings may be different. Only you know what is best for your personal photography.
     
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  16. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Thanks for that info Ted. It's comments like those that made me rethink what I was doing. I never questioned the quality of the lens. It is near perfect to my eye. It's just the 50mm focal length has many cheaper alternatives that do "nearly" as well to the naked eye. I mainly use the 55z for family shots so it doesn't need to be great. As for family shots, the subject is way more important than the camera or lens I use.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
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  17. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Heh, I would say that's true of almost any shot. :D
     
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