Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 ZF (FX) - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (full format)

Sample Shots

The following sample shots were taken with a D3x and RAW-converted via CaptureOne.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window).

Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Exposure 1/4000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/20s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/1250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/100s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/1.4
Exposure 1/6400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1600s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/11.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/1.4
Exposure 1/8000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2000s

Verdict

Some years ago we analyzed the Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 on an APS-C DSLR and the results were truly impressive there. However, on a full format DSLR the performance leaves a bit to be desired actually. The lens is capable of delivering great results at medium aperture settings - no doubts - but it disappoints at f/1.4 and f/2 with a rather poor border/corner performance and generally reduced contrast. Depending on the use-case this may or may not be overly relevant (e.g. portraits) of course. The light falloff is on the high side here but that's a rather normal characteristic for such lenses. Lateral CAs are well controlled and not overly field relevant. The quality of the bokeh is pretty good although the weak contrast may spoil the game at f/1.4.

Just like the rest of its family, the Zeiss lens is built to the highest standards. Some users may complain about the lack of AF and it is indeed difficult to focus this lens manually without a split-image screen. However, the focus confirmation is available in the viewfinder and in critical scenes Live-View can give you the needed guidance. That said, it remains a bit of an anachronism these days. The price level is quite steep so you really have to have an itch for such classic lenses.

Optical Quality:    
Field Quality: (Low light-/Shallow Depth-of-Field Photography)
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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