Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 Review

December 17, 2015 | Mark Goldstein |

Conclusion

The Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 is an exceptional wide-angle prime lens. You’d expect sharpness to be high across the frame from such a premium optic, and it doesn’t disappoint. Shooting at the maximum f/2.8 aperture does reveal a very minor reduction in sharpness, but this is quickly resolved by stopping down to f/4, and even at this aperture the lens is able to produce beautifully smooth bokeh.

The Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 is a pleasure to use, thanks to its superb build quality and smooth focus and aperture rings. As this is a manual-focus only lens, you'd expect this aspect of the operation to be intuitive, and so it proved. Together with the A7R II's excellent Peaking feature, the Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 delivered a very high percentage of keepers. The 25cm minimum focussing distance also makes the lens versatile enough to shoot close subjects.

There are only really two drawbacks to the Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8. One is fairly minor, though quite annoying - with both focusing and aperture rings incorporated, there's very little of the lens body that doesn't rotate, making it more difficult than it should be to mount/unmount the lens without changing a setting or adjusting the lens hood. And of course, there's the price - €1299 / $1499 / £1099 makes the Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 very expensive, although it's perhaps forgiveable given the specialist nature of the lens.

As with its older brethren, if you can learn to love the manual-focus only nature of this lens, the Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 is a superb wide-angle optic for full-frame E-Mount Sony owners.

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4.5