I had to return my ZEISS 55mm f/1.8

Started Jan 11, 2014 | Discussions thread
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viking79 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,138
I had to return my ZEISS 55mm f/1.8

I had to return my ZEISS 55mm f/1.8... Sadly, my rental period expired and I had to box it up and ship it back to Lens Rentals.  I really was sad to see that lens go.

For those that aren't happy with the focus on it, I think it is more fault of NEX/Alpha focus system, as I noticed the E 50mm f/1.8 OIS did the same.

Face Detect Focus Tips:

  • Verify eye box shows over eye
  • If eye is not contained by the face, the focus will likely be on background (say face 45 degree angle to camera and eye is bordering background)
  • If eye is not detected, face box flashes green, focus will likely be on background or hair light.

Flexible point focus tips:

  • If the box covers any of background or hair, focus will likely be on background or hair, select smaller box or focus on chest.

General Tips:

  • f/1.8 on A7/r is like f/1.2 on APS-C, very shallow DOF.  If you sway at all after focus completed, and you will, your subject will be out of focus.
  • Verify focus using the viewfinder.  Generally EVF is high enough resolution that no focus peaking is even needed.
  • The situations that cause the face detect focus to fail are usually the ones where the subject is back lit with inadequate front lighting, fix the lighting by turning the subject or turning on a small light in front if you can.
  • The camera focuses at the aperture you have set! If you have f/6.3 set the camera might be slow to focus.
  • Subject movement/motion blur.  Watch your shutter speed.

I found with the 55mm f/1.8 in controlled situations focus was spot on every time, which is why I think it is more of a usage issue in certain environments/camera limitation issue.

When I went through my wedding photos I was really irritated that some were out of focus that shouldn't have been, but looking back most could be attributed to one of the above tips.  For example in pretty good light I noticed focus was on the background, but subject was back lit and face detect wasn't wanting to catch the eye so it must have grabbed the background with the general face box.  I shot almost everything from f/1.8 to f/2.8 so depth of field was very shallow.

Anyone else have anything to add or counter-points?


 viking79's gear list:viking79's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R Samsung NX1 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 85mm F1.4 ED SSA Samsung NX 60mm F2.8 Macro ED OIS SSA +5 more
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