Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2

Last updated (06 July’12):
– Review by SLRLensreview

The Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 features 85mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/1.4. The lens construction has 6 elements in 5 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 29 degrees. Closest focusing distance at 3.28 ‘ (1 m) and has a filter size of 72 mm. The Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens weighs 1.54 lb (700 g) and it measures 77 mm in diameter and 85 mm long.

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

Expert Reviews

Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 Reviews

SLRLensreview reviews the Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 and writes;
“Historically, Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 has been considered to be one of the best medium telephoto lenses for the now defunct C/Y mount. Even after some 20+ years since the original design, the lens is still an interesting choice for those of us who are willing to use a manual focus lens (at least occasionally). The lens offers pretty good performance at medium and small apertures, but struggles somewhat at wider settings.”
rating: N/A

Kurtmunger reviews the Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 and writes;
“As you saw in the center crops, the lens is pretty sharp, even at F/1.4, though watch out for some heavy color fringing. Light fall-off is low, even at F/1.4. There’s no coma, and the corners are almost as sharp as the centers. When used in low light or indoors, the color fringing isn’t so noticeable, especially when no hard contrast edges are present. For use as a fast medium telephoto lens; good, but don’t use F/1.4-F/2 for taking pictures of moving subjects, the DOF is so slim, you’ll be lucky to get anything is focus, and depending on the scene and lighting, you may have axial CA all over the place. This lens performs about the same using APS-C or full frame coverage, very good news.”
rating: N/A

SLRGear reviews the Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 and writes;
“Once again, Zeiss has produced an excellent prime lens, comparable with any of those offered by the manufacturers it can be used with. If you don’t need or want autofocus, this is an excellent manual focus alternative; its 250 degrees of manual focus action are really quite lovely to work with, allowing you great fidelity when finding the correct focus point (and when working with the ƒ/1.4 aperture, you’ll need it).”
Rating: ★★★★½

Photozone reviews the Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 and writes;
“The lens is capable to produce bitingly sharp results when stopped down a little. The color rendition is very Zeiss-like – very saturated and neutral. Vignetting is usually no issue and distortions are absent. Judging the lens bokeh (out-of-focus blur) is a little difficult because similar to wine it is simply matter of taste – generally I found the out-of-focus rendering buttery and pleasing (except with close-ups)…”
Rating: ★★★★½

The-digital-picture reviews the Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 and writes;
“Overall, the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens wide open delivers images that are somewhat soft. As usual, stopping down increases image sharpness. By f/2.0, center of the frame image quality has greatly improved and images are very sharp at f/2.8 Corners appreciate a narrower aperture, but become nicely sharp around f/4.”
rating: N/A

User Opinions

Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 User Reviews

A joy to use
“This is a beautiful lens to use. The focus ring is buttery smooth, and has a long enough turn for you to get accurate focus. It’s a Zeiss, what else would you expect? It renders bokeh beautifully, and in-focus images are sharp. Also a bit brighter (about a half stop) than the Nikon counterpart…” – by D
Rating: ★★★★☆

You can’t beat these results
“This lens is perfect for still photograhy and minimally moving objects such as flowers and landscapes. Colors are vivid and accurate and skin tones are nice. The focus is right on with my D700. I did add a Katz Optic prism focus screen, but I’m not sure that helps…” – by M
Rating: ★★★★★

Superb, as Expected from Zeiss
“I use this product for portraiture. Results are stunning clarity and color. A little soft and dream-like at 1.4, but that’s to be expected. I have also shot with the Nikon 85/1.4 (non-AFS), with great results, but the Zeiss rules in clarity and color. With quite a throw on the focusing, I was able to fine-tune focusing beyond the in-focus dot indicator on my Nikon D3. Absolutely no play in the focus mechanism. Lens build, construction, and the helical system is top-notch, as expected. So is feel and balance. Of importance was that the lens was perfect out of the box, i.e., void of internal dust and imperfections in the glass that some brand new lenses have.” – by Nikon Shooter
Rating: ★★★★★

Simply amazing
“The resolution is awesome; the quality and durability of this lens is a testament to why Carl Zeiss lenses are a leader in the industry. The out of area focus (bokeh) makes filming with a camcorder look like you are filming with a professional grade 35MM film camera just without spending the money that comes with it. The lens may be pricey but it well worth every penny and does more than it needs to do in terms of product life, consistency, clarity, durability, craftsmanship, and style. This lens also produces some really good pictures as well. I’m not a professional photographer but seeing the pictures that I’ve taken with it would make you think otherwise. The focus ring moves smoothly and doesn’t feel loose or too tight. The weight is about 570 g, which isn’t a bad thing, it just shows how tough the actual lens is.” – by Sanka
Rating: ★★★★★

My best lens by far
“I have shot my best images with this lens. I love the length, size, weight and precision. This is a fast lens. I use it with the Nikon D3 and F3. This lens is great for night street and bar photography. I rarely shoot action and love manual focus. No lens is made better than these Zeiss lenses.” – by Dave
Rating: ★★★★★

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Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 User Manual

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Features & Specifications

Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 Specifications

The Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount cameras is a short telephoto lens which has a classic portrait focal length and performs exceptionally well at medium to longer distances. With a 6-element lens in 5 groups and the Zeiss T* lens coating, you can expect distortion-free performance, which only improves as the lens is stopped down. The f/1.4 aperture is very useful for shooting in low light, creatively controlling depth of field, and its nearly circular diaphragm helps create a pleasing look in your photo’s out-of-focus areas.

This Zeiss ZF.2 lens is designed for use with Nikon F-mount cameras. Thanks to an electronic interface (CPU), ZF.2 lenses support all important camera functions such as the automatic mechanisms for time, aperture setting and program. The lens also supports manual exposure settings. Since the lens transmits EXIF data such as manufacturer, date, metering system and exposure to the camera, photographers do not need to set their parameters manually. The quicker and faster handling capabilities of ZF.2 lenses are especially useful under hectic shooting conditions.

* The floating elements design ensures a high quality image throughout the entire focusing range.
* Precision mechanics and a very large angle of rotation enable the photographer to very precisely focus on the details in the image.
* Optical system of fantastic performance and long-life, metal precision mechanics
* ZF.2 lenses have F bayonet and mechanical aperture coupling as well as CPU coupling for Nikon, Fujifilm or Kodak SLR cameras.

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