Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50mm f/2 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 Makro-Planar T* 50mm f/2 is one of two macro lenses in the Zeiss Z-lineup. The lens is currently available in Nikon F, Canon EOS and Pentax-K mount. We've tested the ZF version via an EOS adapter but the optical design is, of course, identical regardless of the target system.

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 anyway. Z-series lens don't offer AF. However, the focus confirmation in the viewfinder remains active and it is, of course, possible to check the focus via Live-View (or a split-image screen).

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. On the other hand it's the only full format 50mm macro lens as fast as f/2.

Optical construction8 elements in 6 groups
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance0.24 m (max. magnification ratio 1:2)
Dimensions89 x 72 mm
Weight530 g
Filter size67 mm (non-rotating)
HoodIncluded, barrel shaped (snap-on)
Other featuresfloating system (close-focus correction)

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