Further readings for the Carl Zeiss Loxia 2/50 Sony FE
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Announced in July 2016, the $1498 Sony Carl Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA (Zeiss FE 50mm f/1.4) is a standard focal length 50mm prime lens for Sony full-range a7 hybrid cameras (such as the a7R II). Boasting a wide maximum f/1.4 aperture, it’s a versatile lens choice for general use and low-light photography, as well as for creative background bokeh portraits and effects on Sony a7 cameras.
Lens options for Sony’s full-frame A7 series of mirrorless cameras are increasing all the time, and the new $498 Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro adds another choice in this popular prime lens focal length. Great for general-use photography and portraiture, the Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro also boasts 1:1 macro magnification with a 16cm/6.3-inch minimum focus distance, for high-quality close-up photography. FE-mount lenses also remain compatible with Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras such as the A6300, offering an equivalent 75mm focal length, which remains a good option for portraits and macro work, if a bit long for general use. The Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro features both ED and aspherical glass elements for improved performance, as well as dust and moisture resistance, and a focus limiter switch. The focus limiter offers 3 settings, including full, 30cm to infinity, and 16cm to 30cm, with the latter being helpful for reducing the amount of “focus hunting” when using autofocus for macro shots.
After introducing the new no-compromise G Master series for full-frame Alpha mirrorless cameras, Sony announced an inexpensive FE 50mm f/1.8 to add to the lineup. At $249, the new lens is much more accessibly-priced than that lofty GM series, or the Zeiss-branded FE 55mm F1.8 introduced soon after the initial launch of the full-frame cameras themselves.
Featuring a whopping 42.4Mp resolution, the Sony A7R II mirrorless camera is one of the highest-resolution consumer cameras currently available. It’s also currently the only camera to feature a full-frame 35mm BSI (backside illuminated) sensor — technology that allows the photocells to capture a greater intensity of light, and in theory, maximize image quality.
Rather than follow established trends for high-grade, high-speed lenses that are inevitably large, heavy, and cumbersome, the manual-focus Loxia series from Zeiss, like the AF Batis range, feature the same high-grade optics, but with more modest maximum apertures in a form factor based on the premise of the tiny size of the Sony A7 full-frame mirrorless cameras themselves. Announced in October, 2015, the $1499 Zeiss Loxia 21mm f2.8 is a super-wide-angle prime with a new Distagon design that’s been optimized for the demands of digital capture.
Designed exclusively for Sony E-mount cameras and the full-frame A7 series models in particular, the Zeiss Loxia 2/50 (50mm f/2), like the Otus ZF models, deliberately avoids AF in favor of a mix of manual mechanical controls and electronic data transfer. Read on to find out how well this lens performs.