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Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T* FE ZA Full Frame Prime Lens - Fixed

by Sony
106 customer reviews
| 38 answered questions

List Price: $999.99
Price: $998.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • Focal Length: 55mm, Filter Diameter: 49mm
  • Lens Type: Fixed, E-mount Full Frame, Lens not zoomable
  • Aperture (Min/Max): 22/1.8
  • Magnification: 14x
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 19-11/16 inches (.50m)
18 new from $998.00 10 used from $749.99 2 refurbished from $945.00
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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

Sony Camera Lenses SEL55F18Z

From the Manufacturer

Sony make . believe

Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Full-frame E-mount Prime Lens

Renowned Carl Zeiss contrast and resolution brings out the best in α7 series full frame E-mount bodies. The T* coating works with an innovative optical design to suppress internal reflections, for sublime contrast from highlights to deep blacks. In keeping with the Sonnar concept, a large F1.8 maximum aperture can produce beautiful full-frame background bokeh, but you also have the option of stopping down for extended depth-of-field. A bright lens like this is also an advantage when shooting indoors or outdoors in low light. Linear motor driven internal focusing is smooth and quiet, and a dust and moisture resistant design ensures consistently reliable performance.

Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA Full-frame E-mount Prime Lens


Circular Aperture
Aspherical lens elements
Carl Zeiss T* (T-star) coating

Circular Aperture

When changing your aperture to defocus the background, the light sources appear blurred. This ‘bokeh’ effect of the blurred background can be enhanced with circular aperture blades used in this lens. Conventional aperture blades have flat sides creating unappealing polygonal shaped defocussed points of light. α lenses overcome this problem through a unique design that keeps the aperture almost perfectly circular from its wide-open setting to when it is closed by 2 stops. Smoother, more natural defocusing can be obtained as a result.

Aspherical lens elements

Aspherical lens design dramatically reduces spherical aberration while also reducing lens size and weight. Spherical aberration is a slight misalignment of the light rays projected on the image plane. This is caused by differences in refraction at different points on conventional spherical lenses which degrade image quality in large-aperture lenses. Specially shaped “aspherical” elements near the diaphragm restore alignment of light rays at the image plane, maintaining high sharpness and contrast even at maximum aperture and can also be used at other points in the optical path to reduce distortion. Well-designed aspherical elements can reduce the total number of elements required in the lens, thus reducing overall size and weight. Advanced Aspherical (AA) elements are an evolved variant, featuring an extremely high thickness ratio between the center and periphery. AA elements are exceedingly difficult to produce, relying on the most advanced molding technology to consistently and precisely achieve the required shape and surface accuracy, resulting in significantly improved image accuracy and quality.

Carl Zeiss T* (T-star) coating

Coated optics were pioneered by Carl Zeiss - and this superb lens features the Carl Zeiss T* (T-Star) coating that virtually eliminates lens flare, internal reflection and light scattering that can otherwise occur at glass-to-air surfaces. The T* coating contributes to outstanding image quality, with high contrast and uniformly excellent resolution right out to the image edges. Not simply applied to any lens - the T* symbol only appears on multi-element lenses in which the required performance has been achieved throughout the entire optical path, therefore guaranteeing the highest quality.

Additional Features

Internal focusing

Only the middle groups of the optical system move to achieve focus, so the overall length of the lens does not change. Other important benefits include fast autofocusing and a short minimum focusing distance. Also, the filter thread at the front of the lens does not rotate, which is convenient if you’re using a polarizing filter.

Sony make . believe

2014 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sony is not responsible for typographical and photographic errors. Features and specifications are subject to change without notice.

All rights reserved. Sony, the Sony logo, (alpha) logo, and SteadyShot are trademarks of Sony. Carl ZEISS and ZEISS is a trademark of Carl Zeiss and Sony Corporation. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.

Product Details

Warranty Information [PDF]| Operating Instructions [PDF]| User Manual [402kb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches ; 9.9 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00FSB799Q
  • Item model number: SEL55F18Z
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.
  • Date first available at October 15, 2013

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Mikee Catacutan on December 23, 2013
Verified Purchase
One thing I see often in comments from reviews are people complaining about a price for a 55mm f/1.8 lens. Oddly enough they complain with zero experience with the lens.

I just purchased this lens on amazon and it arrived in time for a wedding I shot just yesterday. It performed brilliantly. 95% of my shots were done wide open at f/1.8 and almost 100% of the images were in focus, minus a few that were from user error (accidentally switched off auto iso, resulting in a slower shutter speed indoors).

The lens at 1.8 is so sharp, it's quite refreshing and locks on focus quickly.

I had no problems at all with auto focus though I will say my 5d3 did focus faster indoors. But the a7 and 55 still performed well.

Outdoors at around 4pm with the sun at a beautiful spot, shooting was almost too good.

My primary use for this lens is to get nice bokeh and and I couldn't be happier. In some instances, it has this quality about it that I can't explain but have always read about. I guess its a Zeiss thing (my first and definitely not last).

So I would say, if this is in your budget, you won't be disappointed with the quality of the images produced. Then add the fact that it's weathered sealed, it's definitely worth the price. My 50L is now up for sale.
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I didn't believe in the so called Zeiss 3D quality on IQ till I purchased this lens. I have the Sony A7 and had been using the kit 28-70 lens for a while. I was very disappointing with the image quality from the lens. I almost wanted to return the camera with the kit lens because the picture quality I got from Sony's setup is not even close to the Fujifilm X series ILC.

This lens really release the potential of Sony A7 system camera. Focus under good light is pretty fast, the image rendering is just unbelievable, sharp on focused subject and the bokeh on the background/foreground are just simply stunning.

It is on the expensive side but it is worth every penny. This lens is really a must for all A7 users.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Thomas W on January 16, 2014
Verified Purchase
I have had this lens for less than 24 hours, but have taken quite few photos with it in that time. I can report that this lens is better than good, and better than excellent. It is tack sharp throughout its f-stop range, has little or no flare, and no chromatic aberration that I can detect. The IQ of the lens is pleasant and realistic, with good and clear rendering of colors and detail. Contrast is excellent. The autofocus works well and works quickly on my Sony A7R body under all but the dimmest of light conditions. There is, unfortunately, no hard stop for the lens at infinity (the lens focus ring will go past infinity when manually focusing). I like this lens more than the Sony 35mm 2.8 Zeiss lens. Bokeh at f/1.8 is surprisingly good and smooth for isolating subjects. I also have a Leica M camera and lenses, including the latest version of the 50mm Summilux f/1.4 lens. In comparison to that lens, the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 is not nearly as well built, and does not render as nicely. But at one-fifth of the cost, the Sony/Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 lens comes surprisingly close to the mark in terms of the images it produces, and is an outstanding lens in its own right. Also, and unlike the Summilux, it's an autofocus lens that focuses quickly and accurately. I would definitely buy this lens again. For $1,000 this is a whole lot of lens. I would even go so far as to say that this lens is a steal at $1,000.

Update: None of the above opinions have changed after using this lens for several weeks. This is a superb lens.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Huckleberry on April 10, 2014
Verified Purchase
Having been a photographer for nearly 30 years, I have had my share of love affairs with glass, and I won't claim to have abandoned every other lens, but I can say that when I want RAZOR sharp focus and detail that actually challenges my a7R sensor, this gem is a beast. It's small, light, VERY fast (don't let the 1.8 fool you; the light throughput on this lens beats most all Canikon 1.4s and gives the 1.2s a run for the money speed wise, and blows them ALL away resolution wise ), and has that peculiar Zeiss depth and separation, producing a very noticeable "3D" quality, visible even on the LCD.

Larger prints seriously make you feel like you could literally reach into them. The clarity and very controllable resolution, perfect color and believable contrast sell enough EXTRA prints that it will have paid for itself in another week or two, so the admittedly sky-high price is, in the end, pretty easy to swallow. The performance, dollar for dollar, is a steal.

It's not cheap by any means, but as much as I hate to constantly repeat myself, you get what you pay for. In this particular case, you get AT LEAST what you pay for, and if you generate income with your camera, this is an unusually solid investment that yields returns very quickly.

If you own the a7R and DON'T have this lens, shame on you.

There is ONE *auguably* sharper lens on the planet, but it isn't autofocus and costs 4-6 times the price of this. Once the sticker shock abates, it really is a no-brainer.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Arthur O. Fritz on February 21, 2014
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Since there are not too many FE mount lenses available, you are stuck with getting some good quality Zeiss glass. Yes, they are expensive, but you get what you pay for. The barrel is made of metal and the focusing ring is so smooth to operate. The weight is about perfect. It does not weigh the camera down and it feels very balanced. The Bokeh for a 1.8 at this focus length is amazing! The images are beautiful! If you have not seen the DxO marks for this lens, you might want to check it out. On an a7r, you are getting pretty darn close to the same image quality as the Zeiss Otus. I am currently using it on an a7. If you have the money to get it, by all means grab it. You will not regret it.
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Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T* FE ZA Full Frame Prime Lens - Fixed
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