Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 (Sony E) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony NEX
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published August 2014

Note: We have reviewed this Zeiss a while ago in Fujifilm X mount and for obvious reasons we'll re-use most of the previous article here.


The Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 is a bit of a surprising offering. Given the brand name and combined with the rather extreme focal length you may expect something completely unaffordable (see e.g. the full format Zeiss T* 15mm f/2.8). However, at less 1000EUR/US$ the pricing is similar to competing lenses incl. the Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS. As you may have guessed by now, the Zeiss lens is an APS-C format lens and we have tested it in Sony E mount here (it's also available for Fujifilm X mount). A 12mm APS-C lens is equivalent to a “18mm” full format lens - or in other words: it has an ultra-wide field of view with typical applications such as landscapes and architecture photography.

While the Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 is a short lens, it is actually quite “fat”. When placing the camera with attached lens on a table, the combo will actually stand on the lens front on one end. Obviously Zeiss decided to implement a rather large front element which simply takes some space. However, bigger tends to be better - we’ll see whether there's some truth in this. The build quality is excellent thanks to a tightly assembled combination of plastic and metal parts based on a metal mount. A big plastic lens hood is supplied. The focus ring is rubberized which is really nice from a handling perspective although it also collects dust like hell.

We used a Sony NEX 7 for testing but also tried it on a Sony A6000. The AF speed is Okay but it is not a speed demon nor is it meant to be anyway. The AF accuracy was very good and the emitted noise level during operations is very low. Manual focusing works “by wire” so you actually trigger the AF motor by turning the focus ring. This works reasonably well.

Equiv. focal length"18mm" (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperture"f/4.2" (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction11 elements in 8 groups inc 2x aspherical & 3x AD elements
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.18m (max. magnification 1:9)
Filter size67mm
Hoodpetal-shaped, bayonet mount, supplied
Other featuresFloating System

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