Zeiss 35mm F2 Loxia Biogon T* E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 6   
reviewer#45569 date: Aug-20-2020
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:Minolta 17-35mm f3.5G
Tamron 35mm f2.8 E-mount
Minolta 28mm f2
price paid:$NZ 1399 (used)
positive:Superb image quality
Wonderful handling
Compact size
negative:Loxia lenses are addictive, you can't stop after just one
comment:All Loxia lenses have some common attributes. They’re sharp across the whole frame, but corners will be softer than the centre at wide-open apertures. Softer by Zeiss standards isn’t bad and closing the aperture a couple of F-stops sees a noticeable improvement in the corners. Optimal sharpness is around f8-f11. The 35mm probably has the softest corners of the set, wide open however.

It is also a wonderful, tactile and precise lens to use. These are manufactured to very high standards. The lens' handling is outstanding. Loxia are all metal and glass lenses. The focusing ring is ribbed metal, not rubber. Even the lens hoods are metal. The lens has a good long throw, ideal for manual focus. Attaching or removing the lens is easier if you turn the aperture ring right to the end of its range and adds to the resistance of removing it. Otherwise the small size is a little awkward to manage.

Wide-open the lens will also show some vignette. The 35mm shows some minor barrel distortion.

Microcontrast and sharpness is superb. Really outstanding. Flare resistance is superb. Sun-stars are clear and attractive. The lenses lack APO elements so can produce purple or green fringing in backlit, high contrast area wide open. This again, is relatively minor. You have to search for it. I’ve had some older lenses exhibit far worse.

The point is these are outstanding optical formulas, but not perfect. They don’t need aggressive lens correction profiles in LR or C1 (which are available), or in-camera. I don’t know anything that is perfect, but these lenses are definitely top tier stuff. Hence, their unfortunate high price :)

The lenses are clearly designed for certain users in mind. First, those people attracted to the E-mount for the potential to have a smaller kit. All Loxia lenses have gone for narrower apertures (f2-f2.8) rather than say f1.4 to keep the size down. It works. It’s easy to pack four of them into a smallish camera bag.

They’re also aimed at people who don’t mind, or prefer, to manual focus. Because they are manual focus only. So say, landscape photographers or videographers will find these lenses appealing (especially with the declick option). I got a set of 4 for landscapes.

And that leads to their next clever design feature. They all have a 52mm lens diameter. You can use the same filters on all. And an 52mm ND filter takes up very little space in a camera bag. Filters do not appear to generate any vignetting as well.
Manual focusing on a 3rd Generation a7riii is pretty accurate. You can take advantage of the focus magnification and focus peaking features to get the subject in focus. And you can still use the in-camera stabilization. While the lens is manual focus, it maintains electrical contacts with the camera. This feeds the camera EXIF data as well as focus-distance data for the IBIS. You are restricted to using A or M mode on the camera. Obviously though you don’t use the camera dial to change the aperture but the lens aperture ring.

The lenses won’t be for everyone. But once you handle one of them and see the images pop out on your screen, it is hard to stop and just having one of them. Especially if your photography requirements are orientated to portability, extraordinary optical properties and manual focusing.
reviewer#44460 date: Jan-19-2020
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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:Voigtlander 1.7/35 Ultron
Voigtlander 1.2/40 Nokton
Nikon 1.4/35 Ais
Zony FE2.8/35
Zony ZA2/24 (on APS-C)
price paid:550 euro
positive:Colours & contrast
Small form-factor
No distortion

negative:The lens it self is build like a tank. Like other users mentioned the lenshood clicks in well, but not very secure. The same for the hood of my Loxia21 (not so on my Loxia50)
comment:Colour, contrast and rendering are wonderful. I used the Loxia50 for a few years and still own the Loxia21, so knew what to expect for build and handling. Manual focus doesn't bother me, actualy like it for it slows me down and makes me think more about compostion. You don't realy know how smooth the lens focus&aperture rings feels/handles untill you try it yourself.
It is compact without being too small, perfect fit&balance on the A7-bodies for it has some weight to it.
In short: Not super sharp wide open corner to corner (centre is very decent!), no silky-smooth bokeh, no blazing AF. Yes it will last a life time, yes stopped down a bit is it very sharp corner to corner, yes it's contrast in back-lit situation is just great, yes I love its (typical) sunstars, yes it is free from distortion.
If the retail price is worth it over some pretty good other options/competition that cost about same, maybe not....... If you find it for a decent price secondhand, and like compact over bulk, highly recommended.

ps.
The Voigtlander 1.7/35 is my most used lens over the last 5 years on my trusty A7s. After buying the A7iii last year I was never pleased with the results of this M-mount lens on the new camera. Info in the internet tells me it could be that the filter-stack of the A7iii is different as on the A7s (and needs a extra screw-in, homemade, optic to adjust this).
So, in search of a new favorite 35mm on the A7iii I tried the hyped 1.2/40 Voigtlander for half a year, not sure why, but just did not do it for me and sold it. Looked hard at & tried the FE Distagon 1.4/35, Samyang FE1.4/35, & all time classic Contax C/Y 1.4/35 but just to big&heavy lenses for my liking.
The Loxia2/35 has been on my wish-list, but I found it somewhat pricey for a f/2 lens. Last week I found a good deal on a 2nd-hand copy (like new) and now think I should have got it earlier (-;
reviewer#43004 date: Feb-6-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:Sigma 1.4/35 Art, Flektogon 2.8/35
price paid:$ 1299 US
positive:Image quality, Color, absence of distortion, build, etc.
negative:Looseness of the hood, lens cap
comment:Having read several reviews first I was reluctant to buy it, then hesitated a bit and upon recommendation of a photographer friend I made the purchase.
First impression: beautiful, sexy (oh yes), smooth on rotating the focus and/or aperture rings. As a former film user with manual SLRs using a manual focus lens is a joy and brings lots of great memories.
First images: colors and images pop.
There are no distortions so a wonderful lens for interior and architectural shots.
2 things that should be fixed: the lens hood can loosen easily and drop. As for the lens cap... not on par with Zeiss name.
Overall it's a wonderful lens and a must have (but definitely not for AF shooters).
For those who like focus stacking this lens is a right choice.
Did I make a right choice paying that much? Definitely YES.

UPDATE: not for 61MP. better to get a Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 35/2
reviewer#37851 date: May-6-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:CZ 16-70/f4 emount; A-mount CZ24-70/f2.8
price paid:1000 usd (demo)
positive:Sharpness, color, build quality, purely manual lens
negative:None
comment:The first time I worked this lens brought back memories of my first SLR experience with a manual 50mm Minolta lens. The build quality is excellent and I am sure it will last a lifetime. I feel it's capabilities are not fully realized on a APS-C camera, but the image quality certainly shines with the sensor. Highly recommended
reviewer#23459 date: Dec-28-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:35mm lengths of Zony 16-35/4 and 24-70/4, Zeiss-Contax-N 24-85.
price paid:USD1299, new
positive:Sharpness, Zeiss presence and color, light weight, EXCELLENT manual focusing, high build quality (solidness)
negative:None.
comment:This lens is simply delightful. It's light, solid, a pleasure to focus. Its images have the Zeiss 'pop'. I bought the Loxia 50, too, and Zeiss was smart enough to give them the same filter size. :-)
reviewer#17341 date: Aug-27-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:Canon 35/1,8 LTM and Summicron 35/2 I type
price paid:1300 EUR
positive:Very impressive IQ and bokeh.
negative:A little hard to mount when new, caused by the blue rim around the bayonet. After hours of usage now it's better.
comment:A beautiful lens. As I focus, holding the shutter button, the center area of the viewfinder shows a detailed magnification, so focusing is very fast and simple. The dimensions are perfect, neither tiny as the 35/2,8 nor huge as the 35/1,4.
Images are neat and bokeh is beautiful. Stopping a little (3,5 and so on) the borders are perfect. Beautiful 1/3 click stops. The hood is an advantage: no flare at all.
reviews found: 6   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 4.92
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 5.00
  • overall: 4.98

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