July 08, 2015, 03:09:10 AM

Author Topic: Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE  (Read 1966 times)

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE
« on: January 18, 2015, 04:45:37 PM »
I have just finished launching my review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar 50mm f/2 lens.  While this lens isn’t new, I think its versatility, compact size, and image quality still makes it a worthy contender even after the launch of the new Sigma and the Otus 55.  I had a lot of fun with this lens, particularly after I added an EG-S focus screen to one of my 6D bodies.

Written Review:  http://bit.ly/1wdxsj3
Video Review:  http://bit.ly/14DRZXD
Image Gallery:  http://bit.ly/1zhIE5q

Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting on the reviews. I'm launching the Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8 review next, followed by the Canon 100-400L II (I'm having a blast with it right now!) and will have the upcoming Tamron 15-30 VC in hand at the beginning of February.  The 100-400LII and Tamron 15-30 VC are probably the two lenses I'm most excited about this year.
6D x 2 | 70D | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + Rokinon 12MM F/2 + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | Zeiss 50 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L ---VINTAGE-- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Tak 35mm f/3.5, SMC Tak 55mm f/1.8, SMC Tak 50mm f/1.4 | Helios 44-2

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Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE
« on: January 18, 2015, 04:45:37 PM »

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2015, 04:47:36 PM »
Here's a shot I took with the Makro Planar that is a part of a musician's cover photo shoot for their new album in March.  Out of the 15 shots they chose from the session about 60+% of them were taken with the Makro Planar.

Playin' My Tune by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr
6D x 2 | 70D | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + Rokinon 12MM F/2 + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | Zeiss 50 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L ---VINTAGE-- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Tak 35mm f/3.5, SMC Tak 55mm f/1.8, SMC Tak 50mm f/1.4 | Helios 44-2

JBSF

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Re: Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2015, 08:38:22 PM »
Hi Dustin,

Thanks for the review and photos. Nice series. I especially like her portrait with the mandolin.

Although it may not be in your plan for the review of the 100-400 II, could you devote some time/space to the use of the lens at MFD? I think it may have serious potential as a crossover tool for birds and insects with our without a TC. I assume it exhibits about the same focus breathing at MFD that the original 100-400 does, but at 3 feet it might outperform some other lenses that have been popular for crossover use, like the 300 f4.

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2015, 09:18:35 AM »
Hi Dustin,

Thanks for the review and photos. Nice series. I especially like her portrait with the mandolin.

Although it may not be in your plan for the review of the 100-400 II, could you devote some time/space to the use of the lens at MFD? I think it may have serious potential as a crossover tool for birds and insects with our without a TC. I assume it exhibits about the same focus breathing at MFD that the original 100-400 does, but at 3 feet it might outperform some other lenses that have been popular for crossover use, like the 300 f4.

That's definitely in my plans, as it is a huge asset for this lens compared to its competition.
6D x 2 | 70D | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + Rokinon 12MM F/2 + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | Zeiss 50 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L ---VINTAGE-- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Tak 35mm f/3.5, SMC Tak 55mm f/1.8, SMC Tak 50mm f/1.4 | Helios 44-2

e17paul

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Re: Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2015, 05:11:48 PM »
That's an excellent real world review. It doesn't help my wish list vs. budget situation. I use manual focus frequently and I think I could live without AF for the other times.

Now, if I buy one, Canon will launch a FF 50 or 60 with AF, IS and all the colour/sharpness qualities of their recent primes the following month. Maybe I'll go for the 35 IS first
6D, 5(film)x2, 650(film)x2, Canonet QL19, EF 15/2.8, 24/2.8 IS, 50/2.5 & 70-300/4-5.6L
Fotodiox Pro OM/Eos adapter, Olympus OM-10, Zuiko 24/2.8, 50/1.4 & 135/2.8, Ensinor 28/2.8, XA/2, Mju 410
Apple iPhone 6 & iPad 2. I've only listed the equipment I still use for photography!

NWPhil

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Re: Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2015, 10:07:28 PM »
WOW - I have to say it Dustin, you really disappointed me with this review.

Do you realize the that the throw from infinity to 1 foot is just a smidge over 3/4inches?
Aren't you aware that a common trait, welcomed and desired in macro lenses (even half size as this one) in indeed the heavier focus dampening and long throw below 1 foot range, as precision focusing really matters?
Also, it's very common to see the a very narrow DOF in macro lenses, as it's common to have an above average sharpness.
Further more, almost no macro shooting occurs with a lens wide open- nor even if doing photo stacking.

I am surprised and shocked after reading other reviews from you, seeing you bluntly fail and commit such amateur, uninformed mistakes thru your comments.

Can't compare this lens to a canon 1.8 nor even the Otus 55 - It's a whole different league, and built for a special purpose...but can be used everyday.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 09:47:24 AM by NWPhil »
Canon shooter, but anything goes as ammunition (L, non L, Zeiss, Leica, Rokinon,Sigma)

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 11:45:14 AM »
WOW - I have to say it Dustin, you really disappointed me with this review.

Do you realize the that the throw from infinity to 1 foot is just a smidge over 3/4inches?
Aren't you aware that a common trait, welcomed and desired in macro lenses (even half size as this one) in indeed the heavier focus dampening and long throw below 1 foot range, as precision focusing really matters?
Also, it's very common to see the a very narrow DOF in macro lenses, as it's common to have an above average sharpness.
Further more, almost no macro shooting occurs with a lens wide open- nor even if doing photo stacking.

I am surprised and shocked after reading other reviews from you, seeing you bluntly fail and commit such amateur, uninformed mistakes thru your comments.

Can't compare this lens to a canon 1.8 nor even the Otus 55 - It's a whole different league, and built for a special purpose...but can be used everyday.

You are certainly entitled to be disappointed with my review (BTW, Zeiss certainly isn't: https://www.facebook.com/carlzeisslenses/posts/937419462934961; https://twitter.com/CarlZeissLenses/status/557213223095894016), but I'm not sure where some of your points of view are coming from.

If you have used the lens, then you should recognize that the focus throw is very long.  As I point out, that's great for accuracy, not so great for speed.

The reason for the heavier damping that I give is directly from the president of Zeiss of the Americas.  I don't personally like the weight compared to all other Zeiss lenses I have used.

Of course the DOF is very narrow at macro distances...that's the whole reason I supply that information.  "That aperture advantage over the typical f/2.8 of most macro lenses is great for use in a variety of applications, but macro is really not one of them. DOF is only .08″/1.98mm at minimum focus distance and maximum aperture. That is TINY! Even at f/5.6 the DOF is only slightly over half a centimeter at the minimum focus distance." - The point here is that you AREN'T going to be using the lens at f/2 for macro purposes.

I don't think your particular criticisms here are valid.
6D x 2 | 70D | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + Rokinon 12MM F/2 + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | Zeiss 50 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L ---VINTAGE-- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Tak 35mm f/3.5, SMC Tak 55mm f/1.8, SMC Tak 50mm f/1.4 | Helios 44-2

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Re: Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 11:45:14 AM »

NWPhil

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Re: Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 12:14:38 PM »
WOW - I have to say it Dustin, you really disappointed me with this review.

Do you realize the that the throw from infinity to 1 foot is just a smidge over 3/4inches?
Aren't you aware that a common trait, welcomed and desired in macro lenses (even half size as this one) in indeed the heavier focus dampening and long throw below 1 foot range, as precision focusing really matters?
Also, it's very common to see the a very narrow DOF in macro lenses, as it's common to have an above average sharpness.
Further more, almost no macro shooting occurs with a lens wide open- nor even if doing photo stacking.

I am surprised and shocked after reading other reviews from you, seeing you bluntly fail and commit such amateur, uninformed mistakes thru your comments.

Can't compare this lens to a canon 1.8 nor even the Otus 55 - It's a whole different league, and built for a special purpose...but can be used everyday.

You are certainly entitled to be disappointed with my review (BTW, Zeiss certainly isn't: https://www.facebook.com/carlzeisslenses/posts/937419462934961; https://twitter.com/CarlZeissLenses/status/557213223095894016), but I'm not sure where some of your points of view are coming from.

If you have used the lens, then you should recognize that the focus throw is very long.  As I point out, that's great for accuracy, not so great for speed.

The reason for the heavier damping that I give is directly from the president of Zeiss of the Americas.  I don't personally like the weight compared to all other Zeiss lenses I have used.

Of course the DOF is very narrow at macro distances...that's the whole reason I supply that information.  "That aperture advantage over the typical f/2.8 of most macro lenses is great for use in a variety of applications, but macro is really not one of them. DOF is only .08″/1.98mm at minimum focus distance and maximum aperture. That is TINY! Even at f/5.6 the DOF is only slightly over half a centimeter at the minimum focus distance." - The point here is that you AREN'T going to be using the lens at f/2 for macro purposes.

I don't think your particular criticisms here are valid.

I own and use the lens quite often - one of my favorites, and I don't like the 50mm focal range, but this lens it's the only 50mm (not 55) I like to use.

With that said, check again the throw from 1 foot to infinity or even from a more usefull 3 feet. And then compared it what other 50mm with AF are doing, as how much turn they need to accomplish the same.

The dampening on that initial focal range is not bad IMO - indeed becomes a chore after that.
No, I won't use f/2 for macro, but portraits or details at a bit over 5 feet will work very well - in the macro environment, the f/2 allows you to start with a brigher viewfinder view - a bigger difference comparing to the ef 180mm macro from canon, but not so much with the usual 2.8 aperture from other dedicated lenses

In all, looking at a halfsize macro from a point of view used to judge a generic walk-around lens it's faulty to say the least

My criticism applies to your generic review pointers on a non-generic purpose  lens - I can see you coming around this "street" calling a canon EF 500mm as not great for walking around town and shoot candids
« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 12:17:37 PM by NWPhil »
Canon shooter, but anything goes as ammunition (L, non L, Zeiss, Leica, Rokinon,Sigma)

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Re: Review of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 12:14:38 PM »