REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
ZeissNormal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras
 
4.7

(based on 160 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (129)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (124)
  • Durable (119)
  • Nice bokeh (92)
  • Consistent output (89)
  • Rugged (77)

Cons

  • Slow focus (16)
  • Heavy (14)
  • Blurry focus (4)
  • Manual focus (3)

Best Uses

  • Low light (94)
  • Video (72)
  • Night photography (65)
  • Landscape/scenery (59)
  • Weddings (49)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (46), Pro photographer (42), Photo enthusiast (28), Professional (10), Casual photographer (6)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (111), Yes (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Love Love Love

I received this lens back in November. It has become my main lens and rarely comes off my camera. At first I was a little nervous about the manual focus, but I even...Read complete review

I received this lens back in November. It has become my main lens and rarely comes off my camera. At first I was a little nervous about the manual focus, but I even use this lens when I am photographing infants and small children. I love the creamy quality when shooting around 2.8. It is the perfect portrait lens. It beautifully captures my images. It is an added bonus that it is so light. It almost feels as though I do not have a lens on my camera at all! My only difficult is with focus below 2.8, but that has more to do with my right eye than with the lens.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Wonderfully unique, but not versatile

After reading reviews right here on this website, I decided to purchase two Zeiss lenses from B&H. First let me tell you that the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 planar is one of the...Read complete review

After reading reviews right here on this website, I decided to purchase two Zeiss lenses from B&H. First let me tell you that the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 planar is one of the sharpest - if not the sharpest lens - I have ever used. Sharper, in my opinion, than Canon's 35L. It's on par with the 135L for razor sharpness. The catch? You can't shoot it wide open - not even close. I found at f/1.4, through f/2 the images were just not useable for me. Too soft. By f/2.5 it sharpens up and then by f/3.5 it's razor sharp. The out-of-focus elements are beautiful - excellent bokeh. I used the lens both on my 50D (where it made a wonderful portrait lens) and as an all purpose lens on my 5D Mark II. Other things I noted: the color was much more pronounced than with other lenses I've used. More saturated and warmer. The build quality is fantastic. Solid. The lens could easily last an entire career. The manual focus ring was smooth and precise… you have to use a lens like this to appreciate manual focus. I didn't miss autofocus at all. It's so natural and precise to focus manually with a lens like this. Overall, the lens had a very pleasing and boutique quality about it. And therein lies the conundrum: in my opinion, you buy a fast prime to be able to use it wide open or at least close. This lens had at lot of great qualities but really wasn't usable in low light. If you are okay with sinking [$] into a once-in-a-while 50mm prime - especially for a unique portrait lens - then I recommend it. But as an all purpose 50mm it comes up a bit short.

Reviewed by 160 customers

Sort by

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
5.0

Nice lense

By Abay

from Astana, Kazakhstan

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Video
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

    This is much better, than 1.4 50 mm Canon.
    Solid and strong metal body, great quality. Sharp on starting 1.8T
    Very soft moving focus ring - best for video!
    Love this)
    For someone (beginners) it was be to havy.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Great Glass

    By Enormus

    from Beaverton, OR

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Contrasty
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Sharp
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

      I needed a "normal" lens to fill the gap between the slightly wide and slightly telephoto Zeiss lenses I own and this lens fit the bill perfectly. It's not great wide-open, but once it's stopped down, it is great. It's built solidly like all Zeiss lenses and focuses smoothly. I now own 10 Zeiss ZE's and I am extremely happy with all of them.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      An amazing lens

      By Anthony

      from New York, NY

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

      This has quickly become one of my favorite lenses. It's got a fantastic feel, and is just fun to use. Photographs with it just have a certain warmth to them. Really quite amazing.

      To some of those saying it's soft, I think that's lack of nailing the focus. I fine-tuned the auto-focus adjustment, and haven't had any problems with missed focuses (I average about 1/100 missed with this lens, as opposed to about 1/20 with my old camera/lens).

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      So pretty...

      By The Dank King

      from Denver, CO

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Night Photography
      • Video

      Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

      Pulling focus with this thing on my 5dmkIII is a dream. Pinpoint focus. Insane clarity on full frame. All metal, even the hood.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Immaculate Lens

      By ChrisFromVision

      from Sydney, Australia

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Lightweight
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • NONE

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Video

      Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

      I own several 'L' series lenses from Canon, but if I want that beautiful shot that is really going to stand out and pop from the screen, the Zeiss 50mm is my go to. The colours are vibrant, the contrast is bang on, and it works exceptionally well in low light situations. Whether it's video (my predominate use) or stills, I cannot recommend this beauty of a lens highly enough. Keep in mind, there is Lens Creep, so if yo don't like that this may not be the lens for you, but I quite like the extra bit of movement this adds to a focus pull. BUY IT!

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Gorgeous image-f1.4 video/f2.8 stills

      By RKE

      from Brooklyn

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Strong Construction
      • Video

      Cons

      • Heavy
      • Low Light Stills

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Photography
      • Video

      Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

      I've used this lens for about a month and am impressed with the huge step up in image quality from other lenses I've shot. As other reviewers mention this lens cannot shoot sharp still images wide open. In my tests with video, however, I find the shooting with aperture f/1.4 more forgiving and would gladly trade off some diminished sharpness for less noise produced by shooting at higher ISO in low light. For professionals and if cost is not an issue, the 50 L 1.2 is twice as much and arguably not much better for stills. For me, the image quality and color are a huge improvement from the canon 50mm f/1.4 that I had used previously. The lens exceeded my expectations for still and video usage for a lens of this price.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great, but not for shooting action

      By Davidi

      from New York, NY

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light

        Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

        great lens. really great. awesome contrast and saturation. good focusing action and bokeh. But this is for studio or environments were you can control your subjects. not good for shooting action.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        great lens for specific use

        By David

        from New York, NY

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light

          Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

          Lens is awesome. I use it on a 5D mkII. great focusing action and background blue. also great contrast. This is GREAT for shooting stuff in the studio and elsewhere where you have control over your subject matter. However, the lens not good for shooting action.. like most all manual focus lenses.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          AMAZING SHARP PHOTOS

          By CASPER

          from BALTIMORE MD

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

              THIS IS MY FIRST ZEISS LENS. THE QUALITY IS GREAT.I USE IT FOR CLASSIC AND CUSTOM AUTOMOBLE PHOTOGRAPHY. THE PHOTOS ARE SHARP AND THE BOKEH IS GREAT. THIS LENS HAS RAISED THE QUALITY OF MY PHOTOS TO A NEW LEVEL. MY NEXT LENS WILL BE A ZEISS.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Fantastic classic with a caveat

              By Max

              from Morgantown, WV

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Landscape/Scenery

                Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

                If you are considering the Planar T 1.4/50 ZE lens, you are probably seeking a prime lens exceptional optically, sharp at f 1.4, and producing fantastic bokeh. These were my reasons to purchase this Zeiss lens in addition to the Canon EF 1.8/50 II. I have compared both lenses on a 6D body. This Zeiss lens won't disappoint, but I want you to know about one of my findings. Two copies that I tried both required the same AF micro adjustment of +13, to obtain sharp focus on the close ups and wide open. Moreover, I contacted a Zeiss representative, who confirmed that this issue is not unheard of. Otherwise, this glass is stunning, but I'd be careful in case your camera doesn't have an AF micro adjustment function.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                The real deal

                By Ryan James Videography

                from Hartford, CT

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Nice Bokeh

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Video
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

                  This is a fantastic lens. I use it for video on my 7D's and have gotten some fantastic footage. Excellent in low light, beautiful bokeh, and built like a tank. With the crop sensor on the 7D, the lens is just wide enough for semi-tight situation and tight enough for semi-long shots.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Love Love Love

                  By Yoga Loving Shutterbug

                  from los angeles, CA

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Lightweight
                  • Nice Bokeh

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

                    I received this lens back in November. It has become my main lens and rarely comes off my camera. At first I was a little nervous about the manual focus, but I even use this lens when I am photographing infants and small children. I love the creamy quality when shooting around 2.8. It is the perfect portrait lens. It beautifully captures my images. It is an added bonus that it is so light. It almost feels as though I do not have a lens on my camera at all! My only difficult is with focus below 2.8, but that has more to do with my right eye than with the lens.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    solid performer at this focal range

                    By chmod

                    from San Francisco Bay Area

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Color rendering
                    • Durable
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                    • Weak Edges Wide Open

                    Best Uses

                    • Detailed Portraits
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Video

                    Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

                    This lens is typical great Zeiss quality, with very superior build, and very good optics.

                    As an f/1.4 lens, however, it is not the best I've seen wide open. The color rendering, micro-contrast (all normal Zeiss buzz words) remain present, and I do love the rendering. But it is not exceptional when shooting at f/1.4. Stop it down to 4.5 or so and it becomes exceptional edge to edge.

                    I bought the lens mostly for video use, as the Canon L series 50mm (f/1.2) is poor in terms of resolution (in other than the center area) unless stopped down, and it is almost three times the cost. For video, stopped to 4.5 or 5.6, this Zeiss lens is exceptional in terms of detail, color and contrast.

                    Note: I own the Canon 1.2, and I use it for portraits. For that is is exceptional.

                    But for a general purpose 50mm, used mostly for video, this one is very satisfying. Of the still photographs I have taken with it, wide open it can be used successfully if the picture is composed knowing of its weak outer edges. Stopped down, it is as good as it gets.

                    So I recommend it, but with caveats.

                    Share this review

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    fantastic lens

                    By ramy

                    from ny

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

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

                      Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

                      its a dreamy lens, clarity & color no other lens can match

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      AMAZING LENSE!

                      By NIck B

                      from New York

                      About Me Casual Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Durable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Lightweight
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

                          This is my favorite lens ever. It has an amazing feeling and has a unique look for portraits. Totally recommended!

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Impressive

                          By Jim the Runner

                          from Ithaca, NY

                          About Me Photography Student

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Good in low light
                          • Nice Bokeh

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Indoors/Low Light
                            • Video

                            Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

                            This lens is pretty amazing. I use my camera, 5D Mark II, primarily for video. The focus ring is so smooth, and the feel is so nice that I almost don't even want to use my Canon 24-105mm f/4L. The Zeiss feels so solid and looks beautiful aesthetically that it will make you feel good putting it on your camera. It isn't as fast as the Canon 50mm f/1.2L, but I feel as though that extra half stop isn't worth it. I rented the Canon before and was blown away by it when I first used it, but I feel like the Zeiss is just as good, if not better. It's build allows for better control and produces just about as good images. Also if you are shooting wide open on either lens be careful about keeping your subject in focus because the field of focus is really shallow. Bottom line is I would recommend this lens to anyone. I'd say it is used best with natural lighting and close ups/conversation scenes. I would also recommend getting the B+W 58mm UV Haze MRC 010M Filter, to prevent dust, dirt, etc. from getting in the lens.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            LOVE LOVE LOVE

                            By J.O.

                            from EAST LANSING, MI

                            About Me Photography Student

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Color Contrast
                            • Consistent Output
                            • Durable
                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Nice Bokeh
                            • Rugged
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Night Photography
                              • Weddings/Events

                              Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

                              LENS HAS PRODUCED FANTASTIC RESULTS. VERY SHARP EVEN WIDE OPEN. BOKEH IS CREAMY & CHARACTERISTIC OF ALL ZEISS LENSES. CONTRAST AND COLORS ON THIS LENS ARE ASTONISHING. I'VE USED SEVERAL 5OMM LENSES AND THIS ONE TAKES THE CAKE. SACRIFICING AUTOFOCUS FOR THIS LENS'S IMAGE QUALITY AND CONTRAST IS A NO BRAINER. HAVEN'T MISSED AUTOFOCUS AND RESULTS HAVE SURPASSED MY EXPECTATIONS.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Great Lens

                              By Featherwings

                              from Los Angeles

                              About Me Casual Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

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

                              Cons

                              • Blurry Focus

                              Best Uses

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

                              Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

                              I love this lens. It really brings whatever you're focusing on front and center. The colors in lowlight are beautiful too. It's manual focus, so would not recommend for sports or anything where you need to capture the subject quickly.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Favorite lens

                              By RalphB

                              from Lodi, CA

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              See all my reviews

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Durable
                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Indoors/Low Light
                                • Night Photography
                                • Video
                                • Weddings/Events

                                Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

                                Purchased after I lost my 50mm 1.4 canon lens on a video shoot. Considered replacing with same, but then looked to this as an alternative. As I manually focus on video mode anyway, autofocus was not a critical feature. Verdict after 1 film shoot: this Zeiss is my new favorite lens.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                Great lens, buy it

                                By Garret L

                                from Springfield, MO

                                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Great feel
                                • Nice Bokeh
                                • Strong Construction

                                Cons

                                • Heavy

                                Best Uses

                                • Indoors/Low Light
                                • Video

                                Comments about Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras:

                                I bought this lens at the same time as a Canon 24-105 f4L and it practically lives on my camera now. Beautiful color and sharpness. The next lens I buy will be a Zeiss.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                Displaying reviews 1-20

                                Back to top

                                Previous | Next »