Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of falling in love with my favourite focal length all over again. After saying a painful goodbye to the 50L, I picked up the Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Makro-Planar T* ZE after a long withdrawal from the 50mm prime.
Though the Zeiss lens is a manual-focus lens & limited in live-event settings, to me it represents the best-available option to Canon shooters at the 50mm focal length. The aforementioned 50L produces to-die-for output most of the time from f/1.6 to f/2, but severe/complex field curvature hampers the focusing accuracy of the lens at close portrait distances. Sigma 50mm options, while sharp, lack character & also present additional AF-consistency issues to boot.
With 2:1 (50% reproduction) macro capabilities & outstanding image quality at all apertures & subject distances, the Zeiss 50MP represents a flexible all-purpose lens. Wide-open, the extreme edges are uncorrected & show slight softness, making the lens favourable for natural environmental portraits. At the center of the frame, the lens is already very sharp at f/2 & bitingly so at f/2.8. In both studio (f/5.6 – f/8) & macro situations (f/8 – f/16), the Zeiss 50MP is sharp & consistent across the frame, boasting a natural but distinct sense of that Zeiss micro-contrast.
Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Makro-Planar T* ZE – Landscape Examples
Additional Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Makro-Planar T* ZE Sample Photos
Equipment List: Canon EOS 1D X & Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Makro-Planar T* ZE.