50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?

Started Jan 6, 2019 | Discussions
gwexou Contributing Member • Posts: 867
50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?

Dear all,

I have the Zeiss 55mm f1.8 but i'm looking for something brighter at night. I was looking at the 50mm f1.4 as an option, until I read a review saying that the light transmission is actually exactly the same, despite the 1.4 being much heavier and bigger.

Can anyone concur or deny ?

Thanks !

 gwexou's gear list:gwexou's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Sony a7R III Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +5 more
Karafuru Regular Member • Posts: 353
Re: 50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?

It helps if you specify the equipment used. Below examples as measured by DXOmark

 Karafuru's gear list:Karafuru's gear list
Sony a7 II Sony a6500 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS +5 more
jonpais
jonpais Senior Member • Posts: 2,990
Re: 50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?

Yeah, so perhaps a one-third stop advantage - meaning that things like bokeh, fringing and coma, as well as size and price are more significant. Here’s DPR’s assessment:

https://m.dpreview.com/reviews/comparative-review-sony-fe-50mm-f1-4-za-vs-55mm-f1-8-za/2

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voronspb
voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,995
Re: 50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?

As a rule of thumb, the more optical elements has the lens, the more light is lost while passing through them. Sigma 50/1.4 loses the most light due to complicated design and probably the lesser coatings than Zeiss T*.

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Vladimir Gorbunov

 voronspb's gear list:voronspb's gear list
Sony a6500 Sony a7 III Tamron 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD Sony FE 35mm F1.8 Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD +7 more
jonpais
jonpais Senior Member • Posts: 2,990
Re: 50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?

I think

I forgot to mention that AF is faster with the 55mm as well.

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upgrader Regular Member • Posts: 383
Re: 50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?
1

I would choose again and again the 50mm ZA just because of that Pop and its magical rendering. The 55mm has no chance here except sharpness. For my taste it has a very clinical output.

jonpais
jonpais Senior Member • Posts: 2,990
Re: 50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?

upgrader wrote:

I would choose again and again the 50mm ZA just because of that Pop and its magical rendering. The 55mm has no chance here except sharpness. For my taste it has a very clinical output.

We hear that a lot around here, but in practice, I'm not finding that to be true at all.

In fact, the 50mm looks far more detailed and 'clinical' in my video than the 55mm. So it depends entirely on how you shoot with them.

My sample footage shot with the 55mm looks 'dreamier' than the 50mm. hehe

Both fantastic lenses!

https://youtu.be/7JKMDW0XE5k

https://youtu.be/RSEZ3R7dXAk

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RE Alpha
RE Alpha Contributing Member • Posts: 785
Re: 50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?

gwenhael appere wrote:

Dear all,

I have the Zeiss 55mm f1.8 but i'm looking for something brighter at night. I was looking at the 50mm f1.4 as an option, until I read a review saying that the light transmission is actually exactly the same, despite the 1.4 being much heavier and bigger.

Can anyone concur or deny ?

Thanks !

There has been a thread about these two lenses:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4351755

Not exactly the same question, but might be useful to read as well.

 RE Alpha's gear list:RE Alpha's gear list
Sony a9 Sony a7R III Sony FE 24-70mm F4 OSS Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM +6 more
OP gwexou Contributing Member • Posts: 867
Re: 50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?

Thanks, i completely forgot to check their tests !

Karafuru wrote:

It helps if you specify the equipment used. Below examples as measured by DXOmark

 gwexou's gear list:gwexou's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Sony a7R III Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +5 more
OP gwexou Contributing Member • Posts: 867
Re: 50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?
1

Thanks, that's exactly what i'm thinking. Other aspects become deciding factors if the light transmission is more or less the same....

jonpais wrote:

Yeah, so perhaps a one-third stop advantage - meaning that things like bokeh, fringing and coma, as well as size and price are more significant. Here’s DPR’s assessment:

https://m.dpreview.com/reviews/comparative-review-sony-fe-50mm-f1-4-za-vs-55mm-f1-8-za/2

 gwexou's gear list:gwexou's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Sony a7R III Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +5 more
HFLM Senior Member • Posts: 1,976
Re: 50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?

gwenhael appere wrote:

Thanks, that's exactly what i'm thinking. Other aspects become deciding factors if the light transmission is more or less the same....

jonpais wrote:

Yeah, so perhaps a one-third stop advantage - meaning that things like bokeh, fringing and coma, as well as size and price are more significant. Here’s DPR’s assessment:

https://m.dpreview.com/reviews/comparative-review-sony-fe-50mm-f1-4-za-vs-55mm-f1-8-za/2

I found the 50/1.4 to be clearly superior, we have two of them for weddings.

Compared to our copy of the 55/1.8, when we still had it, our 50s were sharper. But more importantly, the FE50 shows almost no CAs, the 55 is very prone to CAs, however. AF is quite good for an f1.4 lens, I was never let down by it even in dim light.

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Sony a9 Sony a7R III Sony a7 III
AcerK Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: 50mm 1.4 ZA vs Zeiss 55mm 1.8. Same light transmission ?

upgrader wrote:

I would choose again and again the 50mm ZA just because of that Pop and its magical rendering. The 55mm has no chance here except sharpness. For my taste it has a very clinical output.

When you edit your RAW photos you can do any "POP" you want... so sharpness, barrel distortion control, and flaring control are more important qualities than a characteristic of lens.

 AcerK's gear list:AcerK's gear list
Sony a7 III
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