Tag Archives: sigma 50mm f/1.4 art

First Impressions of the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 and 25mm f/2 Lenses

We first broke news about Zeiss’s new range of Batis lenses in April 2015. We were very excited, not only because they were the world’s first lenses fitted with OLED distance and depth-of-field indicators, but especially because they were available in the 85mm and 25mm focal range.

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Fresh on our doorsteps. The new Zeiss Batis autofocus primes with the world’s first OLED distance and depth-of-field scale.

Zeiss USA has been very good to us. It all started when we first tested their brilliant Loxia 35mm f/2 in front of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Since we are not paid by Zeiss to advertise their gear, we maintain our objectivity and have the creative freedom to structure our tests however we like. It has worked very well as they are some of our most traffic articles.  We’ve developed a beautiful partnership.

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This past Monday, we received an email from the Marketing Manager of Zeiss Americas offering us their first batch of North American Batis lenses to test and review. We were ready to go and here are our first impressions.

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The Mighty Fifties – Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 vs Loxia 50mm f/2 vs Sigma 50mm f/1.4

The 50mm is not only nifty, it is mighty. It is a standard normal prime, meaning it gives a close approximation of our eyes’ field of view. This lens comparison will feature Disneyland, an $650,000 original Banksy piece, a beautiful model on a Malibu beach, a Shepard Fairey mural, and this peacock.

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“Yippee ki yay.” Shot by a Loxia 50mm f/2.

The 50 is also the favorite focal length of the legendary street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. As he explained it when asked why the 50mm lens was his favorite,

“I worked with a 90. It cuts much of the foreground if you take a landscape . . .The 35 is splendid when needed, but extremely difficult to use if you want precision in composition. . . [the 50] corresponds to a certain vision and at the same time has enough depth of focus . . . .”

This comparo will again be broken into 5 rounds:

  1. Build quality
  2. Sharpness
  3. Vignetting and Flare
  4. Bokeh and 3D Pop
  5. Real World Handling

The Contenders & Their Specs

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The Zeiss Sonnar 55mm f/1.8 (left); Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar (center); Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art with a Commlite autofocus EF to E adapter (right). Note: the Commlite adapter did not autofocus with the Sigma 50mm f/1.4. Only aperture and exposure could be controlled.

On the left, weighing in at a welterweight 281g with a $998 price tag (grey market $740), is the standard setting Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm f/1.8. In the middle, weighing in at 320g with a $949 price tag, is the brand new Zeiss Loxia T* 50mm f/2 Planar. On the right, weighing in at a morbidly obese 810g with a $949 price tag, is the highly acclaimed Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art DSLR lens,

Continue reading The Mighty Fifties – Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 vs Loxia 50mm f/2 vs Sigma 50mm f/1.4