Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF (ZE) (on Canon EOS) - Lab Test / Review
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (Full Format)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published July 2010
Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Markus Stamm!
The Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 is one of the few all-time lens classics. It has
seen many incarnations over time from the ancient Contax C/Y era over the also gone
Contax N-system and now as Z-series (Canon, Nikon, Pentax) - each with slight
optical variations due to the different requirements. It 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).
Typical for all Z-series lenses the T* 85mm f/1.4 doesn´t feature AF so you have to rely
on the focus confirmation in the viewfinder, Live-View or a split-image viewfinder
screen for (accurate) manual focusing. The build quality of the full-metal Zeiss
(brass with chromium-plated brass front bayonet) is superb. The fluted focus ring
feels exceptionally well damped. The Planar features a retro-focus (RF) design so
the front element does not rotate. The T* 85mm f/1.4 extends slightly by about 1cm
when focusing towards close distances. The rather long min. focus distance of 1m
is a bit disappointing compared to other lenses in this class.
We used the ZF (Nikon) version via adapter but a native ZE (EOS) version is
available. The ZE lens has no aperture ring, of course.
|Optical construction||6 elements in 5 groups|
|Number of aperture blades||9 (rounded?)|
|min. focus distance||1m (max. magnification ratio 1:10)|
|Filter size||72mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||Included, barrel shaped (snap-on)|