Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* compared to Nikon and Minolta 50mm lenses

The Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* earns it's reputation for several things. Lack of distortion, CA and fringing, sharpness across the frame etc.
But I was interested to see just how it compared to what else I have in terms of out and out sharpness. So I compared it to my Nikon f/1.4G and Minolta f/1.7 lenses wide-open and at f/8. For the f/8 comparison I included the Sony 28-70mm zoom into the mix as well. All were shot on my Sony A7. As per usual these are shot and processed raw with identical settings. These are in fact the settings I use for my picture library uploads and is the camera preset I have in Photoshop ACR.


To see the differences properly you are going to have to download the full size versions of the above in a .zip file from Google Drive HERE. It will only take a few seconds to download.

As you can see at widest apertures the 55mm is the sharpest but at f/8 the other lenses aren't that far behind. Showing that optimum apertures and tripod mounting are great levellers when it comes to lens performance. However as I mentioned at the top of the post, sharpness is just one of the virtues of the 55mm and it is definitely the best lens I've ever owned, beating my Sigma 35mm f/1.4 by performing marginally better. 

So an interesting set of results. The 28-70mm is I suppose the biggest surprise. It's not bad at all. But then you haven't seen the edges or the corners!!


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N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) at the bottom of this post.

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