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Sony sel 50mm or zeiss 55mm

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Yadex, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Yadex

    Yadex TalkEmount Regular

    186
    Jul 4, 2013
    New Jersey
    Went to bestbuy and saw the have a sony sel 50mm 1.8 for 299.00 and they have a zeiss 55mm 1.8 for 999.00
    Is the zeiss that much better than the sony 50mm in IQ to spend $700.00 more on it???



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  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    The Zeiss 55mm is one of the best lenses around - for any mount. Also, it covers a 35mm image circle as opposed to the 24mm image circle of the 50mm, so if you go to an A7 at some point you can continue using the lens.

    As for - is it 700.00 better than the 50mm? That depends on your needs. The 55mm will have better bokeh, better color rendering, less CA and especially it will be sharper across the frame. The sharpness differences in the edges should be pretty drastic, and there is virtually no vignetting on the 55mm even wide open when used on an APS-C sensor camera.

    Of course the 50mm has OSS, which is an advantage in its own right.

    So yes, the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 is a much better lens than the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS. If you can afford to buy it, you won't regret it - that's what I can say after buying three Zeiss E-mount lenses in the past three years. If you don't want or can't spend that amount of money on the Zeiss lens, the Sony 50mm lens is one of the best "nifty fifties" on the market though, so you'll get a very fine lens for a very fair price.

    Only you can decide what fits you best in the end.
     
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  3. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
    If you're like me, you'll find that much of your work is done with the same focal length lens. I suggest you invest where the investment will represent bang for your buck. If a lens will only be for "sometimes" use, then economise.

    On the NEX-7 I usually find myself using the Zeiss 32mm f/1.8 (50mm "full-frame" equivalent). Worth every penny. Having said that, I think Poki's right, you might also want to think about whether you'll be moving to full frame in the future.
     
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  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Ya, for $700.00 it had better yield amazing results.

    While I am not in a habit of telling others how to spend money, I would think long and hard before spending that much more.

    1- Research the differences carefully. Are they a lot or minor? Is there anything that makes the Zeiss that much better? I don't know myself as I would not even consider spending that much. Reports are that it is a great lens.

    2- What are you going to do with the lens? Is this a professional setup, or just a hobby? For the extra price you could pick up several other lenses, or use that money in other hobbies or a really nice trip.

    Only you can answer these questions. For me, it would be out of the question, but I am only a hobbyist, whose wife would not understand. She has been pretty good with my body upgrades and lens acquisitions, but they have been minor and spread out over the past few years.
     
  5. Yadex

    Yadex TalkEmount Regular

    186
    Jul 4, 2013
    New Jersey
    2 weeks ago i got the zeiss 16-70mm and is a really big difference on IQ from kit lenses and i sold all the cheap lenses I own because once yo see how great and sharp the photos comes out you really don't want to use nothing else...
    I ask because I really do not have experience with focal length lenses I always have use zoom lenses and will like to try to see how I will like it



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  6. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Sony 50/1.8 is very good. 55/1.8 may be even better - but you are paying a large premium for full frame compatibility and Zeiss logo.

    The funny thing is, a $50 old 50/1.4 stopped down to f4 would likely be more than a match to either of these two.

    Ask yourself what is it you want from this lens and how often you're likely to be using it.

    If it's a portrait lens, the cross corner sharpness is of little value, you want great center sharpness and bokeh.

    If you want a low light monster, OSS wins hands down.

    I am keeping my 50/1.8 for low light, mainly. It's a good lens but I'd sell it if I only used it for static posed portraits. Any of the cheap Minolta 50's I had used over time are capable of just as good of IQ in decent light.

    This was taken with a Minolta 50/1.7 which is going for $25 on the average, and can sometimes be found for $5 if you look hard enough. For my purposes, any increase in the IQ or bokeh from this would be not worth hundreds of dollars.

    9129489047_d65c758a64_b. DSC05251 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    So, you need to know what you expect from a lens, and if the $700 extra will give you something you wouldn't get otherwise - and whether you really need that something.
     

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  7. Yadex

    Yadex TalkEmount Regular

    186
    Jul 4, 2013
    New Jersey
    I really not going to use much, I will like to just play with one, if I was going to get one I will get the SAL AF 50mm 1.8 prime, I found it new $169 and I already own the LA-EA2 adapter ImageUploadedByTalkEmount1408307963.472971.


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  8. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    941
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
  9. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Don't go that cheap. The A-mount lens is based on an almost 20 year old Minolta lens design. It's not a bad lens, but it's much closer to Canon's 50mm 1.8 than the E-mount one. The SEL50F18 is a much better lens. It's a modern design which offers an incredibly good bokeh for its price - and it features OSS, which is VERY rare among such fast lenses. I'd say it's worth the premium over the A-mount version any day.
     
  10. Yadex

    Yadex TalkEmount Regular

    186
    Jul 4, 2013
    New Jersey
    Sony.com have the SEL 50mm 1.8 for $250


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  11. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    I have not tried the Zeiss 55 yet, but the Sony 50 does yield good results (as does the SAL5018 with the LA-EA2 my mind, but I have become so accustomed to OSS that I always have to adjust before I use any of my A - Mount lenses). I moved from the 16-50 to the Zeiss 16-70 as well (my second Zeiss/Sony lens), and I am very happy with that lens investment, so i will personally be evaluating the Zeiss against my needs and desires in the future as well.

    It is hard to say what might be a better move; all 3 of those AF choices would be good I am sure!
     
  12. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I found an old Minolta Maxxum AF 50/1.7 on the local CL for $20 which was a great price - they sell for around $70 which is still very inexpensive.

    SEL50 does have several advantages - OSS, silent focusing, better wide open (Minolta needs to be closed down to past f2 for best performance).

    However, after f2 they are getting close, and at f2.8 and above, the IQ is every bit as good. Excellent, really.

    I'd get this lens before spending $170 on SAL lens.

    I agree except with Canon part, Canon is probably even sharper, but it has rather ugly bokeh, while Minolta has very nice bokeh. And it's much better built, at least compared with the MkII version of Canon Nifty. Minolta was all about colors and bokeh.

    If OP can swing SEL50, it's the way to go, otherwise Minolta is hard to beat.
     
  13. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Amamba makes a great point with the Minolta Maxxum 50mm. For the money you can get one of those for it does make more sense than the Sony SAL; they are very close in my mind with the Minolta having a bit better construction and the Sony having quicker and quieter AF.

    The SEL would make a better choice than either of the A - Mount lenses because of OSS alone. I was able to buy my SEL 50mm used off of this forum for about $200 which was a good price in my mind given the security of buying from another member. With prices as low as they are right now for the SEL, if you don't want or need the Zeiss "perks", then it makes sense in my mind to go with the SEL... it really is a great little lens for the money!
     
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  14. Hin Man

    Hin Man TalkEmount Regular

    173
    Jan 18, 2013
    I have a Sony E 50mm f/1.8 bought new with box and right now I am deciding if I should let it go. I am planning in getting FE 55mm f/1.8 and I wonder if I can share the FE 55mm f/1.8 between my A7 and my nex camera currently with 5N. I plan an upgrade to A6000 or similar in the near future. The one thing that I will be missing on the E 50mm f/1.8 is the OSS and probably smaller size, any other thing that I may not have considered. Will the FE 55mm f/1.8 work as fast on AF as the E 50mm f/1.8 on the A6000 or similar models with PDAF?

    For owners of both FE 55mm f/1.8 and E 50mm f/1.8, can you share a thought or two if FE 55mm f/1.8 can be shared with the E-mount aps-c cameras. I also have a Sigma 60mm f/2.8 which I like a lot on NEX usage. Any good reasons to keep the E 50mm f/1.8? Or any users find good reasons to have both E 50mm f/1.8 and FE 55mm f/1.8?

    Cheers,
    Hin
     
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  15. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Sure, the 55mm Zeiss will work fine on any E-mount body. And it's not much bigger than the 50mm.
     
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  16. MrT-Man

    MrT-Man New to TalkEmount

    7
    Oct 16, 2013
    I upgraded from the 50/1.8 to the 55 FE for use on my NEX-7. The improvement is subtle, but it's there. The 55 has a hint more color and a hint more contrast. Rendering is actually extremely similar between the two, with the 55 having a touch more bokeh due to the focal length. The chromatic abberations are also similar, though I think the 55 has maybe a touch less green tinge in the bokeh when shot wide open. The 55 might be a touch sharper, but honestly, you'd really have to peep to see it. The color improvement is more noticeable to me.

    Personally I'm very satisfied with the upgrade. I always felt that the pictures from my 50 were lacking a little something compared to my zeiss 24 or Touit 32. I no longer feel that's the case. But I'm a perfectionist and willing to pay up for a small improvement. The 50 is a solid lens in its own right, and the difference is maybe more subtle than you'd expect.

    The 55 focuses faster, incidentally, so that's also a plus...
     
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  17. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    And that's the dilemma. It is a bit better, but a huge price jump.

    Only you can decide if the price is worth it.
     
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  18. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    But isn't that the same as with everything in life? A €500 B&W MM-1 set of speakers will be better than a €100 set of Harmon Kardon ones, but are they five times better? Probably not. Still, these are things which you probably keep for a lifetime, so in my book they're worth it - up to a limit, of course.
     
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  19. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Yup. We all make choices.

    Some would say those B&W Speakers are low quality. I have a friend with a high end home theatre with speakers running into the several thousands each. It makes my home speakers which cost around $1500 for the system sound like crap, but I still enjoy mine.

    It all goes back to that price/features balance.
     
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  20. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Yep, that's exactly the point. I wouldn't spend €8000 on the new-ish Leica 50mm Summilux, but I still think my 50mm Touit is awesome. Somebody who is used to the Leica lens might think otherwise. But that still doesn't mean the Touit is a bad lens at all. But enough with metaphors, I think the point is clear now. :)
     
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