Review of Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *

According provided by Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * lens (version for Canon cameras with mount EF or Ef-s) many thanks to Oleg.

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *. The lens is shown on a digital SLR camera. Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi

In short

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * - a good manual short telephoto lens, primarily intended for portrait and art photography... Optically imperfect (considering its cost), appreciated for good 'portrait' drawing. In general, it is overrated. Recycling of a pretty old Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 T * (c / y) with the same optical design.

The main feature is the excellent assembly and automatic iris control. Unlike conventional manual lenses, Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * has microprocessor contacts and an internal aperture control mechanism (no aperture control ring).

At one time it was almost an icon of modern manual 85-current, but the glory days of Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * are leaving, as more advanced 'Planars' appeared:

It is worth noting that at the cost of Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * you can buy autofocus lenses for Nikon / Canon class 85 / 1.4 (list at the end of the review).

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *. The lens is shown on a digital SLR camera. Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi

Main technical specifications of Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *:

Review Instance Name Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * 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 72 mm, metal thread for filters
Focal length 85 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 1 m, maximum magnification ratio 1: 10
The weight November 670, XNUMX
Optical design 6 elements in 5 groups. Usual spherical elements are used.


Diagram shown for Carl Zeiss ZF version (for Nikon cameras) 'Planar' type diagram

Lens hood Baynet type, metal, marking Carl Zeiss 1: 1,4 / 85 Made in Japan
Manufacturer country Lens made in Japan (lens made in Japan)
3D view See
Period Variant ZE is available from December 2008
Price Prices for this model can be see here.

Autofocus lenses Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 T * (Contax) и Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZA T * (Sony SAL85F14Z) use different optical schemes.

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *

Unfortunately, despite the presence of a microprocessor, the Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 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 / 85 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *, mount and microprocessor contacts

Assembly and management

The assembly, operation and functionality of Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * are identical to those Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 50 ZE T *.

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 filter diameter is 72 mm, I would be glad if they made the classic professional 77 mm already.

The focus ring does not have a rubberized insert, rotates approximately 220 degrees. The ring travel is smooth and pleasant, oily. 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 / 85 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 / 85 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *

Image quality and sample photos

Everything is in order with the quality of the photos: confident sharpness at F / 1.4 in the center of the frame, beautiful bokeh, a noble picture, good work in back and side light, nice color reproduction, very low distortion. Of the shortcomings, I would note tangible chromatic aberration, in particular, frying and blooming.

On specially designated forums, where connoisseurs who have been filming 'their whole lives' can hear many tales about the extraordinary volume in photographs taken with the Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *. Whether to believe in these tales - everyone decides for himself.

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 72mm MC UV (0) Made in Japan. You can download the original 'jpeg' photos at this link.

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * with original blend. The lens is shown on a digital SLR camera. Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi


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

Now it is very difficult to find a Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * in a store - it is a rather rare and not very popular lens. The $ 1300 for a new manual 85 will put many off their purchase.

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Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * with original hood set to transport mode

My experience

I had this lens lying around for almost a month - I was sick, the shooting was disrupted, I could not shoot anything sensible on it. For me, this review turned out to be the most difficult and longest to write. Thanks to Oleg for trust and patience..

My main shootings almost completely require optics with auto focus. I have been convinced more than once that the amount of good material is much higher when shooting with optics with autofocus. The number of frames with satisfactory focus on Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * @ F / 1.4 and a cropped SLR camera with JVI based on pentaser mirrors is less than 5%.

The Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * is generally a nice lens, but I personally would get an autofocus lens for the Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * cost. Most likely it would be Sigma 85mm 1: 1.4 DG HSM | A (Art).

If you want a real classic with manual focusing, you can look at an older model with the same optical design - Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 T * (c / y). Even cheaper you can find the old Nikon Nikkor 85mm 1: 1.4 (AI-S) and with a penny Nikon-Canon adapter use it on a canon. Yes and Samyang AE 85mm 1: 1.4 AS IF UMC nobody canceled.

All autofocus 85s

Choosing a good 85mm portrait lens is very important for a large number of photographers. I pay a lot of attention to this issue, therefore I have prepared this list of all such autofocus lenses for full frame cameras with F <= 2 and a focal length of about 85 mm.

Nikon (F, Z mounts)

  1. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.8 AF Nikkor [December 1987]
  2. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.8D AF Nikkor [March 1994, Thailand/Japan]
  3. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.4D AF Nikkor [November 1995]
  4. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.4GN AF-S Nikkor SWM IF Nano Crystal Coat [August 2010]
  5. Nikon 85mm 1: 1.8G AF-S IF SWM Nikkor [January 2012]
  6. Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm 1: 1.8 S [July 2019]
  7. Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm 1: 1.2 S [January 2023]

Canon (EF, RF mounts)

  1. Canon LENS EF 85mm 1:1.2 L USM [September 1989
  2. Canon LENS EF 85mm 1: 1.8 USM [July 1992]
  3. Canon LENS EF 85mm 1:1.2 L II USM [March 2006]
  4. Canon LENS EF 85mm 1:1.4 L IS USM [November 2017]
  5. Canon lens RF 85mm F1.2L USM [May 2019]
  6. Canon lens RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS (DEFOCUS SMOOTHING) [October 2019]

Yongnuo/YnLens (different mounts)

  1. Yongnuo YN85mm F1.8 (YN85mm F1.8) [9/6, Canon EF, February 2017]
  2. Yongnuo YN85mm F1.8 (YN85mm F1.8N) [9/6, Nikon F, May 2019]
  3. Ynlens YN85mm F1.8S DF DSM (YN85mm F1.8S) [9/8, Sony E, August 2020]
  4. Ynlens YN85mm F1.8R DF DSM (YN85mm F1.8R) [9/8, Canon RF, May 2021]
  5. Ynlens YN85mm 1:1.8Z DF DSM (YN85mm F1.8Z) [9/8, Nikon Z, March 2022]
  6. Yongnuo 85F1.8S DF DSM [9/8, Sony E, August 2022]

Sony / Sony Zeiss ZA / Minolta (E / FE, A mount)

  1. Sony FE 1.4/85 GM (SEL85F18GM) [February 2016]
  2. Sony FE 1.8/85 (SEL85F18) [February 2017]
  3. Sony SAL85F14Z / Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZA T* [June 2006]
  4. Minolta AF 85mm 1:1.4 (22) (AF lens 85) / Minolta Maxxum / Dynax / G / G+D / G+RS / G+D+LE and other versions of the same lens, A mount [1987]

Sigma (different mounts)

  1. Sigma EX 85mm 1: 1.4 DG HSM (two sub-versions with different body finishes, for Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sony A, February 2010)
  2. Sigma 85mm 1: 1.4 DG | A [Art] (for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sigma SA, Sony E, Leica L, September 2016)
  3. Sigma 85mm 1: 1.4 DG DN | A [Art] (for Sony E, Leica L, August 2020)

Viltrox (different mounts)

  1. Viltrox PFU RBMH 85mm F1.8 STM (Sony E / FE + Fujifilm X, April 2019)
  2. Viltrox AF 85 / 1.8 II XF STM ED IF (Sony E/FE + Fujifilm X, July 2020, light version XNUMX)
  3. Viltrox AF 85 / 1.8 Z STM ED IF (Nikon Z, Dec 2020)
  4. Viltrox AF 85 / 1.8 RF STM ED IF (Canon RF, Nov 2021, with AF / MF switch)

Pentax (K mount)

  1. SMC Pentax-FA* 1:1.4 85mm IF AUTO FOCUS PENTAX 85 [1992]
  2. HD PENTAX-D FA * 85mm 1: 1.4 ED SDM AW [May 2020]

Samyang / Rokinon (different mounts)

  1. Samyang AF 85 / 1.4 [EF or F] (for Canon EF, Nikon F, scheme 9/7, June 2018)
  2. Samyang AF 85 / 1.4 FE (for Sony E, scheme 11/8, March 2019)
  3. Samyang AF 85 / 1.4 RF  (for Canon RF, scheme 11/8, May 2020)
  4. Samyang AF 85 / 1.4 FE II (for Sony E, scheme 11/8, July 2022)

Meike (Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E, Nikon Z, FujiFilm X)

  1. MEIKE 85mm AF 1: 1.8 [review] (Canon EF / Canon EF-S, April 2018)
  2. MEIKE 85mm AF 1: 1.8 [review] (Nikon F, Aug 2020)
  3. MEIKE 85mm 1:1.8 Auto Focus Lens FF STM (for Sony FE/E + Nikon Z, Canon RF, FujiFilm X, June 2022 + March 2023)

Zeiss (Sony E, A mount)

  1. Zeiss Sonnar 1.8 / 85 T * (Batis 1.8 / 85) [built-in stabilizer, April 2015, Sony E/FE]
  2. Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4/85 ZA T* aka Sony SAL85F14Z [2006, Sony A/Minolta A]

Tamron (different mounts)

  1. Tamron SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC USD Model F016 (for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A [without VC function], March 2016)

Tokina (Sony E / FE mount)

  1. Tokina atx-m 85mm F1.8 FE (for Sony E, most likely a complete analog Viltrox PFU RBMH 85mm F1.8 STM, January 2020)

AstrHori (Sony E/FE mount)

  1. AstrHori AF 85mm 1:1.8 [December 2022]

Contax (Contax N mount)

  1. Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 T * (Contax)

Panasonic (L mount)

  1. Panasonic LUMIX S 1: 1.8 / 85mm [November 2020]

Separately, you can still highlight non-classic 85s:

  1. longer LEICA APO-SUMMICRON-SL 1: 2/90 ASPH. (2018, Leica l)
  2. less aperture Sony 85 / 2.8 SAM (SAL85f28) [2010, A]
  3. shorter SMC PENTAX FA 1:1.8 77mm Limited (1997, K)
  4. shorter HD Pentax-FA 1: 1.8 77mm Limited (2021, K)
  5. shorter Samyang AF 75 / 1.8 FE (2020, E)
  6. macro lens Canon Lens RF 85mm F2 MACRO IS STM [2020, RF]
  7. cropped Samsung Lens 1:1.4 85mm ED SSA i-Function [2011, NX]
  8. cropped FUJIFILM FUJINON LENS SUPER EBC XF 90mm 1:2 R LM WR [2015, X]
  9. cropped shorter Viltrox AF 75/1.2 XF STM ED IF [2022, X]
  10. cropped, less aperture, macro lens Nikon DX AF-S Micro Nikkor 85mm 1: 3.5G ED VR SWM IF Micro 1: 1 [2009, F]
  11. many 90/2.8 class macro lenses
Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *

Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * with original hood


The Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * is a good / wonderful creative lens, one of the best portrait lenses of its kind (85-current at f / 1.4 isn't that much). If per-pixel battles about the quality of its image are not important, and its huge cost is also not important, you can safely take and use it for any tasks where you need such a focal length.

UPDATE: interesting appeared Samyang 85mm f / 1.2 Premium MF.

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

Add a comment:



Comments: 49, on the topic: Overview of Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T *

  • Oleg

    An honest review, without admiration, but with respect!

  • Sergei

    Thanks for the interesting review. The picture is really voluminous.

  • anonym

    And I liked the drawing. Very voluminous picture. Thank you for the review)

  • John_Smith

    Great review.
    Arkady as always on top.

  • dragon yes not snape

    Thanks for the review. I really wanted to see what this 85ka is like. Arkady, so you wrote that getting into focus is very difficult, but on Nikon 85ke ai-s on 1.4 it will also be difficult. CONCLUSION to hammer on all aperture manual?

    • Artem

      For video, it’s probably interesting to use. I would like to see this.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Depending on the tasks and type of shooting. At full frame with a pentazerkal, or using EVI and picking will be easier. But for work (photo, not video) I would refuse such manuals.

    • Vasil

      Focus can be targeted using the focus point in the video finder. But still, the manual focus is only for fans of this very manual.
      Thanks for the review, as always interesting to read you!

      • Novel

        I declare authoritatively - the dot in the viewfinder is shamelessly lying, because we start to appear when there is no sharpness yet, and disappears when there is no more, i.e. between sharpness and its absence there can be 5-10 degrees of rotation of the focusing ring, and melancholy will burn at the same time (

        P.S. So trust the automation

  • Anonymous 1

    That's it, depending on what tasks. I never cease to be amazed how the public wants to get a lens or an apparatus well, FOR ALL CASES OF LIFE !! Here is one - and for everything in the world! And to portrait with a wide viewing angle, and fish-eye for macro photography! Otherwise, well, the same junk! And how many exaltations about bokeh! Don't be bored with you guys!

    • Novel

      You forgot the Big Red Button "Remove masterpiece")

  • Ilyas

    but his copy is Zenith 1.4 \ 85 full of trash. Thank God that he sold)

    • Andrei

      Is that modern, released a year or two ago?

      • Ilyas


    • anonym

      And your hands out of your ass too ... have you already pulled out?

      • Bender


  • Alex 917

    It was interesting to read, thanks Arkady for his work !!!
    horse HA, sharpness was not found, the picture was not impressive.
    I understand that this opinion is very superficial, but still it is the only one.

    • Onotole

      Should a female portrait lens be super-sharp?
      HA? And who does not have them, in this class of lenses?
      It is hard to judge the picture as a whole by the examples provided (if only because they were taken on a crop).
      I am sure that such glasses (with character) require getting used to themselves, even by professionals such as Arkady, but after that you can get first-class photos on them.

  • Alkrio.

    for Nikon / Canon crop for 85mm, I would probably take the Sigma 50-100 / 1,8 zoom. It's not cheap either, but it seems to me much more practical if there are no plans to go full frame in the next couple of years. If there are such plans - take 70-200 / 2,8, you can tamron to save money. Take Zeiss only for a full frame for a warm lamp-like condition, there is little practical use in it for its price, IMHO.

    • Alkrio.

      I forgot to add that both of the mentioned zooms are rather heavy, this can be an important factor when choosing.

  • Oleg

    After reading the review and comments, I want to say that to each his own - there are no universal lenses, there are lenses for specific tasks and / or for certain categories of photographers. This lens is not for modern reportage and / or wedding photographers, where a lot is needed quickly and that the lens itself would aim, and even with a stub it would be.

    I can say to myself that I like to shoot with this lens, slowly pondering over the frame, not like a nutcracker, with it the shooting is very similar to film when you first think and then shoot.

    For quick shooting, when it is necessary to “shoot” - I have two Elki 24-70 / 2,8 and 70-200 / 2,8.

  • Rodion

    The picture, by the way, is delicious. Like.

  • anonym

    Bewitched you, gentlemen, "the inscription on the front lens of Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85". The usual picture. The contrast is not enough. Bokeh, to each his own, like a wife ... .. Not always expensive, citizens, great.

  • max

    The image is completely ordinary, no difference from the thuja heap of similar lenses. For such a price, it should not be auto focus, but bring slippers and guard the house at night.

    • anonym

      Max, he also runs for beer

  • george7

    Of course, all the charm of the lens can be appreciated only by downloading the archive.
    Where the image is larger.
    Then you really begin to understand what Carl Zeiss Planar 1,4 / 85 ZE T * is.

    • Maugli

      All the charm of the lens can be estimated by setting it to full frame =)

  • Alexey

    There is only one plus of such optics: indestructibility. Metal cases, lack of an autofocus motor: such lenses have been around for decades, there’s simply nothing to break. Well, minuses: any fast-moving fix without aspherical elements on the open one will be sharp only in the center. And it does not matter whose lens it is, Zeiss or Samyang.

  • Anatoly

    The picture, of course, is nothing, but it’s obviously chromatite not at $ 1300

  • Igor

    Weak is H.A. but in general, not a bad manual.

  • and

    Those for whom the quality of the resulting image is important and the financial issue fades into the background will choose the native top-end 85ku, the rest, depending on the financial capabilities, will rather choose the autofocus native glasses of the 85 / 1.8 or sigma 85 / 1.4 class. And with the release of the milvus-office 85, it finally became unnecessary. Especially my IMHO - The lens is more likely for those who are more an esthete than a photographer. I don't see any objective reasons to take this particular glass. Thanks for the review, as always.

  • Dmitriy

    I don't see anything good in this lens !!! Honestly)) 1.4 - not working! HA is just tin. I bought myself a Sigma 85ART and have no tea. Advise + 100500%

    • dragon yes not snape

      Art !! Survived !! Sigma is compared with zais. This is very funny!!

      • anonym

        Are you a fan of branding?

      • Dmitriy

        Personally, I don't care what is written on the lens. I also had Zeiss ... sold! The main thing for me is what this or that lens can do! And this one, maybe in due time brought kipish, but now - I don't think so!

        • Gonzaga

          Maybe now Sigma has been corrected and began to make normal glasses. It may very well be. But at one time I was dealing with sigma optics, though not with ARTs. To put it mildly, not impressed. since then I take Toko native glass. And when there is not enough money, I stupidly save up until I have enough.

          • Carl Zeiss

            By releasing the Art series, they completely rehabilitated themselves. There are a couple of interesting lenses. Everything else is really slag.

            • anonym

              Well, yes, I rehabilitated, half of the artifacts have problems with focusing. The problem is known, Sigma support is silent in a rag.

          • Alexander


  • Olga Kyss

    Thanks for the review!
    I am the happy owner of this miracle)) the wrong word is happy. I got used to the year ((there is a lot of marriage due to a lack of focus, but I don’t give up. I photograph families with children, and not just got up and smiled, but playing and running away. I believe that Zeiss can’t be bought new))) only with hands, cheaper but quality does not suffer from this))

    • Nic to

      Well done! I have a similar story)

  • Nic to

    I shot this lens for several years paired with a 35mm Distagon on a Canon 5D m2. It so happened that I had to sell both. I never found a replacement for him. No 85 after this do not like. Here I buy it again) Conclusion: in order to appreciate something, you first need to lose it)

  • Nic to

    And many thanks to the author for Sigma! I did not expect these guys to get better. A very good picture in general, even in comparison with Zeiss. Thank you for the review!

  • Eugene

    Good afternoon. I ask competent people to tell - how realistic is this ZE lens to put on a full-frame nikon?

    • B. R. P.

      This one under Canon is unrealistic.

      • Eugene

        I thought through the adapter Canon-nikon possible. It’s sad.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It is performed under the Nikon F mount (Planar ZF). This one, for Canon (ZE) is better not to be wiser

  • Sergei

    I read the review, read the comments and realized that the comments are much more interesting than the review! Regarding my opinion on the lens, I have had this miracle since 2012 or 13, I don’t remember already. If I had been in the know at the time of purchase, I would have taken the Canon 85mm f1.2 and would not have been soaring now. What now? Now the lens is almost new in a case from 24-70, waiting for the right mood to use. I do not plan to sell it, because if you get into sharpness and composition according to your mind, then everything is finally beautiful! But in the future I suppose to buy an 85 mm native f1.4 with a stabilizer and autofocus, since it is really fast and flexible to any conditions due to the stabilizer! Suitable in general for commercial shooting, while Zeiss is more for the soul when you pick up a camera to relax, not for work!
    After him, I also took a zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZE, and the same thing about him, well, except perhaps due to a different focal length and optical design, it is much more universal and much easier to work with!

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