Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* Review

May 14, 2015 | Mark Goldstein |

Conclusion

Just like its 35mm sibling, he Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* is a superb prime lens. You’d expect sharpness to be high across the frame from such a premium optic, and it doesn’t disappoint. Even with the A7S test camera shooting at high ISOs, detail is exceptionally sharp. Shooting at the maximum f/2 aperture does reveal a minor reduction in corner sharpness compared to the centre of frame, but this is resolved by f/2.8 though, and even at this aperture the lens is able to produce beautifully smooth bokeh.

The Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* is also 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 A7S' excellent Peaking feature, the Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* delivered a very high percentage of keepers.

There are only really two drawbacks to the Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T*. 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 - €849 / $949 / £749 is a lot of money to pay for a "standard" 50mm, f/2 lens, even one as good as this.

But if you can stomach the cost and if you can learn to love the manual-focus only nature of the lens, the Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* is a superb choice for full-frame E-Mount Sony owners that’s capable of truly stunning results.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4.5