Zeiss 32mm F1.8 Touit E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44170 date: Nov-14-2018
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Canon EF 28 F1.8 USM
Sigma 28 F1.8 HS & EX DG
Sony FE 28 F2
Minolta MD & AF 28 F2
Canon EF 28 F2.8 IS USM
Minolta/Sony AF 28 F2.8
Neewer 28 F2.8
Sigma 30 F1.4 DC DN C & EX DC
Sigma 30 F2.8 DN Art
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Neewer 32 F1.6
Neewer 35 F1.2
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Tamron SP 35 F1.8 USD
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Minolta MD 35 F1.8
Minolta AF 35 F2
Tamron 35 F2.8 OSD
Rokinon AF FE 35 F2.8
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar 35 F2.8
Minolta Rokkor 40 F1.7
Konica AR 40 F1.8
Canon EF 40 F2.8 STM
Pentax-M 40 F2.8
price paid:262 USD (used)
positive:Sharp wide-open
Fairly flat focus plane
9 aperture blades
Closer to 50 mm equivalent
negative:Somewhat slow & noisy focusing
Imprecise focus-by-wire
Cheap looking, primitive design
Untextured focus grip
No optical stabilization
Minor barrel distortion
Axial chromatic abberration
A stop less bright than the Sigma F1.4 C
comment:A clean, well-used bare copy with the black finish somewhat worn around the edges. Only the original rear cap was included. This is a fairly simple planar lens design with unit focus like most older normal primes. The body shell seems to be fairly thick aluminum alloy. The smooth rubber focus grip attracts dirt. It came with the "02" firmware supporting Fast Hybrid Autofocus. The current list price is $720. "Made in Japan"

On the Sony APS-C cameras it is equivalent to about 49 mm F2.8 on full-frame. It does not have much full-frame coverage. It is much sharper than the little Neewer 32mm F1.6.

The focus-by-wire doesn't allow precise manual focus. It uses a DC motor much like the Tamron OSD primes and FE 50 F1.8 and A-mount SAM lenses. Hybrid AF works across the frame at all apertures unlike the Sigma DN lenses. The focusing is slower than the Sony OSS lens, but the reduced focus breathing makes focus transitions smoother.

This copy is sharper than the Sigma 30 F1.4's or Sony 35 F1.8 OSS, but has somewhat less contrast than the Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM. It has less focus plane curvature than either Sony 35mm F1.8 but is not quite as flat as the Fotasy 35mm F1.6. Lateral chromatic aberration is well controlled--perhaps due to the two extra lens elements.

It has a similar amount of barrel distortion as the Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM, much less than the Sigma 30 F1.4 C. The 35 OSS has much less.

Original plastic hoods are readily available new for $45 shipped which is about what I paid for the Fotasy lens. The circular hood is much deeper than the ones included with the other lenses. The front element is quite recessed at infinity focus, and never sticks out, so the hood is not necessary for protection. I purchased an original front cap for a reasonable amount now included in the price paid field.

Overall, a simple but effective normal prime for APS-C with a pair of blue logos.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 5
  • sharpness: 4.70
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.40
  • distortion: 4.60
  • flare control: 4.80
  • overall: 4.70
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