Carl Zeiss Classic Makro-Planar T* 50mm F/2 ZE / ZF / ZF.2 / ZK

Macro lens • Digital era • Discontinued

MAKRO Macro lens. Designed specially for shooting close-ups of small subjects but can be also used in other genres of photography, not necessarily requiring focusing at close distances.
T* The multi-layer coating is applied to the surface of lens elements. It boosts light transmission, ensures sharp and high contrast images, minimizes ghosting and flares.
ZE The lens is designed for Canon EOS 35mm full-frame SLR cameras but can be also used on APS-C SLR cameras.
ZF The lens is designed for Nikon 35mm full-frame SLR cameras but can be also used on APS-C SLR cameras.
ZF.2 The lens is designed for Nikon 35mm full-frame SLR cameras but can be also used on APS-C SLR cameras. The lens features a built-in CPU which is used to transfer metering data from the lens to the camera.
ZK The lens is designed for Pentax 35mm full-frame SLR cameras but can be also used on APS-C SLR cameras.

Model history

Sample photos

F/2
F/2
F/2
F/4.5
F/2
F/3.5
F/9
F/2.8
F/3.5
F/5
F/4
F/3.5
F/5.6
F/8
F/2.8
F/5.6
F/2.5
F/5.6
F/2
F/2
F/2
F/2
F/2
F/2
F/2
F/2
F/2
F/2
F/3.2
F/???
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F/???
F/2
F/2
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F/2
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F/2
F/4
F/4
F/2
F/2.8
F/2

Features highlight

Fast
T*
F.E.
Auto
9 blades
MF
Macro 1:2

Specification

Production details
Announced:October 2006
Production status:Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Original name:Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/50 ZE T*
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/50 ZF T*
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/50 ZF.2 T*
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/50 ZK T*
Optical design
Focal length:50mm
Speed:F/2
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount:Canon EF
Nikon F
Pentax K
Flange focal distance:44mm (Canon EF)
46.5mm (Nikon F)
45.5mm (Pentax K)
Diagonal angle of view:46.8° (35mm full frame)
37.9° (Canon EF APS-H)
31.6° (Nikon F APS-C)
31.6° (Pentax K APS-C)
Lens construction:8 elements - 6 groups
Floating element system
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Number of blades:9
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.24m
Closest working distance:0.1m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:2 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:<No information>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Physical characteristics
Weight:570g (Canon EF)
500g (Nikon F)
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀75.4×67mm (Canon EF)
⌀72×64mm (Nikon F)
Weather sealing:-
Fluorine coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 67mm
Lens hood:Bayonet-type 1454-477 (round)

Manufacturer description #1

This virtually distortion-free, classic Macro Planar lens is in a league of its own. Thanks to a unique combination of high speed and consistent image quality from infinity to half life size (1:2), it offers features that no other lens of this class can match.

Manufacturer description #2

Two New Super Fast ZEISS ZF Macro Lenses with Nikon F Mount

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 2006-09-25.

At f/2, the new ZEISS Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZF and Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZF are the fastest macro lenses for 35mm full-frame photography today - whether for film or digital capture. The two new lenses focus manually from infinity to ½-life size, capturing an object field of approximately 50x70mm at the close-focus limit. All of the ZEISS ZF lenses feature precision metal mechanics, providing the photographer with a durable, reliable tool of lasting value.

A ‘floating element’ optical system enables the Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZF to deliver very high image quality over the entire focusing range. The Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZF goes several steps further by employing an optical design originally developed for the ARRI/ZEISS Master Prime T* 1.2/100 – an ultra-high performance lens for big budget feature films. Thus, the Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZF lens offers an optical performance never before available for still photography, especially at wide-open apertures and in macro applications. This lens allows photographers to use selective focus on important details with unprecedented clarity, effectively isolating the subject from distracting surroundings. This is a common technique used by Directors of Photography in the Cine industry to direct the viewer’s attention and create what admirers call the ‘film look’.

In addition to professional and general-purpose photography, the two new Makro-Planar ZF lenses were also designed for use in a broad variety of industrial, scientific, space applications, machine vision, robotics, instrumentation, documentation and surveillance applications.

The new Makro-Planar lenses are scheduled for shipment during Q1 2007 and join the ZEISS ZF family of manual focus, precision lenses for the Nikon F-mount and featuring full Nikon AI-S compatibility. The ZEISS ZF range now includes 6 different lens types with focal lengths ranging from 25mm to 100mm.

Manufacturer description #3

Isolate Stunning Details with the New ZEISS Macro Lenses - Carl Zeiss presents the Makro-Planar T* 2/50 and 2/100 for EF bayonet

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 2009-12-04

Carl Zeiss has again applied its expertise in lens manufacturing to enable photographers to create wonderfully expressive images. With two new macro lenses, the Makro-Planar T* 2/50 and the Makro-Planar T* 2/100, both now also available with EF bayonet, Carl Zeiss expands its existing ZE line of lenses. Owners of EOS camera models can now create detail-rich macro images that allow sharpness and unsharpness to be deployed as creative elements as they choose. These highly light-sensitive, versatile lenses are also perfect as standard focal lengths for portraits or still life photography.

Even in tricky situations such as dusk, the Makro- Planer T* 2/50 and T* 2/100 ZE create distortion- free images thanks to their extraordinary light intensity of 1:2. Whether capturing an insect resting on a flower or the dampness on a piece of fruit, these lenses allow a degree of sharpness that was hitherto impossible. Even with a maximum aperture opening and a low focal depth, the desired image can be easily isolated from its disruptive surroundings.

Both macro lenses render objects in close-up on a scale of 1:2. To enable such detail, these lenses include Carl Zeiss’s acclaimed “floating elements” design. This special lens alignment enables high optical performance across the entire focusing range, from 0.24 m to infinity. The Makro-Planar T* 2/50 and Makro-Planar T* 2/100 are already available with F bayonet (ZF) and K bayonet (ZK). The Makro-Planar T* 2/50 is also available as a ZF.2 version. Both lens systems are optimized for analog and full-format digital SLR cameras.

From the editor

Optically the lens is a totally new design, not based on previous ZEISS designs for the Contax RTS series of 35mm film SLR cameras. In 2015 it was replaced by ZEISS Milvus Makro-Planar T* 50mm F/2 with its modern sleek look, massive weather-sealed construction and essentially the same optical formula optimized for high-resolution digital SLR cameras.

The overall length of the lens increases considerably with focusing from infinity to the closest distance. The front element is deeply recessed inside the lens barrel which eliminates the need for a lens hood. Nevertheless, ZEISS offered deep circular lens hood as a part of the package.

Typical application

landscapes, interiors, buildings, cityscapes, portraits, travel, macrophotography and product photography

Notes and recommendations

  • If you are into insect macro photography, consider acquiring a macro lens with a focal length of at least twice as much: its large closest working distance will allow not to scare away the subject, and the lens barrel will not cast a shadow over it.

Lenses with similar focal length

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

One of the best standard macro primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Quality control issues

The manufacturer of this lens does not provide adequate quality control. If you do decide to purchase this lens, do not order it online, but choose the best copy available in the store. In any case, there may also be problems with the build quality, and warranty repairs can take months.

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Unique Zeiss Look

Zeiss lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Zeiss Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Flange focal distance

The flange focal distance (FFD), sometimes called the "flange back", is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Floating element system

Provides correction of aberrations and ensures constantly high image quality at the entire range of focusing distances from infinity down to the closest focusing distance. It is particularly effective for the correction of field curvature that tends to occur with large-aperture, wide-angle lenses when shooting at close ranges.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Convex protruding front element

The convex front element protrudes from the lens barrel, making it impossible to use filters.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.