Zeiss 50mm F2 Loxia Planar T* E-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 6   
reviewer#45572 date: Aug-23-2020
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 50mm f1.4
Minolta 50mm f2.8 Macro
Sony 50mm f1.4
price paid:$NZ 1459 new
positive:Wonderful handling with outstanding image quality in a compact form.
negative:Loxia lenses ae addictive. It's hard to stop after 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. They’re also wonderful, tactile and precise lenses to use. These are manufactured to very high standards.

The handling is wonderful. These are all metal and glass lenses. The focusing ring is ribbed metal, not rubber. Even the lens hoods are metal. The 50mm is the lightest of the set, weighing in at 320g as compared to the 35mm at 340. The lens has a good 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. Microcontrast and sharpness is superb. Really outstanding. Flare resistance is superb. Sun-stars are clear and attractive.

Loxia 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 usually very 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#44255 date: Apr-6-2019
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:Contax C/Y 50mm F/1.4
Sony FE 50mm F/1.8
price paid:$649 USD (used)
positive:When you turn the focus ring, the camera automatically zooms to set precise focus. Combined with focus peaking, and with OSS enabled on the camera, I consistently get sharp and beautiful photos.
negative:Really minor: The hood covers the focus ring when reversed, and the lens cap is crap. The cap comes off easily, like when bumped a little from the side.
comment:I used to have Contax C/Y lenses I used with an adapter. The rendering of this Loxia is really close to the C/Y lenses, but with better coatings and in a native mount. This has become my favorite 50mm lens.
reviewer#44185 date: Dec-3-2018
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:Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 2.8/50
Minolta AF 1.7/50
SEL50M28
SEL50F18F
Leica Summicron-M 2.0/50
price paid:924 USD new
positive:Color, micro-contrast, resolution ability, sharpness, compact, solid
negative:Lens cap, loose lens hood, tough to mount and unmount
comment:If you are a purist then this is a must have lens for you. It has superb optical performance. Made a thorough comparison with the well reknowned Leica-M Summicron-M 2.0/50 and found no difference at all.
reviewer#17343 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 used to own this lens
compared to:1.8/55 SMC Takumar
1.5/50 Voigtlander Nokton
1.4/50 Minolta MD
price paid:800euro
positive:Very nice feel & use on A7(s)
negative:non, (but I still think it is a pricey for a f/2 50mm lens)
some vignetting wide open, but easily fixed in Lightroom.
comment:Sharpest lens I've use so far, even wide open very good.
Pleasure to use on the A7 model for weight & size.
Manual focus is a breeze with the maginification mode. Mostly used on f2 with very nice results on colour, contrast and sharpness. Bokeh I like, not smooth or dreamy, just good.
Focus ring is big. Aperture ring somewhat small, but after more use not disturbing.

Now owned this lens for 4 years and still happy with how this lens handles, smooth! The rendering of the lens is a bit neutral, so bought the Voigtlander 1.5/50 Nokton for this. The Loxia is surely the sharpest lens of the 2!

update- sold it after copairing head to head with the Voigtlander 1.5/50 Nokton, which gave me a somewhat better/nicer overall rendering.
reviewer#12131 date: Feb-15-2015
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:Sony 55/1.8 ZA
price paid:USD 730
positive:Built like a rock
Very sharp even wide open
Quite compact
negative:52mm filters (the ZM uses 43mm)
Lens hood overlaps the focus ring
Aperture blades are not rounded
Bokeh slightly nervous
comment:This lens is not AF so people won't like it but it's OK for me.
The focus ring is really smooth
It's smaller than the 55/1.8, especially with the lens hood, which is better if you don't want to scare off people or if you're travelling.
reviewer#12086 date: Jan-10-2015
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Sony Zeiss FE 55mm f/1.8
price paid:N/A
positive:Excellent sharpness from wide open. Very precise manual focus ring. Sealed with o-ring against dust and water. Nice Zeiss colors. Manual aperture ring. Activates the manual focus assists on the A7S automatically.
negative:No auto-focus. Very, very slightly less sharp in corners wide open than the FE 55mm 1.8. o-ring seal makes it tricky to mount and remove from A7S.
comment:This is a fantastic lens. If you like manual focus (which I do) this lens is amazing and a joy to use. If you want AF then you'll never buy this because the FE 55 is also excellent.
reviews found: 6   

rating summary

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

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