Review of Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *

According provided by Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * lens (version for Canon cameras with mount EF or Ef-s) many thanks to Oleg.

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *. The lens is shown on a digital SLR camera. Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi

In short

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * is a good manual fifty dollars. Optically not perfect. In general, it is overrated. The main features are excellent build and automatic iris control. Unlike conventional manual lenses, the Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * has microprocessor contacts and an internal aperture control mechanism. There is no aperture control ring.

In general, Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * is the same Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 T * (C / Y, Japan), but in a different case and with a different control. Carl Zeiss has been stamping his Planars for more than a hundred years and knows a lot about this (the first modifications of the symmetrical Planar appeared at the end of the 19th century).

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *

Main technical specifications of Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *:

Review Instance Name Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T* 15770048 Lens made in Japan
Basic properties
  • ZE - version for cameras Canon EOSlens uses a bayonet mount Canon EF.
  • manual focus only
  • automatic iris control from the camera menu
  • T* - special enlightenment of Carl Zeiss T * optics
  • lens suitable for full-length cameras
  • built-in microprocessor simulating the operation of original lenses
  • metal case
Front Filter Diameter 58 mm, metal thread for filters
Focal length 50 mm

Zoom ratio 1 x
Designed by for digital cameras with a frame size of 24 x 36
Number of aperture blades 9 petals, form a fairly regular polygon
Tags focus distance scale in meters and feet, plotted on the focus ring. The depth of field scale for F / 4, 8, 16 (explicitly) + 1.4, 2.8, 5.6, 11 (not explicitly). Bayonet mount tag, hood mount tag. Label for working in the infrared spectrum.
Diaphragm F / 1.4 to F / 16
MDF 0.45 m, maximum magnification ratio 1: 6.7
The weight November 380, XNUMX
Optical design 7 elements in 6 groups. Usual spherical elements are used.

The diagram is shown for the Carl Zeiss ZF version (for Nikon cameras):Optical design Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE'Planar' type scheme

Lens hood Baynet type, metal, marking Carl Zeiss 1: 1,4 / 50 Made in Japan
Manufacturer country Lens made in Japan (lens made in Japan)
3D view See
Period ZE Edition Available since 2008
Price Prices for this model can be see here.

The owner of the copy from the review bought it in a used condition. for 450 dollars.

Unfortunately, despite the presence of a microprocessor, the Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * version does not work in the focus trap mode (when the shutter is only allowed with precise focus). Only a green dot in the viewfinder indicates sharp focus. It is advisable to use Live View mode with the lens. On the camera, the lens is recognized as autofocus, but switched to manual focus mode.

The iris automation on the manual lens significantly adds convenience in work and post-processing (you can always see with what settings the photo was taken).

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * with original metal hood

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * with original metal hood

Assembly and management

The lens is made very high quality, has a stylish design with a chromed front of the frame. The whole body is made of metal. The kit comes with a metal hood, which does not have push clamps, but at the same time installs very securely and nicely. On the inside, the hood has a special coating that resembles velvet, which adds premium feel. The hood can be installed in the reverse position for transportation. In this position, access to the focus ring is lost.

The focus ring does not have a rubberized insert, rotates approximately 220 degrees. The ring travel is smooth and pleasant, but not as divine-oily as, for example, in many inexpensive old people by type Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 1: 1.8 / 55... The front extension body does not rotate during focusing. Focusing occurs by moving the entire lens unit. Whether there is a focus correction system with floating elements is unknown (most likely not). The focusing distance scale is marked on the focusing ring (it is believed that for expensive lenses the distance scale is usually made in the form of a special window). There is a depth of field scale and a mark for working in the infrared spectrum.

Working with Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * is very comfortable. Due to tactile sensations, many fall in love with the lens from the first seconds of shooting.

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * with original blend. The lens is shown on a digital SLR camera. Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi

Image quality and sample photos

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * is very good at apertures after f / 2.8. At apertures up to f / 2.8, it didn't show any impressive results. Working at F / 1.4 is fun only in the center of the frame. Unfortunately, we shouldn't expect any super quality at F / 1.4 due to spherical aberrations. Despite all its legendary status, an ordinary Planar without special optical elements will hardly be able to compete with modern optimized optical schemes based on aspherical and low-dispersion elements. Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 is an icon of fifty dollars of the last generation, but the palm of leadership from him more and more passes to 'monsters' Carl Zeiss Milvus 1.4 / 50 и Carl Zeiss Otus 1.4 / 55.

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * has slightly expressed chromatic aberration... Vignetting and distortion are at the level of quality fifty dollars, but not completely corrected. A strong impression from working with the Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * is the pleasant color rendering and the overall pleasant drawing. Carl Zeiss Planar lenses are not cheap, but bearded stories about the 'artistic' component of their optics, in fact, very few photographers will be able to take advantage of the artistic properties of this lens.

Pictures from Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. The photos in the gallery below are shown without processing, on camera JPEG. Everything was removed from the hands using a hood. Was used protective filter HOYA PRO1 Digital 58mm MC UV (0) Made in Japan. You can download the original 'jpeg' photos at this link.

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *, view from the bayonet side, microprocessor contacts visible


Prices for modern Carl Zeiss manual lenses are available see here.

Now it is very difficult to find Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * in the store - it is a rather rare and not very popular lens. $ 750 for a new manual fifty pounds off many people.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * with reverse mounted hood for transport

My experience

Carl Zeiss optics are usually used by those who know a lot about this. On the technical side, Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * is too expensive a lens without any outstanding optical performance. $ 750 for a manual fifty dollars with not very sharp f / 1.4 is too expensive. You can buy the legendary modern manual fix for about half the price - Nikon 50mm 1: 1.2 Nikkor (AI-S, the same 'Planar' on the optical scheme) + a penny adapter Nikon F-Canon EF (focuses on infinity).

Slightly cheaper Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * can be bought by Carl Zeiss with Contax / Yashica mount - Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 T * C / Y (optically identical to the ZE version) + low-cost adapter Contax / Yashica - Canon EF (while maintaining focus on infinity).

For connoisseurs of true super-high-quality optics, Carl Zeiss tried their best and released two super-fifty Carl Zeiss Milvus 1.4 / 50 и Carl Zeiss Otus 1.4 / 55.

Who wants to buy Zeiss and don’t sell the kidneys, let him look towards the super-sharp Carl Zeiss Planar 1,7 / 50 T *. For those who are trying to stand out among the total mass of fifty dollars for the Nikon / Canon CZK, I advise you to look towards modern Voigtlander Nokton 58mm F1.4SL и Voigtlander Nokton 58mm F1.4 SL II S (there is black and silver).

Super-Takumar 1 Lens Sizes: 1.4 / 50 Asahi Opt. Co. Lens made in Japan and Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *

Manual Lens Sizes Super-Takumar 1: 1.4 / 50 Asahi Opt. Co. Lens made in japan and Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *


The era of the classic Planars has come to an end. For modern digital cameras with a high pixel density of f / 1.4, the Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * produces mediocre sharpness. However, the Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T * itself is a very good lens, with a classic, sometimes 'nostalgic' Planar pattern.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 40, on the topic: Overview of Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *

  • Oleg

    Good review. Like. The most interesting thing in this review is the buildings view of a person who understands optics and photography in general, but does not fan over the Carl Zeiss brand. thanks

  • Oleg

    Third-party look :)

  • Ilyas

    Such reviews warm the soul, thanks!
    And the glass is super!

  • Ashtray

    Arkady, thanks for the review! Just tell me, wouldn’t it be better to take your 5D for review than a cropped camera?

    • Vasilynet

      Uncle, 5d has long been sold! About 2 years ago. You were here last time soon years ago?

      • anonym

        I come here regularly. Where was it written? Thank you for the information, Vasily

  • Alexey

    What is the green dot in the viewfinder if it is a Canon?

    • zengarden

      Probably from old memory it was written or copy-paste from the previous review :)

      And so - yes, a good fifty dollars, for the price of which you can buy a couple of lenses no worse.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Not copy-paste and not thoughtlessly. Who didn't know - Canon cameras, like Nikon cameras, have a green dot. confirming focusing. In the case of Nikon, the point always works with any optics (and even without it). In the case of Canon, this point only works with chip lenses. This indicator is shown in the attached image (taken from the Canon EOS DIGITAL Rebel XSi manual).

      • zengarden

        Clear, thanks for the clarification.

      • Maria

        Gosh, I saw her yesterday too.

        I have been with Kenon for a week. I bought it without instructions and now I want to download it.

        But it does not burn all the same and not as confidently as on NIKON (once) IMHO.
        And located on the right (Karl, on the right!).
        It's just "Pavlov's dog" when used to aiming at the viewfinder in Nikon. where is she on the left….

        And yes.
        Both systems have both a red confirmation of focus at the focus point and a green one. But the red goes out quickly. And when you twist the ring back and forth, there is a feeling that you have lost the unpleasant focus. To shoot like that, you need to very tangibly imagine the depth of field with different shooting parameters.

    • Sergei

      And in Canon just the same green focus confirmation point. In my canon it’s green, in the right corner of the viewfinder, the Sony a100 is also green.

  • yuricxn

    thanks for the review

  • Vyacheslav

    I will also share my experience. He was the owner of the .ZF2 version for Nikon. When used with the D7000, it suited everyone, but when switching to the D610, it became very difficult to get into focus on an open and near an open hole. The full frame suited me conditionally. Was sold 3 years ago. Sorry? Probably not!

  • Gonzaga

    Newly made milvuses and otus have a price not even a horse - it is simply monstrous. So what about the decline of the era of gliders, Arkady, you are clearly excited.

    • anonym

      Maybe we just do not live well? Recommend a good fifty kopecks on Nikon with bokeh. It is possible without autofocus. f from 0 to 1.4. Otus, Mulvis, Nikkor 58 / 1.4g, Nikkor 58 / 1.2 - do not offer! With an adequate price only!

  • Serg57

    The overview is great as always.
    And the cat in the pictures is even better

  • Alexey

    Compared this lens Nikor 50 / 1,4G - almost no difference. You can only determine where Zeiss is and where Nikor is by using Zeiss's harder bokeh. Plus, Nikor is a little sharper. In general, the lens leaves a pleasant impression, it does not have a high contrast, which allows in some cases to separate the foreground and background. Zeiss can also be sensitive to side light as the front lens is not recessed enough. It can give off exposure due to the filter being worn, and this happens even with good filters. So a lens hood is a must. On an open hole, it frankly lathers the edges of the frame; therefore, central framing is required during shooting.

  • Sash

    750 not for new but old about ”active

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Why so? 750 for a new one, from the store. For used cheaper option. Or are you saying that this is an old development?

  • Dim

    The eternal problem of manufacturers of "cool" things - after a while you have to explain to their owners that they are no longer just not cool, but even worse than all kinds of consumer goods and they urgently need to run after a new brain-blowing-all-overshadowing contraption, which is very regrettable.

    • anonym

      Just for some reason, on ibey these lenses fly off like hot cakes at prices of 350-400 dollars. I myself have been looking after this for 2 months already.
      Zeiss lenses can easily be compared with cars BMW E39 vs Hyundai some kind of new emphasis. A knowledgeable person on shit such as an accent will not ride better, he will walk on foot, but he’ll be happy to use the e39, although the e39 is already outdated and so on.

      • KalekseyG

        He praised the glass - well done! Nonsense then why write. All knowledgeable amateur photographers sit at home and do not shoot anything because they do not have zeiss (they only trynd on the couch in the forums), and those who do not know deer shoot with shit like 18-55 - well, in general, complete ... ..

  • Squirrel

    I have had this chip-based Zeiss for 4 years now, I shoot with Nikon D800. I never regretted that I took it as soon as it went on sale, and then only in Japan. The most beautiful juicy colors, very sharp, fast and beautiful bokeh. It took half a year to get used to manual focusing, but then it began to fall into sharpness more. For studio shooting - just a brilliant! On a tripod during the day - also great. But filming moving children is problematic. In general, after the first Zeiss in the collection, I fell in love with these glasses, and then bought two more used 28mm f2.0 and Makro planar 100mm f2.0. The contour light is well kept. But this Zeiss fifty-kopeck piece is mesmerizing and may well become a universal lens for all occasions.

  • Olga Kyss

    Thank you so much for the review !!
    All lenses have their own weaknesses, but by definition glass cannot be cheap. I have an 85mm 1,4 Zeiss planar, it’s not perfect, but I forgive everything for his picture! Having paid once for Zeiss, you get unbreakable quality for several generations of photographers ahead.

  • Sergei

    They offered this for 250ue. I want a good fifty, my native 50 1.4 I do not like. Try a flight?

  • Dima

    The era of classic Planars has come to an end. Carl Zeiss Planar 1.4 / 1,4 ZE T * creates mediocre sharpness for modern digital cameras with high pixel density F / 50

    About the uncle, he says - I will spare you for a small fee or I will accept under a contract for the disposal of classic Carl Zeiss Planars in any quantity)))

  • Lech

    I will sell Zeiss 85 1.4 ZF

    After reading the article, I suddenly wanted an autofocus lens. I already bumped with this heavyweight)

  • anonym

    On the one hand, the author writes that there is nothing magical in these your problems, and on the other hand, even the test pictures provided to them in the article look very thoroughbred. Unlike other pictures from other vaunted modern lenses on the same site, shot by the same author. There is something to think about.

  • Stas

    It is difficult to evaluate and find fault with the quality of the glass that is dressed on the crop. At full frame it will be many times better. I have this glass, I have never regretted the purchase, took a bu. A thoroughbred figure, makes you think about the composition. Glass forever! For a leisurely, thoughtful shooting.

  • Alexander

    Hello everyone. I am looking for a normal lens. The choice stopped at two voitlander 58mm 1.4 and zeiss planar 1.4. please anyone who has experience using both, or just thoughts on this subject. I twisted it in my hands, both are very worthy and the advantage is implicit in test frames

    • Sergei

      I have been using both for several years. The Zeiss planar has a drawback - focus-shift, so you have to focus on the focus on live view.

  • Shurik

    Hello everyone! Tell me I’m wondering which fifty kopecks to take, CANON 1.4, Samyang 1.5, or this planar, I will shoot video mainly because autofocus is not very necessary, because Now the camera is 5d mark 2, plans to switch to Sony. There is Takumar 55 1.8. I thought I could take version 50 1.4 Takumar, but they are sold at 10. Still here on the site, the Nikors advise. But there are so many species confused.

    • Novel

      For the video, I would take Samyang. Which is 1.5, with a large stroke of the ring and distance marks. This planar makes no sense, it is very unsharp at 1.4, but why do we need a covered aperture lens?

      • Onotole

        So for video, the sharpness requirements are much less, aren't they?

        • Rodion

          There is still a stepless aperture tedious, because samyang.

  • Shurik

    I cover Takumar to 2.8 and it doesn’t have many petals, so I think it’s better to take it. I also thought about Takumara 50 1.4 of the first or second version, the second in the region of 6 thousand, the first from 10. Is there a clear difference between Takumara 50 1.4 of the first and subsequent versions, a clear difference in the picture?

    • Rodion

      Better is to take something really better, on a head or two, than any takumar. The difference between them in the picture will not be significant, especially judging by the quality. Specifically, in my case, not a single 50 / 1.4 lasted for me - only a simple Helios-44 and Zenitar 50 / 1.2 for a crop remained (which is much better than any ancient 50 / 1.4 in image quality). However, I recommend feeling the lenses yourself - everything is learned by comparison. As a starting point, the same Helios-44 is very convenient as a lens with image quality for a solid three)

  • Igor

    Very often I shoot with the old zenith 50 f1.7. He is even older than me :) It looks like he will lose to this Zeiss only by contrast. 1.7 there is quite working, allows you to recompose the frame as you like. The focusing scale is marked up to 15 meters. But in order to use it on the canon, I had to do the tuning of the diaphragm floating rope) But this is my subjective opinion.

  • Gregor_S

    Good evening,
    on ff it looks really bad on me at 1.4

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