Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss lens review: Superbly sharp lens for Sony’s new, full-frame A7R and A7 mirrorless cameras

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posted Friday, November 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM EDT

 
 
 
 
 
 

We've just posted our Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss lens review, and boy, this is one heck of a lens! It's designed to serve Sony's hot new Alpha A7R and A7 full-frame mirrorless cameras, and bears the ZA Zeiss Sonnar T* branding. This fast prime is an E-mount lens, which Sony has placed into a sub-category called "FE-mount," denoting the company's full-frame lens offerings. And it's just one in a series of new FE lenses -- the others being the Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* and the Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6G OSS lenses which were also introduced with the A7R and A7. (In fact, the latter is the A7's kit lens.) Sony also plans to launch a couple more FE lenses in January 2014, specifically the FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* and an FE 70-200mm f/4 ZA OSS.

The new Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 lens, as the name indicates, features classic Zeiss design with a smooth, black metal construction, a buttery smooth focus ring, high-end optical construction, plus a rugged, dust- and weather-resistant build. It also features Zeiss's T* coating for increased contrast and reduced glare, as well as a 9-bladed rounded aperture for great background blur. 

 
 

Our tests show this 55mm f/1.8 lens produces stellar results in pretty much all categories. It's one of the best prime mirrorless lenses we've ever tested. Although vignetting could be an issue to some shooters, particularly when shooting at wider apertures, we think the other performance characteristics handily outweigh this issue. The Sony FE 55mm f/1.8  gives shooters a "normal" focal length perspective that's great for portraits and street photography, not to mention low-light shooting.

Jump on over to SLRgear to read our full Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss lens review to see our test results and read our final verdict.

This fast, rugged and relatively-compact prime lens ships with front and rear caps, a metal-and-plastic lens hood and a soft case, and is available currently for pre-order at $998 with an estimated shipping date of Dec. 22, 2013, and can be pre-ordered from Adorama, B&H or Amazon. By purchasing this lens, or any other product, at one of our trusted affiliates, you help keep these reviews coming!

In the meantime, check out some sample photos below taken by Rob, our lens technician, with the lens mounted on the Sony A7R. You can view more sample photos, plus download the full-resolution files, over at our Flickr page.