Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50mm f/2 ZF - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)
Page 1 of 3
Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Peter-Cornelius Spaeth!
The Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50mm f/2 ZF is another new representative of the recently
introduced ZF line-up. Zeiss ZF are a manual focus lenses compatible to the
Nikon F(Ai-S)-mount (therefore ZF). The 50mm f/2 is a full format lens but
as usual we'll have a look how it performs within the APS-C DSLR scope where the
field-of-view equivalent to 75mm. It is obviously a true macro lens but regarding
its unusually large max. aperture (for a macro lens) it may even be a viable
substitution for the classic 50mm f/1.4 lenses unless you really need the
Typical for all ZF lenses the 50mm f/2 doesn´t feature AF nor an electronically
controlled aperture. Reads: the lens has an automatic aperture but you have to
stop down via the aperture ring on the lens (1/2 stop steps). Consequently the
lens is not compatible to the consumer-grade Nikon DSLRs a la D40 or D70.
However, it works just fine e.g. in aperture-priority mode on the D200.
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.
A lens hood is part of the package as you may notice below. However, the front
element is deeply recessed from the filter thread so you don't really need one
Typical for most macro lenses the focus design is a combination of an extension
system and floating elements for close-focus correction. It takes a ~300 degree
turn of the focus ring to reach the closest focus from infinity and in the
process the length of the lens increases by 32mm. The working distance (front
element to object) is about 9cm here. Unfortunately the max. object magnification
is only 1:2 whereas most of the competitors offer 1:1.
|Equiv. focal length||75 mm (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||f/3 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||8 elements in 6 groups|
|Number of aperture blades||9|
|min. focus distance||0.24 m (max. magnification ratio 1:2)|
|Dimensions||89 mm x 72 mm|
|Filter size||67 mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||barrel shaped, metal, bayonet mount (supplied)|
|Other features||floating system (close-focus correction)|