Sony Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA review

The Sony Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA is a big lens with a big price tag but the quality shines through

Sony Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA
(Image: © Sony)

Digital Camera World Verdict

If big is beautiful then this lens is a stunner. It’s a bit of a monster for a 50mm f/1.4, basically the same size and weight of Sony’s range-topping FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master lens despite having a narrower aperture rating. Despite its size and weight, however, it’s a class act through and through, with epic build quality, refined handling and sumptuous image quality. All in all, it more than justifies its up-market price tag.


  • +

    Beautiful image quality

  • +

    Refined handling

  • +

    Excellent build quality


  • -

    Big and bulky

  • -

    No AF-hold button

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    Expensive to buy

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The Sony Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA is near the top rung of the ladder. There are various own-brand Sony 50mm lenses to choose from on the way up, from the low-budget FE 50mm f/1.8, through the FE 50mm f/2.5 G and FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro to the range-topping FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master. This one is about three quarters of the price of the top-notch lens, and well worth the saving if you feel that an f/1.4 is fast enough.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.