Sony A7 + Zeiss 55mm 1.8
Tuesday, 6 December 2016
Saturday, 12 November 2016
Sunday, 8 May 2016
This week I got a chance to test the new version of the 15mm Voigtlander lens meant for the Sony E-mount full frame cameras so the whole A7 range. Along with the mount change the lens has been a little updated: new metal body and contacts to provide communication with the camera. My asumption was that the optics hasn't been changed compared to the Leica M mount in the IIIrd version, but I can't be sure especially because I have a strange feeling that the image doesn't look the same. If any of you guys own the IIIrd version of the Leica M 15mm please let me know if the image is comparable.
it looks great and feels very solid - like all Voigtlander lenses I used
The Leica M version has been around for over a year, and we have all seen the samples or used the lens. The optics have been praised a lot. This new mirrorless-intended version is still great, don't get me wrong, the image is contrastive, there is very little flare and CA and the sharpness is amazing almost across the whole frame, but the extreme corners look disappointingly soft. This is not very serious as this affects only a small portion of the image and with such a ultra wide angle lens it is kinda understandable, but I have a feeling that the Leica M version was not that soft even around the edges.
top right corner at 1:1
The fact that the lens has got contacts makes using it fantastically easy. You still have to turn the focus and aperture rings to make changes, but now you can see the parameters in the viewfinder without having to take a look at the lens. The aperture value is also saved in EXIF data. Take a look at this video for yourself:
You can see the sample shots below at 1200x800px or check out the full photos on my flickr with exif data
Sunday, 10 April 2016
If you are a Sony A7 user then for now this is the only 50mm lens with AF you can use and it's not a 50mm lens to be exact, but it's as close as it gets. It is not cheap and it is not the fastest lens considering the price. So why would you buy it? Easy. Because it is friggin fan-tas-tic! I was a long time Nikon user, and I used some Canon cameras over the years as well. I am familiar with f/1.4 and f/1.8 50mm lenses those companies make, but none of them come even close to the Sony Zeiss. In terms of optical quality this is just a killer - f/1.8 is fully workable, this lens does not need stepping down to produce a really decent image, but if you do step down just a bit the resolution becomes insane. I think it surpasses by far the resolution of my A7 (24mpix). In terms of design the lens amazes as well - it is really minimalistic and elegant, plus it's compact. The body is anodized aluminium - I just love this look.
It's a pity though that the focus ring is not mechanic - it's electronic so for me this reneders it useless, but on the bright side the AF is really fast, silent and accurate. However when there is really little light it becomes kinda lost - sadly I couldn't compare it with Nikon/Canon in the dark. Don't get me wrong, you can and you will get your subject in focus, but compared to how it works in daylight (lightning-fast) it is a little on the slow side. I found out that it works better when you use multiple AF points is such situations.
This lens produces probably the smoothest and most pleasant out-of-focus areas I have ever seen. Really impressive stuff, it's where you begin to realize what you spent your money on. When you step down the bokeh is still a pleasure to look at.
As I said fully workable at f/1.8 (even in corners the resolution is really really good on FF which surprised me). Tack sharp at f/2.2-2.8, and when you step down even more your eyes begin to water.
COLOUR / CHROMATIC ABBERRATION
The lens renders colour really masterfully and I think it's partly down to the fact that it produces really contrastive, vivid images. The chromatic aberrations are corrected nicely. They come out in extreme situations, but are relatively small.
In conclusion, this is not the most affordable lens out there, far from it. But if you save up and buy it, you will not regret. It gives you plenty of bang for your buck.
- sharpness (good corners at wide open)
- bokeh (smooth and pleasant, beautiful light circles)
- low CA
- sturdy aluminium body
- compact and good looking design
- no mechanic focus ring
- low light AF performance could be at least slightly better