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Sony Zeiss 55mm 1.8 FE vs Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art - Which to keep?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by JonathanF2, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
  2. Sony Zeiss 55mm 1.8 FE

    5 vote(s)
    45.5%
  3. Keep them both and become a gear hoarder living in poverty! :D

    5 vote(s)
    45.5%
  1. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    838
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I have both in my possession right now, but I can't decide which to keep. The Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art images always wow me, but the Zeiss 55mm 1.8 FE isn't too far behind, is significantly smaller and better for travel.

    Which would you keep? Help me save money! :D 
     
  2. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    If I shot more portrait or studio work I'd keep the Sigma. If I used the camera more for travel and "carry-around" documentation I'd keep the 55mm.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    838
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I do a little both. When I'm not traveling I prefer the Sigma, it has that special something, even more so than the 55mm. Though when traveling the 55mm is so much easier to handle and takes up less space. The 55mm can also double up as a street lens when need be, which makes it more discreet for other types of shooting.
     
  4. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    The only thing that prevents me from 100% saying the Sony 55mm is its bokeh swirl/cat's eye mechanical vignetting.
     
  5. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    838
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I just did a portrait session with the 55mm 1.8 FE and in retrospect, part of me wishes I used the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art instead. At the same time I was shooting up in Vancouver B.C. and it was nice not to carry that extra weight north of the border! :D  Pics turned out fine, but due to the not-so-sunny weather, 1.4 vs 1.8 actually makes a difference of a stop of light gathering.

    I'm almost leaning towards keeping them both and just stick to eating ramen. Real artist spend all their money on supplies or I like to tell myself that! Lol
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. sapoeijoek

    sapoeijoek TalkEmount Regular

    130
    Oct 22, 2017
    Texas
    Edwin
    Yikes. Not a fan of swirly bokeh. I noticed it on FE 85/1.8 too.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto TalkEmount Regular Subscribing Member

    28
    Sep 1, 2018
    So Cal Desert
    Jim
    Both have advantages. The Sony 55's FOV is 10% longer than the Sigma 50 and will have 10% more compression, it is about 1/2 the volume and just a bit over 1/3 the weight (a full pound lighter!), plus it uses much smaller filters. The Sigma, being a f1.4 vs f1.8, will have 2/3 stop more light gathering, slightly smaller DOF and slightly better bokeh. Both are very sharp, neither has the lens function button, but the Sigma has the AF/MF switch.

    Having a couple of Sigma Art lenses for my FF Nikon gear, when I added the Sony A7III 2 months ago my goal was to keep the Sony kit lighter. With my Nikon gear I sold the Sigma 50 as I liked a slightly longer FOV and went with the Nikon 58mm f1.4 (it also becomes a 87mm on my D500). So when I bought the Sony, I was pleased to find a 55mm native lens. I am extremely happy with the 55 f1.8 and FE 85mm f1.8, not at all wishing I went with Sigma, or even Sony f1.4 lenses for that matter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  8. ionian

    ionian TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2018
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    Keep the sigma, sell the zeiss and give the cheap 50mm f1.8 a try if you find you need a 50 for casual travel - optically it is very good and it weighs next to nothing. And I bet it's available extra cheap in the black Friday sales.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    838
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    My problem is I like all glass! Give me a cheap swirly C-mount lens and I'll find a way to make that puppy shine! :D  The Zeiss 55mm is sized great and perfect for travel while maintaining high quality, but the Sigma makes me feel like I'm going into a battle with a big sword ready to kick butt, though I feel fatigued using it afterwards! I'm really a physical photographer who likes to hit all angles and shoot high volume. I literally go to the gym everyday, just so I can keep strong for photography!

    Here's a recent sample with the Zeiss 55mm 1.8 FE + A7III and I'll compare it with a shot with the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art:

    Zeiss 55mm 1.8 FE:
    45011777914_f8fd49ec96_b.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Photo Shoot with model Alina Ropotan.Date: October 27, 2018 by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art:
    42092313680_738e7e585f_b.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Photo Shoot with model Hannah Burns - August 5th 2018 by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    The Zeiss looks nice, but I feel like the Sigma puts me into a different dimension...hard to explain, you be the judge! :D :p 
     
    • Like Like x 3
  10. sapoeijoek

    sapoeijoek TalkEmount Regular

    130
    Oct 22, 2017
    Texas
    Edwin
    Personally, I like the Zeiss better. Can't really judge looking at small images but I like what I see.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Portrait photography is terra incognita to me. But both of those photos rock, and I would happily use either lens if I could get those results.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    The Sigma looks to have more pop and separation, but it could be a result of the lighting in the above shot. If you were ask me which shot is better, I can't pick, both are excellent.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. christilou

    christilou TalkEmount All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2012
    Surrey, UK
    Christina
    I keep my FE55 1.8 for the same reasons, it's light and easy to use when travelling. I found a plus on our trip to Lake Maggiore in that it was quicker to slap it on in the rain and not worry about it too much and be able to af reasonably fast before getting the camera under my coat and out of the downpour! I like the 50mm Summilux but it's manual focus for me as I don't have an adapter for af so it's more of a leisurely lens. I'd go with your heart, if the Sigma speaks to you then put up with it's shortcomings ;) 
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. SamSS

    SamSS TalkEmount Veteran

    238
    Oct 11, 2014
    Maybe it's just me. It's fine and dandy with 7m2 but I tend not to use the FE55 on 7R2 as I see more CA exhibits than would like. Unless carefully choose a scene/composition to avoid CA and bokeh hightlights. But then again, FE55 hasn't seen much use since the day I got those medium telephoto lenses. I normally carry 2 bodies. Either 24/35mm on one and 85/135 for the other.
    Though, it's good to have when travel light is a must with 1 body with all native FE28, FE55 and FE85.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  15. grillec

    grillec TalkEmount Regular

    196
    Mar 19, 2015
    The FE55 is not one of my most loved lenses - I don't know exactly why - and I don't own the Sigma. But in my opinion on pictures made with the FE55 the backround is more noticeable and contrasty and could be a little bit restless. For photos where the background is important for the image composition the FE55 could be the choice. For background which should melt away another lens could be better.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    I prefer the Zeiss 55/1.8. In fact, it's probably still my favorite normal prime lens ever.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  17. Christop82

    Christop82 TalkEmount Regular

    84
    Aug 24, 2017
    Pretty clear you personally prefer the sigma. That's all that matters. Keep the sigma.
     
  18. Biro

    Biro TalkEmount Regular Subscribing Member

    132
    Oct 21, 2012
    Jonathan, it sounds to me like you need to find a way to keep 'em both! :wink:
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
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