Sony 55mm f1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA review

Sony 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA reviews roundup

Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA reviews roundup: is it worth the price?

Released in 2013, the Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA is a standard prime lens designed for Sony Full frame mirroless cameras, with a fixed aperture of f/1.8 and a focal range of 55mm useful for portraits, street photography, weddings, landscapes and more.

Though designed for Sony’s full frame E-mount cameras, this lens is compatible with Sony’s APS-C E-mount camera bodies like the A6400 or A6500, and gives an equivalent full-frame field-of-view of 82.5mm.

Specs: 

  • Mount: Sony E mount
  • APS-C equivalent: 82.5mm
  • Optical stabilization: No
  • Weather sealed: Yes
  • Weight: 281 g (0.62 lb/10oz)
  • Min. aperture: f/1.8
  • Max. aperture: f/22
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.50 m (19.69″)
  • Filter size: 49mm
SONY E-Mount Interchangeable Lens Sonnar T FE 55mm F1.8 ZA SEL55F18Z - International Version (No...
  • This version is originally intended for sale outside the US and may contain adapters, manuals, and warranties not compatible with US standards.

What do the critics think of the Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA?

Overall, the Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA is an amazing lens.

It’s exceptionally sharp from its maximum aperture of f/1.8 across the frame, its 9-blade circular diaphragm ensures beautiful bokeh effects and thanks to the large maximum light aperture, you can take pictures without a tripod indoors or in low-light conditions.

It’s not a big piece of glass, and at only 281 g its compactness and lightness make it an ideal companion for traveling, and it’s very discreet for street photography. It’s also resistant to dust and moisture.

Most reviews on the web say that it’s one of the best, if not the best, fixed focus lens for Sony E-mount cameras.

The only real downside that come up most often is that it’s quite expensive, and it lacks optical stabilization but that’s not fundamental if you own a camera with in-biy image stabilization.

Most reviews like…

  • Build quality is top notch
  • Small and light
  • Impeccable sharpness
  • Nice bokeh
  • Excellent autofocus performance

Most reviews don’t like…

  • Expensive
  • Not optically stabilized
  • The aluminium body is easily scratched

For more infos about the positive and negatives sides of the Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA, check out the selection of reviews below:

Websites Reviews

Enthusiastphotoblog.com8/10 – (‘It is perfectly usable wide open though you may be affected by vignetting and purple fringing. Between F2.8 and F4, the lens becomes exceptional. Flare control isn’t the best but it’s also not the worst I have ever seen. The lens size pairs very well Sony mirrorless bodies. Even with harsh back lighting, the Sony Zeiss 55mm/F1.8 produces very nice contrast.’)

Pcmag.com4.5/5 (‘The Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA captures sharp, lovely images, but it’s not a budget lens.’)

Photographylife.com★★★★½ (‘It might not be the cheapest 50mm prime lens option available for the FE mount, but you mostly get what you pay for and those currently on the market for a high performing 50 to 55mm prime lens for their Sony mirrorless camera should give this one a long look.’)

Photographyblog.com★★★★½ Highly recommended (‘If you can afford it, the Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA is an excellent standard prime lens for Sony A7R/A7 owners, delivering great image quality with the minimum of fuss. […] It delivers great results almost throughout its extensive aperture range, even performing well wide-open at f/1.8, although you’ll need to stop down a little to get the best quality at the edges of the frame. Offering fast and reliable auto-focusing, intuitive manual focusing and the usual Carl Zeiss levels of build quality that’s weather-tight too […] Highly recommended if you’re about to invest in the fledgling 35mm full-frame E-mount system.’)

Thephoblographer.comEditor’s Choice Award(‘Above all else, this lens is sharp. Secondly, it produces accurate colors in all the right places, that is to say everywhere. Thirdly, the bokeh is creamy to the point where you’d want to take out of focus photographs just to see what this lens can create.’)

Amazon users reviews

SONY E-Mount Interchangeable Lens Sonnar T FE 55mm F1.8 ZA SEL55F18Z - International Version (No...
  • This version is originally intended for sale outside the US and may contain adapters, manuals, and warranties not compatible with US standards.

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