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Subject: FE Zeiss lenses

Category: General Discussion

Posted: 02-5-14 7:24 AM - Views: 2312

By: Wolf Rainer Schmalfuss

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I am looking forward to hear an read something about the new ZEISS FE 1,8/55mm, and the Zeiss FE 2,8/35mm for the SONY A7 and A7R cameras.
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Reply from Jt on 02-21-14 9:36 AM

Yes. The 55 is beautifully made and extremely sharp and contrasty. I love it. Now I just eed to figure out how to use auto focus on this thing.
Reply from Wolf Rainer Schmalfuss on 02-21-14 6:26 AM

Today, I had both lenses in my hands. The FE 1,8/55mm "Made in Thailand", and the FE 2,8/35mm "Made in Japan"! But both are made in an excellent finish, which one can expect for this fairly high price levels!
Reply from Wolf Rainer Schmalfuss on 02-14-14 6:38 AM

I had today the chance to hold the new Zeiss FE 1,8/55mm lens in my hands. Superbly made, and not very heavy fits it excellent on both, the A7 and A7R. The lens is "Made in Thailand" same as both cameras. This is not a unusual, because Nikon and Canon production at Thailand also for quite some times. The industrial costs at Japan are in the meantime very high, so its no wonder, that the Japaness photo industries is producing cheaper now in the Asia theater.
Reply from Wolf Rainer Schmalfuss on 02-13-14 11:14 PM

Because of convenient flange distance of 17.8mm only, we can expect more excellent FE lenses for the A7 & A7R! The next Photokina at Cologne will prove it!

To place the FE 1.8/55mm near the OTUS is a nonsense, but the FE 1.8/55mm is no doubt, an excellent glass, and worth its money!
Reply from Jt on 02-13-14 1:38 PM


I just ordered the A7 with the LA4 adapter. I have an Song G 35mm 1.4 which from all accounts is not very sharp but renders nice images. If it fails to meet my expectations, I will sell it and get the 35 FE. I am on the fence regarding the 55. I have the otus but sure would like auto focus. Chances are I just may get the 55 1.8 if I come up with a little extra cash.
Reply from Henry Rinne on 02-13-14 7:32 AM

I have been using the Zeiss FE 35mm since the beginning of the year. I tested it against my Minolta 35mm f2, which is an excellent lens, using the LA4 adapter on the a7. Both lenses produced outstanding images, but the Zeiss produced more resolution, apparently from a slight increase in contrast. This difference held through the entire frame and all apertures from f2.8 to f11. So I will probably sell my Minolta, since it will get very little use even on my trusty a850. The field of view of the Minolta is slightly wider than the Zeiss.
Reply from Wojciech Zielinski on 02-6-14 5:31 AM

Yes, DxO ranked FE 2.8/35mm as best after Sigma Art 1.4/35mm, and FE 1.8/55mm is marked as 2nd best after Otus 1.4/55mm. When I read those results, I feel that FE 2.8/35mm is very well corrected, especially to it's dimensions. The readings from FE 1.8/55mm are really good too, there is also one weaker point in compare to other properties of the same lens. It is little lateral (transverse) chromatic aberration, which is aperture settings independent and quite severe at the edges of image. It is told that it could be easy corrected with firmware correction built-in into camera.

Most practicals, who shot with FE 1.8/55mm do not see any problems with chromatic aberration at most of occasion. But this is a point, which differs most Otus Apo-Distagon 1.4/55mm with FE Sonnar 1.8/55mm.

I hope some owners of those FE lens would write a little more about personal feelings. Theoretically it is already spoken :)
Reply from Jt on 02-5-14 8:25 AM

I think DXO ranked the new 35 as the second best 35 tested.
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