This is a quick comparison of the following 50mm lenses:
- Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f1.8 ZA
- Voigtlander 50mm f1.5 Nokton
- Leica 50mm f2 Summar
- Jupiter-3 50mm f1.5
- Canon 50mm f1.2 LTM
- Helios 44M-4 58mm f2
- Lomography Petzval 58mm f1.9
All photos were shot on a Sony a7rII on a fixed tripod. All Shot with wide open aperture. No post processing involved, except adjustments in white balance.
Editor's choice. Other than the corner to corner goodness, the biggest advantage of this lens is that it has the native E mount. So it has full access to everything the camera can offer. I've never been able to see the "Zeiss pop" that other people talk about (don't even know what it means, though used a number of true Zeiss lenses), but the 100% crop does show significant higher sharpness and contrast than all the other lenses here.
I am surprised by how close the images looked from this 50 1.5 and the 55 1.8. Switching back and forth I can notice this lens offered a tiny bit advantage in subject-background separation. It also handled chromatic aberration better. This lens is physically smaller than the 55 1.8. It works great on an autofocus M mount to E mount adapter.
This lens is pretty good considering its age. The biggest plus is that it is collapsible. It is really tiny once collapsed.
Compared to the Leica, this one is more resistant to flare but softer. Not impressive at all.
This big piece of glasses is OK. It indeed gives some characteristic bokeh. Not much else to talk about.
It is famous on the internet for its swirly bokeh. For me, not as swirly as the Helios 40-2.
Interesting lens with "bokeh control". At level 1 bokeh control, the effect looked very similar to the Helios.
Bonus swirly bokeh comparison:
The Petzval blew the Helios out of the water in terms of swirly-ness. However, Petzval's sharpness got worse and worse with the increase on the bokeh control level. So, better keep the subject in the center of the frame.