Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50mm f/2 ZF - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Sample Images

Here're a few quick'n dirty sample shots taken with the Nikon D200 and RAW-converted via RawShooter Premium.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window). Please note that the originals are FULL SIZE samples (=several megabytes) thus requiring a significant amount of bandwidth so please take care of the limited resources here.

Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D200
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Exposure Data: f/2.0 @ 1/500s
Size 2613x3898
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D200
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Exposure Data: f/5.6 @ 1/160s
Size 3898x2613
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D200
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Exposure Data: f/2.0 @ 1/2000s
Size 3898x2613
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D200
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Exposure Data: f/8.0 @ 1/500s
Size 2613x3898
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D200
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Exposure Data: f/5.6 @ 1/1500s
Size 2613x3898
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D200
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 50.0mm
Exposure Data: f/8.0 @ 1/350s
Size 2613x3898

Verdict

Just like the rest of the Zeiss ZF gang the Makro-Planar 50mm f/2 is not a lens for the mainstream due to the lack of AF and electronic coupling. To put things into perspective AF is not a killer feature for macro lens anyway but then you may also argue that its very large max. aperture may be sufficient to substitute a conventional 50mm lens. Quality-wise the Zeiss ZF is an exceptional lens with extremely high resolution figures till diffraction takes its toll. CAs are basically non-existent and distortions are not field relevant. At f/2 there may be a hint of vignetting but it normally still nothing to worry about. The bokeh (out-of-focus blur) is generally very smooth and buttery - see e.g. the "horse" sample image above. Regarding the lack of any real weakness the Makro-Planar may be the best Zeiss ZF lens tested to date and some of the others were already truly excellent. A comparison to other macro lenses is a little difficult. On the upside the Zeiss is a full stop faster but on the other hand the max. object magnification is "just" 1:2 which may be a somewhat limiting factor for macro enthusiasts. So you gain and loose a little in terms of flexibility. The price tag is comparatively high at around 1000€/US$ but then you're getting superb optics and exceptional build quality in return.

Optical Quality:    
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