One of the only three Sony FE lenses in *actual* existence so far, is the CZ (for Carl Zeiss) 55mm F:1.8. It retails for about 1000$, and that many €, as well (exchange rate be damned). Whenever someone voices their shock or disagreement at having only ONE, outrageously priced option for a “normal” prime, the Zeiss fanboys fly to the rescue and shout the great Zeiss motto : NO COMPROMISE. Sure, Bentleys and Rolls Royces ARE amazing, TOP quality vehicles, but they cost an arm (and leg, or a kidney… you get the idea). I’m not bitching about high end, top tier, “no compromise” stuff. Hell, ain’t I the one who fantasized about a 640$ camera bag only days ago ?? Sure. But thinking about it long and hard I realised I just could *not* justify such a price, as much as I am sure this particular bag would probably be the last one I’d ever need. I am still keeping an eye on it. But until I can afford it, I want/need *other options* (more on bags in a future post). So all new A7/R owners are actually asking for is CHOICE.
Now, before you make me (legitimately) notice that this lens is not fully FF compatible, bear with me. And with this 100%, totally *unprocessed* crop of the 24MP image from the NEX7 at full resolution :
Zeiss fans will tell you how the 1000$ has solid metal build, with superior finish, and top notch optics with the best current coatings. All of which is true, BUT… Modern coatings aside, both PEN F and Zuiko OM featured in this post share the beautiful metal build and finish, with superb handling and dampening of focus rings.
The PEN is a bit more expensive but still affordable at around 200USD. Sure, it’s for half frame so will vignette on FF, let’s rule it out then. But the Zuiko OM 50/1.8 is totally FF compatible, very small and compact, extremely easy to find, and so cheap it’s actually stupid (I paid 25€ for mine, shipping included !). So while yes, luxury options are good to have, I still feel Sony could have provided the early adopters of its new system cameras with at least a possibility to have a native AF normal prime for a reasonable price. And I for one will not have any inferiority complex whatsoever mounting my excellent and affordable OM lenses on my soon to be delivered A7. Stay tuned for early tests !