Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF (ZE) (on Canon EOS) - Lab Test / Review
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (Full Format)
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Lens kindly provided by Markus Stamm
The Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 is a quite interesting representative of its
species - there're lots of 100mm macro lenses out there but this one is fairly unique
because it is 1 stop faster compared to the competition so apart from its obvious
target application (macro photography) it could also substitute a portrait lens -
at least more so that its cousins. On the downside its max. magnification is "only"
1:2 (@ min. focus 0.44m) so die-hard macro photographers may have an issue here.
The lens is available in Nikon- (ZF.2), Pentax- (ZK) and Canon EF-(ZE)-mount.
Typical for all Z-series lenses it's a manual focus lens. The focus indicator in
the viewfinder remains active (ZE) so there's a little guidance here at least.
The ZE versions use an electronically controlled aperture so it can be operated
by the camera (the ZF.2/ZK variants feature also a classic aperture ring).
Unfortunately we weren't able to get our hands on the ZE version so we had to use
the ZF variant via adapter. However, there aren't any differences apart from the
mount specific aspects so our conclusions regarding the optical performance will be
fully valid for ZE lenses as well.
The Zeiss lens is based on a symmetrical Planar design originally invented in 1896(!).
"Planar" originates in the German word plan ("plane" in English) and refers
to the flat reproduction characteristic (minimal field curvature). The patent
is long expired, of course, so it's widely used in the industry nowadays.
The build quality of the full-metal Zeiss (brass with chromium-plated brass front
bayonet) is superb. The fluted focus ring is exceptionally well damped. The lens
uses a retro-focus (RF) design so the front element does not rotate. As you
can see in our product images above the lens extends significantly when focusing
towards closer distances. This is not unusual for a macro lens although we've
seen more non-extending variants lately (e.g. the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM L IS).
|Optical construction||9 elements in 8 groups, Floating elements|
|Number of aperture blades||9 (rounded)|
|min. focus distance||0.44 m (max. magnification ratio 1:2)|
|Dimensions||76 x 113 mm|
|Filter size||67 mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||Included, barrel shaped (snap-on)|