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

BH #ZE5015S • MFR #1407-067
ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Lens (Silver)
Key Features
  • Leica M-Mount Lens
  • Aperture Range: f/1.5 to f/16
  • ZEISS T* Anti-Reflective Coating
  • Manual Focus Design
Inspired by its predecessor from the 1930s, the silver 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.
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ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Overview

Inspired by its predecessor from the 1930s, the silver 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'.

ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Specs

Focal Length50mm
Maximum Aperturef/1.5
Minimum Aperturef/16
Lens MountLeica M
Angle of View45.7°
Minimum Focus Distance3' / 90 cm
Macro Reproduction Ratio1:15
Optical Design6 Elements in 4 Groups
Diaphragm Blades10
Focus TypeManual Focus
Filter Size46 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)2.2 x 1.8" / 56 x 45 mm
Weight8.8 oz / 250 g
Packaging Info
Package Weight0.755 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)4.7 x 4.15 x 3.1"

ZEISS C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM Reviews

Great!

By George
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-11-21

I chose this lens because the design has not changed since the 1930's - only glass quality. It is the type of lens used by many photographers of that period and yield a great photograph still today.

Perfect pair with Leica M7

By Kennedy
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-05-21

Fast lens ! Intuitive lens to use, ergonomic and mechanically stunning, didnt experience focus shifting, oh and Optically Brilliant!

Just love it

By Florian
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-11-14

I am using the lens for more than 6 months on my Leica M6 now, so I am not a pixel counter. I just love it shooting it wide open. The colors and the bokeh are a dream. On film, the lens is super sharp. I also never had a problem with the shifting focus described in other reviews. I never had a 50mm summilux, so I can’t compare. But I use this combined with a 90mm summicron and wouldn’t want to give it back. This lens really has a character that’s suits me very well.

Lens Texture

By Preston
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-08-06

This Zeiss Sonnar is an old classic lens made modern. And anyone who shoots "old classic glass" knows that these lenses have a character all their own. Where most lenses crafted today seek to render images anonymously by correcting for a host of sins, the Sonnar is unapologetic, and leaves its big fat signature on every photograph. I own both this Sonnar and the Zeiss f/2 Planar, so I will speak about both here. The Planar is quite simply, without fault. It is wildly accurate in its rendering, sharp at every aperture and delivers perfectly flat (in a good way) images. Some have used the word "clinical" to describe the Planar, and I would have to agree. But again, you can't fault a lens for getting everything right. Where the f/2 Planar is a technician, the f/1,5 Sonnar is something of a poet. This lens is based on a design from the 1930's, which benefits greatly from present day Zeiss T* lens coatings... incredible flare resistance, notably. So, from my experience, until stopped down to about f/5,6: - The Planar is all about reporting exactly what's happening across the frame, and will accomplish this using the most precise tools available - The Sonnar believes that the story is pretty much right there in the center of the frame, that it is always open to artistic expression, and will tell this story using the finest of paint brushes, not drafting tools. At f/5,6 and smaller, the Sonnar moves closer to the Planar and is fully sharp across the frame by f/8. It never quite reaches the Planar's critical sharpness, few lenses do. But this is only recognizable during pixel peeping. Other stuff: Focus shift is the most common complaint I've read about this lens. It's an attribute of the old or classic design. I believe early versions of the "new" Sonnars were optimised for perfect focus at f/2. There was minor front focusing at wider apertures and back focusing at smaller apertures. The shift was no longer visible by f/5.6 or smaller. My copy is optimised @ f/1,5 - and I shoot wide open 75% of the time. I haven't experienced focus shift at other apertures. I love this lens and my Planar is collecting dust. I understand how it might frustrate a shooter who is more attuned to the certainty of a Planar vs the expression of a Sonnar. Pardon the long review!

Beautiful lens

By Florian
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-06-13

I've been using this lens for a couple of months now. I can't compare it to the 50mm summilux, since I never used it, but I am super happy. I am using it on a Leica M6. It produces beautiful colors on film. I haven't really recognized a focus shift yet. Even when fully open, everything has been in focus as I wanted it to be. For me, this lens definitely has a character I don't want to miss again. You can check images on my instagram account @phlo.kah All the pictures who have a Leica hashtag

Zeiss nailed it

By Leica 35 mm mamiya medium format
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2017-05-11

Not as clinical looking results as my Leica 35mm lux. Exactly what I wanted. It to me, provides artistic nostalgic results not available anywhere else other than pre aspherical used lenses. Zeiss nailed it well done. The lens is sharp don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Sharp

By Mario
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-02-20

Sharp and fast Lens !!! I love it !

Sharp lens for Leica M camera

By Lawrence
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2019-11-25

I am impressed with the sharpness and image quality of the Zeiss Lens. Several drawbacks: The lens focal length doesn't show up in Lightroom and the image trim is less than what you see in the rangefinder when the focus area is less than three feet from the subject.

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Weather sealing for light rain or dust?

Weather sealing for light rain or dust?
Asked by: Donna
The ZEISS ZM lenses are not sealed from dust and moisture and care should be taken when using under these conditions.
Answered by: ZEISS Camera Lenses
Date published: 2020-10-19

question

Does this records metadata of the image if I use it in Leica M10?
Asked by: [email protected] T.
They are not six-bit coded, so the camera will not know what lens you are using. The metadata will leave the lens unidentified, though the camera does a good job of guessing the F-stop
Answered by: Jonathan
Date published: 2020-01-12

Are the Zeiss ZM lenses optimized for aps-c ...

Are the Zeiss ZM lenses optimized for aps-c sensors, or do they also work well with full frame mirrorless cameras, with the appropriate mount converter?
Asked by: Paul
The lens is a Full Frame lens. I use it with my full frame cameras and film cameras. You will have no problem adopting it to an APS-C camera. Just take note of the "Crop factor". Meaning the lens will be 75mm on a 1.5 crop APS-C camera.
Answered by: Stephen
Date published: 2021-07-14

how does this handle in low light ? can you ...

how does this handle in low light ? can you recommend any leica m mount to fuji x mount adapters ?
Asked by: Bryon
The lens is a manual lens. It does not support autofocus. It is f/1.5 so very good for wide open shots. And for a Leica M mount ot a Fujifilm X mount adapter this is a good one but is fully manual. FUJIFILM M Mount Adapter for X-Mount Cameras BH #FUMMA • MFR #16267038 https://bhpho.to/3uwnNuJ
Answered by: Robert
Date published: 2021-05-04

Initially, when the c-Sonnars were first issued ...

Initially, when the c-Sonnars were first issued about 10 or so years ago, I beleive Zeiss calibrated the optimal focus to 2.8. Later they could be ordered optimized at f/1.5. In the past few years I've read optimum focus is set at f/2. What is the optimum focus on this particular production series? Thanks.
Asked by: James
The ZEISS C Sonnar 1.5/50 ZM is currently optimized for focus at f/2.0.
Answered by: ZEISS Camera Lenses
Date published: 2019-12-28

question

Does this lens work with the Leica M (digital body)?
Asked by: Tyler
yes perfectly!!! I have a type 262
Answered by: THIERRY G.
Date published: 2018-08-27

question

Does this records metadata of the image if I use it in Leica M10?
Asked by: [email protected] T.
Exposure control with the ZEISS ZM lenses is the same as with any M mount lens. You have a choice of aperture priority or manual exposure modes. Shutter priority or program exposure modes are not available, since the camera cannot control the manual aperture of the lens. This is the case irregardless of the lens brand.
Answered by: ZEISS Zeiss Expert
Date published: 2018-08-27

question

Can B&H arrange for the recalibration of the focus to wide open at 1.5?
Asked by: Anonymous
Not that I know of. You need to contact Zeiss directly.
Answered by: Arthur Y.
Date published: 2018-08-27
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