Sony FE ZEISS Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZA SSM (SEL50F14Z)

Standard prime lens • Digital era

FE The lens is designed for Sony 35mm full-frame digital mirrorless cameras but can be also used on APS-C digital mirrorless cameras.
T* The multi-layer coating is applied to the surface of lens elements. It boosts light transmission, ensures sharp and high contrast images, minimizes ghosting and flares.
ZA The lens is designed for Sony 35mm full-frame digital cameras but can be also used on APS-C digital cameras.
SSM The lens is equipped with Super Sonic Wave Motor.

Sony a7

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:October 2013
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Sony a7R

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:October 2013
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.9 × 24mm
Resolution:7360 × 4912 - 36 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Sony a7S

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:April 2014
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:4240 × 2832 - 12 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:-

Sony a7 II

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:November 2014
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7R II

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:June 2015
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.9 × 24mm
Resolution:7952 × 5304 - 42 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7S II

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:September 2015
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:4240 × 2832 - 12 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a9

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:April 2017
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7R III

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:October 2017
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.9 × 24mm
Resolution:7952 × 5304 - 42 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7 III

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:February 2018
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7R IV

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:July 2019
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.7 × 23.8mm
Resolution:9504 × 6336 - 60 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a9 II

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:October 2019
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7S III

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:July 2020
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:4240 × 2832 - 12 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a7C

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:September 2020
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.6 × 23.8mm
Resolution:6000 × 4000 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Sony a1

35mm AF digital mirrorless camera

Announced:January 2021
Mount:Sony E
Format:35.9 × 24mm
Resolution:8640 × 5760 - 50 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Image stabilizer:Yes

Designed for

Click to expand or collapse section(s)

Features highlight

Ultra fast
2 ASPH
1 ED
11 blades
IF
RD SSWM
DP/WR

Specification

Production details
Announced:July 2016
Production status:In production
Production type:Mass production
Original name:ZEISS Planar FE 1.4/50 ZA SSM T*
Optical design
Focal length:50mm
Speed:F/1.4
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount:Sony E
Diagonal angle of view:46.8° (35mm full frame)
31.6° (Sony E APS-C)
Lens construction:12 elements - 9 groups
2 ASPH, 1 ED
Diaphragm mechanism
Number of blades:11
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.45m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:6.67 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:Internal focusing (IF)
Focusing modes:Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Autofocus motor:Ring Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor
Focus mode selector:AF/MF
Direct Manual Focus (DMF):Determined by the camera
Optical SteadyShot (OSS)
Built-in OSS:-
Physical characteristics
Weight:778g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀83.5×108mm
Weather sealing:Dust-proof and water-resistant barrel
Fluorine coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 72mm
Lens hood:Bayonet-type ALC-SH143 (petal-shaped)

Manufacturer description #1

The perfect all-round lens for any situation: with the new Planar T* FE 1,4/50ZA for full-frame E-mount cameras from Sony you will experience high quality throughout the entire frame right into the edges of the image – even at full aperture. Its angle of view corresponds to the perspective of the human eye. At the highest aperture setting it captures stunning images in portrait quality. The highest aperture setting of 1.4 enables attractive bokeh with a low depth of field and rises to the challenge every time – even in poor light. It is precisely in these situations that its advanced optical design – featuring aspheric elements and the legendary T*®antireflective coating – allows the lens to perform at its breathtaking best and deliver pictures that will astound you. The lens is additionally equipped with an aperture ring, permitting the aperture value to be set via the camera or directly on the lens. Autofocus or manual focus? The Planar T* FE 1,4/50 ZA features a fast-action focus switch for selecting whichever mode you require. Last but certainly not least, a Super Sonic Wave Ultrasonic Motor (SSM) ensures that you never lose any time when focusing. This also makes this standard lens ideal for free-hand photography, particularly in poor light.

Manufacturer description #2

Sony Releases Full-Frame FE 50mm F1.4 ZA Prime Lens

Sony Electronics - 07/11/2016

SAN DIEGO, July 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world's largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced a new full-frame lens for their E-mount camera system, the Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA (model SEL50F14Z).

This 50mm prime lens features a large F1.4 maximum aperture that offers impressive contrast and outstanding resolution that are hallmarks of the ZEISS® brand. It produces these consistently strong qualities throughout the entirety of the frame – from center to corner – and at all aperture settings, even while shooting wide open at F1.4. The cutting edge optical structure includes high-precision AA (Advanced Aspherical) and ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements that reduce spherical and chromatic aberration, as well as a ZEISS® T* Coating that minimizes flare and ghosting creating the classic ZEISS® clarity. Additionally, its Planar design ensures minimal distortion.

The large F1.4 maximum aperture of the FE 50mm F1.4ZA lens provides a level of brightness and speed that are advantageous for dimly lit indoor shots, night scenes, and portraits, while its 11-bladed circular aperture allows for stunning "bokeh", or background defocus, in images. The lens also features an aperture ring with an adjustable ON/OFF switch, an AF/MF focus mode switch, and a dust and moisture resistant design¹, further increasing its functionality.

The new lens is also equipped with a ring drive SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) system, which allows it to efficiently lock focus with speed, precision and in near silence, making it particularly useful for shooting movies.

Manufacturer description #3

A refined double-gauss design incorporating two aspherical elements, including one precision AA (advanced aspherical) element, works with an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass element to suppress field curvature and distortion while maintaining outstanding image-wide resolution and contrast from the widest aperture at any focusing distance.

The F1.4 maximum aperture can be used to create images with shallow depth of field and smooth, beautiful bokeh. A bright maximum aperture like this also makes it possible to shoot at high shutter speeds in low lighting. Of course the lens can be stopped down to create extended depth of field when required.

Although Sony’s circular aperture design usually employs up to 9 blades, this lens incorporates 11 blades that take bokeh quality to new levels of smooth beauty. Natural-looking highlights in the out-of-focus areas enhance overall atmosphere while providing a gentle sense of depth.

A physical aperture ring allows intuitive aperture control. An aperture click switch makes it possible to enable or disable the aperture ring click stops as required. Moviemakers will want the clicks OFF, while photographers often prefer tactile click feedback. There’s also a focus mode switch for convenient manual/autofocus selection.

ZEISS lenses are renowned for their outstanding color reproduction and contrast. The ZEISS T* Coating is an important contributing factor, effectively suppressing spurious reflections that can degrade overall image quality. Flare and ghosting are reduced for enhanced color and contrast that give images a deep, three-dimensional feel.

Focus drive is handled by a RDSSM (Ring Drive Super Sonic wave Motor) system that is capable of positioning the heavy focus group required by large aperture lenses with speed and precision. Fast, accurate focus is essential to bring out the full performance potential of high-resolution camera bodies, whether you’re shooting stills or movies.

A sealed dust and moisture-resistant design provides extra protection and ensures reliable operation in challenging environments. Shoot with confidence in light rain or windy conditions.*

* Although the design is dust and moisture-resistant, absolute protection from dust and moisture is not guaranteed.

Typical application

landscapes, interiors, buildings, cityscapes, portraits, photojournalism, weddings, parties, carnivals, live concerts

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

Professional lens (Top class)

One of the best fast standard primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Quality control issues

The manufacturer of this lens does not provide adequate quality control. If you do decide to purchase this lens, do not order it online, but choose the best copy available in the store. In any case, there may also be problems with the build quality, and warranty repairs can take months.

Zeiss Batis series

Professional full-frame autofocus lenses for Sony mirrorless cameras.

Zeiss Loxia series

Compact, full-frame manual focus lenses for Sony mirrorless cameras.

Zeiss Touit series

Autofocus lenses for Sony and Fujifilm APS-C mirrorless cameras.

Zeiss ZM series

Lenses with exceptional workmanship for rangefinder cameras.

Zeiss Otus series

Full-frame manual focus lenses specially designed for modern digital SLR cameras with high-resolution sensors. Deliver uncompromising performance, even at full aperture. Offer the standard of quality otherwise only achieved on medium format systems.

Zeiss Milvus series

Full-frame manual focus lenses specially designed for modern digital SLR cameras with high-resolution sensors. Optimal image performance for all focal lengths.

Zeiss Classic series

Full-frame manual focus lenses developed for ambitious photographers and their wide diversity of applications: macro, landscape, architecture, portrait, journalism, fashion and beauty. Enjoyed an outstanding reputation with photographers all over the world for many years. Characterized by classic appearance and high optical performance. Offer an excellent entry into premium class photography.

Unique Zeiss Look

Zeiss lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Zeiss Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Ring Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor

AF/MF

AFAutofocus mode.
MFManual focus mode.

Aspherical elements

Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) are used in wide-angle lenses for correction of distortion and in large-aperture lenses for correction of spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, thus ensuring excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. The effect of the aspherical element is determined by its position within the optical formula: the more the aspherical element moves away from the aperture stop, the more it influences distortion; close to the aperture stop it can be particularly used to correct spherical aberration. Aspherical element can substitute one or several regular spherical elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Use of aspherical elements has its downsides: it leads to non-uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights. This effect usually appears as "onion-like" texture of concentric rings or "wooly-like" texture and is caused by very slight defects in the surface of aspherical element. It is difficult to predict such effect, but usually it occurs when the highlights are small enough and far enough out of focus.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Canon's Super UD, Nikon's Super ED, Pentax' Super ED, Sigma's FLD ("F" Low Dispersion), Sony' Super ED and Tamron's XLD glasses are the highest level low dispersion glasses available with extremely high light transmission. These optical glasses have a performance equal to fluorite glass.

High-refraction low-dispersion elements

High-refraction low-dispersion elements (HLD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

High Index, High Dispersion elements

High Index, High Dispersion elements (HID) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Anomalous partial dispersion elements

Anomalous partial dispersion elements (AD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Fluorite elements

Synthetic fluorite elements (FL) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. Compared with optical glass, fluorite lenses have a considerably lower refraction index, low dispersion and extraordinary partial dispersion, and high transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light. They are also significantly lighter than optical glass.

According to Nikon, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. To avoid this, Canon, as the manufacturer most widely using fluorite in its telephoto lenses, never uses fluorite in the front and rear lens elements, and the white coating is applied to the lens barrels to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating.

Short-wavelength refractive elements

High and specialized-dispersion elements (SR) refract light with wavelengths shorter than that of blue to achieve highly precise chromatic aberration compensation. This technology also results in smaller and lighter lenses.

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics material (BR Optics) placed between convex and concave elements made from conventional optical glass provides more efficient correction of longitudinal chromatic aberrations in comparison with conventional technology.

Diffraction elements

Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

High refractive index elements

High refractive index elements (HR, HRI, XR etc) minimize field curvature and spherical aberration. High refractive index element can substitute one or several regular elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Apodization element

Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Flange focal distance

The flange focal distance (FFD), sometimes called the "flange back", is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Convex protruding front element

The convex front element protrudes from the lens barrel, making it impossible to use filters.

Fixed focus

There is no helicoid in this lens and everything is in focus from the closest focusing distance to infinity.

Overall linear extension

The entire lens optical system moves straight backward and forward when focusing is carried out. This is the simplest type of focusing used mainly in wide-angle and standard prime lenses. It has the advantage of introducing relatively little change in aberrations with respect to change in focusing distance. With telephoto and super telephoto lenses this method becomes less beneficial in terms of operability because of the increased size and weight of the lens system.

Front group linear extension

The rear group remains fixed and only the front group moves straight backward and forward during focusing. This method is primarily used in zoom lenses and allows to design comparatively simple lens construction, but also places restrictions on zoom magnification and size reduction.

Front group rotational extension

The lens barrel section holding the front lens group rotates to move the front group backward and forward during focusing. This method of focusing is also used only in zoom lenses.

Internal focusing (IF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned between the front lens group and the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Rear focusing (RF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned behind the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.