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Lens review

Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55 mm f/1.8 ZA

27 August 2016
Szymon Starczewski

5. Chromatic and spherical aberration

Chromatic aberration

Unfortunately the Zeiss Sonnar 1.8/55 FE manages poorly the correction of the longitudinal chromatic aberration. Its level is distinct not only at the maximum relative aperture but easily noticeable also by f/2.5 so on stopping down the lens by 1 EV. Such a slip-up hardly befits an expensive lens…

Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55 mm f/1.8 ZA - Chromatic and spherical aberration

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Luckily when it comes to the lateral chromatic aberration the situation is completely different. The graph below presents its performance at both detectors, the smaller and the bigger.

Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55 mm f/1.8 ZA - Chromatic and spherical aberration


The results never exceed 0.04% ; it means the lateral chromatic aberration is simply imperceptible. The lens should definitely be praised in this category.

A7R II, RAW, f/1.8 A7R II, RAW, f/4.0
Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55 mm f/1.8 ZA - Chromatic and spherical aberration Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55 mm f/1.8 ZA - Chromatic and spherical aberration


Spherical aberration

Fast standard lenses often had serious problems with the spherical aberration but the Sonnar 1.8/55 FE doesn’t have any visible issues in this category. You can’t notice either any “focus shift” effect or distinct differences between the appearance of circles positioned in front of and behind the focus. The image at the maximum relative aperture doesn’t feature misty areas, characteristic for bad correction of the spherical aberration.

A7R II, f/1.8, in front of A7R II, f/1.8, behind
Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55 mm f/1.8 ZA - Chromatic and spherical aberration Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55 mm f/1.8 ZA - Chromatic and spherical aberration