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Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras

B&H # ZE1002ZF2N MFR # 1771-846
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Product Highlights

  • For Nikon F-Mount Cameras
  • AI Meter Coupling
  • CPU Coupling for Camera Integration
  • Telephoto Macro
  • Zeiss T* Anti-Reflection Coating
  • Floating Lens Element System
  • Knurled Focusing Ring
  • Manual Focusing
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The Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens is a manual focus lens with a Nikon F-mount that has superior quality optics, combining sharp macro performance and a very fast maximum aperture. ZF.2 lenses have CPU coupling which provides aperture, program AE priority, aperture priority, shutter priority or manual exposure settings on camera models equipped with an electronic interface.

A 'floating element' optical system enables the Makro-Planar T* to deliver superior quality images even at f/2, from infinity to the close-focus (1.4', 0.44 m) distance. Users can employ selective focusing on important details with the clarity required for technical photography, effectively isolating the subject from distracting surroundings. This lens is ideal for use in a wide variety of industrial, scientific, aerospace, robotics, instrumentation, documentation and surveillance applications.

ZF.2 lenses support all key modes (e.g. aperture priority, shutter priority, program AE or manual exposure settings) on camera models equipped with an electronic interface (e.g. current Nikon DSLR cameras). To do so, simply lock the aperture ring in the largest f-stop shown in orange.

On camera models without an electronic interface, the aperture is manually set on the lens aperture ring. With some camera models, it is possible to set in the menu whether the lens should be selected using the setting dial on the camera or the aperture ring on the lens. Please note that, for technical reasons, there is no halfway notch between the largest and second largest  f-stop. The focused distance is not transmitted to the camera body.

Compatibility
Nikon:
F2-A, Nikkormat FT3, FM, FM2 (Manual only)
F2-AS (Manual & Shutter Priority only)
EM (Aperture Priority only)
EL, FE, FE2, FM3A, F3 (Manual only)
F301, F501, FG (Manual & Aperture Priority only)
FA, F4, F5 (all functions supported)
F70, F90, F90X, F100, F401, F601, F801, D1, D1X, D1H, F50, F55, F65, F75, F80, D40, D40X, D50, D60, D70, D70s, D80, D90, D100, D3000, D5000 (all functions supported)
F6, D2-Series, D200, D300, D300s, D3, D3s, D3X, D700, D800, D800E, D4 (all functions supported)
FujiFilm
FinePix S1Pro, S2Pro, S3Pro, S5Pro (all functions supported)
Kodak:
Kodak Pro 14n (all functions supported)
Employing an optical design originally developed for the ARRI/ZEISS Master Prime T* 100mm, an ultra-high performance lens for big budget feature films. This lens allows photographers to use selective focus on important details with unprecedented clarity, effectively isolating the subject from distracting surroundings.
Extremely fast macro featuring a completely new optical design.
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.
Far superior in optical performance, even wide open, from infinity to the close-focus limit at half life size.
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.
Performance
Focal Length 100mm
Aperture Maximum: f/2
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Nikon F
Format Compatibility Nikon FX/35mm Film
Nikon DX
Angle of View 25°
Minimum Focus Distance 1.4' (42.67 cm)
Magnification 0.5x
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:2
Elements/Groups 9/8
Diaphragm Blades 9
Features
Image Stabilization No
Autofocus No
Tripod Collar No
Environmental
Physical
Filter Thread 67 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 2.99 x 4.45" (7.59 x 11.30 cm)
Weight 1.5 lb (680 g)
Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras
  • Lens Shade
  • Front & Rear Lens Caps
  • 2-Year Zeiss Limited Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    ZeissMakro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras
     
    4.9

    (based on 58 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (54)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (3)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Strong construction (43)
    • Nice bokeh (39)
    • Durable (30)
    • Consistent output (28)
    • Rugged (28)

    Cons

    • Heavy (7)

    Best Uses

    • Macro photography (45)
    • Landscape/scenery (38)
    • Low light (24)
    • Night photography (15)
    • Wildlife photos (15)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (22), Semi-pro photographer (21), Pro photographer (13)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (49)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Out of the ballpark!

    Let me summarize this entire review in a few words. This lens is fantastic. Exceptional. Outstanding. Phenomenal. Incredible... Add whatever positive accolade you wish, it's that good. All the previous...Read complete review

    Let me summarize this entire review in a few words. This lens is fantastic. Exceptional. Outstanding. Phenomenal. Incredible... Add whatever positive accolade you wish, it's that good. All the previous reviewers here (and everywhere else on the internet) praising the heck out of this lens actually have reason to do so.

    This lens caught my attention in its original ZF form when it was introduced a few years ago. Even then, I was highly intrigued reading about its optical performance. At that time, I thought that the asking price for this optic was quite high. Then Zeiss/Cosina introduced the ZF.2 version, which was (if I am not mistaken) one-and-a-half times the price of the original non-chipped lens. Once again, the glowing praises poured out, and I got even more curious.

    I have in my possession the 105mm f/2.5 Ai Nikkor, and I can tell you that is a fine lens. Stopped down to f/4 and beyond, it really sings on my D700. Still, I missed an ultra-wide aperture lens (and autofocus) for portraiture. I also own the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 AF macro lens, and I once again have very nice things to say about that lens. It performs very well (sharpness and bokeh) on both my D700 and D90. So why was I looking at the Zeiss even though I was looking at an autofocus portrait lens? Well, the legendary name along with the rave reviews and not to mention the very impressive spec sheet made me give this lens a long, hard look. I must admit that there was another contender in the race - the 105mm DC Nikkor which offered both autofocus and the defocus control feature. At the end of the day at the suggestion of my wife, I got the Zeiss. And I am very happy that I did.

    Whatever has been said about this lens is true, but let me say this, and I am sure that a lot of other owners will agree with me. This lens performs extremely well in the standard battery of tests that are thrown at it (test charts et al.), but there is something beyond the razor sharpness and buttery bokeh. There is a subjective richness and warmth that this lens imbues images with, coupled with a three-dimensional rendering that has to be seen to be believed which cannot be described in words. Also, unlike most macros which are soft at longer distances while being optimized for close-up performance, the Zeiss 100mm Makro(!) Planar performs sharp as a tack from infinity right down to its minimum focus distance. It might be the voodoo of the floating focusing system, but how many lenses do you know that can boast of that kind of performance? Ergo, this lens is a fantabulous macro lens, portrait lens and landscape lens. Yes, I have to manual focus, but I cut my teeth years ago on a Canon A-1 film camera with manual focus FD lenses, so manual focus is not something challenging for me. I do not regret a bit sacrificing autofocus. This lens urges you to slow down, take a deep breath, engage with the process and create a work of art, not just a photograph. Focusing manually in low light is a problem, but one could use the viewfinder focus confirmation and thank goodness for live view! Yes, this is not a lens for shooting fast-moving subjects like children - there are other lenses for that, but if you have the time, the patience and the inclination, this lens will reward you with images that are out of this world.

    Wide open, this lens is sharper edge-to-edge than my Tamron macro stopped down. Stopped down, it produces images with resolution and sharpness that I have never seen in my life. I have not seen a lens that is capable of resolving details in an image the way the Zeiss can. The proverbial edge-to-edge sharpness actually exists, and it is produced by this lens, and that too on full-frame! It is a sheer joy to turn the silky smooth, heavily damped focusing ring which is blessed with a generous 360-degree focusing scale that allows very fine focus adjustments. There is absolutely no play in the focusing ring either. The lens body and included lens hood are beautifully crafted out of metal. Nifty touches are the signed approval sheet included in the box by the inpecting technician. The lens out of the box was in immaculate condition, with nary a speck of dust outside or within. Since I got this lens, it has not left my D700 body.

    For people complaining that this lens does not go down to 1:1, I must disagree. I'd rather have the performance that this lens offers as opposed to a full-range 1:1 lens with compromised performance in different focus regions, and if I need greater magnification, I can use one of my extension tubes, in particular the Nikon PN-11, which should give around 1:1 performance. The lack of 1:1 focusing is, IMHO, absolutely not a show stopper or for that matter any reason to complain about.

    Speaking of complaints, there is one universal complaint. The supplied lens cap is absolutely lousy. I had read this before ordering the lens, and I made sure that a Tamron 67mm lens cap was part of my order with the Zeiss (Tamron makes GREAT lens caps, btw). Other than this minor quibble, I must say that I would buy this lens again in a heartbeat if I had a chance. If you are considering this lens and don't mind spending, and if you do not mind working slowly to get the best possible image possible which includes careful focusing, then I say don't even look anywhere else. Just hit add to cart, take the plunge and then be prepared to be amazed.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    zaiss vs other 3parity lenses

    Nice lens but if you are willing to open Your eyes and look at DX.OMARCK Test you can see it dosent hold wather against sigma 150mm macro and other macros in resolving megapixels (reselution)...Read complete review

    Nice lens but if you are willing to open Your eyes and look at DX.OMARCK Test you can see it dosent hold wather against sigma 150mm macro and other macros in resolving megapixels (reselution) it is not even 1/1magnefication but 1/2 sorrey for my bad inglish i have different zaiss lenses they are exilent but not better than oter brands in resolving mg pixels my 85mm planar is way behind the other 85mmmanufactors but there is somthing about zaiss that i like they have soul

    Reviewed by 58 customers

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    5.0

    Excellent lens, great service

    By Paul C

    from Boston

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Image quality
    • Manual Focus
    • Nice Bokeh

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Macro Photography

      Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

      I got this lens recently after doing some research, so I knew about the potential for CA and spherochromatism. Sure enough, I am able to cause those aberrations if I test for them, but I have to say that I have never seen them cause a problem on any real-world images. I love the images the lens produces, and I find the long, smooth throw of the focus ring to be a pleasure for close-up manual focus. At the closest distances, it is so easy to dial in a very small adjustment in focus. Based on image quality and usability, this is one of my favorite lenses. I'm even more impressed with the Zeiss customer service, though. I had a problem with the lens hood - wouldn't fit snugly, and sometimes fell off. I contacted Zeiss; they gave me instructions and a picture showing how to reset the catch on the lens hood. When that didn't work they replaced the hood very quickly with no hassle. I can highly recommend this lens for anybody looking for a close-focussing lens in this focal length, and based on my experience with Zeiss customer service, I would have no hesitation about buying any Zeiss product in the future.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      3.0

      zaiss vs other 3parity lenses

      By d810

      from norway

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Macro Photography
      • Video

      Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

      Nice lens but if you are willing to open Your eyes and look at DX.OMARCK Test you can see it dosent hold wather against sigma 150mm macro and other macros in resolving megapixels (reselution) it is not even 1/1magnefication but 1/2 sorrey for my bad inglish i have different zaiss lenses they are exilent but not better than oter brands in resolving mg pixels my 85mm planar is way behind the other 85mmmanufactors but there is somthing about zaiss that i like they have soul

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Beautiful lens and great manual focus!

      By GWhalen

      from Asheville, NC

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Beautiful images
      • Consistent Output
      • Nice Bokeh

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Great portrait lens
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Macro Photography
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

        I've read all of the comments on this lens but I think the manual focus is smooth as silk and actually very fast. This lens is not heavy at all to me and the images coming from it are simply amazing. I do notice a little CA around the fringes but it is not an APO lens so that is to be expected. Just a great lens!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Blew me away

        By syberfilm

        from Chapel Hill, NC

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Macro Photography
          • Video

          Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

          I read about how sharp the lens is. But sharpness was not my main concern. I wanted a lens that gave great images on the Red camera. Since I do not want to spend $30K plus per lens for a set of Zeiss Master Primes. I bought this with low expectations. Knowing it will be great for photography.However this lens is amazing for cinematography.The detail in the shots is amazing. The contrast is superb. I used this lens all day for one shoot. It was kind of a pain in the butt since it is a 100mm focal length. But since it was outside I figured what the heck. I had plenty of room to move around and the client was game. Once we loaded in the footage. The client was floored. He said he has never seen anything so cinematic looking with no color grading, no tricks. Just Redcolor 4 and a nice e-cinema color grading monitor.Once I added some lut's it kept the incredible detail and just looked like scenes from a good looking motion picture.This is one of the best lenses I have ever owned. After using this lens. I bought all of the Zeiss ZF.2 lens lineup. Will write reviews on them the more I use them.So you can do all the reading, testing and chart reading for this lens. But once you shoot with it, you will discover as I did, It is just an incredible piece of glass. With awesome micro contrast and resolving power.It is no Master Zeiss cinema lens. but for the price. I do not believe there is a better lens for the money at 100mm. If there is someone let me know.I included a frame grab from the video. I was trying to make the lens flare as much as possible to see how much detail it kept. Also it has been reduced and not graded. This was about as bad as I could make it without pointing at the sun. The shiny metal on the door is almost mirror like. But the lens handled it very well.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Exceptional

          By Fashion Shooter

          from Los Angeles, CA

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

              As a professional photographer, I separate myself from the average by investing in the exceptional. Zeiss primes are exactly that, exceptional. The quality and consistency make them a premier lens, minimizing artifacts and distortion. I would recommend anyone to see the comparative differences by physically comparing them to any other. It subtle differences may not be worth it to everyone.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Razor sharp

              By EHB

              from New York, NY

              Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

              Solidly built, silky smooth focus ring. The lens is tack sharp and the focus really pops so I don't miss the autofocus.

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Everything I expected.

              By fab

              from Marietta GA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • NONE

              Best Uses

              • Macro Photography
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

              I use this to photograph wildflowers. The micro contrast and resolution are exactly as I have come to expect from CZ. I compared this to my 90mm Tokina and 105mm Nikon which are excellent. I also purchased them from B&H. The CZ 100mm is the winner.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Tack Sharp Lens

              By CUBYDC

              from Corolla, NC

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Manual Focus

              Best Uses

              • Macro Photography
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

              Thought I would never find a lens that is sharper than my Nikon 105 mm Micro Nikkor, but this Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100 mm is decidedly sharper. Manual focus with the Nikon D800E is causing me to spend more time composing the shot and work is improving. Will have to see how this affects getting shots of bees, etc. this spring.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Excelent lense

              By Yuval

              from Israel

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Macro Photography

                Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                A superb lens Although It's expensive one with no auto-focus. The Built is superb Zeiss fashion, the focus mechanism on the lens is extremely smooth and very easy to focus.
                Pictures are clear & sharp as a knife.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Great macro and awesome portrait lens

                By Mudtime

                from Montgomery, IL

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Easily Interchangeable
                • Nice Bokeh

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Macro Photography

                  Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                  The optics here are nothing short of amazing. A must win for any macro or portrait photographer.

                  My first copy had some kin of malfunction where the aperture ring stripped and the focus ring locked, but I think it was a freak qc issue, as none of my other zeiss lenses gave shown signs of the same issue

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Fantastic Lens

                  By Tundracamper

                  from Southeast, US

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Portraits

                    Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                    This is simply a superb lens. I was reluctant to make a purchase on such an expensive lens that had no autofocus. However, the focus mechanism on this lens is extremely smooth and very easy to focus accurately on a camera with a focus dot. The arrows on my Nikon camera even tell me which way to turn the focus ring. This lens is a superbly machined piece of machinery that operates very smoothely. Very happy with my purchase.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great portrait/macro combo

                    By Kursat Karabulut

                    from Turkey

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Macro Photography
                      • Night Photography
                      • Portraits

                      Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                      When I was considering to buy this lens my biggest fear was the manual focus. But when I tested it exceed my expectations. If you have 3 seconds before shooting then it'll do. Otherwise you can't possibly shoot a running kid at f2.

                      Totally zero distortion, great ghosting/flare control, great at intimate landscapes, good at macro if you are not a devoted macro shooter.

                      Ability to work on details so close to your model is also a bonus which Nikon 85mm won't give.

                      Rendering of the colors are perfect. I never needed to add saturation or vibrancy to a single photo.

                      Vignetting at f2 looks nice, makes the viewer focus on the model/object.

                      Bokeh at f2 is wonderful. Gives silky smooth backgrounds. If you shoot full-frame at f2 with lights on the background then those lights near the edge of your frame will not be perfectly round. They turn to catseye bokeh because of the vignetting but it's almost the same with every lens full open. So if you want perfect rounds, I guess only way to beat it is to use a crop sensor.

                      Other reviews states that you can't focus with the hood reversed but it's only so if you have chubby fingers.

                      Reversing the hood may do harm to velvety texture inside the hood so don't reverse it if you want that texture to last.

                      If you can live with a manual focus, I definitely recommend this lens.

                      Share this review

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Simply a remarkable lens

                      By AnnArbor

                      from Ann Arbor, MI

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Macro Photography
                        • Night Photography
                        • Wildlife Photos

                        Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                        If you have any thought at all about ordering this lens, just do it you will not be sorry. This lens excels as a landscape, portrait, and macro lens. It never leaves my D700. It is stunning how much better the results from this lens are than from my Nikon lenses such as the 85mm f/1.4G. The lens is also an absolute pleasure to use, as the contruction is of such a high quality. You will not miss autofocus once you see the images that are possible using this lens.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Perfect match for 24MP & 36MP FX Sensors

                        By Gizmo

                        from El Dorado Hills, California

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Pros

                        • Color and contrast
                        • Image quality
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Macro Photography
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                          I was in the market for a new portrait lens with macro capability and was considering the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 after reading all of the glowing reviews for that lens but I was also seeing rave reviews for the Zeiss 100mm ZF.2 lens as well so I decided to rent the Zeiss and give a try. To make a long story short, I was blown away by the IQ, color and bokeh. It seems all of the rave reviews were spot on and I turned right around and purchased the Zeiss lens.

                          Prior to using the Zeiss I had yet to find a lens that could match the resolving power of my D800's FX sensor. My Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 and 16-35mm f/4 zooms are great lenses that produce good sharpness, color, contrast and bokeh but the Zeiss 100mm f/2 is simply in a league of its own. If you own a D800, D3x or D600 you owe it to yourself to try this lens or any of the other Zeiss ZF.2 lenses.

                          The proof for me was zooming in 100% on a properly focused .nef file. I've never seen this level of detail and sharpness even with my good Nikon glass. There is so much detail that it has a 3D look to it. In addition, I don't think you can get bad bokeh with this lens and if you shoot in the Adobe RBG color space like I do then you can expect some really nice color and contrast. The combination of outstanding bokeh and color will, in many cases, render a just OK image into a special image with a special character.

                          Some folks may be put off by the manual focus requirement but that is not an issue for me when doing close-up or macro work. I have to work a little harder with this lens but it has provided me with images that I simply could not get with my best Nikon glass. There may be some fixed focal length Nikon/Canon lenses out there that are as good but I suspect there are not many that would surpass this lens. The build quality is outstanding and the focus ring is precise in a way my Nikons are not.

                          Of course results may vary. I captured most of my samples on a tripod with the mirror locked up which is necessary for best results as most D800 users know. I also captured a series of hand-held portrait and landscape images and was very pleased with the results although this lens will not replace my good Nikon glass with AF and VR for obvious reasons. I will however being trying out the Zeiss 25mm f/2 to see how that works for critical landscapes and suspect that lens may outperform my Nikon glass as well at that focal length.

                          The D800 sensor requires that the photographer use proper technique and is not suitable for all shooting situations. It has also been said many times that in order to realize the potential resolution from 24MP and 36MP FX sensors you need to put good glass in front of them and IMHO the Zeiss ZF.2 series lenses are that glass.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          My new favorite lens on my D800E

                          By gastwa

                          from rockville, md

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Durable
                          • Nice Bokeh
                          • Rugged
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Indoors/Low Light
                            • Macro Photography
                            • Portrait
                            • Weddings/Events

                            Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                            This lens is expensive, manual focus and a slightly odd focal length. having said that, it is fantastic for portraits, great for street photography and has its place in landscape photography. I have kept it on my camera for almost a month now and forced myself to use it for everything. I am really enjoying the lens and its character is amazing. The bokeh is beautiful and it really does render portraits with its own special character. i highly recommend this for portrait and of course you can use it for macro shots too. extremely well made product. one complaint... same as everyone else... the lens cap is pathetic and almost unusable with the hood.

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                            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            raises the bar

                            By klinerm

                            from Charleston, SC

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Superlative Bokeh

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Macro Photography
                              • Portraits

                              Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                              This lens on a D800E is truly an incredible combination. Color, bokeh, contrast, sharpness - I can't find a weak point. You could argue that manual focus is a weak point, but you could just as easily argue that being able to manually focus with the silky-smooth ring is an advantage. Critical focusing with LiveView, when practical, only improves the results. Portraits are stunning, razor-sharp, surrounded by luscious bokeh. I can only say, if you have a D800, you owe it to yourself to try this lens.

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                              (6 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Zeiss rules

                              By Dan

                              from Erie, PA

                              About Me Pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Consistent Output
                              • Durable
                              • Nice Bokeh
                              • Rugged
                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                              • NONE

                              Best Uses

                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Macro Photography
                              • Night Photography
                              • Weddings/Events

                              Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                              Best lens I've ever used in this focal length. Nikon or canon do not stand a chance against this lens optically or mechanically. The only thing that Nikon or canon have that zeiss doesn't is AF, but considering accuracy of AF on high megapixel cameras, AF is pointless.

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                              (8 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              I now understand why it's considered a c

                              By JazzyJohn

                              from Boston, MA

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Consistent Output
                              • Nice Bokeh
                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                              • Expensive

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Macro Photography
                              • Weddings/Events
                              • Wildlife Photos

                              Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                              I bought the Zeiss Makro 100mm f/2 ZF.2 for my Nikon D800e after doing a huge amount of background research on the web. Although I like the flexibility of my Nikon 24-70 lens (and hope to get a longer telephoto zoom), I wanted a prime lens that would give me the best from the D800e. The Zeiss 100mm was highlighted by a number of sites as being a wonderful but expensive lens that would complement the D800/D800e and that one would enjoy forever, and had the side benefit of holding its value. I was seeking something that would be equally useful in taking portraits and for photographing landscapes and flowers. I received the lens and my first few photos were not encouraging at all, but once I began to use it more I improved technique and got better at using it with a monopod and handheld as well as with a tripod. At f/2 the bokeh in the photos was stunning and a number received oohs and aahs from friends, some of whom asked for copies or suggested that I sell them. I am stilll learning how to use this fine tool but am quite happy that I purchased it. When I photograph flowers with the aperture wide-open the backgrounds can look like watercolors, and items in focus have a real 3D "pop" to them.

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                              (13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Excellent Macro/Telephoto

                              By Steve K

                              from Boston, Ma

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              See all my reviews

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Durable
                              • Easily Interchangeable
                              • Nice Bokeh
                              • Rugged
                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                              • Heavy

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Macro Photography
                              • Portrait

                              Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                              I have started using tis lens on my D800E and it is amazingly good and versatile. As a macro it's quite a bit better than the old AF-Micro Nikkor 105mm/2.8 I used to own. The f/2 aperture of the 100mm Makro Planar makes the lens much easier to focus, even in less than ideal light, and the image quality in the corners with the Zeiss lens is much better than the Nikon lens. Unlike the built in 1:1 macro capability 105mm/2.8 AF lens, the Zeiss only focuses to 1:2, or an image area of 2x3" on full frame 35mm. To get to 1:1 reproduction with the Zeiss, you would need to use an extension tube like an old Nikon PN-11, and this will cause DSLRs to lose contact with the lens CPU, so some metering options, metadata, etc. will no longer be available. Lack of autofocus is not usually a problem with macro photography. Depending on your subject f/5.6 to f/13 produce an excellent sharpness with modest depth of field in the macro range. Sometimes you have to stop down more for extra depth of field at the expense of resolution due to diffraction, but that is the same for any macro lens.The 100mm Makro Planar also makes an excellent fast-short telephoto, with great long distance performance in addition to its macro capability. It can also be used for portraiture, making it a very versatile lens. Out of focus character is lovely at most apertures and distances, though at apertures f/4 and wider some slight color shifting may be noticeable due to under-corrected axial (longitudinal) chromatic aberration. Stoping down further makes the effect unnoticeable. Many subjects also will not show this effect much in practice.Mechanically the Makro Planar is beautifully finished, with all metal barrel and mount. Focus is silky smooth, but well damped so it does not slip out of focus on a tilt very easily. The included bayonet hood is very convenient, and the lens cap is not too bad, though not as well designed as contemporary ones for Nikon or Sony Alpha lenses.

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                              (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              WOW!!!

                              By Annick

                              from Cape Cod

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Pros

                              • Nice Bokeh
                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                                  What I'd been reading about this lens made me at first curious, then determined to get one, so I splurged and did. Wow! Again, wow!!! I shoot mostly portraits and have a soft spot - no pun intended - for beautiful bokeh. I've never seen bokeh like this, even on my best lenses, like the Nikon 85/1.4 and Nikon 50/1.2. This is outstanding. I've been using this lens on a new D800 and the results are phenomenal. I never use auto-focus so the fact that this lens is manual focus doesn't bother me at all. On the contrary, I find it an easy lens to focus. I'm eager to try this on my film cameras soon. The lens is very well-built, solid but not excessively heavy. I wouldn't say this lens is best in its class. I'd say it is so far above any other I've seen, that it is in a class by itself.

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