ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Lens (Black)

ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Lens (Black)

ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Lens (Black)

B&H # ZE5015B MFR # 1407-218
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Product Highlights

  • Leica M-Mount Lens
  • Aperture Range: f/1.5 to f/16
  • ZEISS T* Anti-Reflective Coating
  • Manual Focus Design
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 3'
  • Filter Thread: 46mm
  • 10-Blade Diaphragm
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Color: Black

ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Lens (Black) ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Lens (Silver)
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ZEISS 1407-218 overview

  • 1Description

Inspired by its predecessor from the 1930s, the black C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM from ZEISS is a fast, normal prime for M-mount rangefinder cameras. Its fast f/1.5 maximum aperture and natural perspective make it particularly suitable for portraiture and documentary work, especially in difficult lighting conditions. The 'C' designation of the lens reflects its compact form factor and classic optical design to produce timeless imagery with natural color fidelity and rendering. Also, its Sonnar optical design promotes a high degree of sharpness and flare resistance, and a T* anti-reflective coating is also used to suppress flare and ghosting for high contrast and color clarity.

Type 'C' lens refers to this lens's classic aesthetic and compact design that recalls its predecessor from the 1930s. The glass and coatings have been updated to contemporary standards, however it still produces a timeless look well-suited for both film and digital use.
Sonnar optical concept benefits the normal focal length and helps to realize a high degree of sharpness and well-controlled flare.
Bright f/1.5 maximum aperture suits working in available light conditions and also affords greater control over depth of field for selective focus imagery.
ZEISS T* anti-reflective coatings have been applied to each lens surface to help minimize reflections in order to provide greater image clarity, contrast, and color fidelity.
Manual focus design enables a minimum focusing distance of 3'.
In the Box
ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Lens (Black)
  • 46mm Front Lens Cap for ZM Lenses
  • Rear Lens Cap for ZM-Mount Lenses
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty, Extendable to 3 Years with Online Registration
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    ZEISS 1407-218 specs

    Focal Length 50mm
    Maximum Aperture f/16
    Minimum Aperture f/1.5
    Camera Mount Type Leica M
    Angle of View 45.7°
    Minimum Focus Distance 3' / 90 cm
    Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:15
    Optical Design 6 Elements in 4 Groups
    Diaphragm Blades 10
    Filter Thread 46mm
    Dimensions : 2.2 x L: 1.8" / : 56.0 x L: 45.0 mm
    Weight 8.8 oz / 250 g
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 0.7 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 4.7 x 4.2 x 3.2"

    ZEISS 1407-218 reviews

    C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Lens (Black) is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 25.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A gem worth considering The bokeh of this lens is really nice - I prefer this Zeiss' bokeh to my pre-asph Summilux 50mm. This lens also has really excellent contrast and a distinctly pleasant feel... It creates nice depth that really pops. Close focusing consistently at its largest apertures is tough, but using the lean in trick works well - I would not let concerns over close focusing dissuade you from purchasing. Construction, ergonomics, and feel are very solid, comparable, in my opinion, to Leica. The only disappointment is the lens cap, which is very flimsy and fussy and seems to have been an afterthought.
    Date published: 2013-01-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing,the best 50 for me I tried a few lenses to go with my A7 ii. 55 Sony 1.8 mitakon 50 0.95 summilux 50, summicron 50 loxia 50 zm planar 50 and zm sonnar 50 What impressed me with sonnar, is the 3D separation, the classic bokeh, ease of focussing, lightweight, price compared with leica options and looks :-) Summilux also had more vignetting and strange magenta tint sometimes. I have mostly used this lens wide open at 1.5, noticed CA only a few times, but not even worth bothering to remove. I highly recommend this, you won't be disappointed.
    Date published: 2016-05-01
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great romantic lens this is a great lens for street photography. bokeh is simply amazing. Focus shift at 1.5 is a bit of a pain, but I love the results at 1.8 and 2.0. this lens is used on the M9, and i'm very happy with it's size and built quality. No viewfinder coverage (without hood) the hood isn't included and it's pricey, but very well built and it attaches perfectly. the lens cap is simply horrible. Overall a very pleasant experience and the results so far are what i expected.
    Date published: 2011-03-04
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic normal for M8 or tele for M4/3 This Zeiss Sonnar 50mm is my go-to lens on the M8. The lens itself doesn't look as hot as a summicron or what have you, but so what -- it more than makes up for that with its timelessly cinematic feel at large apertures, and if sharpness is your big thing, this little guy is totally a ginsu from f/2 onwards. I miss its 1/3 aperture click-stops on all my other M-mount lenses. It's the first lens I got for the M8 that made me genuinely want to shoot on something full-frame. It also makes for a fantastic tele on the EP-1, with an M-mount adapter. The only thing to watch out for: M8 users should definitely be sure to use a UV/IR cut filter as it seems to be extremely permeable as regards IR light; sans the filter, black fabric comes out looking absolutely eggplant-y, moreso than with other lenses I have tried. Interestingly, on the EP-1 it gives you nicer reds without IR cut (in my humble opinion of course).
    Date published: 2010-05-14
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Zeiss 50mm Sonnar T* I'm quite happy with the purchase of this lens. Using on an M6. The lens reminds me of older lenses from the 50's and 60's. The lens is sharp and has wonderful bokeh. Unlike those older lenses there is no flare problem and contrast is increased from low+ for those old lenses to medium+ for this one. Note I shoot B&W and degree of contrast sometimes matters a lot to me (also process my own film). So, with this lens I can get the subtle graduations which are often desired, and the pictures are not flat. This is quite an achievement in my book. I don't usually shoot color and have not yet done so, and can't comment on color producing qualities. I have experience with 50mm Summicron ASPH (f/2) and 50mm Summilux (f/1.4) (yes, I like the normal lenses). Just based on what I see from shooting I feel the sharpness of the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar is as good and better than the 'Lux and about the same as the 'Cron at f/4 -16. I think the 'Cron is sharper at f/2. The Sonnar has superior bokeh by far over the 'Lux and especially way better than the 'Cron. This is my do everything lens, and I don't have a bunch of different focal lengths. Sharp wide open, and sharp stopped down; no visible softness stopped down to f/11 and f/16 for scenery and landscapes. It's very pleasant to use and gives a lot of satisfaction by being all metal and superbly well made. Get the hood. It's all metal and spring-loaded outer bay type. It's pricey but you won't need a UV filter with the hood mounted, so the price is reduced by the saving of the UV filter that you don't need to buy. Oops sorry I wrote a book.
    Date published: 2013-10-30
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from C-sonnar 50mm ZM lens is the best I don't have a leica or Leica Lenses I have Sony Alpha/Minolta stuff But I was intriguded with the NEX-5 so I got one and soon relized my alpha lenses with the alpha mount adaptor were way too big and weird looking on the tiny NEX-5 so I got the CV M mount adaptor and bought the ZM 35/2.8 and 50/1.5 both these lenses blew me away with there image quality and bokeh, and they are really small. this 50/1.5 makes much more pleasing images than my Sony 50/1.4 lens and is not difficult to manualy focus. I would recomend it to anyone with an NEX camera as long as you are comfrotable useing manual focus lenses. go to zeissimages.com you can search for images by lens and see what myself and others are doing with this amazing tiny lens.
    Date published: 2011-05-06
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar ZM for Leica M I absolutely love this lens. I had researched it extensively, trying to decide between the Zeiss f/2 Planar and this f/1.5 Sonnar. I was very concerned about the focus shift issue for this Sonnar vs the seeming lack of complications (and the reliable sharpness) of the Planar. In the end, I went for the Sonnar because of the slightly smaller size, the additional 1 stop in speed, and the glowing reports that some people gave the lens. I am very, very happy I did so: I think it will become one of my favorite lenses (I speak from the standpoint of having a variety of Leica M lenses, along with some Cosina Voigtlanders). Before doing a technical evaluation, I simply took it out and shot 50-60 frames, all wide open. Almost all came out wonderfully -- not too different than a lens that wasn't focus-shifting. After all, shooting at f/1.5 gives will give you a shallow depth of field with ANY lens, and some fraction of your shots just are going to be out of focus if your subjects are movinig at all (in/out of the dof zone). In just a single day, I got some of the best portraits I've ever shot. Fantastic color, contrast and bokeh. And, even wide open, many of the shots were wonderfully sharp (e.g., counting the hairs on a dog's muzzle when shot from about 10 feet). When I did a technical evaluation of the lens (four foot yardstick' oriented at 45 degree angle, shooting from a tripod at measured distances at varying F stops) I was surprised to find that there was indeed a significant focus shift (surprised, because of my success with the lens). At 1 m, sharpest focus at f/1.5 was shifted 1 forward (-1); so, instead of focusing on someone's eyes, you'd focus on the front of their ear. Focus was spot on at f/2.8, while at f/4 the focus had continued to shift so that now it was +1 (i.e., you'd want to focus forward of the target). Of course, by f/4, the dof had increased enough that the target was still in the focus zone. In a practical sense, this isn't all that much of a problem. How often do you really take a picture at 1m? That's literally just a bit more than arms length. At f/1.5 your dof is so shallow that your subject better not be moving anyway (or you're working on luck), and if not moving you should be able to compensate pretty easily. At 8 feet (still only about 3-4 paces away)the dof has increased enough that you probably don't even need to worry about compensating; focus on the eyes, and even with the focus shift the increased dof will catch them in focus. In a practical sense I don't find it difficult to work with the focus shift with this lens. And, the rewards are considerable: a small, light lens that produces pictures of wonderful three-dimensionality and beautiful bokeh. Really gorgeous shots. And, at a price that's less than a third of the corresponding Leica lens. Frankly, I'm very seriously considering selling my f/1 Noctilux, because its hard to imagine circumstances in which I'd carry that large, heavy lens in preference to this f/1.5 Sonnar. Why do I only give it 4 stars? Because, yes: it does focus shift. While this doesn't turn out to be as big a deal as I had fearing (not much of a problem at all, in fact), it would be nicer if it didn't.
    Date published: 2013-07-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of my favorite lenses Very well built and with the excellent novaflex adapter feels perfect on a nex 7. Peak focusing and manual focus assist on the nex makes this lens very easy to use. I use it for portraits, atmospheric landscapes and street images. It has a special look that can bring out gentleness and emotion in portraits. Some of my best B/W street images come from this lens. The silver also looks great on a nex 7.
    Date published: 2012-05-10
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