Zeiss 50mm f/2.0

Last updated (25 June’11):
- Review by Pebbleplace

The Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 features 50mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/2.0. The lens construction has 8 elements in 6 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 45 degrees. Closest focusing distance at 0.24 m – infinity and has a filter size of 67mm. The Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 lens weighs 1.17 lb (530g) and it measures 2.83 inches in diameter and 3.46 inches long.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Reviews

Pebbleplace reviews the Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 and writes;
“The Zeiss 50mm Makro-Planar ZF images are very sharp. There is no disputing the lens’ sharpness or resolving powers. It does an excellent job of slicing through the Canon 1Ds Mark III’s axis of evil – the AA filter! Other than setting the sharpness slider to the midpoint in the Canon DPP software, these files have NOT been sharpen in Photoshop.”
rating: N/A

SLRLensreview reviews the Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 and writes;
“Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50mm f/2 ZF is a superb macro lens. Yes, it does not give you a life-size macro, but most users would be quite happy with 1:2 capabilities anyway. The lens packs a nice set of capabilities – fast aperture, great build quality, outstanding image resolution across almost the entire aperture range, color and contrast…”
rating: N/A

Kenrockwell reviews the Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 and writes;
“Bokeh, the character of out of focus backgrounds, not simply how far out of focus they are, is a little better than average. The Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 is much better, if this is your thing. The Zeiss ZM 50/2 has a little barrel distortion. It’s minor, but more than any other 50mm rangefinder lens except the 55mm f/2.8 Industar. This Zeiss 50mm f/2 Planar is almost as sharp as the LEICA SUMMICRON-M 50mm f/2, which is the world’s standard for 50mm performance. In anything other than exacting, controlled comparison tests, I’d never notice any difference between these two lenses.”
rating: N/A

SLRGear reviews the Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 and writes;
“The Zeiss 50mm ƒ/2 has much to commend it: it’s a full stop faster than its contemporaries, and its results for sharpness, chromatic aberration, corner shading and distortion are all exceptional. It’s also built extremely well, with a construction finish that will last dozens of years and bear up well under harsh conditions.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Photozone reviews the Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 and writes;
“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.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

User Opinions

Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 User Reviews

Excellent lens
“The lens is a manual lens and being used for too long to auto-focus lenses this was initially a challenge and I think you will have to be willing to re-educate yourself. You need to remember that using the right eye and leaving the left open as you focus is the best operating mode. The lens itself is pin-sharp and the light caught is just cleaner and different than any Canon lens I have had, I am strictly considering to replace other lenses with these Zeiss lenses as they are just supreme, if you are wavering remember the manual focusing and the re-education you will probably have to through if you have been in AF land for long, but with a bit of effort and re-training it is worth it.” – by Andre
Rating: ★★★★★

“I wanted a walk around lens that could also do macro shots and decided on the Zeiss 50. I bought the Canon 24-70 the same time I bought this lens for the Canon’s IQ and ease of use, but I have taken maybe 50 pictures with the Canon and almost 1500 with the Zeiss. The Canon makes images that just look and feel too sterile.
Zeiss IQ is just phenomenal; Bokeh is stunning.”
– by dharmaguy
Rating: ★★★★★

Amazing quality wide open
“This lens is amazing. The quality wide open just stuns me everytime. Between MFD and about 5 feet, it is easy to manual focus. But something between 20 feet to infinity is pretty hard to focus through the view finder. At f/2 and that distance, I hit and miss quite a bit but will be upgrading to the 5dM2 super matte focusing screen soon and hope that will help. Using live view to focus and for videos, the colors, contrast, and bokeh all are absolutely amazing.” – by alexleekt
Rating: ★★★★★

“There is no comparable Canon macro lens in this focal length. The Canon EF 180mm macro lens (which I also own) is also a superb optic; but given its focal length and hence weight, it does not readily lend itself to portability or handheld use. The Zeiss lens is light, compact, extremely well-built and renders incredibly crisp, contrasty images. The mechanics of this lens are a delight to experience…in short, an incomparable lens!” – by micro400x
Rating: ★★★★★

The best 50mm there is
“I am a Canon shooter and this was my first Zeiss lens. There are many Zeiss & Leica fanboys, most of them great gearheads and mediocre photographers. I did a good bit of research before deciding on the ZE 50 f/2 Makro Planar. All I can say is, it lives up to its hype and reputation. Sharpness and micro-contrast are outstanding and the bokeh at f/2 is delicious. Build is world-class. This is a versatile lens, serving Macro, street and landscape photography. I am glad to have made this purchase.” – by RP
Rating: ★★★★★

What can you say about this lens
“This piece is a little surreal. Of course it has all the features you’d expect from this level of product… corner to corner sharpness, precision machined construction, etc. What really amazes me about this lens though is how it continually surprises me. Set up a shot, frame, focus, click.. and the image on the lcd looks 10x better I could’ve imagined it when actually looking through the viewfinder. The contrast and color captured by this lens is absolutely a step above…” – by Analog Universe
Rating: ★★★★★

What you need to know about this lens
“This is one of the best lenses available for Canon SLR cameras. I demand a high quality 50mm “normal” lens. Normal lenses spend the most time on my camera, and are useful in practically any situation. I used and ultimately sold several other 50mm lenses before arriving at this Makro-Planar option. Now I have finally found the keeper. Let me explain why: Excellent contrast and color reproduction, Ability to focus from 10″ to infinity means I’m Never bumping up against minimum focal distances, Shooting wider than f/2 isn’t, in my opinion, very useful, Focusing manually is very smooth, helped immensely by the focus confirmation, and more appropriate than auto-focus for most situations..” – by Branden
Rating: ★★★★★

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Sample Photos

- Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Sample Photos @ SLRLensreview.com
- Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Sample Photos @ Flickr.com
- Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Sample Photos @ Pixel-peeper.com
- Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Sample Photos @ Photozone.de


Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 User Manual

Coming soon..

Features & Specifications

Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Specifications

The Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Makro-Planar ZE Macro Lens is designed for analog and digital Canon SLR cameras. The manual focus lens provides a normal perspective and has a minimum focus distance of 9.45″ with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2. The lens is designed with floating elements to ensure high performance across a wide focusing range. As a result, the lens can be used for macro and non-macro applications, making it a versatile standard lens when used with a full frame camera. The high quality performance even at f/2 aperture allows you to throw the background out of focus without compromising the image quality.

* For use with analog and digital Canon SLR cameras
* Manual focus macro lens with a normal perspective with a minimum focus distance of 9.45″ with a maximum magnification ratio 1:2
* Incorporates a floating lens element design to optimize image quality across the entire focusing range
* This lens has a fast f/2.0 aperture to enable hand-held photography under difficult lighting conditions

See also: Carl Zeiss/Sony | Lens Reviews

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