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ZeissPlanar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras
 
4.6

(based on 67 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (52)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (47)
  • Durable (37)
  • Nice bokeh (37)
  • Consistent output (34)
  • Rugged (31)

Cons

  • Heavy (7)
  • Blurry focus (3)

Best Uses

  • Low light (40)
  • Landscape/scenery (28)
  • Night photography (28)
  • Video (15)
  • Weddings (11)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (20), Photo enthusiast (17), Semi-pro photographer (15)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (52)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Not Professional Review by Regular Guy

As a headline specifies I am a regular photography enthusiast. I enjoy photography for joy it provides. If you would like to do tech comparison and you are a data digger. Well, this...Read complete review

As a headline specifies I am a regular photography enthusiast. I enjoy photography for joy it provides. If you would like to do tech comparison and you are a data digger. Well, this review is not for you. I would like to dedicate this review to folks who treat photography as an Art, and does not compare photos for sharpness or print quality under microscope. This review will avoid ANY data. I want to talk about the lens. Lets go to the subject. This lens was mastered for " manual focus " folks. There off you have to be familiar with " manual focus ". This lens MUST be avoided by photographers stuck on automatic focus. The focusing ring is tight and provides a some what of challenge to become familiar with. With enough practice you will not want to let it go and will be capable of snapping photographs of fast moving subjects as no tomorrow. You have to know how to focus. The ring is made intentionally tough to turn but it is to your advantage not to be consider a disadvantage. You will not be able to throw the image out of focus by foolish move. Zeiss had created a master piece. This lens is for ANY one who can afford it and enjoys photography. My main subjects are street photography, my little two year old daughter, people, and occasional professional shots I do for birthday parties. To enjoy this lens you have to be familiar with a manual focus. The color rendering is astonishing. I shot this lens in a middle of the day, by ANY possible location you can think about: day, night, evening, dawn, Sunrise, Sunset, streets, moving cars, beaches, forests, and water falls.Results are same and consistent. The closest word to describe will be astonishing. I obsoletely have no regrets in buying this lens. The colors are natural and so far give you the feeling of Old School Photography. The best thing you can do is to reset your camera. This lens requires no adjustments on my behalf except, depending on a subject, for occasional EV +/- . Bokhen is awesome. Quality/Sharpness of the images do not detoriate with aperture. I see no difference at F1.4 or F16. Lens does what it was created for. It keeps it consistent and delivers an outstanding performance. Quality: its build as an Abrams Tank: Strong, Solid Feel, All Metal. The only drawback is while the hood is screwed upside down you cannot focus with it. To me it never was a problem. Weight of the lens is about 380grams, or almost a pound. Well, also is not an issue to me. Might be an issue to some one who wants to care it around whole day long or has weak muscles. Also consider this: since I bought this lens I did not use any other. This might be only lens you will care about. Of course some of you might be having a little smirk on their faces. Remember, one camera and one lens was a standard 50-60 years ago. Photographers did not care a whole store of lenses. I do not need any other lens any more. I do not want to use my zoom lenses. The best I can describe my feeling as driving Rolls-Roys and all the sudden you have to switch for Toyota. Yes, Toyota is not bad but Roys gives you a totally different type of driving experience. My photography bag became significantly lighter. The only draw back I see for this lens is price. Its pricey. In the end of the day you get what you paid for. For its price, Zeiss delivers every penny of it. In conclusion I would like to say. This lens deliver for the money I had paid. It saves my time. You have to think before you press the shutter. I do not take half a dozen of images of same subject. I point and press. One shot, one kill. No need for multitude of images for same subject.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Focus Shift

My copy had a focus shift problem. I learned that I was not the only person having this problem with this 50mm lens. For the rest, build quality and colors are outstanding as...Read complete review

My copy had a focus shift problem. I learned that I was not the only person having this problem with this 50mm lens. For the rest, build quality and colors are outstanding as with the other Zeiss lenses. My other lens is the Zeiss Distagon 28 T* 2/28 which is an extraordinary lens! I was very disappointed by the Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens and had not expected this from happening from a Zeiss Lens...so I returned it to the shop here in Switzerland where I bought it...

Reviewed by 67 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Quality lens

By Garth

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

This is a very solid lens and once you handle it for the first time you can tell the quality. So far I am very happy with the quality of the pictures.

 
5.0

"Tuff Mutha"

By Rick

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

This is an update to an earlier 5-star review I wrote for this lens.  It is now tested for street toughness!  Yesterday I slipped on the ice with the Zeiss Planar T* 50 inside of a sling bag under my arm.  All 200 pounds of me landed perfectly on my back--- and onto my lens.  I never even had a chance to put my arms out to ease the fall.  Writhing in agony on the ground I managed to get to my feet and make my way to sanctuary in my house.  My wife helped me to my bed as I was already suffering muscle spasms in my back.  Once she got ice on me and tucked me in I asked if she would please bring my bag to me to see what was left of my Zeiss Planar T*50mm lens.  I was immediately horrified to see that it had indeed taken a hit and the metal lens hood was now oval shaped!  But the end of the story is a happy one.  Today I've tested it and can see no sign of damage whatsoever.  It focuses perfectly.  Iris's normally.  Results in equally sharp final images.  It's one tuff mutha!!!!
No I just need to call Zeiss to get another one of those impact absorbing metal lens covers.  No rush though.  My broken ribs are still several weeks away from getting back to heavy shooting .

Oh yeah!  One more thing.  Lens cap shot below was taken with Zeiss 50, F9, 1/320 in a dark, dark room late at night.  I gotta find something to do since I can't sleep on my back!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Small. Sharp. Tough. And EZ.

By Sully

from Cary, NC, USA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

I'm a pro video shooter and I chose this Zeiss 50mm, 1.4 over the Sigma ART 50mm, 1.4, and the Veydra 35mm E-mount 2.2. I tested it for a few days against the other two. The Zeiss and the Sigma were about equal for resisting lens flare. I own the Veydra and had seen the flares on occasion and was able to duplicate it in my own testing environment. When the Veydra flared, the other two did not.
The Zeiss is manual focus only (like the Veydra) but for video shooting that's all I need. What's more (or less) is the small size of the Zeiss. So easy to carry even in a pocket while running and gunning. The manual focusing of the Zeiss was so smooth and long travelled that I love it. It's mine now!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Color, sharpness, bokeh, depth!!

By Mark

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

A modern implementation of a classic design, manual focus lens. If you want/need/expect auto-focus, this lens is not for you.

Superb build quality, a true joy to handle and use. Long-throw focus is silky smooth and very precise. Colors are contrast-rich, natural and nicely saturated. Outstanding image quality with beautiful bokeh, very good sharpness wide open and even stopped down to F1.8 already bitingly sharp. Center sharpness smoothly transitions into out of focus areas towards the frame edges at wide apertures, yielding superb subject separation from the background at wide apertures.

My intended use is for portraits, candids, close-ups and still life shot primarily at wide apertures. This lens beautifully delivers all of the qualities and characteristics I would look for in this use. To address some of the negatives I read about this lens.

Lens cap – It is fine, a typical snap-in lens cap.

Lens hood won't screw into filter – With Hoya NXT HMC UV filter, no issues.

Not Nikon standard 52mm filter size – This is a Zeiss lens, not a Nikon.

Soft wide open – It is very sharp dead center with a very small center of focus and razor thin DOF at F1.4 so accurate focus takes practice!!

Not sharp at frame edge – At wide apertures the lens is sharp dead center of the frame and smoothly transitions to out of focus areas as one approaches the frame edge. I find this very desirable for portraits and still life for subject separation!

No auto-focus – It is a manual focus lens.

Takes to long to focus – Once you have initially focused on your subject it is very quick to make minor adjustments. The long-throw focus enables extremely precise focusing! Quick manual focus takes practice!!

No half-step aperture lock between the lowest (stop position) and the second lowest aperture setting – Full range of aperture control from camera.

This is an absolutely superb lens that delivers stunning image quality. It is a joy to use!!!

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Crystal Clear

By James

from Dallas, TX

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

    I use this lens as my workhorse. It produces extremely sharp images and I love that it has such a large aperture. The zoom is very smooth and nice; however, it should be noted that it doesn't automatically focus. I prefer manual focus so this wasn't an issue for me. The aperture ring is a nice touch; however, I cannot manually use it with my camera (Nikon D7200) but I believe it does work on a few other cameras. Overall this is a very high-quality lens and I am extremely satisfied with my purchase.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Zeiss 50mm f1.4

    By jj

    from Oregon

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery

      Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

      Very good image quality

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (2 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Amazing Lens, Super Sharp

      By Initial Wesley

      from New York, NY

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Video
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

        The build quality is amazing and this lens is super sharp

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        (3 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Learning curve but perfect.

        By Aaron

        from Gleneden Beach, OR

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

        • Manual focus only

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

        Completely hated it at first, I was going to return it, even had the return slip thing. But I tried it one more time, and took my time to learn it, and not it is amazing... There is a learning curve; but you really need to use Carl Zeiss, instead of the new stuff that Nikon now releases. The new lenses are nothing but bad photos. The image segregation on the new lenses from Nikon are horrible.

        The colors are excellent, and the other qualities are legend.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        (5 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Buy a Zeiss they say...

        By Aaron

        from Gleneden Beach, Oregon

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Blurry Focus
        • Horrible Color Fringing
        • Horrible Edge Distortion
        • Poor in Low Light

        Best Uses

          Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

          Horrible fringing, and horrible color distortion in astro photography. Really not worth the issues for what I shoot. Very hard to focus. When you look at your photo preview, nearly always out of focus, but at the same time in focus. Will be returning for a refund as soon as I can. Will only use Nikon lenses from now on.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Better than excellent for B&W

          By Mister Realistic

          from Wisconsin

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Weddings/Events
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

            Insane micro contrast.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF GLASS

            By Speedo

            from Bristow, VA

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

              I own several Zeiss lenses for use with my Nikon D800 camera. This lens is truly the best standard lens I owned over the decades of my photography. I walk around DC with the Zeiss 50mm and a Nikon 20mm lens on the weekends to capture all the monuments and museums plus the people visiting the National Mall. The 50mm stays on the D800 most of the time. The photos are outstanding and I couldn't be happier.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (3 of 27 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Poor focus capability

              By SuoPhoto

              from San Luis Obispo, CA

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Blurry Focus
              • Heavy

              Best Uses

                Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                This lens let me down. I was excited about it, but the images it produces are horridly blurry compared to much cheaper lenses with auto-focus. At first I figured it was perhaps just my technique and/or settings, but after a lot of experimenting, it just does not live up to my expectations for a $[$]+ lens. I find myself reaching for my ($[$]) Nikkor 35mm more often. Will be returning for a refund.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Zeiss Quality

                By KS Pete

                from Kansas City

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                • Focus Motion Too Short

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                This lens is essentially an "entry level" Zeiss and baby brother to the Makro Planar 50mm they offer. I went with this one because I don't do macro work, and the optics are excellent. My only complaint regarding the lens is that the amount of travel from close to infinity on the focus ring is too short, and it makes critical focus harder than it should be. It still works fine and you get used to it. It works perfectly in all modes on my DF and on my D4s.

                The build quality and optical characteristics are exactly what you'd expect from Zeiss, and beat any Nikon or Canon options be a lot.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                (11 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                not that special

                By roniseattle

                from seattle

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Rugged

                Cons

                • Chromatic aberation
                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                  I teseted this lens on my Nikon D810 against my Nikkor 50mm f1.8d, Nikkor 45mm p, and 24-120mm f4 (set to 50mm). Sadly the Zeiss fared the worse of the four lenses.

                  I could see really no difference as for sharpness but the Zeiss had the worse CA of the group.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Exquisite glass

                  By Jeff

                  from Sarasota, FL

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • High Sharpness
                  • Lightweight
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Manual Focus

                  Best Uses

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

                  Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                  I have used this lens about a week and can say that it is my best lens of the lot by a clear margin. It is tack sharp from F2 on. I use other lenses when there is subject motion because this lens does not auto-focus. Otherwise, it is simply superb!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Awesome!

                  By Joeln

                  from Wichita KS

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                      Zeiss lenses are some of the finest if not THE finest sharpest and best lens out there.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      (5 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Not sharp even at 2.8

                      By Photographer

                      from San Francisco

                      Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                      The Zeiss 100 mm Makro ZF. 2 is a flawless lens. This 50mm is not sharp at all even at 2.8. Nice build but based on performance I would recommend the Nikkor 50mm 1.4G. Returned for a refund.

                      (3 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Decent Lens

                      By lobolew

                      from New Mexico

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                      • Lens Has Ghosting Effect

                      Best Uses

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

                      Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                      Built great, fast lens. Wide open sharp but has ghosting effect. Great for soft portraiture.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      (15 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Hello Gorgeous!

                      By Pattymac Knits

                      from Virginia Beach

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Portraits

                        Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                        I have been looking for ways to get my digital images to seem softer and more film like. I feel like this lens helps me to achieve that. I won't lie to you. Manual focus is a challenge, and it is hard for me to tell if I'm where I want to be. But, I've only used the lens a couple of times, and I like to shoot as wide open as possible. I think my accuracy will improve with use. I was also interested in this lens, because it was recommended for use with video, and I would like to start shooting short films.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        (21 of 27 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        2.0

                        Focus Shift

                        By Air force 1

                        from Geneva-region, Switzerland

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                        • Blurry Focus

                        Best Uses

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

                        Comments about Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount Cameras:

                        My copy had a focus shift problem. I learned that I was not the only person having this problem with this 50mm lens. For the rest, build quality and colors are outstanding as with the other Zeiss lenses. My other lens is the Zeiss Distagon 28 T* 2/28 which is an extraordinary lens! I was very disappointed by the Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 ZF.2 lens and had not expected this from happening from a Zeiss Lens...so I returned it to the shop here in Switzerland where I bought it...

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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