Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50/1.5

The sometimes under-rated Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm..

How would I describe the look of the ZM Sonnar.. I would say it is like a CV Nokton 40mm f1.4 but sharper and smoother yet just as much unique character.

I took the Leica M9 to London to meet two models for a day of on location enviromental portraits, shot on the street using available light. I wanted to test the Carl Zeiss ZM Sonnar C 50mm f1.5 against the almost 3x more expensive Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 away from the studio.  The Zeiss Sonnar is lighter and more compact yet feels just as well made.  The ‘Lux is known to have edge-to-edge sharpness whereas the Sonnar’s 1930s design is sharp in the centre and softer at the edges.  Perfect for Leica portrait photography.

This is the first of several posts showing a few examples using the Zeiss ZM Sonnar on the Leica M9.

First impressions from the location shoot photos I have looked at so far are I am extremely pleased with the results from the ZM Sonnar. The lens is sharp, with beautiful rendering and gives the subject that Zeiss 3D pop look with great subject-background seperation. I shot the Sonnar wide open most of the day but even with it stopped down to f5.6 on occasion I did not have any focus shift issues.

Here are a few more examples. I will add to the post so feel free to check back. Model Angelique

London Street Photography
River Thames

Here are a few Zeiss ZM Sonnar samples from the studio – Model Gina
Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50/1.5
Leica M9 + Sonnar
Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5 T

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica Photographer

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About matthewosbornephotography

Coventry, UK studio based Model and Wedding Photographer offering both Medium Format Film and Digital Images. 1-2-1 Photography and Lighting Tuition also available.
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4 Responses to Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50/1.5

  1. Pingback: Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 | Matthew Osborne Photography

  2. Pingback: Leica Summicron 50mm f2 | Matthew Osborne Photography

  3. The Sonnar has a beautiful classic look. If you had to choose between the 50 Lux ASPH and the Zeiss, which would you choose in practical terms?

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